As I prayed about what to share with you today, my thoughts turned to a bit of work I did last weekend. About once a month, I sit down on the floor of my home office and spend time shredding bills and other documents that are too sensitive for just tossing into the regular garbage. Saturday was the day I did that, and it offered a vivid object lesson that I want to share with you.
You see, I had already spent time earlier in the day with Jesus. Part of that sweet time is spent in prayer….praying for others, as well as myself. Recently, my prayer list seems especially heavy with hurting hearts and lives. Cancer and other life threatening diagnoses, marriages ripped apart, upcoming medical tests, financial difficulties, confusion, anxiety and so much more. It seems that lives and hearts are shredded at a faster and more vicious rate than ever before. Dreams and hearts torn to shreds, unrecognizable and without hope of ever experiencing the normal of their previous life.
A verse came to mind as I thought about the viciousness of life here on this fallen, spinning orb.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
Psalm 56:8 (ESV)
God sees the pain that each person experiences. He not only sees it, He experiences it. His heart is moved by it so much so that He collects our tears and places them in a bottle. Imagine it! He also records them in His book. He is intimately involved in what is going on with you and me, as believers in Jesus. There is more good news.
Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV)
God not only sees and knows our pain and heartache, He is abundantly able to do something with it and about it. Nothing is too hard for Him! Your situation is not the ONE DISASTER that God cannot take and make beauty from its ashes. God is able to work in every single prayer need on my prayer list, and to do it to perfection. But…..we must……
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)
When life runs you and me through the shredder, we must trust God in all things. We must trust that He knew about the trials and allowed them for a reason. We must trust that He is walking with us through them, and has a plan that is for our good. We must not allow our eyes to focus on the trial, but rather on Jesus. If we try to understand our trials from a human perspective, we will be toast! God’s ways often do not make sense from a human perspective. Here is a formula for finding peace in the midst of a shredding.
Eyes on Jesus + heart trusting in God = Peace in the midst of life’s shredder
Friends, I hope these words that I have tapped out this morning offer you a bit of perspective and hope. As with most everything the Lord gives me to write, these words are as much, or more, for me as they are for you. Are you in the middle of a shredding season? Would you be willing to leave a comment letting me know about it? I would be happy to pray for you.