by Sis. Diana Salter
O Lord thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thoughts afar off.
What do you do when your plan for life falls apart and you are left to deal with the pain? My life took such a turn 3 ½ years ago. August 31, 2014, started off as a normal Sunday. Church that morning, my husband, Ricky, one of our sons, and I had lunch. Ricky was on evening shift, so he left for work. It was just a typical Sunday afternoon until—that call came. A friend called and asked if I had heard anything from Ricky about an accident at work. I had not heard from him. I called Ricky’s close friend and co-worker to ask if he had heard of an accident. When he answered the phone, I could tell he was upset about something and didn’t want to tell me. Friends from Ricky’s work had called to let him know there had been a terrible accident. Ricky was involved in a fatal accident at work.
Several hours later, law enforcement officers came to the house and confirmed what we had heard. Ricky, husband and dad, was forever gone. When Ricky left for work that afternoon I would never see him alive again. My hopes and dreams for our growing old together were gone. My life had suddenly fallen apart! What do I do now? How do I deal with the pain? I was devastated.
Grief and loneliness became my companions. A scripture in Psalm came to mind; "From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." (Psalm 61:2) Life had overwhelmed me, and I desperately needed that Rock. Do you feel overwhelmed by life? Perhaps, you haven’t lost a loved one, maybe your marriage has fallen apart, or your finances have suffered a setback, maybe your battling sickness yourself or with a family member, could it be that you have been severely hurt by someone, or have you just lost the joy and peace that you once had. I know from experience just what you need!
As Christians we go to church, receive needed blessings at church, have a prayer life that consist of praying for my needs and the needs of others, just holding on to our Christianity from one church service to the next. Those things are wonderful, but there is so much more to serving God. Have you been to that Rock lately, just you and God, one on one? After Ricky’s passing, our room became my prayer closet. I wasn’t praying about things, just reaching out for more of God.
I would pray until I could feel God’s presence and that fountain in my soul would overflow. I knew that I had personally met with God, just God and me. My prayers became more about Him than me.
When I found that Rock, the loneliness left because I knew without a doubt that God was right there with me. Sure, at times I get lonesome, and I miss Ricky every day, but that overwhelming loneliness was gone. My words cannot express what happens in your life when you allow God to become more and more personal to you. "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." (Psalm 47:3) I am living proof that those words are true! Let me encourage you to try it. God knows exactly where you are and what you need. He does know exactly what we need. Matthew 6:8b says, "... for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." Our pastor’s wife came to me a short while after this and asked if I would co-teach a ladies Sunday school class with her. My immediate answer was NO (NO, NO, NO, NO, in my mind). Ask me to teach kids or cook a meal for 400 people, okay, but don’t ask me to stand up in front of adults and speak. As soon as I uttered "NO," God pricked my heart. God worked on me for a few days, and I told Sis. Beth I was willing. Little did I know that obeying God would bring such blessings to my life. He knew just what I needed! The ladies in the Sunday school class have been such a joy to me. I could not have imagined what a blessing they would be to me.
When you find that Rock, ask God what He wants you to do. Focus more on what He wants you to do. Seek His will.
You will find when you get personal with God and obey Him, you can have that joy and peace abiding within no matter what life has brought your way. God has blessed me in so many ways. Recently, I was blessed with a new home. I had someone doing some repairs before I moved in and he asked me one day if I knew there was a nice light fixture in the attic; I had not seen it. When he brought it down I could not believe my eyes; it was a beautiful blue tiffany style light fixture. That may not mean much to you (I know they are out of style) but, I have always loved those stained-glass style light fixtures. Maybe you think I’m silly, but I believe with all my heart that God let the previous owners leave that light there just for me. He was once again telling me, I know everything about you. That light is now hanging in my (already painted blue) breakfast nook and I think of God’s goodness every time I see it. No, it’s not about the light fixture but about the joy and peace I feel in my soul no matter my circumstances. You can have that same joy and peace!
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
*The beautiful light feature is the image at the beginning.