Showing posts with label Anxiety/Pain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anxiety/Pain. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

When Hope is Dashed

The Big Idea: When our hope is dashed, God understands we need to process what’s happening, as His followers did on the Route to Emmaus, encouraging us to turn to Jesus who has faced death and overcome for us.

When Hope is Dashed

A friend was venting. She exclaimed, “King David didn’t speak so kindly about people either!”

Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! Psalm 3: 7 NLT

But David always reaffirmed His trust in God when he vented. And David vented directly to God in his frustration, not to others.

The Bible is not full of platitudes

I LOVE the Bible! It is so authentically real!

  • It reveals Moses was a murderer first. So was Paul. And others too.
  • David talked openly about disappointment, depression and pain.
  • Paul spoke of unbearable cold and pain from beatings and missed his friends.

The Bible reveals people processing. It does not mince words revealing their journey, even after trusting in Him, many have suffered terribly. Life is like this.

The disciples didn’t think it would end like this

When Jesus died on the cross, his followers were upset. This was not what they expected.

Peter even denied knowing Jesus.

Two followers of Jesus walked outside of Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus (Luke 24:13-34).

They were talking about everything that had happened. (Luke 24:14) They talked and discussed these things.

Jesus goes incognito

Then Jesus showed up. But they didn’t recognize him. Wearing sunglasses perhaps? Ha!

They tried explaining Jesus’ death and the events that transpired.

We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago. Luke 24:21 NLT

We had hoped

Have you ever felt that way?
  • I had hoped it would not come to this
  • I had hoped to make a career of this job
  • I had hoped this person was “the one”
  • We had hoped my dad would live till we had children

We had hoped.

We had hoped.

Hope deferred is sickening

It’s hard when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Proverbs 13: 12a NLT

We grieve. We feel pain. We lament. We are human.

But this is not the end of the story.

Jesus has overcome

The stranger who turned out to be Jesus explained.

Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24: 26-27 NLT

Jesus, who lives yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8 ) wove together how the Old Testament pointed to His life, death and resurrection. I would have loved to listen in on that conversation!

Jesus has overcome even death

But Jesus has overcome.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33 NLT

We have trials. We suffer. We experience grief. Often days get better but life is hard. Jesus wants to give us peace in the midst of pain, and HOPE for eternity.

Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Romans 15:14 NLT

We look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. Titus 2:13 NLT

Vent to Jesus

You can vent to Jesus. (Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all you who are weary...") Leave it with Him. Fix your eyes on Him and remember He has overcome.

In the midst of your doubts, your grief, and disappointments that overwhelm you, walk with Jesus. He has risen from the dead and will walk with you on your journey.


Up next: The Most Remarkable After-Death Experience
Previous post: ‘Twas the Night before Easter



1. Think of a time you struggled with God, if He cared, or His existence. What were your questions for Him? Is it resolved or do you still have doubts?

2. Read these 3 verses several times slowly and reflect on them. Pray about what they say.

Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Romans 15:14 NLT

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. Ephesians 1:18 NLT

We look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. Titus 2:13 NLT



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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

'Twas the Week before Easter!


Twas the Week Before Easter

Big Idea: How the week before Easter Sunday is valuable both for worship and as a teaching tool for God and His character.

‘Twas the week before Easter

Easter Sunday is a glorious day with tulips and spring dresses. The days are getting longer.

Easter celebrates new life. Eternal Life. It commemorates the day when Jesus, who paid the ultimate price, conquered death so all who believe might join this forever relationship with Him!

That week leading up to Easter is packed with drama and suffering in the life of Jesus, leading up to the grand finale. Some churches refer to that week as Holy Week.

Walking through the events of this week is a valuable teaching tool to learn more about Jesus God’s character through Him. Pondering these climactic events is worthy of our worship.

Palm Sunday

What it’s called: The Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday.

What it commemorates: Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem on a donkey, with people throwing palm branches down proclaiming “Hosanna!”

They hoped He would bring peace from Rome. His peace was not what they expected.

Churches: Children color palm branch scenes in Sunday School.

Palms are passed out at some churches to wave during the service. Sometimes they are dried and braided into a cross to remember through the year.

Spy Wednesday

What it’s called: Holy Wednesday or Spy Wednesday

What it commemorates: How Judas Iscariot emerged as a spy among the disciples, arranging to betray Jesus to the authorities the next day for 30 pieces of silver.

Maundy Thursday

What it’s called: Maundy Thursday (latin: mandatums, meaning instructions or commands)

What it commemorates: The Lord’s Supper where Jesus washed their feet, gave them His last instructions and broke bread together.

At the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, then Judas arrived to betray Him. Roman soldiers took Jesus from the garden to trial to condemnation, under the chief priests, Pilate and then Herod. Beatings were administered.

Churches: Sometimes they have a service on Holy Thursday to have communion and perhaps foot washings, and reflect on these events.

Good Friday

What it’s called
: Good Friday. How can a day of unspeakable suffering be called “Good” rather than “Bad.”

Jesus’ death was for our benefit. By becoming the perfect sinless sacrifice once and for all for all time, (Hebrews 9) He rescued us from the penalty of death we deserve. His death coincided with the Jewish holiday Passover.

Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 1 Corinthians 5:7c

What it commemorates: Jesus’ journey from court to the cross. It’s about what He said during the walk through Jerusalem to the cross, and while on the cross.

Churches: Good Friday services are appreciated. Sometimes local Protestant churches will have a community service.

Tenebrae Service: Reviews Jesus’ journey to the cross, dimming the lights as service progresses, leaving in total darkness at the end. It’s a powerful experience.

Via Dolorosa: a walk of Jesus through the city of Jerusalem to the cross sometimes re-enacted, also commemorated by the Stations of the Cross.

Personal practice: At our house we keep silence from 1-3 pm, to reflect the time Jesus was on the cross. No TV, no music, no talking. It is a good time to reflect.

Holy Saturday

We are mindful of Jesus’ body in the tomb.

Easter Sunday

What it’s called
: Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday

What it commemorates: That Jesus did not remain dead in a tomb, but by the power of God within Him, He was resurrected from the dead.  He is alive for eternity now, having conquered the sting of death, on the behalf of all who trust in Him.

Churches: Churches often sing about the greatness of God, victory over death, and that He is alive forevermore.

When our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”I Corinthians 15: 54-55 NLT

It is customary for one to say to the other, “He is risen!”

“He is risen indeed!” is the joyful response.

It’s a wrap

Perhaps this gives you a fresh idea for remembrance during the week before Easter Sunday.

He is risen!

He is risen, indeed!

Holy week: 'Twas the night before Easter   Check in next week for a special poem of mine here, inspired by playing with the title Twas the Night before Christmas.  

Up next: ‘Twas the night before Easter
Previous post: Ten reasons Lent is beneficial



1. Do you have a remembrance of a meaningful time during Holy Week? When was it and why was it significant to you?

2. Take a day and reflect on it in your mind.


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Wednesday, January 11, 2023

My Body, My Temple

My Body, My Temple

Big Idea: Since God has masterfully created us we need to respect and take care of our body as God’s temple.

My Body, My Temple

Perhaps you have heard the joke or meme, “My Body is a Temple, It’s just old, creaky and falling apart.”

What does it mean when people say, “My Body is a Temple?” Arguably some people worship their body working hard to keep tight muscles and creamy skin.

The phrase comes from the Bible in I Corinthians. The Apostle Paul teaches that we are God’s craftsmanship and we honor and respect Him by taking care of it.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. I Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT

If we love God and belong to Him then we should care for it by getting rest, exercise and nutrients to stay healthy. We shouldn’t introduce what’s bad for it like recreational abuse of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Or excessive fatty foods! Gasp!

The Practical Proverbs

The book of Proverbs says a lot about God but also has a lot of practical everyday advice. It speaks of health. Bodily health ties in with a mindset of peace and kindness.

These verses in Proverbs reflect that!

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. Jealousy is like cancer to the bones. Proverbs 14:30 NLT

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health. Proverbs 15:30 NLT

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24 NLT

A doctor recently told me that for years the medical profession thought educating patients led to better health. They now see that attitudes and beliefs have a much greater impact on healthy living, than they previously thought.

There is a classic book called None of these diseases. It asserts the Bible is useful for health guidelines. It also emphasizes that worry and stress cause so many illnesses.

Take-a-ways on our body

1. We are created by God. We are carefully crafted. We don’t want to treat His fine handiwork as junk.

2. We are set apart by God to honor Him. We would not want to pollute our body or mistreat it. 

3. Cultivate a heart at peace. Our emotional state has a big impact on our health. Embrace peace, joy, kindness and rely on God.

We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT


Up next: Move
Previous post: Breathe


1. Have you ever considered the Bible has advice for good health? Why or why not?

2. What role does stress and discord play in your life, and do you notice that it has an impact on your health? If so, how might you address that?

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Advent: Bathsheba's Love

Bathsheba's Love

Big Idea: Though Bathsheba experienced heartbreak from David’s rash sin, rather than letting the  consequences of sin define her, she chose to speak out with love.

Commander takes soldier’s wife, kills husband

My husband is a military man. Codes of conduct ensure trust between military members. Integrity is a core value. Taking a soldier’s spouse for your pleasure is never right and does not engender trust.

David should never have let this happen. Hollywood’s story of David and Bathsheba implies she was a seductress. But honestly we don’t see that in the Bible.

