Imagine a storehouse loaded with an array of finery. Only this finery is not a thing you can sit in, eat or spend. Lacking in wisdom? It's there abundantly. Need help in a terrible trial? Grace is present in unending quantity. Been betrayed and hurt beyond hurt? By someone you love? Sympathy resides there too--His name is Jesus.
This past week I was presented with this idea from a Bible study I am going through.
Our memories are so very quick to bring up hurts and pain. Matters not where they come from, it simply matters that they are there. Usually for me, they manifest their ugly selves around 4 am. My mind can be like a storehouse of pain. We try as believers in Christ, to reject those thoughts and make them captive to Christ. Plainly put, I know these thoughts and memories are gobbling me up, but I cannot seem to make them STOP. Honestly, some days, I wonder if I am of sound mind.....
Long story short--God has a storehouse for me to choose from. Instead of dwelling on the pain in my life, I can open the door so to speak, and choose from God's lavish riches. Sounds corny?
It's not and it works.
When my mind remembers something painful, I can let that pain consume me. And believe me, some days I do. My kids and husband wish I wouldn't..me too for that matter. In so doing, it sucks the life out of me. Literally.
If you haven't guessed already, the storehouse is the Bible. God's Word. The Scriptures.
The one I have been so blessed by these past few weeks is in Hebrews 4: 14-16.
You don't think Jesus knows what you are going through? Cancer? Death of a loved one?
Abuse? Betrayal? Incredible loss?
Look at what it says,
"For we do not have a great high priest (Jesus) who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.."
What hope this gold nugget gives me! Jesus may not have had cancer like me, but He understands, He sympathizes with my weakness...like the why me God's?? Or the fear of the future..or just wanting the pain to stop-both physical and emotional..
He has been tempted to give up. I have.
He has been tempted to lash out and return evil for evil. I also have..
He has been tempted to cave in to despair. For moments, yes, I have.
You get the idea.
The fact He sympathizes with my weaknesses kicks the statement, "Jesus doesn't understand what I'm going through" in the teeth. Hard.
If I can do it, so can you. When your memory kicks it into high gear at 4 am, choose to select a treasure from God's Storehouse. God's Word doesn't make the painful memories disappear, but it softens them. It shrinks them down. And it brings hope, peace and Lord willing, sleep.
The other thing that helps me is to meditate on a praise song or a hymn. This magnifies God and Who He is and comforts me in my pain or trial or suffering.
Tonight it is going to be
How Great Thou Art--a hymn we sang at our wedding, our 25th wedding anniversary party and in church this morning...
You are faithful Lord,