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Monday, August 22, 2016

Loving Life

I must admit that there are times when loving life is a challenge.  How easy it is to be gracious and grateful when all is going well but how difficult it can be to remain thankful and feel blessed when all around us life is falling apart.
It is during these times of heartache and despair, when emotional pain and physical exhaustion take over our lives, that we learn just how very near God is.  In fact, it is the midst of these times that we can feel Him closer, rest in His comfort, and enjoy His presence in a way that we cannot know when life is going smoothly.
Heartache is never planned, disaster is often not expected.  When we do experience these things, we are often hit so hard that it feels as if our minds are numb and our heart struggles to beat.  It is not easy to work our way out of this emotional turmoil and to even think of what to do next.
This is where God's love and mercy reveal themselves in such a magnificent way.  To know God is to experience His great love and to understand that He is, as the great King David said, "...an ever present help in time of trouble.".  How wonderful to know that we have a God who cares so deeply for us that, even when a time of sorrow and despair had descended upon us, He eases the burden by His whisper, "I am here.  Don't be afraid---you are not alone."
In the book of II Corinthians 1:3-4, the apostle Paul wrote such beautiful words regarding comfort:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."  (NIV)

How this thrills me to know that not only will I be comforted during my times of difficulty but, after I have experienced the comfort of the Lord, I will be able to comfort others who are suffering or hurting.  Oh, to be able to help others and to encourage them with the love and comfort of our great Father-God.  When life becomes so overwhelming and nearly unbearable it is such a blessing to be able to provide comfort and encouragement to others.
So, do I love life?  Oh, yes.  Do I always love life experiences?  No.  Oh, but I am so grateful for the experiences I have had that have enabled me to know  the comfort of my Heavenly Father.  I value those moments when His love has covered me, His comfort has reassured me, and His mercy has followed me.
Be encouraged today, my friends.  God is not unmindful of us and is watching over every aspect of our lives.  He will make every test and trial bearable.  He will comfort you and sustain you.  He will give you the opportunity to extend His comfort to others.  He will always be there.  Above all, He will help us love life.  He really will.