What we know about Bathsheba

  • Her grandfather, Ahithophel, was one of King David’s advisors. (2 Samuel 15:2)
  • Her father, Eliam, and husband, Uriah, were both part of David’s Mighty Men, an elite fighting force. (2 Samuel 23: 34,39)
  • Both Uriah and Bathsheba carefully followed Old Testament practices of purity
    • Uriah wouldn’t sleep with his wife while preparing for battle. (1 Samuel 21:5)
    • Bathsheba bathed for purification after menstruation in desert conditions, probably using a water basin. (Leviticus 15). It was not a leisurely bubble bath.
  • The Bible does not say Uriah and Bathsheba had children. They may have been newly married.
  • Bathsheba was summoned by the King. She may have felt she couldn’t refuse him.
  • When Uriah died in battle, Bathsheba mourned for him. (2 Sam. 11:26)
  • When Bathsheba lost her baby, she mourned. (2 Sam. 12:24)
  • After the death of her husband Uriah, David made her his 7th wife. (2 Sam. 11:27)
  • David was chastised by Nathan the prophet for his sin. Bathsheba was not. (2 Sam. 12)
  • David’s private sin had grave consequences for his family and kingdom. It bred open sexual sin by his sons, and a divided political world. (2 Sam. 13 and following)
  • Her second son was Solomon, considered the wisest man in the world. (2 Sam. 12:24)
  • David promised Bathsheba Solomon would be the heir to the throne. (I Kings 1:13)
  • She was an advocate for her son, Solomon, reminding David to hand him the throne. (I Kings 1)
  • Bathsheba spoke to King Solomon advocating for what she felt was right. (I Kings 2)
  • She is most likely the Proverbs 31 woman. Most scholars believe “King Lemuel” was Solomon sharing advice from his mother, Bathsheba. It was about how to act as a king, to value women, what a woman of value is. I am sure Solomon realized that is what she became! (Proverbs 31)

Love out of heartbreak

I believe young Bathsheba, though she did not protest against David, was taken advantage of. She was a voiceless victim. David paid dearly for his sin, but Bathsheba was affected too. The consequences of sin affect more than the individual. They affect those around them too. 

She was heartbroken losing her husband and then her first baby. She must have been heartbroken with David how his grown sons acted in public, trying to destroy the kingdom and openly sleeping with other women in David’s family.

In time, Bathsheba found her voice to be an advocate for family, for politics, and for women by presenting the picture of the Proverbs 31 woman. Indeed, her advice in Proverbs is loving and wise.

Why was Bathsheba in Jesus' genealogy?

Bathsheba was the fourth woman mentioned in Matthew 1 as part of the genealogy of Jesus. Each one was a surprising part of Jesus lineage.  In fact, Uriah, the murdered husband of Bathsheba, is also mentioned.

Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). Matthew 1:9 NLT

Jesus was remarkably equally God and equally man. He came to take on flesh and understand mankind, so He could conquer death and sin. These flawed human beings in Jesus' genealogy show us he took on flesh as we know it, with all the gnarly baggage it entailed.  In all the scandal and emotional scars of David and Bathsheba, He took on the family baggage of human kind.  He gets us. He walked as one of us. 

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. I John 1:14 NLT


Lessons from Bathsheba

  • Love your spouse.
  • Love your children.
  • Even after being a victim, or making a mistake, find your voice and act honorably.
  • Stand up for what’s right.
  • Be an advocate for others.
  • Know that with God's help you can overcome your family baggage.
  • Jesus came for families like yours and mine.

The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.  Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.   Proverbs 31: 1,8,9 NLT


Up next: Mary: The Dark Days of Winter
Previous post: Advent: Joy for Ruth



1. Have you suffered at the brunt of someone else’s sin? Have you gotten involved in something wrong because you felt you could not say no to someone more powerful? How has this effected your life? Reflect on the example of Bathesheba.

2. In learning more about Bathsheba what new aspect have you learned about her life? What can you admire about her? How might her example be helpful in your walk in life?

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Three Simple Steps to Thankfulness When Life Caves In

 Big Idea: Practice being thankful when life caves in,as it does not come to us naturally.


Life is Caving In Again

It happened again this week. I got another emotional punch in the gut. My mind started whirling and turning to self pity. Then a little voice went off like a cell phone reminder. Practice thankfulness. It is the week before Thanksgiving, after all I told myself!

 I recently went to the orthopedic surgeon to get my cast off. We hoped I could start walking again after being off my foot for 5 months. But the bone is still not fused together. How can this be? This is taking FOREVER. I left with that gut punched feeling again.

I already had written this blog post about my cancer reoccurrence (almost 2 years ago), but I changed the story.  This is fresh. Does crisis never end?

Spouting off platitudes is unhelpful

Of course there is always something to be thankful for. But to spout off platitudes is unhelpful. Life is hard. Life hurts. Reality disappoints. However, getting eaten up by bitterness is not productive or a good testimony. Learning to be thankful is essential.

Three steps to thankfulness 

1. Just do it

Sometimes we need to go through the motions whether we feel like it or not. In customer service one is taught to smile as you talk even if you don’t feel like it. Evidently just the smile makes what you say sound better.

Two mad kids
Photo by Izzy Park on Unsplash
When you and your siblings fought as kids didn’t your mom say – OK tell each other you’re sorry.  She made you say it whether you meant it or not. And while it still smarted, you moved forward.

In marriage, one should say “I love you” even on days when we don’t feel like it. Love is more than a feeling. One gets past the rough day. The loving “feeling” comes back as we keep practicing love.

Go through the motion and thank God whether you feel like it or not. The emotions will catch up.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

 2. Give God a treat!

We live in a “me” culture that does not reward or easily grasp sacrifice.

As a mom I sometimes put aside a treat for my kids (which I want to eat myself). I know they will be thrilled.  

