Six Things God Uses to Encourage Part 4

We’ve been exploring six ways in which the Lord encourages those of us with chronic illness/conditions. We’ve discussed the Word of God, Music, Fellowship, and Thankfulness. This week, I’d like to talk about Humor!

I have always loved humor. It’s become part of my personality. I even enjoy the dreaded pun and I adore making others laugh. What I discovered is that the more difficulties I face, the more important humor is to me. It has a way of disarming the anxiety and adding lightheartedness to an otherwise dreary day of fatigue and pain. Humor has gotten me through a ton of difficulties as I’ve found that God usually hides a little humor inside the struggle.

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine.”—Proverbs 17:22

I didn’t realize it until I started looking, but there is a lot of humor in the Bible. God invented humor as a release, a way of teaching, and a way of coping with the difficult things in our lives. I read a great article about how God uses humor in His Word.

Here’s are a couple of passages from that article:

“But I think Hebrews 11:12 is the funniest verse in the Bible: ‘Therefore there was born even of [Abraham], and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars in heaven …’ (emphasis mine, NASB).”

“Of course God’s humor is never cruel the way humans twist it to be at times. In fact, God is entirely pure and untainted, thus so is his humor. Such a God inspired the author of Proverbs to write, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful” (15:13), or seen from the opposite point of view in verse 30, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart.” Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Aren’t you glad?”

This is why I share humor and create funny memes to share here and on my Facebook group, Life Beyond Surviving.

Humor is a gift God gives us to help us through the difficult times. What humor have you found hidden inside your struggles?

Come back again next week when I’ll share about how prayer is another thing that God gives us to encourage us.

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When I’m down, I look up to my Creator

About a month ago, my husband was working a ten-day streak at a temp job 82 miles from home. Our son was visiting and it was Sunday morning. We only have one key for the car I drive and though my husband left the car for us, he forgot to leave the key so, we weren’t able to go to church or to the store to buy groceries.  It was my last day with our son before he had to go back to college and I was in more pain and fatigue than usual due to a Fibro flare.

Sitting at my computer working for my clients’ social media accounts, I “penned” the following because it suddenly occurred to me that the things I was praying ABOUT were the very things I was praying FOR not too long before.  It received so many responses from people who said they needed to hear it that I decided to share it here so folks could always find it if they needed it.

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When I am worried about my husband having to drive 82 miles one way to work, working ten days straight, leaving at 5:30 am and not getting home til 9 pm, I am reminded of when I prayed to the Lord because he was out of work for months.

When I am sad that my son is leaving again to go back to college, I remember how I prayed that God would keep him safe in utero and how the Lord performed several miracles during his birth.

When I’m lonely because my daughter lives in another state, I think back on the time when the Lord healed her completely after a virus had caused an enlarged heart valve.

When I’m frustrated with how tired I am and the pain I feel, I’m reminded that my God had given my surgeon the idea to take out my fallopian tube during a routine surgery for a simple cyst and found cancer in its infancy that is almost always found too late.

When I’m down, I look up to my Creator and marvel at His blessings for me.

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Vlog Series: 20 Steps to Finding Joy in the Trials- Part 5

I pray you are finding blessings in my vlog series so far!  Here is part five of 20 Steps to Finding Joy in the Trials.  This one is a wee bit longer, but it is well worth the time.  Enjoy!

I’ll see ya next week with part six!  If you haven’t viewed the intro or any of parts 1-4, just go up to the Blog tab and scroll down to view any you missed.

 

Blessings!

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Two Things We All Need When in Struggle

There are two very important things we all need when we are in crisis.  They are vital, but they are not at all common.  These two things are needed even more so when in trial and God says no. Those two things are prayer and practical advice.

When we struggle, when we are in trial, when life seems bleak and we are not sure how we are going to handle something that has been dropped in our lap or slapped across our face (as it sometimes feels), the first thing we need is prayer.  We need to petition the Father for comfort, for strength, and for help.  That prayer usually comes from us…the person(s) in need of the help.  But when that prayer comes from a friend or group of friends, it means so much more.

Prayer is a powerful thing. And corporate prayer is even more powerful. It’s what helped me give birth to my son through a series of miracles that ended with an incredibly healthy kid who rarely gets a cold.  It’s what helped my doctors find pre-cancer cells they never would have found until it was too late as most women with Fallopian tube cancer have experienced before their untimely death. It’s what delivered my daughter from heart issues to be healed inside of a month where the doctors expected either a death sentence (if she were born with it) or years of recuperation at best if it were the result of a virus…NOT ONE MONTH!

Praying for someone is amazing, but praying WITH someone can lift someone’s spirits and ease their burden so much in that few minutes it takes to come together in prayer.  Just knowing someone is willing not only to say they’ll pray, and pray in private, but to pray in their presence is an amazing boost to a weary soul.

Prayer is amazing, but often God uses prayers to bring about the practical things that are needed for His struggling children THROUGH the actions of others.  If someone is in need of $100 to be able to meet his rent and someone offers him that $100 as a gift or even as a  loan, that is an answered prayer.  If you can be the answer to prayer for someone, that is truly an amazing feeling.  And it doesn’t always take money.  Sometimes it can take the form of a meal, a shoulder to cry on, a phone call to a friend who may have a job opening, a gift of time or service, or a discount on a product or service desperately needed.

James 2:15-16 says, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” 

Who can you pray for today? Who can you pray WITH today?  How can you be an answered prayer for someone you know who is hurting today?

 

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