Personal Musing: When things compound

Well, on the verge of getting moving forward when ended up with a new influenza infection resulting in any momentum that was restarting slowed.  Many of what I wanted to get moving forward on and getting back to continued to be on the back burner.  However, one thought notice is that this viral infection was another in a series of compounding events that built up to make it difficult to engage and move forward.  It is the compounding of things in and of themselves minor that can wear one down.  In essence, the more things that can compound the higher the level of “felt suffering” or as we like to call it, stress.  It is one bit of pressure compounding another and so on.  We all have periods in our life where we experience such pressures.  Now, in the long run such moments and seasons of life do strengthen us, for it is under pressure that we grow.  It is times like this that can reveal areas of self that need to be turned from or grow.  It is under such periods of time that we can be aware of things that were doing, ways of interacting or doing that are  not in line with serving Jesus.  It is the ways of self, the routines we get comfortable with even if we know it is just not quite right but have come to have it as acceptable and no big deal.   See, here is the deal, just as what might be considered minor “personal suffering” when taken in whole with other issues will be harder when compounded with others, is it not or sin and selfishness and acceptance of what we consider minor just a reflection of deeper issues.  When sin compounds and builds on sin it becomes far more than one issue.  This is part of why all sin is sin, there is nothing minor.  For it all compounds and before God, even what most may consider no big deal, to Him is corruption and twisting and will only compound with other things that might not be considered no big deal.  So what are your thoughts?  Are you in a period or season of compounding suffering?  Do you have things in your life you consider to be minor and no big deal?  What do you need to turn from in this season, this time?

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Evidence of God’s provision in Haiti with the Livesays.

This missionary family and many others are in the midst of crisis. It is draining and difficult.  Tara is a marathon runner who now is running a different sort of marathon, one far more taxing than anything race she has ever run.  Tara and Troy are running the good race, shining the light of Jesus and impacting people with care and love.  Now certainly they have been drained and taxed.  They are going through the varied emotional responses that come with the psychological trauma. They are going through grief and the assorted symptoms that correspond with acute stress syndrome

Now given the difficulties and stress going on, Tara at her blog and on Facebook acknowledged that today was worst day for her emotionally. It included conflict with someone else with another agency trying to help there.  Yet, in the midst of the worst day for Tara, God showed His provision.  On their website they posted an article: Day Eight. In the article they report how eleven seriously injured people including Collette (a 7 month pregnant woman with a broken pelvis) came to be one of the first people sent by helicopter to the USNS ship Comfort.   They chose to leave on faith that they would find and get the  help needed, found the US camp, and had the patients sent to ship by Helicopter.  God provided and answered their step of faith. 

There are other stories of God using them to touch the lives of Haitians in their Short Stories  blog post. Some other areas of God’s provision include Troy being able to get a Coke when expressing a need for it.  The ongoing provision of fuel and supplies  has occured.  So God clearly has answered prayers. It is certainly God moving. There is clear ineffectual provision for varied US sources including boxes of blood pressure cups without squeeze bulbs and other factors.  God’s provision is ongoing and real.  So continue to pray for that provision and praise God for what He is doing in the midst.  Continue to pray for that ongoing provision.

Poetry/Prose: The Meaning of Peace

See the waves prose in previous article. This articel was submitted by a Phoebe McKell to the same website.  I think the pictures go well with the prose as well.

http://www.mountainwings.com/past/Sunday.htm

 The Meaning of Peace
==============

There was once a king who offered a prize to the artist who
could paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried.
The king looked at all the pictures, but there were only two
that he really liked, and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror
for the peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was
a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture
thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The second picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged
and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, and in
which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled
a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the king looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny
bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird
had built her nest…. a perfect picture of peace.

Which of the pictures won the prize?

The king chose the second picture.

Do you know why?

“Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a
place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.
Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be
calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”

That is the REAL meaning of peace.

~Author Unknown~

Good Friday Musings: Seven common types of emotional suffering Jesus endured.

Today is Good Friday. It is the day where we commemorate the crucifixion of our redeemer. We commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was slain to take away our sins. When we consider the day, usually our focus goes toward the immense physical pain he endured, suffering for our sins. We rarely take time to focus on another dimension of his suffering, the emotional suffering. In considering this day, seven common types of emotional suffering were identified in terms of what Jesus endured. So for this article will identify a type of emotional suffering and offer commentary about what Jesus suffered. This article will conclude with even looking at a type of emotional suffering Jesus suffered that was beyond our normal experience.