But why save something for God? He has everything. So I ask myself. What is a treat for Him?

Sacrifice is something we give God to please Him.  We may prefer to keep it selfishly for ourselves. But a humble thankful attitude honors Him. He relishes our thankfulness like a special treat.

I don’t mean to make what we give God trivial like giving a dog a treat. Instead consider what tickles and delights Almighty God. Isn’t it amazing that we can touch God with our attitudes?

 “Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.” Psalm 50:23a NLT

 “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 51:17 NLT

 I believe thanking God warms His heart.

3. Practice, practice, practice 

When is it necessary to practice?

playing piano
Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

  • When we need to build up strength.
  • When we are not very good at something.
  • When we want to hone our abilities.
  • When we want to keep in good shape.

Practice. Practice. Practice. 

When I felt that knot in the pit of my stomach I knew it was time to practice thankfulness again. I need practice because I need to strengthen my habit of thankfulness for the next hard experience I will face. Again! I need to intentionally turn my heart to Him.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Philippians 4:6 NLT

This Thanksgiving, practice thankfulness. How can you put thankfulness into practice today?


Up next: What I can learn from 5 Scandalous women
Previous post: How am I supposed to be nice when I'm SICK!


1. When do you grate against thanking God? When does it not come naturally for you?

2. Could you practice a short prayer of thankfulness right now in whatever circumstance you are in? What might remind you to be thankful when you are punched emotionally in the gut?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

How am I Supposed to be Nice, When I Feel Lousy!

Woman with head down and words, how and I supposed to be nice when I'm sick?

Big Idea: God wants the Fruit of the Spirit at work in me always, even when I am sick, in pain or depressed.

I Get Grumpy

I get grumpy when I’m sick. My husband confirms I can sound harsher than I intend. I am working on acting nicer when I feel lousy. It’s a work in progress.

It must have been about 30 years ago. At 6 am someone insistently knocked at my door. I groaned. I had malaria. My head was killing me. I really didn’t want to get up,

I had to answer the door. I was the school nurse at a Bible Institute in West Africa. Maybe someone’s wife was having a baby. Or perhaps they had a serious cut.

“Good morning Mademoiselle,” the young man said. “I’m here to get vitamins please.”

I was not a happy camper. I was the one sick and they woke me at 6 am for vitamins? I read him the riot act. I had dispensary hours for this. This is not an emergency. Has he no respect for me?

Sheepishly he apologized but explained they were headed to his home village. His grandmother was weak and needed vitamins, he explained. Tylenol would be nice too.

Sigh. I had some on hand in my dispensary kit and gave them to him. But I reminded him of the usual dispensary hours.

The fruit of the Spirit is not conditional

As I indignantly went back to bed, I felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit. It sounded like this in my head. “Diane, you know the fruit of the Spirit in the Bible, right?”

“Yes, Lord.”

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

I continued to sense God telling me, “These characteristics are not conditional. They should not emerge only when you feel good. You should display them even when you are sick, even when people treat you unfairly, even when you are tired or overworked.”

This is not how I think. It was definitely God telling me this. It shot me right in the heart. It impacted the way I looked at my flaws that I used for excuses. It has forced me to hone patience, kindness and joy even when feeling under par.

Decrease the Verbal Missiles

So how can we practice decreasing our verbal missiles in sickness and pain? Consider these 4 approaches.

1. Acknowledge your situation.

You’re human. Verbalize fatigue or frustration matter-of-factly. The Psalmist does this. Job vents in Job 34-35. God listens. Job’s friends do too.

2. Stop yourself.

When you want to blurt out something unkind and stupid, stop yourself. If you speak harshly in a tough moment, apologize quickly and start fresh. It will likely be appreciated.

Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Psalm 141:3 NLT

3. Be kind

There is a beautiful country song sung by Tim McGraw that reminds us to always be “Humble and Kind.” The New Testament, written about 2000 years earlier, wrote similarly,

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Sometimes it is best to say nothing.

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. Proverbs 10:17 NLT


4. Pray

Keep your heart close to God. Pray always (I Thessalonians 5:16) like breathing in your heart to God for strength, help, and comfort. In rough moments when you want to lash out take a deep breath and breathe a quick prayer in your heart to Him for help.

I've Been Getting a lot of Practice

With migraines, cancer, a broken foot, and all my other illnesses I have gotten a lot of practice. I still mess up especially with my family who sees me up close and personal. But just being conscious of my tendencies and aware in prayer keeps me as a work in progress.

The series for the month of November is about how the Bible helps us when we are sick or discouraged. If you are finding it helpful, forward it to a friend!  Also subscribe so it comes weekly to your email by sending your email address to  We will never sell your email address to anyone!


Up next: 3 Simple Steps to Thankfulness When Life Caves In
Previous post: 5 Shocking Statements the Psalmist Makes about Pain


1. Under what condition do you tend to lose control when you should be kinder? In Illness? With a certain person? In a debate atmosphere? When you feel bested?

2. Have you found a verse or a prayer strategy that helps you in that circumstance? Does one of the 4 suggestions listed sound like something you want to try?

