Struggling With Adversity

Have you been there?

I have.  I am still struggling with the most extreme adversity I have ever experienced.  On May 18, 2016 my world exploded.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on that day.

I have experienced quite a lot of death in my life but this is – by far – the hardest.

Davey was a unique young man who was dedicated to serving his community and dedicated to living life to its fullest with fun, going everywhere and anywhere, while collecting a vast number of friendships. He did all of this with an obvious devotion and love for his family.  My husband and I lived 1 1/2 miles from Davey and his wife and 2 children the last 5 years of his life.  We talked with him daily and saw him almost every day for one reason or another.

I don’t have the words for how painful this last 2 1/2 years has been.  It defines adversity.

As I begin to read the book of Job, I look forward to reading Job’s story as he deals with all the terrible things that happen to him.   He had people saying strange and wrong things to him.  I can relate.  He had more tough things that happened to him after the first big shock.  I can relate.  He questioned God and wondered why this was all happening to him.  I can relate.  He was overwhelmed with sorrow.  I can relate.

Job was confident that his redeemer lives and – in the end – he wins.  I can relate.  He knew that God was in total control and all-powerful.  I can relate.  He  understood that he would never totally understand God.  I can relate.

Job committed his life to being faithful to God in spite of his circumstances.  He praised God in the middle of all of the pain he was experiencing.  I can relate.  He knew that is was wise to turn from evil and love God.  I can relate.

Job had a long conversation with God.  I can relate – I have had many long conversations with God about my son’s death.  Job confessed that he did not understand.  I can relate – I will never completely understand this.  Job’s eyes were opened in a new way to the reality that God has a plan and purpose for each of us and that God’s ways are not our ways.  I can relate.

God gave Job peace in the middle of his pain and blessed him.

I can relate.

I love you, Abba Father. 

I want to be…

like the Samaritan Leper.

He came back to Jesus after Jesus healed him.  He came back praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.

He was one of ten lepers that Jesus healed in Luke 17 as he travelled to Jerusalem.

Jesus healed them all.

This man was the only one that came back to say thank you.

Jesus had redeemed the leper’s life from pain and death.  And the leper came back to show his gratitude for what Jesus had done for him.

Jesus did the same thing for you and me.  He redeemed our lives from pain, death and eternal separation from the only source of good things in this universe – our Father God.

For the rest of our lives here on this planet, let our first response be gratitude to God.

Dear Jesus, We are very grateful for all of the things you are and for what you have done for us.  Help us live lives full of gratitude, counting the blessings we have received from you each day.  Thank you.  In your redeeming name we pray, Amen.

Built on the Rock

This is the season when many of you are storm-proofing your houses.  Preparing for winter.  I grew up in Northwest Iowa so I know all about winter.  In Iowa, we also had to storm-proof our cars with better lubricants, snow tires and radiator heaters that we could plug-in every night.

Now that I live in Phoenix, we don’t need to do any storm-proofing except for making sure our air conditioners are in top shape before summer begins.

Jesus tells us that a wise person storm-proofs their life by building it on the Rock.  And Jesus is that Rock.October 27 2014 Built on the Rock

So when the rains of disappointment, grief and sadness pour down, our house will stand.

When the streams of hurt and lies and pain rise, our house will stand.

And when the winds of anger, hate and confusion beat upon our house, it does not fall.   Because its foundation is built upon the Rock.

Jesus says that a foolish person will build their house on sand and their house will crash down when the storm comes.  He says we are this foolish person if we hear his words and don’t put them into practice.

The storm is coming – it may already be blowing into your life – is your foundation ready?

Jesus tells us exactly what to do to storm-proof our lives.  We need to listen to him and obey.

Today is the day.  There is no better time than right now.

Dear Father, please guide us in building our lives upon the Rock.