I am not alone!

Whew! We made it through the holidays! It seems this year more than others in the past, I heard a lot of people on Christian radio, from the pulpit and other areas how hard the holiday season can be for people. To be honest, this year was that way for me. Not because I am mourning the loss of a family member or friend, but really just a whole lot of circumstances, interactions and probably just my perception of these things has left me in a pretty good funk! Many times I look around and assume I am the only one who is feeling this way. Everyone else seems so happy and care free! Especially pastors … I mean, they have to be the happiest, most grounded people out there, right? I received the below from a pastor I like to follow and it kind of surprised me. I don’t know why really! Not in a “misery loves company” kind of way, but it made me realize that I am not the only one feeling this way and even that pastors are human too! I am being somewhat facetious because I have known many pastors very personally over the years and know they struggle at times as well. As I drove into work this morning and considering the many thoughts I had about today’s blog, a song by Kari Job called, “I am not alone” came on the radio. I have included a link to it below. Be blessed and know you are not alone! God is with you and this Barnabas Man brotherhood is here for you!!!

The Peace that passes all understanding, is just that.  It goes beyond the thinking of what we classify as peace.  We like to think of our Lord as One who gives us peace between brothers and sisters, and the world, but that’s not the peace He came to give. So many, especially at this time of year, seem to be in a state of unrest. In other words, good hard working people, who have no reason for stress and trials, still experience stress and anxiety, at some point in their walk. To be totally transparent with you, I experience unrest like a shroud that hangs over you. Like the peanuts cartoon, where the little boy named pig-pen, walks around with a dirty cloud over his head. This shroud of discomfort tries to take away joy, and peace, and replace them with doom and gloom.  There are no answers as to why, or their origin, yet it overtakes me, like it does so many others, and causes many things to happen that we then experience: Loneliness, despair, isolation, anger, inattentiveness, and a host of other feelings that cannot be “just gotten out of.” I have learned to use these experiences to draw closer to Jesus, for I do not have the strength to escape them.  But He does, and always, He lifts me up again, and puts the kind of peace in me that I know He is all about. Think about this scripture: “Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth, I did not come to bring peace, but  a sword. For I came to turn: a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” Matthew 10: 34-36  I know how some of you are feeling right now, for you are no different from me. I know that you experience those times, when there seems to be no peace – in your heart.  But I want to encourage you. The peace that you find in your heart is not the peace of the world. It is not the absence of the hate that seems to flow in our nation, the disrespect, the vitriol, that is growing stronger and stronger. This peace that I’m talking about is the peace that passes all understanding. This peace come from the Holy Spirit, who resides within us and is with us always. The ability to rely on the Holy Spirit more than ourselves, will bring about this peace in the midst of the storms of life. It will bring the joy of this season to be the morning star within us. He will lighten our load, brighten our path, and walk with us the whole journey. If you are there today, surrender it all to Him, He did not come to bring peace, but He IS our peace, and IN Him, we will find the joy, Don’t keep looking for it in the world, for it can only come from Jesus.

 Heavenly Father, Thank You for the peace that passes all understanding. Thank You for the love that You have for us, even when we are surrounded by gloom. Thank You for continuing to pick us up from this miry clay and set our feet on solid ground. Lord, only You can do this, so I pray for my brothers and my sisters, who struggle with the shroud of gloom that hangs over their heads. Lord please let them see You today. Let them experience the joy that comes from holding on to You in the dark times.  I pray this in Jesus name.”

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