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friday-favorites-whiteHere are some of the more interesting items that caught my attention this week:







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Draw Near to GodLet’s face it. We all struggle from time to time with the minor annoyances and frustrations in life.

Here are a few of mine this week:

  • A lawn mower that needs repair
  • A missing package that was shipped to my Mom
  • An expired debit card
  • A missed appointment
  • A forgotten password

The fact is that some of these issues are of my own doing, others not so much. Most of you know that my Dad recently passed away. And considering the events of the past couple weeks, I really need to just show myself the grace I try to extend to others. However, for some reason I tend to operate as if I’m super-human and somehow too good to be bothered by such little problems. I mean, the world is full of issues and stresses and pain and suffering that I cannot begin to fully comprehend.

In my own little world I can think of . . .

  • Several friends facing difficult situations with aging parents
  • Several babies and young children hospitalized and fighting for another day of life
  • Several friends praying for their children to find their way back to God
  • A friend facing unemployment
  • A family facing certain eviction from their home
  • A family suffering the woes of severe debt
  • A friend prepping for a medical school exam
  • A family embroiled in relational strife and heated conflict
  • A family begging Russia to let them adopt the little girl they met several months ago

There are so many other issues that come to mind. It can be overwhelming.

Then I think about the broader problems in our world:

  • Those who have no peace due to wars and constant turmoil
  • Those who have no clean drinking water
  • Those who have no food to eat
  • Those who have no family or friends
  • Those who have no shelter
  • Those who are truly innocent but incarcerated

When I’m tempted to let my day be ruined by the small stuff, it helps me to remember those who are dealing with really BIG stuff. I can’t imagine facing such challenges without an abiding faith in Jesus Christ. I hear other believers say that a lot. But here’s the thing: So many of us turn to Him only after we’ve exhausted all other possible solutions. How crazy is that?!

We’d do well to learn from little children. When toddlers are hurt, scared, or in apparent danger, they look first to Mom, Dad, or another safe adult for help. They don’t try to fix things all by themselves. They don’t beat themselves up for all the ways they may have contributed to the problem. They just call the name of the one who can help — and, if possible, they run straight into their open arms.

Maybe you’re having a bad day. Or maybe you just thought you were. Whatever the case may be, whether it’s broken cars, broken appliances, broken bones, broken promises, or broken relationships, take the time to think outside yourself and realize that God may be trying to tell you something that you really need to hear. In my own life I’ve found that it’s much easier to hear His still small voice when I’m listening for it.

In the midst of a noisy, troubled world, may you experience the presence of the Lord in a powerful way today.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. – James 4:8a, ESV

What is God teaching you through your own struggles this week?