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

5 Shocking Statements the Psalmist Makes about Pain

Waiting for surgery

Big Idea: Pain and suffering is understood by the Psalmist in the Bible who models frank dialogue with God.

Pain off the Charts

Writhing with abdominal pain in the hospital a couple of months ago, I cried and moaned in the darkest of night in prayer. My electronic Bible search uncovered 5 shocking statements the Psalmist uttered in pain. His pain taught me how to endure mine in those dark hours.

I had broken my foot, then my gallbladder caused my liver to backup, turning me jaundiced with itching head to toe. By my third hospital day with little to eat or drink, I was parched. An ERCP procedure unclogged the common bile duct but bile poured out on my pancreas. My pancreatic pain the next couple of days was off the charts.

I get migraines. I process intense pain talking softly to myself or moaning softly out loud. Sounding decidedly like David in the Psalms that night I looked up how pain was expressed in the Psalms. The Bible does not sugarcoat life nor show off spiritual giants as perfect humans. The Bible shows us how to cope with real life.

5 Shocking words from the Psalmists

1. How long will you forget me?

Straight and to the point, he does not sense God in his pain. He feels forgotten. Abandoned.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Psalm 22:1 NLT

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? Psalm 13:1 NLT

2. I am exhausted and completely crushed.

Illness get wearisome. Pain is downright exhausting. It is hard to bear.

I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart. Psalm 38:8 NLT

From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Psalm 61:2 NLT

3. You keep track of all my sorrows.

The King of Israel, a ruler and warrior, cries. He sobs. He knows God sees the tears. Our tears and our pain are not hidden from Him and The Psalmist finds consolation in this. I do too!

I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. Psalm 6:6 NLT

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8 NLT

I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. Psalm 69:3 NLT

4. I am alone and in deep distress.

I often have trouble sleeping. It is especially worse in pain or worried about something. In pain one often feels alone, and the middle of the night pain and anxiousness is increasingly worse.

Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. Psalm 25:16 NLT

They have left me among the dead, and I lie like a corpse in a grave. I am forgotten, cut off from your care. Psalm 88:5 NLT

5. Hurry please.

It is so interesting that, in talking to the God of the universe, the Psalmist asks Him, pleads with Him to hurry. And he adds, please.

O God, don’t stay away. My God, please hurry to help me. Psalm 71:12 NLT

O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! Psalm 141:1 NLT

How this helped me

I love it that we can tell God exactly what we think and don’t need to feel He is going to slap us for it. God wants our authenticity, not a fabricated front or flowery words. He is real, and He is real with us. The Psalmist, through each Psalm, reflects what he knows about God and affirms truth. He leans on it. As I read these verses on that painful lonely night in the hospital, I used this model to pray and felt His comforting presence.


Up next: How am I supposed to be nice when I feel LOUSY!
Previous post: 3 Things I Miss Since I Broke My Foot


1. Have you ever had a really frank conversation with God? What was it like?

2. Do you have a favorite Psalm that helps you in difficult times?

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

3 Things I Miss Since I Broke my Foot

The Big Idea: My life has become disrupted since I broke my foot, but the word longsuffering is strengthening me. 

[Each weekly blog in November will focus on how the Bible has strengthened me through several health crisis.]

3 Things I Miss Since I Broke my Foot

Back in May doing yard work I twisted my foot. An X-ray showed NOTHING! 2 weeks later I twisted it again leaning akwardly on it as I reached for something that dropped. This time I broke SOMETHING! The pain was unbearable if I stood on it. I broke the 5th metatarsal of my left foot and found the first twist had a hairline fracture too small to be noticed. My life has changed since I have been off my foot for almost 5 months! Here is a quick list of 3 top things I miss doing.

1. Buying groceries spontaneously

There is no spontaneity in going shopping for me anymore! I used to pick up something on the way. On a serious grocery shopping day I would zig-zag from one store to the next picking up the top too-good-to-be-true sales.  This summer, corn was $1 an ear or more. When I found it at 25 cents an ear with my husband in tow I went crazy there, then at the next store with an unbelievable price on ribs. My poor husband! He patiently took me and acknowledged he can see why I do that. Sigh. Since this broken foot has lingered without adequately healing for months now, with mercy on my husband I now do one shopping excursion a week at one store.

2. Relaxing in the shower

For starters, baths are absolutely forbidden! To get down into a tub, and out again is totally impossible. As for the shower… I need a shower chair to sit on or at least to rest my left knee. I do not have the greatest balance or endurance on just one foot and I CANNOT slip and I CANNOT put weight on the broken foot. So I need to hurry, and I need to have my phone nearby (I put it in a zip lock baggie) so I can text my husband if I need his help. With a hard boot to take off, I could manage OK. Now I have a post-surgery cast which must not get wet. The plastic sleeve makes the wet shower floor even more slippery! I’ve learned to take fewer showers! I hope no one sitting next to me at church notices!

3. Walking my neighborhood

Recently I decided I need exercise. I know! Consider my cute little scooter from Amazon exercise! Yes, it is cute. At a restaurant a wide-eyed three year old looked longingly at it and wanted to touch it. My husband offered her a ride to her mother’s horror!

