Scientology: Destroying Lives

This blog post is one that has been fueled by anger and disgust; anger and disgust that something so evil and vile has been allowed to go on for so long. It’s also fueled by love and compassion; love and compassion for those whose lives have been adversly affected if not destroyed, by a sinister entity that has been in existence for over 60 years and has been practicing under the guise of a religion and church.

I’m referring to the “Church” of Scientology, founded by a man by the name of L. Ron Hubbard in 1954. This organization is anything but a church and from here on in I will not be referring to it as such because the true church is comprised of Christ followers (see Ephesians 5), not L. Ron Hubbard followers. Scientology in actuality, is a cult that has managed to suck in tens to hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life into it’s web of lies and hypocrisy, although Scientologists falsely claim that their numbers are in the millions.

Even though I’ve always known Scientology to be a cult, I had no idea as to the extent of it’s devious practices and abuses. I’ve been learning about the ongoing abuse through the series on A&E television called Scientology and the Aftermath, by the very courageous Leah Remini along with a high-ranking former Scientologist by the name of Mike Rinder. Ms. Remini is a gifted actress who is best known for her role as Carrie Heffernan on the hilarious sitcom King of Queens. She is also a former Scientologist who is currently embarking on the difficut mission of exposing the cult for what it is.

According to Ms. Remini and countless others who have managed to escape from the Scientology cult, it is a dangerous, wealthy organization built on a foundation of lies and hypocrisy that has not only been bilking people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, but is destroying lives and families as well, through physical abuse, sexual abuse, imprisonment, intimidation, coercion and brainwashing just to mention a few.

The heartbreaking, tearful testimonies of those whose lives and families have been ripped apart by Scientology’s lies and deception is a stark lesson in the perils of attempting to build and follow a so-called church that follows man and his own foolishness instead of following Christ and His truth, which is the truth. Man’s philosophies lead to darkness while the truth of Christ is light. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. 1 Corinthians 3:19. Again, Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 14:12

So how is it that seemingly nice, innocent people become involved in something as sinister as Scientology? Scientology, on the surface, doesn’t appear as sinister, it appears as just the opposite. It appeals to those who are looking to do good or achieve something good in their lives. It speaks to those who may be struggling or looking to belong. Scientology sucks people in by making them think that they will play an important role in the salvation of the planet. It makes people feel important. It tells people what their itching ears want to hear. It makes mankind out to be gods. It makes man the center of attention and the one who holds all the answers. It appeals to the pride of man, making those in need of a savior think that they are the saviors. They are geniuses in the video production and advertising world. Unfortunately, it’s all false advertising. Prospective victims are bombarded by well crafted propoganda films that speak to man’s desire for control and perfection. Lies and hypocrisy are carefully and cunningly crafted and repackaged to look like truth and sincerity.

Speaking of truth, Scientology falsely claims that truth is whatever one believes to be as truth. In other words, truth is relative, there is no absolute truth. It’s saying that, “certain things may appear true to you, but not true to me. If you believe it, it is true for you. If I don’t believe it, it is not true for me.” If I were to say, “gravity might work for you, but it doesn’t work for me” and then proceed to jump off of a building, guess what’s gonna happen? The claim that truth is relative is a self-refuting claim. In saying that all truth is relative one is claiming an absolute truth, but if all truth is relative, even that statement is relative as well and it cannot be true all the time. This belief too, is another avenue to destruction and ruin through the likes of something like Scientology. As the saying goes, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”

Celebrities are often sought out as members of Scientology. They are given special treatment and are the perfect choice for the face of Scientology. Why? First and foremost, my guess would be money. Also, people tend to blindly worship and emulate what celebrities say and do. In much of the world’s eyes, if a celebrity belongs to something or believes in something, then it must be ok; as if somehow they’re automatically much smarter and better than the so-called average person because they act for a living and have money.

