A psychologist friend recently told me about Cliff—a client he described as “a believer after God’s own heart.”
After years of service to The Lord, Cliff’s wife developed aggressive cancer. Many people joined Cliff in prayer for his wife, but she declined rapidly and died. Through it all, Cliff didn’t break his determined gaze upon Christ. Instead of allowing the tragedy to shake his faith, he allowed his experience of pain, suffering, confusion, and grief to push him deeper into the arms of the living God.
Cliff knew two things, and held to them tenaciously. The first was that God was good. He didn’t understand the circumstances surrounding his wife’s sickness, or why she had to suffer and die. But he knew a reason resided with God, and that he would come to understand in the light of eternity. The second thing Cliff held to was his certainty that God loved him—in spite of everything, no matter what, and through it all.
When you’re in severe pain or distress, life becomes pretty simple. You’re in survival mode, and you have neither the heart nor the strength to spread your emotional energy around. As Chuck Swindoll might say, “Life gets boiled down to the nubbies.”
When pain or distress boils your life down to the “nubbies,” do what Cliff did. Keep it simple. Grab hold of what you know is true about the living God, and hold on like a pit bull.
“The nearer the dawn the darker the night.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Whether he was there or not during your youth, your father has shaped and continues to shape who you are and how you function in every aspect of your life. And while our culture devalues the contribution that a father makes to a family, it is clear that those of us with an absent or detached father have an empty, undefinable longing–for Dad. Making Peace with Your Father offers you a comprehensive look at the role of the father. It celebrates the positive influence a dad can have and uncovers the consequences that absent or abusive fathers have on their children. Most importantly, it takes you through eleven steps that will move you toward forgiveness so that you can make peace with your earthly father for the pain or difficulties he has brought to your life–allowing you to develop a closer relationship with your heavenly Father.