Here's help for when life falls apart

For a moment or two, let your mind wander and picture this . . . 

You finally managed to buy your longtime dream, a home deep in beautiful, wooded mountain country in California.                          Blog. Grizzly Flats. 8.2021

Tranquil lakes and streams. Towering evergreens up close or on the next hill. Room to breathe. Peaceful, blessed quiet, except for the calming sounds of Nature all around. 

However you spend your days, whether hiking one of the many trails that thread through the forest or just sitting in your front-porch rocker, you're at peace.    

Several times a day you think, All those years I (or we) worked hard to get here and it was so, so worth it!

At night, looking into the deep blue sky and counting stars or watching the logs in your fireplace ebb down into embers, you say, "Life couldn't be better. What a blessing!" 

And then comes the horror

Blog. Dixie fire 2.   8.15.2021

For some, it came late at night, for others, in broad daylight. 

Engrossed in what you were doing--or perhaps sleeping soundly--you're roused by someone pounding on your front door.

There stands a frantic smoke-blackened firefighter. He yells, "You must leave! NOW! You only have minutes! You have no time to grab any belongings. Just go!  

"Get your family members and RUN!"

For any of us, life as we know it can fall apart in an instant

All it takes is a phone call. A bad fall. A car accident with devastating injuries. Biopsy or lab test results we prayed never to hear. Someone we love hit by disease or a heart attack. Or a devastating injury. Or death that claims the earthly life of one we thought we couldn't live without. 

Or it may be "impersonal," such as a business closing--and with it, the end of a job or career that enabled us to pay the bills. Job changes that call for retraining--or starting over. A landlord that sells the home we live in, leaving us with nowhere to go that we can afford.

Whatever the cause, many of us have lived it, sometimes more than once.  Or we know someone who has. In times like that, tragedy can overwhelm our spirits and snuff out hope.

How do we go on? 

Whatever comes, we cling to Truth that outlasts any trial, any catastrophe

When we're in pain because our world is falling apart, it feels natural to lapse into anxiety and fear. We're tempted to pull our pain around us like a warm quilt. Why not? Everyone would understand.  

Here's the question each of us must answer for ourselves: Is that really how we want to live?

Most of us would answer "No."

Still, how do we hold it together? How do we find strength to go on?

Answer: We do the hard thing: We fight for it. 

We deliberately--as if we were changing channels on a TV--fill our minds with reminders from the Bible that our kind and merciful God has not turned his back on us.

We repeat the verse or verses aloud if that's the only way to drown out the fear. We whisper them at night when we cannot go to sleep, sometimes over and over until sleep comes. 

Start with reassuring Bible verses like these

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.   --Psalm 46:1-2

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.    --Deuteronomy 31:8

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.    --John 16:33

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.    --Isaiah 41:10

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.     --John 14:27

Make these verses--and others like them--the refrain of your life

Promise yourself you will stop saying--and thinking, "I don't know how I will get through this."

Say instead, "With God's help, I will get through this. Moment by moment. Day by day."

When fear intrudes--and it will, mentally shout "Stop!" and emphatically turn your thoughts to the One who loved us enough to die on the cross so that we can be at peace with God. 

He is the One who told his followers--and us: "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." --Matthew 28:20. 

We do not walk alone.

We do not face our troubles on our own.

Whatever comes into our lives, God will give us the strength to get through whatever comes.

In every situation, we depend on Him, not on ourselves. And so we survive--and get through--whatever comes.  

Hanging on tight,

Lenore


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