The Ups and Downs of Life

Does your life ever feel like an endless rollercoaster ride?  It’s full of ups and downs and crazy hairpin turns. Sometimes it flips you upside-down or plunges you into a dark tunnel. And that’s just Monday morning!

We’ve all been there.

Yesterday I learned that I have bursitis in my right shoulder. The timing is horrible with company expected this weekend, and our home still a mess from a recently completed flooring project. Cleaning is on hold, as are my PraiseMoves classes while I work through physical therapy and try to regain mobility.  I just don’t have time to be sidelined right now. But I have to ride it out.

When the Bottom Drops Out

Like an amusement park thrill ride, you’re never really prepared for what’s on the other side of that hill. You leave your stomach at the top, and scream all the way down. Never an adrenaline junkie, I was always relieved  when the ride finally came to a screeching halt. My days of jumping back in line are long gone. Nowadays, I am content to sit on the park bench, minding the backpacks while everyone else rides.

When every day brings a fresh challenge, how do we gather the courage to keep on fighting? Where do we find our strength?

The Bible is always the best place to start. No matter where you are in your faith walk, you will find strength and inspiration in God’s Word:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” — Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” — ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-11‬

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”
— Corinthians‬ ‭16:13‬

Never Give Up

There will be days when our greatest task (or accomplishment) is getting out of bed. It’s still a victory.

For my loved ones in pain — physical and emotional — I am praying for you. I know life has beaten you down and you may feel alone, abandoned and scared. But this wild ride won’t last forever. There are peaceful days ahead. I promise!

Jesus loves you.
He will never leave you.
Cling to him and wait for the calm. ❤️


Photo by Pedro Velasco on Unsplash

Prayers from a Stranger

Last week was busy . . . and stressful. My list of projects at home and at work had become a bit overwhelming. By Friday morning, I was was completely worn out and ready for the weekend.

I really didn’t have time for visitors in the office, but our sanctuary is always open during the day, especially for those wanting to pray. A pastor acquaintance brought some friends by to see our church, and to pray with them before they left town. Happy for even a brief chance to stand and stretch, I greeted our guests, and walked them to the sanctuary doors. The friends were siblings, a brother and sister from India, committed since childhood to lead others to salvation.

I was delighted to meet Brother Joe and Sister Jessie. I learned that their travels later in the day would take them to Dallas, Texas for a prayer gathering. Our church was their last stop on the way to the airport.

As much as I wanted to sit and hear more about their ministry, I needed to get back to work. They prayed together in the sanctuary for about 30 minutes, and then stopped by my office again to thank me before leaving. The exit doors clicked shut behind them, but a moment later I heard the door open again. Sister Jessie shyly came into my office and smiled at me. “May I pray for you?” she asked.

Heaven Sent

I have no idea what may have prompted Jessie to return and pray for me, but I know who did. This godly woman, who I had met only moments earlier, was prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for me.

Sister Jessie stood by my side and gently laid her hand on my shoulder, praying words of love, strength and encouragement over me. It was like a soft, soothing rain shower falling on the parched desert floor. Tears of gratitude welled up in my eyes as her prayer concluded.

What do you say to someone who prays into your heart? I could only thank Jessie, and hope that she knew how her prayer had touched me. She asked me if I had ever been to India, and invited me to visit. We exchanged hugs and contact information, and then she was gone.

Connected by Faith

The rest of my day went smoothly. By 5:00 p.m. I had completed every project that had been weighing me down all week.

Kind words and a simple prayer — offered by a stranger — helped to lift the burdens that were weighing me down. Those healing words from Sister Jessie’s heart were a powerful reminder of the connection I share with all my sisters and brothers in Christ worldwide. We may be separated by the physical boundaries of distance, but our hearts are joined by our faith in Jesus.