Relax, Reflect, Recharge

I Have a Hope!

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message.

In the 1950s, Curt Richter, a Harvard graduate and Johns Hopkins scientist, did a series of experiments that tested how long rats could swim in high-sided buckets of circulating water before drowning. Dr. Richter found that, under normal conditions, a rat could swim for an average of 15 minutes before giving up and sinking. However, if he rescued the rats just before drowning, dried them off, and let them rest briefly before putting them back into the same buckets of circulating water, the rats could swim an average of 60 hours.

Conclusion: If a rat were saved – even temporarily, it would survive 240 times longer than if it were not saved at all.

Interesting!

How could these rats swim so much longer during the second session, especially after swimming as long as possible to stay alive during the first session? Dr. Richter concluded that the rats were able to swim longer because they were given hope.

Hope can stand beside grief and give us the strength to go on.

Hope can deflect the attacks of the enemy, even when we are wounded and weary of the battle.

Have you ever been so tired, utterly discouraged and in so much pain that you could hardly breathe? That is exactly where we find King David, the author of Psalm 40.

David was a shepherd boy, a giant killer, a general and king, a singer, a husband and father, and a very religious man. David had it all – success, money, power and the favor of God. Men like that are not supposed to commit adultery – right? But David did commit adultery with Bathsheba. And that is not all he did! David then sent Bathsheba’s husband to the front lines of war, knowing he would be killed. David moved in with Bathsheba – but he knew he was swimming in sin.

David realized that he had sinned against God and begged God to forgive him. “Lord, I have sinned” David cried. God’s mercy and love went to work, restoring David to the point that God said “This is a man after my own heart.”

Did you notice the powerful truth that God turned to David? I don’t think David had the energy to turn to God. He had been swimming in his sin far too long. But like a father whose heart and ears are tuned to the cries of His children – even when they have made mistakes – even when they are broken and their lives are a mess, when the children of God cry out for God, He hears and comes running.

If God heard the cry of David, He will hear yours. He knows everything you have done and loves you still. He can see every corner of your pain-filled heart and sees every tear you have cried.

Psalm 56:8 “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.”

You can count on God to come through. He is your hope.

One of my favorite worship songs says:

I have a hope that will never fade away.
It’s alive in me, living day-to-day.
I have a hope, and my hope has a name – Jesus Christ.

No matter where you are today, lift up your head, open your heart, and listen for the voice of the One who knows you best and loves you most. He is with you and He will deliver you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

What do your tears mean?

I know a strange title for a blog, right?  Today is my day to relax, reflect and recharge – how appropriate that a devotional I received from Proverbs31 Ministry was on “Where do Your Tears Go?”

Growing up I don’t remember being much of a crier, maybe when I was small but as I reached my teen years, tears weren’t shed very often.  I hid behind closed doors thinking they were a sign of weakness.  I built up walls during my HS years that didn’t let many in to really know me let alone see me cry.  I think the first time that I actually remember letting someone (besides immediate family) see me cry was when I found out that I was pregnant with Belinda.  Adele, my boss at the time, saw that I was on the brink of tears.  I mean I was single (planning on getting married) and NOW I was pregnant with a child I desperately wanted even if her biological father wasn’t for it.  I can remember Adele telling (multiple times) “when you cry – you are getting ready to grow”.  As I look back on the last 25 years, she is right!  Every time I am struggling with an problem, an circumstance – anything really and I am on the brink of tears, I know that it won’t be long and a change will be coming.  There have been tears of happiness, gratitude and excitement. Tears of sadness, anxiety and motherly worry.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8).  If that is not a comforting thought – God cares enough to keep track of our tears.  Such a comforting thought that as I shed tears, he is there with loving arms to comfort me.  When I get teary, I begin to wonder “what does God have in store for me now?”  Tears are an amazing cleansing process – they wash away the pain and sorrow even during those joyous occasions.

wipe away tearsSo, as I reflect on the past week, the struggles, and the joys – I get a little teary.  I know that Satan has been having a field day with my emotions but God is there if only I will TRUST and BELIEVE.  Tears are no longer a sign of weakness but of cleansing and growth.  A renewed strength to overcome any challenge and climb the highest mountain.  Just when I think the tears are for an unmet goal, unfulfilled dream – God reminds me that this may be a blessing in disguise.   Take comfort in his arms, shed those tears and remember that there is always a rainbow  that appears after a storm.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.