God always delivers a message in your misery and a word for your wilderness.
He tells the sailors to toss him overboard, because he believes that his God is acting like all the other gods, punishing him and them in the process. After Jonah says, “hurl me into the sea,” something strange happens. The sailors start rowing to dry land. Though it’s easy to skip ahead and assume that they picked him up and tossed him right in – they didn’t. These outsider sailors are acting in a gracious way.
Good leadership requires self-awareness: a leader knowing herself by acknowledging her gifts and limits to set herself up for success.
I affirmed something that I had said, from the pulpit no less, hundreds if not thousands of times. Something I had quoted in hospital rooms, promised to dying people, swore to college students during pastoral care times, and clung to during some of my darkest and scariest moments. Yet, as I was staring at my wife, who three days before had been diagnosed with what we were told was Stage 3 breast cancer, I no longer had his praise in my lungs, or on my lips.
God wanted them to know that even though they were suffering, they were not forsaken. God wanted the people of Israel to understand that the hardship they were experiencing would not be the end of them. God wanted to give them a fresh start, a new beginning in their life, a relaunch, so to speak. By telling them, “forget the former things,” God was saying, “it is time to move on.”
I am now learning to grieve. And my Dad isn’t here to teach me. C.S. Lewis noted after the death of his wife that he didn’t know grief felt so much like fear. The fear I have is that I won’t grieve – or that I won’t grieve well. I have had my tears, but what is grief supposed to look like? How will I know I’ve grieved?
“It’s less about being a radiant and holy person and more about being a radiant and holy people. And we become what we behold.”
“We are not only impoverished in love; our loves are disordered, out of alignment. We can attempt to cushion them as much as we want; only realigning misplaced joints will relieve the pain, though.”
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” - Matthew 5:6 The proper appetite is required to…
While we can’t ignore the past – it happened – we can reframe it into a story of redemption by looking at it, by talking about it, by thinking about it through the lens of Jesus’ love and grace. We change our past by allowing it to be redeemed.