So one day I asked my husband to come with me on my first attempt to walk the neighborhood on the scooter. Little did I realize that every twig or littlest pebble could throw me off balance. A couple of near falls reminded me to keep my eyes on the sidewalk. Our neighborhood sidewalks happen to be uneven and cracked. 

Did I mention our street is on a steep hill? I figured that would be a nice workout. But the slightest of inclines in which I could usually walk without hesitation seemed like Mount Everest on my scooter! Needless to say, we turned around to go back home after passing 3 houses and I never ventured out again.

Longsuffering: a Word to Remember

My journey with a broken foot has gone on far too long! A Biblical term that has taken on a whole new meaning to me is “longsuffering*.” I appreciate this verse from Colossians 1:11.  In the New Living Translation it goes like this: 

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy. Colossians 1:12 NLT

It uses longsuffering in the King James Version:

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Colossians 1:11 KJV

Whatever you are going through today, may you find patience and joy. 


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What changed everything in your daily life, even for a temporary season? Do you have a verse in the Bible that helps you cope?


Diane with magnifying glass

*Through the Magnifying Glass   

- using the Blue Letter Bible as a resource.

Take a closer look with me at the word longsuffering in the Bible... 

In the Old Testament God describes Himself as having it. The Hebrew word used has a lot to do with patience and being slow to get angry. 

2 verses using Longsuffering - Ex. 34:6 and Num. 14:18
Strong's Definition of Longsuffering in Hebrew
About the Hebrew Word Longsuffering from the Genenius Hebrew-Chaldean Lexicon

In the New Testament the Greek word used to describe longsuffering is used both to describe God, and also to describe Christians because of God's strength and Holy Spirit in us. It is mostly used as long suffering and patience in the King James. Other translations may use patient endurance. For a lot more detail see the clip from Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. I love the description for Christians that it is "the opposit of despondency and associated with hope." This is the encouragement I need and the quality I need to build in the midst of a health crisis. 

3 Examples of New Testament Bible verses with longsuffering: Col 1:11, Col 3:12, and 1 Tim 1:16
Longsuffering word in Greek as explained by Strong's.

Longsuffering explained further from Vine's DIctionary of New Testament Words

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

5-Rock Bottom: Bible Survival

The Big Idea: At some point in life we hit rock bottom. Use the Psalms to pray through and survive.

Desperate prayers for desperate times.

Have you ever hit rock bottom? You feel desperate with nowhere to turn. Some may say they never experienced this. But surely most adults have at least had a season where they have had it. Exhausted. Fed up. Lost hope. No answer to a serious dilemma.

May I introduce you to someone who hit this point repeatedly? King David from the Bible. His life was often in danger pursued like a dangerous criminal. His political opponents were very vocal against him. He had family troubles (he had a total of four wives). His sons did not always live up to how the son of a King of Israel should act. David disappointed God with Bathsheba and had to live with the consequences. Evidently he had some physical ailments as he aged. I could go on.

If you need words of comfort and understanding in the Bible…

If it might be helpful to observe someone talk very frankly with God…

If you could use an example of words to pray in desperation…

Go to the Psalms.

The Psalms are in the middle of the Bible. It is the largest book of the Bible. It is easy to find. In it lies  very frank expressions of anger, loneliness, hunger, longing, sickness, revenge, abandonment, failure…

The Psalms teach us:

  • We can talk to God and He will listen and not be shocked or turn away.
  • How to guard and protect our heart and our emotions.
  • How to pray. We learn to be authentic yet turn to Him, not just vent.
  • Who God is. Faithful, creator, powerful, eternal…
  • People have been calling on God since the early ages of civilization. Even a Psalm of Moses in here.

Many are written by David under almost any circumstance of life that you can imagine. He vents. He cries. He laments. He grieves. He is very open and honest in his cries to God. Shock of all shocks, God listens and is never surprised. God never cuts him off. But David also reminds himself by the end of every prayer that God is God, and he will intentionally turn his trust toward Him. He says he will fix his eyes on God. He will put his trust in Him because God is all powerful and all loving.

It is useful to read it with a thought for thought Bible version such as the Message, or the New Living Translation. This is a time to soak up God's Word for your aches and pains. Try reading a passage that touches you like a prayer and pray it.  Or go line by line, stopping to think where you are touched and talk to God.

There are periods of my life that were tumultuous or difficult. Often this has revolved around illness or overwhelming circumstances in my living situation. I tell people "I lived in the Psalms at that time." What that phrase means is that I read them over and over, and soaked up as much of them as I could.

I have enjoyed marking up my Bible to remember different portions that have meant a lot to me. A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook, "What is your favorite Psalm." It was interesting to see Psalms that others appreciate. My favorite is Psalm 34. But I also love Psalm 1, 19, 23, 37, 51, 103, 139… and I could go on! These are a few that come to my mind right away! If you read five a day, you can finish the book in a month.

Find your favorite Psalm!


