The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 12, 2013

We have no business wallowing in unhappiness and despair

By Ruth Ann Replogle, Columnist
Enid News and Eagle

— A dear counseling couple close to my heart have been sharing excerpts from Texas pastor Max Lucado’s latest book, “You’ll Get Through This.” And I’ve got to tell you, they have served as salve to a wounded heart.

Lucado’s main theme centers on this thought: “You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime, don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair, either. With God’s help, you will get through this.”

There have been moments I’ve been ready to throw in the towel, call it quits and say I’m through. In fact, I recently told my sisterchick that I’m too tired to put up with certain things anymore. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt, I said.

I guess there comes a point in a person’s life when you’ve faced enough unpleasantness (I omitted inserting particular phrases unfit to print here) that it seems easier to give up, or in not-so-nice terms, say “screw it.”

But until God takes me home — in his own time, not mine — I need to realize I have no business wallowing in unhappiness and despair. He didn’t create me to dwell in a pit.

Wow.

Did God speak to anyone other than me just now?

Joseph didn’t let circumstances control him. He controlled them by clinging to God. When he could have destroyed the brothers who attempted to destroy his life, he chose not to.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” — Genesis 50:20

Listen to what Lucado says:

“I’m reminded of the words of an old but familiar hymn, ‘When all around my soul gives way, He then is still my hope and stay!’ Cling to His unchanging character. God is faithful. He is not caught off guard. He uses everything for His glory and your ultimate good. You will get through this.

“God can discipline your abusive boss. He can soften your angry parent. He can bring your ex to his knees or her senses. Forgiveness doesn’t diminish justice, it just entrusts it to God. Unlike us, God never gives up on a person. Never. Long after we’ve moved on, God is still there, probing the conscience, stirring conviction, always orchestrating redemption. Fix your enemies? That’s God’s job.

“When it comes to forgiveness, all of us are beginners. No one owns a secret formula. As long as you’re trying to forgive, you are forgiving. Stay the course and you’ll find a way to be strong even when you’ve been hurt. You will get through this!”

My pastor is fond of saying God is still on His throne, never changing as the world falls apart around us. Our struggles will not last forever, but our connection with God is eternal. He is always near; we can never go where God is not.

John Waller’s song, “While I’m Waiting,” was featured in the film “Fireproof” and beautifully describes how to get through:

“I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord/And I am hopeful, I’m waiting on You Lord/Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait/And I will move ahead bold and confident/Taking every step in obedience

“While I’m waiting I will serve You/ While I’m waiting I will worship/While I’m waiting I will not faint/I’ll be running the race even while I wait.”

I will get through it. It won’t be easy and there may still be some rougher roads ahead. But by leaning on God instead of myself, I will find hope again.

In hymn writer Edward Mote’s words: “My hope is built on nothing less/Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness/I dare not trust the sweetest frame/But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”



Follow Ruth Ann Replogle on Facebook at http://www.face book.com/pages/Just-Hold-On/419800328081972 or email her at justholdonrr@gmail.com.