You are the One who has given me every good thing in my life. You are the One who has given me not only the hope of salvation, but of Heaven, Lord. It was You who led my ancestors through many challenging days, through death and right into Your arms, Lord.
I would like to ask one thing, Lord. I'm tired. I'm so very tired today. I don't know what else to say. I don't know what else to do. I just pray You give me strength. Give me the courage and tenacity to continue living for You in these difficult times. Allow me the spiritual brawn to lead my family to Your gates, Jesus.
Some days life cuts you off at the knees, submerging you in darkness, nearly swallowing you whole. I’ve been there, friend. So have many others. But just as the mountains are everlasting, undying and unalterable, so is the Lord. God promises to love and protect us. He cannot be moved. He stands forever. He surrounds His people. Pretty cool, right?
Nobody else looks at you as critically as YOU do. Others see your assets; all you see are your liabilities. Your faults and shortcomings. Others are younger, thinner, smarter, more talented, wittier and better looking, right? Well, the good news is God doesn’t judge people the way we do. He looks right into your heart, and sees the kind of person you are on the inside. With God, lambs become lions.
The world is getting colder, angrier and deadlier; more violent and desperate, I think. Spirits—that is, hearts, attitudes, emotions—seem to be heavy these days. Like we’re struggling to even breathe, or at least that’s my impression. Bon Jovi said, “Keep the Faith.” Eric Clapton said he was “Running on Faith,” and Kid Rock described his “Lonely Road of Faith.” Real faith, however, comes at a cost of tears and blood. Sometimes it may even cost us our life, but it is the only path to genuine peace of mind.
It’s the first day of the work week, but I'm not experiencing your typical "Monday Blues" today. I have no clue what's wrong; it's as though a dark cloud of sadness, almost an anxiousness, has moved into the duplex next door. Sometimes—for me anyway—stress, depression, anger and even anxiety unwillingly invade, like watching black storm clouds roll into my spirit. As I am helpless to chase away a thunderstorm by sheer will, so this feels in my heart.
But my family and I are born fighters. We surrender to God alone; never to darkness, never to defeat.
The tattoo on my right upper bicep (and on my daughter’s calf) says, “No fear of the future, no regrets of the past.” Granted, this is a mindset which is hard to attain, and even harder to maintain. It's a goal both she and I strive for every day. I'm closer to it than I was a year ago, but not as adept as I will be in a year. It’s totally doable, though. I know this because I've witnessed the joyful faces of those who have gone through terrible agony. There is a terrible sadness, hidden away, which has forever altered their lives. But not destroyed them. So follow the advice of that great theologian, Han Solo, who said, “Laugh it up, fuzzball.”
I’m tired. So very tired. Although I have yet to discover the secret to boundless energy, I've decided to surround myself with those who do. You may not remember it, but long ago, before life beat you into submission, you used to run and play. You laughed and drank water from the garden hose and tied a towel around your neck as a cape to help you fly.
Yes, you did, you just don't remember it.
Sometimes I literally have to speak to the old dude staring back at me in the mirror. "Make peace with him," I say. "You're older, you're not as thin. Look at him. Make peace with him. His wife loves him. His children love him. His grandson and his parents love him. You must love him, too." We can allow the aging process to blanket our entire soul, or we can acquiesce to the inescapable, and cultivate an appetite for the artistry and charm of life.
Being around those who are terminally ill is always awkward for me, but Hollie put people at ease immediately with her goofy sense of humor and her contagious laugh. She was all about laughing through the pain, smiling through the fatigue, pushing herself as long as physically possible, resting a while and then getting up and doing it all over again. We lost Hollie to cancer on Monday, June 19. Rest in peace, my friend. See ya soon.