God helps us in trouble   Ps 27, Ps 46:1, Ps 86:7, Ps 32:7, Ps 34:17

God protects us   Ps 4:1, Ps, 16:1, Ps 91, Ps 27:5,

God helps us, asking for help  Ps 79:9, Ps 86:6-7, Ps 121, Ps 143:1

Grief  Ps 4:8, Ps 23, Ps 31:9, Ps 34:18

God hears our prayers  Ps 22:24, Ps 116, Ps 143:1

God is mindful of our needs  Ps 86:1,Ps 79:8, Ps 16:1, Ps 70:5

God will restore us  Ps 40, Ps 30:5, Ps 70:20-21

God heals and helps us cope with illness  Ps 31:9, 14-15, Ps 6:2-4, Ps 34:9-10, Ps 73:26, Ps 107:19-20, Ps 118:5-7, Ps 147:3, Ps 41, Ps 35, 38

Here is a Bible Study found on the Christianity Today magazine site on emotions and the Psalms.

Up Next: Danger Ahead

Previous Post: Waiting... and Waiting...



1. Do you have a favorite Psalm? Why?

2. Do you like the book of Psalms? Why or why not?

3. Can you remember a time when you could have used the encouragement of the Psalms?

4. Is there a desperate period you are walking through right now? Is it time to turn to the Psalms for your focus?


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

4-Waiting… and Waiting: Bible Survival

 The Big Idea: When it feels like God is not responding train your mind to worship, not worry.

Waiting with Worship: My Heart Protection Plan.

We do not wait well. We are used to microwaves, drive-through service and cell phone accessibility. Amazon can make sure you get what you order by mail in two days. We wait because of technological glitches or waiting on hold for customer service. We want what we want and we want it NOW!

God often says wait.

God always answers prayer, but it is like a traffic light. Sometimes He shows us "no" like a red light. At times He says "wait awhile", like a yellow light. Other times We have a "yes"! We get the green light!

Most of us don't wait well.

The truth is through the waiting He forms and shapes us to be more of whom He wants us to be. He  waits for us to cry to Him and grow in our faith. Some of my closest time with God was while in waiting mode. I didn't find it good at the time. Looking back, I see it as something special God and I went through together.

If I told you I am getting better at waiting, I would be lying. I've had a lot of practice (and I mean a lot of practice) but I still have sleepless nights and have had to coach myself through the worries.



We wait on God for little things and big things. I am referring especially to the big things when we wait for a long time. But littler waits can wrap us up in anxiety too.

  • Job/Career: Direction such as getting into a college, or an internship. Getting that stepping stone job. Hoping for a change of a new boss or wanting a different shift.
  • Mates: Direction to find the right mate. It could be the salvation of a mate. Seeing a habit broken.
  • Kids: Being about to have kids. Direction for a child. We watch them go through their own quests as if it were our own. And can't do much but pray for them. It could be acceptance into a program to help a special needs child, or one with an addiction.
  • Health/Cancer: That pathology report. Is it cancer or not? It could be waiting for a transplant. It might just be living with a broken body where there seems no end in sight.

There is much more but you get the picture.


I always hoped to marry a godly man with whom I could serve the Lord. In my mid-thirties I had not yet seriously dated anyone. I asked God numerous times to take away my desire. He often filled me with peace, but He did not take that desire away.  

A couple months before I met my husband to be, I was convinced a single missionary living nearby must be the man for me. If I ever married, I felt, it must be a missionary. And of course aside from friendship, this man never offered me any hope there would be anything more. Still I decided I could wait and see what God might do as I prayed about it.  The man invited me to attend an event. And he showed up with a date. Someone I knew. I was shocked. It seemed it had been far easier to wait when I was in Africa where I did not have an active social life.

I hated the way I let my heart be jerked around by my own wistfulness.

In reading the Bible, praying and journaling, I wrote down a plan to help me wait in the midst of my desires and anxiousness.  The key thought: waiting with worship. I knew I needed to fix my gaze on God continuously. But how? What would that look like?

I use the phrase, "Heart Protection Plan" and you might think it is only applicable for romance.  Our heart breaks for many reasons.  For not getting in the school you thought was perfect. For not getting that promotion you felt cut out for. For a wayward child messing up choices. For a looming divorce from one you thought would be yours forever. We need to guard our hearts and look to God for solace and guidance.

I wrote this plan in my journal. I used some alliteration to help me remember.


1. Focus on the CHARACTER of God

  • God loves me
  • God never changes (circumstances do)
  • God is my Creator who knows all and is all powerful
  • God is in control

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

2. Trust in God's CONTROL

  • Worship Him while you wait and remember His attributes
  • Express to Him your trust because you know He's not wringing His hands. He's got it.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 NIV

3, Be honest and CONFESS frets

You can trust Him with your anxieties, mistakes, bad days, etc.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Psalm 25:16-17 NIV

He won't give up on you, exasperated.

4. Get busy and CONSTANTLY serve Him

  • Serve God with your whole heart
  • Don't seek to take matters into your own hands - Let God

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19 NIV

Be productive for spiritually good things

Do good.