Stress: This is the most common type of emotional suffering, one that we all endure. There are multiple articles and suggestions on coping with stress. In the events of Passion Week, Jesus suffered stress more extensively than any other human. His stress started with his foreknowledge what must transpire. He entered into the events with full awareness of what he was about to endure. His stress level reached the point where in praying in preparation he reached a point where he sweated blood.

Betrayal: This is another common emotional suffering we endure. At some level we are all betrayed by someone we care about and trust. For Jesus and the events of Passion Week, Jesus faced total betrayal. It starts with Judas turning Jesus over to the Sanhedrin, yet the betrayal didn’t stop there. Peter also significantly betrayed him publically three times. The betrayals of Jesus exhibited by Judas and Peter actually cover the full range of types of betrayal we endure. Judas directly and aggressively betrayed Jesus to his face. Peter’s betrayals were passive and indirect. He did not betray Jesus to his face, but yet the betrayal was still there.

Abandonment: This type of suffering is pervasive and significant in many lives. Abandonment and the fear of abandonment is a big contributor significantly to psychological distress. It is different than betrayal because it is not an outright turning against one who previously stood alongside, but rather it is simply not being there when needed. It is a failure to have needs met. Jesus definitely experienced the full range of abandonment during Passion Week as well. It started with the disciples falling asleep when asked to watch and pray and continued with the disciples simply not sticking around during the events that transpired. He was not given the support He needed and was truly alone.

Rejection: There is something about being rejected that is at a core of a lot of human emotional suffering. We each have a desperate desire to be loved and accepted as we are and not be rejected. The rejections that come in life can add up and be a source of much psychological turmoil. In actuality, one can even view the assorted types of emotional distress and being one form or rejection or another. Jesus, in Passion Week faced ultimate rejection. He faced public rejection with the cries of “Crucify Him” and even had a murderer and rebel chosen over him to be released. He had the personal rejection occur on multiple levels throughout the course of the events of Passion Week. As the Bible points out, “He was despised and rejected of men.” (Isaiah 53:1)

Humiliation: Humiliation is something many people experience at one level or another with the result of a lot of psychological damage. Bullying and harassment are important issues in this day and age. No one likes to see anyone picked on or made fun of for any reason. Jesus faced an extensive amount of humiliation. He was brought down to the lowest possible level, with his claims being made a public spectacle.

Persecution: Persecution is essentially being tortured for something that you hold to and won’t let go of. It is essentially all forums of torture. Thankfully there are only a small percentage of people today who face direct persecution. Yet, many Christians and people readily given in to the more indirect types of persecution that call for compromise. Jesus during Passion Week faced extensive persecution. He was whipped to near death, he was hit, spat upon, had a crown of thorns jammed on his head, had to carry his cross and the ultimately was executed all because of his claim of being the Son of God, Messiah.

Injustice: The world is filled with injustice and we feel the effects of it daily. Yes, innocent are killed, guilty go free, evil prospers, good suffers, the blood of innocents is shed, and more. There is no end to the injustices in this world. Passion Week is the epitome of injustice. Jesus, who did no wrong, was executed alongside common criminals. Jesus was the ultimate shedding of innocent blood. Jesus deserved nothing and faced the totality of human emotional and physical suffering. He did so out of love, for you and me so that we may be redeemed and restored to relationship with the father. Any injustice you have felt, real or perceived pales to the injustice Jesus endured, all in order to bring Salvation.

Separation from God: Jesus endured one type of suffering none of us can grasp. He was in constant communion with God the Father. Yet, at the cross, that communion, that unity, that oneness was disconnected. This led to the agonizing cry “My God, my God why have you forsaken me!” None of us can grasp what Jesus suffered because we walk in continued separation. Even today with the infilling of the Holy Spirit we only grasp a taste of what Jesus had continually. The loss of that was excruciating and in reality was more than he could bear, leading to his physical death.

In summary, reflect on the emotional suffering Jesus endured along with the physical suffering in order that we may be brought away from separation from God and into fellowship with God. The reality is that if the events of Passion Week only brought one person into renewed fellowship with God, Jesus would have still endured it all. If you are reading this, and have not yet come to accept Jesus shedding of innocent blood in order that you may be redeemed, and agreed to accept the gift, the time is not too late, so find someone you know who has accepted this gift and ask them to help you.