August 1, 2022
A Happy Ending, Please!
He gives strength to those who are tired and more power to those who are weak (Isaiah 40:29 NCV).
Friend to Friend
I love a great movie! To me, a movie is great when good wins over evil, nobody gets hurt and everyone lives happily ever after. A bit naive, I know. But I have decided there is enough harsh reality ripping through daily life without paying to see more on a movie screen.
With these criteria in mind, I went to see the movie "Sea Biscuit." So, there I was, popcorn in hand, minding my own business and enjoying my brief respite, when his words slammed into my soul, yanking me back to the relentless power of truth.
"You don't throw a whole life away just because it's a little banged up."
I was done.
Although I enjoyed the rest of the movie, those words lingered still because it seemed they were spoken for me.
The reality is that we're all "banged up a little." In "A Farewell to Arms," Ernest Hemingway writes, "The world breaks everyone, and many are strong at the broken places."
We all have hidden scars, fresh wounds, and broken places. The good news is that God is drawn to broken people. He accomplishes His greatest work through those who are most broken.
Isaiah 45:3 (NIV) "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name."
God has gone before us and, in every trial and painful circumstance, has buried a treasure or stored rich secrets that can only be found through that darkness. The most powerful truths are revealed in the darkest times. Pain intensifies our need for God and can be counted as a blessing.
I struggle with clinical depression. The darkness has been a familiar companion for most of my life. Over the years, I tried just about everything to soothe the pain – food, success in ministry, the approval of others, perfectionism, doing good things ... you get the idea.
In 1995 my carefully constructed world fell apart, and I spent two long years at the bottom of a dark pit of depression. I had no idea how to handle the pain and hurt. Finally, I cried out to God. He heard my cry and led me to a passage of Scripture that continually heals me and helps me handle hurt.
Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV) "I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD."
I don't know what your particular pit is. But I know what you are feeling.
You may be desperately clinging to your life's broken and mismatched remnants, wondering how you can go on.
Whispers of the enemy creep into your heart and mind, taunting you with the lie that you are too dirty and broken for God to love or use.
It seems that is your reality, so you might as well give up, throwing your life away.
Nothing could be further from the truth. How we respond to pits and pain is our choice.
We can surrender to the darkness or embrace the pain and learn from it.
We can settle for a life defined by pain, or we can harness the power of our pain and use it for good.
We can try to ignore the pain and hope it all goes away, or we can face it and let God heal the broken places. Remember the promise of Isaiah:
"He gives strength to those who are tired and more power to those who are weak” (40:29 NCV).
I know you may be tired, ready to give up. God knows. God hears. God will breathe strength and power into the right choices we make. And today, He is asking, "My child, what will you do with your pain?"
Now It's Your Turn
How has hurt impacted your life? Are you willing to face and deal with the hurt in your life?
More from the Girlfriends
Mary Southerland seemed to have it all until clinical depression brought her world crashing down. Experience Mary's story through this powerful and practical message, Hope in the Midst of Depression.
© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved