Sunday, September 22, 2013

How Can I Use My Hardships for God?


www.thehighcalling.org
A  friend of mine shared this quote on her Facebook page, and I couldn't help but share. We all have struggles in our life, but the question is how do we handle those struggles? Do we whine and complain, maybe even asking God "why me"? Many times, it's hard to understand why God has us in certain situations. But once we understand that God has a divine purpose through the rough times, those wounds don't ache quite so much.

We are told in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 that we are given rough circumstances in order to experience the unsurpassing comfort of our Lord. Check out verse 5 - "For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ." In essence, we are given earthly hurt and sorrow to experience divine joy, peace and comfort.

When we accept our troubles as a part of God's plan, we will experience the rewards of following Him. And He won't just give us those rewards - He will shower us with those rewards. We will be caught in a downpour!

Now that we've experienced God's wonderful gift of comfort, we can share that same comfort with others. Be contagious with compassion for others. "Our wounded places become ministry spaces", and oh, how He fills me with joy! Try it. Find someone who you can relate to (ex: chronic illness, divorce) and genuinely invest in him/her. You will see God's blessings overflow.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

She Doesn't Look Handicap...


Can you count how many times you've seen someone misuse a handicap decal? Probably not. Or maybe it is a common case of mistaken judgment. Sure, people misuse handicap decals, but many do not. How can you tell the difference...the wheelchair...the cane? The answer is that you can't tell the difference between proper use and misuse.

There are so many hidden or invisible illnesses that society is simply unaware of. Now days, people have to see evidence of a disease, impairment, or disability in order to accept that someone is truly ill. However, the vast majority of disabilities and illnesses are hidden. Chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, and diabetes are just a few hidden impairments. 96% of people with chronic medical conditions live with a condition that are invisible (according to John Hopkins University). These people ARE qualified to have a handicap decal by means of a doctor's approval.

So the next time you see a young lady, like myself, park in a handicap space with a legal handicap decal, don't assume I'm using my Mother's handicap decal - it is indeed issued to me. Please don't be one of so many that cuts their eyes at me with a nasty look or leaves me a cruel note - you are better than that. And please don't teach your kids through your actions that it takes someone in a wheelchair to be legitimately disabled. Think before you make judgments. 

Mental Illness and the Church