Note: Rejoice! Today marks the mailing of our 1,000,000th Stepping Stones. We know many more have been read on websites and facebook as well as faithful readers using them in other ministries and forwarding it to bless others. Thank you so much, as God has used you to bless and encourage others and us. Let’s get after 2 million!
Most of us are so selective about which parts we bring to God. We hesitate to bring traits that we consider shameful…partly because we actually believe He doesn’t see them, and partly because we are ashamed to even think about it again. Some of us are so used to living with pain, feeling loneliness, guilt, fear – that it never occurs to us to ask for help in dealing with these problems. We assume help is not available and this pain is an unavoidable part of life.
For some, they seem to believe there are degree of difficulty points (like diving) for overcoming the most hardship…for others, pain of some kind has been such an integral part of their growing up, that in a weird way, it is hard for them to navigate life without the pain. Sometimes, we get so preoccupied with our struggles, why they are there and how to dig out, that we even forget that God is actually with us and will provide help.
God really desires to heal your hurting parts. However some of the pain has been with you so long, it becomes part of your identity. Sometimes you are so addicted to certain painful patterns that it’s difficult to break free from them. Only repeatedly exposing them to God’s healing presence will bring you long-term healing and freedom.
Today, turn to your Lord when you are hurting; He will share and reduce your pain. Remember, the Bible is a book about suffering, our spiritual suffering, and how God loved us so much and miraculously provided a way for ultimate healing. He also has many promises for the smaller, daily sufferings we experience. Turn to the Lord when you are in pain and rejoice in these circumstances as He is with you. He has a joy, peace, and comfort, as well as a message for you He is communicating through your pain.
Dear Father God, I am so grateful to you, Lord, that I can come to you not matter what condition I am in…just as I am. Thank You, Father. I am relieved that I don’t have to “clean up my act” before I come to You; you already know the worst about me. When I am hurting, I want to be with someone who understands me without condemning me. When I am happy, I delight in being with someone who loves me enough to celebrate with me. I pray that You help me bring more and more of myself to You. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the one who divides my pain and multiplies my joy, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:6-10