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16 NIV

5. You have value - COUNT on Counting

  • Remember you are loved by a great God, you are important to Him
  • Expect Him to direct in His time because He has a plan

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8 NIV

Ask Him to make your life a blessing

With all my heart I want your blessings. Be merciful as you promised. Psalm 119:58 NIV

Reflect that you are valuable to God and have a purpose for being in the Body of Christ

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


I mentioned putting this together a couple months before meeting my husband-to-be. You must be thinking, ah ha! Trust God and He will give you what you want! That was not how it played out. My husband to be was a new widower. And he was not a missionary. He was a chaplain. I did not see him as a viable future mate, and he did not see me as one either, for he never planned to remarry. As our friendship grew my heart was drawn to him. I could see us serving God together. But he had to move and reminded me we are just friends.

It was three years after meeting that we got married. Honestly I spent many prayer times going over this heart protection plan again so I could reaffirm that God loved me and would take care of me no matter what.

I needed to keep my focus on God, not any other human being.

It was good training. A few months into marriage we entered a devastating period waiting on God a lot. Having lost his first wife to breast cancer, I was diagnosed with the same disease. The journey was scary and arduous.

Of everything I hold dear, that which I value most is the very real presence of God. He cannot change. He has promised to be with us and He will be.

Train your heart to focus on God and trust Him. Keep honest with Him. Maintain a servant heart. And never forget, you matter to Him.

Up Next: Rock Bottom

Previous Post: Embracing Lent
Previous Post in Series: Sleepless in Cleveland


1. When have you had to wait on God? How did that go?

2. Which of the 5 parts of the plan do you think would be most meaningful to you? Why?

3. Could you think of a situation you are waiting on now and try applying these ways of focusing on God? Journal about it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

3-Sleepless in Cleveland: Bible Survival

The Big Idea: When you can't sleep use Scripture verrses to help

Six ways the Bible can help you sleep!

As a baby, my mom said sleep was impossible for me. She thought maybe I was too curious about everything going on. A creak in the floor or a cough from my dad, and I was wide awake looking around.

I am a very light sleeper. I hear ever tick of the clock and every car that zooms up the street. At least until I can finally fall into deep sleep. After an evening meeting, I play over in my head all the conversations I participated in.

It is even more difficult when I have something serious to worry about. However, I have learned a few tricks over the years how to apply scripture to my need for sleep. I can tell you I have put this into practice

I would like to recommend six ways to use Scripture to fall asleep.


1. Meditate on a verse or a passage familiar to you

I gave an example recently about using the 23rd Psalm to meditate on. With that you could take a verse or a phrase and emphasis different aspects in your head. You could repeat a phrase, examining it, and making it a prayer.

Here are a couple examples:

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. Psalm 127:2

You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. Proverbs 3:24

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

2. Get up and read the Bible

There are several ways you could approach this. If you are reading through the Bible in a year and have gotten behind you can catch up on some reading. You might want to go through a shorter book in its entirety such as Ruth in the Old Testament, or Philippians or another epistle in the New Testament.

a. List of sleep verses. Read over a list of sleep and peace from worry verses. Here is a PDF of a list.

b. Read a favorite Psalm or one good for sleep. Suggestions might be Psalm 4, Ps 91, and Psalm 116. Favorites are often Psalm 1, Psalm 19, Psalm 23, Psalm 34, Psalm 103, Psalm 139.

c. Read stories in the Bible involving sleep. There are a lot of them but here are a couple good ones to recommend.

Genesis 28:10-22 - Jacob sleeps as God speaks to him.

1 Kings 19 - How God brought sleep to Isaiah when he was worried.

Mark 4:35-41 - Jesus asleep in the storm. Read the whole chapter

3. Listen to Scripture

Put earplugs in for your ipod or phone with the audio Bible or meditation songs based on Scripture. YouVersion has audio Bibles on it and you can start listening.

But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. Psalm 42:8

4. Think through lists in the Bible.

This might really test your Bible knowledge, which may drive you to study it more the next morning. Here are some examples to think through.

  • What happened on creation each day.
  • Recite a Psalm or the Lord's Prayer.
  • What are the books of the New Testament in their order.
  • Think through I Corinthians 13 for the "Love is" section.
  • Name the Armour of God or the Fruit of the Spirit

5. Pray

You can use a Bible verse to help you pray. You can also pray for lists of family or friends. Are you worried about someone or an issue in particular? Pray about it.

God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son. Romans 1:9

Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. Psalm 55:17

6. Godly Fantasy

Imagine yourself in a Bible story. Think of being in a crowd when Jesus is getting ready to feed the 5000 and imagine what it would be like to be there. Talk to the little boy with his five loaves and two fishes. Interview one of the disciples. Or think about being in the tent with three strangers visit Abraham, or put yourself with Sarah as she is listening from the other tent while preparing a meal for them. Talk with Sarah about this crazy promise from God to have a son.

Each of these methods help me get my mind off of the issues trying rob my mind of peace.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3


Up Next: Embracing Lent
Up Next in Series: Waiting...and Waiting
Previous Post:Finding God's Will


1. What keeps you from falling asleep at night? Are you prone to having trouble falling asleep?

2. Which suggestion appeals to you more to help you fall asleep?

3. Is there a verse you would find helpful to memorize so you can use it when you are anxious?