Man, as Scientolgy so falsely claims, is not the answer to the world’s problems. Yes, God has given man the ability to accomplish many things. He has been gracious enough to share a tiny portion of His unsurpassed and infinite knowledge, helping His created to achieve much on this planet He created. The problem is, man unrightfully takes credit for these accomplishments, giving himself the glory instead of the glory that is rightfully God’s and God’s alone. This leads him to belive that he is his own god and all the answers are within himself, therefore making it much easier to be susceptible to the lies of something as evil as Scientology.

The way to see something like Scientology and other dangerous cults for what they are right off the cusp is to have God’s word stored in our hearts. We can spot false and deceptive doctrines when we view those doctrines through the lense of scripture, the truth of God’s word. Are there those who aren’t Christ followers who can instantly see the lies of Scientology for what they are? Yes, there are. But know this; if everyone were to have the truth of Christ stored in their hearts, Scientology would have been eradicated before it even started and the world would be a much better place!

Scientology often speaks of spiritual salvation, claiming that one can achieve this salvation through increasing one’s spiritual awareness and through the practice of Scientology religious services. Salvation of one’s soul does not come through works of any kind. For by grace you are saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8.9

Scientology also teaches that man is basically good. But God says otherwise. For from within, out of the heart of man come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and they defile a person. Mark 7:21-23. The Bible tells us that without God, our hearts are inclined toward evil. The problem is, we do not realize the state of our condition. We think that we are so much better than we are. We compare ourselves to our fellow man, other imperfect beings, other sinners. We need to compare ourselves to Christ, the Spotless One. We need to allow His light to expose our darkness. Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness. but will have the light of life.” John 8:12. We need to put our complete trust in Him and Him alone.

The salvation of man’s soul rests in the atoning death and resurrection of Christ alone. Christ was without sin, the Spotless Lamb who emptied Himself on the cross so that those who choose to believe in Him will have eternal life in heaven. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16. We are imperfect beings. We are sinners. We cannot save ourselves. When man seeks to set up godless religion and seek his own salvation, he wreaks havoc, chaos and destruction. Evil reigns. Scientology is the perfect example. All the lives that have been destroyed and are continuing to be destroyed by it’s false doctrines, the doctrines of demons. (See 1 Timothy 4:1)

This planet that Scientology claims to be so concerned about? God created this planet and everything on it, including you and me. It is His planet, not ours. He has told us what He intends to do with it in His word. (See Revelation chapters 19 and 21). We are commanded to be good stewards over His creation until the time that He returns.

As for Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, he no longer lives. Of course, David Miscavige, Hubbard’s replacement, stood before Hubbard’s followers 3 days after his death and lied to them about his death, telling everyone that Mr. Hubbard willingly discarded his alive and well body because he had reached such a high spiritual state that he no longer had any need for it and that he was now living outside of his body continuing his work and research. The real truth is that after years of lying about his past, and creating a dangerous, money hungry cult that has bilked thousands out of their life savings, torn apart families, separated young children from their parents, subjected his followers to physical and sexual abuse, imprisonment, slander and brain-washing; he died. He died of a stroke. L. Ron Hubbard, like the rest of mankind, had but one life to live here on this earth and had an appointment with death. An appointment that he knew not the day nor the hour until it came. And, like the rest of us who will one day die, he has met his Maker and will be judged. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement. Hebrews 9:27. Unless, at the very last minute before his death, Mr. Hubbard chose to repent of his grievous sins and put his trust in Christ, Mr. Hubbard has suffered the same horriffic fate as those who choose not to put their faith in Christ. Not only will he have to answer for rejecting Christ, but also for the scores of people he has deceived and led astray.

What can we do about the ongoing dishonest, destructive practices of something like Scientology? I think we need to learn all we can about the history and ongoing practices of this sinister organization. Watching the A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath is a great place to start. There is a wealth of substantiated information to be learned on this series. Seasons 1 and 2 can be watched on Hulu right now and there is a season 3 coming. Listen to the heart breaking stories of survivors of Scientology. Pray for God’s healing in their hearts and lives. These people don’t need to be judged, they need our love and compassion. Pray for more truth to be exposed. Pray for God’s protection of those who speak out against the evils of Scientology. They need our prayers because the written policy of Scientology is not to defend Scientology to anyone who speaks out against it, but to instead attack by any means possible. Just ask those who have come out about the spying, slander and harassment they have experienced in doing so.

