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Activated November 2015

Getting Through Difficult Times - November 2015

Troubles don’t have to defeat you. There’s help at hand if you call.
 

01-11-2015
Hard Times
Hard Times

At the time I’m writing this, my car has been giving me trouble. It’s been like this for a while; and whenever it seems like it’s fixed, it’s not long before something goes wrong again. It’s already cost quite a bit of time and money, and it’s looking like more will be required before the root problem is found. When things don’t work the way they should, I get stressed, and this has been my nemesis of late.

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01-11-2015
The Caverns
The Caverns

For my son’s twelfth birthday, he wanted to explore underground caverns near our home. I was less enthusiastic, but despite my efforts to come up with alternatives, he couldn’t be dissuaded, so on a blistering hot day, my sister-in-law and I set out with our three children. Walking into the mouth of a huge cave, my heart was pounding, but soon I was pleasantly surprised to see the gently sloping walkways, clean and well lit. As we descended further, it felt as if the air conditioning had been turned on.

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01-11-2015
Squeezed
Squeezed

There have probably been times when you’ve felt like you’ve been squeezed to the last drop and you didn’t have an ounce of strength or willpower left. The apostle Paul admitted to “despairing even of life,”1 and I’m sure that many of us have gone to those depths at one time or another. We’ve reached the point that we felt we couldn’t even bear to get up in the morning and face another day, and maybe you’re going through something like that right now. Perhaps you have been for a long time.

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01-11-2015
No Challenge Too Great
No Challenge Too Great

The voices seemed muffled as I slowly woke out of the anesthesia following a medical procedure on my back.

I heard the doctor’s gloomy prognosis: “She might not be able to live a normal life and certainly she shouldn’t have any children with a serious back condition like this.”

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01-11-2015
Painting a Rainbow from Life’s darkest Storm
Painting a Rainbow from Life’s darkest Storm

I first learned about Fu-Hua Chuang when my family and I watched a documentary that featured several severely disabled yet talented young people. I was struck by the radiant smile that seemed to illuminate her whole being, reflecting the inner beauty of her soul.

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01-11-2015
Life as a Climb
Life as a Climb

The other day, some friends took me on what I thought would be a short climb. We parked the car and took a look at the summit. We got out our climbing gear and started putting on our boots and gathering what we needed in our backpacks.

It doesn’t seem that far or that difficult. Good! I thought.

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01-11-2015
The Secret Supply
The Secret Supply

There is an old fable about two neighbors who planted similar orchards. One watered his plants every day, but the other, only every few days. When the dry season came, the trees of the first farmer withered, but the trees of the second kept growing steadily. Since these trees hadn’t been watered so often, their roots had grown downward to find the underground water tables.

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01-11-2015
A Card Full of Hope
A Card Full of Hope

He looked so sad when I first saw him. He was quite a few years older than I, but like I did during my first days in that impersonal hospital ward, he felt scared and worried.

My bed was on the other side of the room, but I gave him a reassuring smile.

“It will be all right.”

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01-11-2015
Hiding Place
Hiding Place

In the tempestuous, stormy moments of our lives, we often focus so intently on finding a way of escape or rescue that we altogether forget about the most reliable and true source of shelter and refuge.

Last night, sleep seemed to totally elude me. I had been facing a low moment of discouragement, doubt, and frustration. I was restless in both mind and body. It was all I could do to prevent my thoughts from going places they ought not to go.

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01-11-2015
Sharing the Balm of Love
Sharing the Balm of Love

Some years back, at midnight on March 17—Saint Patrick’s Day—I received a call from my 27-year-old son’s roommate in Bermuda. My boy was missing, and his clothing had been found on a nearby beach.

My first reaction was to get on my knees and cry out to God in prayer. As I did, I saw a picture of my son entering heaven to the joy of my parents and other loved ones who had already passed on. I immediately knew he would not be found alive. Sure enough, five days later, his body washed ashore.

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01-11-2015
The Final Straw
The Final Straw

“Answer me speedily, O Lord; my spirit fails! … I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.”—Psalm 143:7; Micah 7:7 NLT

 

“The straw that breaks the camel’s back” is the final item in a collection of burdens or troubles, perhaps even a seemingly small thing that threatens to take you beyond the point of endurance. The strain has been building up for a while, and finally you sense that you are about to crumble. You can’t stand it any longer.

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01-11-2015
Climb on the Rock
Climb on the Rock

“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”1 “The Lord is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.”2

If you feel overwhelmed, climb up on the Rock. You have Me, the Rock, and you can rest in My ability to keep you through anything that threatens to overwhelm you. When you feel weak because of your cares and burdens, when you feel depression threaten to blacken your thoughts and hang a feeling of despair over you, you can climb up on the Rock and rest in My grace.

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