Friday, March 10, 2006

Having a bad day?

Ok, I admit it. This week was not a very good week for yours truly. I know you'd rather hear your pastor and friend tell you that everything is GREAT and you too can be an overcomer! Most of us just put on our suit and tie (well, a few), put on the game face, and keep everyone at arm's length while we pretend to have it all together on Sunday morning!

Well, that's not how I operate and if you know me well you know that to be the case. I'm just me.

God has allowed us to walk through some pretty difficult times in the past 4.5 years. Everything from the resignation of my pastor (and everyone else for that matter!) to receiving the unbelievable news that after loving and serving our church for nearly 3 years we were asked to leave with no reason given. Then we couldn't find a church. Then, we couldn't sell our house. Then we sold the house and lost a lot of money. Then, then, then.

This week some of those painful memories came flooding back and it's not been easy. But, I know that God is working his plan out in my life even though it looks like he's made a terrible mistake. That said, I still have have some difficult days when I feel a little like that truck - the one under the wheel of the other truck.

I read an article today from Rick Warren, and since he said everything I would want to say, I'm going to let him encourage you today with some things to think about if you are having a bad.

How to overcome dark valleys (Click here for link to article)
by Rick Warren

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

How do we handle the dark valleys of life? These facts about valleys can help.

1. Valleys are inevitable. They are a normal part of life. Don't be surprised by them. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble." (John 16:33)

2. Valleys are unpredictable. They’re sudden and unexpected. Jeremiah 4:20 says, "In an instant my tents are destroyed, my shelter in a moment."

3. Valleys are impartial. No one is insulated from pain and sorrow. No one gets to skate through life free of problems. Problems don’t mean you're a bad person. They mean you’re a person. In Matthew 5:45, Jesus said, "He … sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

4. Valleys are temporary. A valley is something we go through – a situation that has a season (see Ps. 23:4). 1 Peter 1:6 says, “Now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”

5. Valleys are purposeful. God has a reason for taking us through them. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says, "These [trials] have come so that your faith … may be proved genuine.”

Pain can be productive. God wants to build our faith in the valleys. We love the mountaintops, but we build faith in the valleys. When we come face to face with a dark valley, we get on our knees.

(This column was adapted from Rick Warren's sermon God's Antidote For Your Dark Valleys.)

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