He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34
How many of you need to not just hear these words but soak them deep into your heart right now? For the last few years, we humans have been through a lot of turmoil. I won’t say it was the most difficult time ever because I realize the world has been around a lot longer than my 58 years. In the two world wars alone, it’s estimated 120,000,000 people died. That doesn’t include the folks who passed from ordinary daily illness, accidents, and old age.
This year, as so many of us tried to go back to our lives post shutdowns and lockdowns, we found ourselves back in the ordinariness of trials, tragedy, human depravity, illness, lost dreams, violence, and political infighting. And so, we cry out to God for peace, for healing, for freedom from suffering.
I’ve been pretty quiet this year with my writing as I also deal with the world coming at me from all sides. With the sudden loss of my beautiful “other mother” I have felt so alone at times. I scroll back over her last text messages to me and I can hear her voice so clearly. Since that time, we have celebrated graduations, milestone birthdays, anniversaries, and now the holidays. In addition, my husband’s business has yet to recover from the financial destruction the last few years have wrought. We have seen future goals dissolve into mist. And still we find joy. We find peace and we find hope.
I listened as my neighbor recently listed all the tragedies that have befallen his family over the past year and I heard the pain in his voice. What I didn’t hear was how Jesus is helping them cope. They are going it alone. On the flip side I sit with my friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. And she is hope-filled. She is finding joy and goodness in the face of something so scary. She sees God working in every corner of her life, bringing the right people to her and watching her diagnosis heal broken relationships. While her earthly doctors will work to heal her body, her faith is also healing her. Healing her soul and heart. Comforting and bringing peace to her mind.
I was recently asked in an Advent study to write what I hope for next year. More importantly it asked how I would react if none of those hopes came to fruition. It then asked this: list the things you can find hope in that you KNOW will come to pass because of Jesus Christ. And here’s my answer. I know that Jesus will never leave me or forsake me. I know that Jesus has a better, more beautiful place waiting for all of those who believe. I know that whatever I go through next year God loves me and he loves you.
So I’m starting next year closely tethered to the hope I know will come to pass. Beginning January 1, I invite you to join me on a 31 day journey through God’s words of wisdom. His playbook for a life lived as best we humans can. He is not a god who keeps secret how to more smoothly navigate through the trials and tribulations of life. No, besides the Book of Proverbs He has given us so much wisdom and insight into the Christian life. A life that may at times look very different to the rest of the world but a life that is intended to bring about goodness, grace, mercy, and love.
Please join me for 31 Days of God’s Wisdom and invite your friends, families and neighbors. Be sure to have them sign up at www.emboldened.net to receive their daily email. In this way you can be a part of spreading His message around the world!
God bless you and Merry Christmas.