Some of you may feel like the tree in the front. Others are rocking life and shining bright in the back. Wherever you are, you are loved. You really are. Please don't give up. If you don't feel it then you are either going through a tough time or suffering from depression. No matter who is reading this. You are either the encourager or the one needing encouragement. If you need encouragement, then best to surround yourselves with 1 Thes 5:11 peeps. For we are in the Hope and Encouragement business.
As for this side, I find myself at Cedars Sinai Hosptial for my lovely wife (of 30 years) in Los Angeles, CA. Shout out to the amazing and loving staff here! As for the visit, wasn't planning it. We had fun plans for this Christmas. As the saying goes, there is your plan and then there is God's plan. So skeptics ask, why would a loving God give us tough times? Deep question. I could write a book on the subject. The Owner's Manual (Bible) does have all the answers. For those not into it, here is my attempt at a simple summary...
Tough times will hit all of us. In fact, God's best go through the worst. How would you like to be tortured and nailed to a cross? Doesn't get much worse than that.
Tough times will give each person and opportunity to love and pray. Or to be loved and prayed for if they have the right group.
For those that do choose to Love God, especially in tough times...there is one of the coolest promises that I've seen delivered countless times to my beloved family and friends....Rom 8:28.
For those that did lose loved ones my heart breaks for you. Hard enough to see some in an ICU. At least they are still here...selfishly speaking. Yet when we die, for we all are terminal (Rom 6:23), we have a plan: John 3:16, Rom 10: 9-10, Rom 8:1 which leads to the ultimate Rev 21:4.
Sure that's a lot. For those less versed, a simple web search will answer and make it crystal clear.
It is all written. The Owner's Manual for Life. Your choice on how well you want to know and implement it.
From this side, we have been hit with a wave of love, prayer and support. It is unreal. So many people choosing to love and pray for us. We invested into them and they have invested into us. My heart truly aches for those that don't have that. I can't imagine going through tough times without God, Jesus, The Guide and our loved ones.
Bonus gift for you. If this pulls on the heart, here is the latest episode, "Perspective: When It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas". If you want more perspective, check out this epic 'Play of the Day" by Dr. Lorrits.
Side note, above episode was all pre-recorded...was already in the queue to be scheduled for publishing a couple days or so before this latest storm hit. Things that make you go hmmmmm.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! If not so Merry, then start right now on implementing above for better. It works. It really does. Your choice to open those gifts.