Social media is a powerful tool as well. Share through Facebook or Twitter any articles or stories on the abuses within the church. Share posts about the A&E series Scientology and the Aftermath. Talk to people you know about it. You never know. You just might be saving someone you know and love from making a terrible mistake by educating them ahead of time because there are Scientology groups right in your own back yard. Google to see if any are near you. I did. Come to find out, there are two near me. I never knew that.

Rest assured though, God will have the final say, in His time. I truly believe He is using Leah Remini in a powerful way to expose the truth and shed light onto the darkness. It’s no coincidence that Leah Remini has been in the field of acting and has achieved celebrity status. God has given her a poweful platform from which to speak that most of us don’t have. A platform from which the lives of those she knows and loves as well as complete strangers can be saved. I pray that God gives Leah, Mike Rinder and others that are coming out, the strength and courage to continue the battle against Scientology. God is on their side.

I feel as though Leah Remini’s story is similar to that of Queen Esther in the book of Esther. It’s a great story. Read through it for yourself and see if you can see the parallel. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your family will be destroyed. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14. I truly believe that Leah Remini’s gift of acting and celebrity status were planned out by God for a much bigger picture than Leah could have ever imagined. She was raised up for such a time as this.

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Two Words That Break the Chains of Bondage and Set Us Free!

Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord. Psalm 107:43 ESV

I have spent the last few years of my Christian walk being enslaved by feelings of guilt and fear. Why? Because over and over again, I have been listening to the enemy whisper the word “failure” in my ear. Let me attest to the fact that living in guilt and fear while feeling like a failure is exhausting, draining and overwhelming. It sucks the life right out of you!

I recently spent some long overdue time in my bedroom with God. I spent an entire day praying, fasting, praising and reflecting. Once again, I poured out my heart to God, all of my great sorrow and distress. After some time of quiet, I felt God nudging me to write out all of my feelings about everything that I felt guilt over or had fear about. So I did. 5 pages worth! I was amazed at how much I had just written. Seeing it all down on paper really brought to life just how much burden, how heavy of a load, I had been dragging around with me all this time.

“It’s all down on paper now Lord. Can you give me a word or something to reflect upon?” I asked. I decided to read some Psalms. Upon opening my Bible I just so happened to open up to Psalm 107:43. Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord. Hmmmm. Quite some time ago I had underlined the words steadfast love in my Bible every time I saw them because I had noticed that the phrase had been used a lot. 191 times in the Bible actually, 123 times in the Psalms alone. Over and over the Psalms speak of God’s steadfast love that endures forever. Psalm 103,107, 108, 117, 118,119,136, just to mention a few. Also Lamentations 3:22,23.

This verse, however, I had missed. I had spent time underlining the words steadfast love, in my Bible, but I never really took the time to consider (contemplate, examine, ponder, meditate on) exactly what steadfast love meant.

So why does the Bible tell us that it’s wise to consider the steadfast love of the Lord? Because it frees us! It utterly destroys Satan’s stronghold of habitual wrong thinking built into our thought lives, bringing his craftily whispered deceptions to total ruin and breaking the chains of our bondage. Join me in this delightful word study and the wonderful realities that naturally transpire from a deepening knowledge of God’s steadfast love for you.

For me, as I dug deeper into the words meaning and its synonyms, I finally began to grasp God’s steadfast love for me. I began to realize that no matter what I’ve done as a believer, God’s love for me is steadfast! I pray that, as you read on, you will treasure in your own heart Gods steadfast love for you and that you will truly discover God in a healthy, refreshing new way, and fall in love with Him all over again.

Begin by reading through Psalm 119. Underline or highlight all the verses containing the words steadfast love.

Next, soak up, drink in, the definition of the word steadfast and it’s synonyms. Steadfast: A sureness and continuousness that can be depended upon. Loyal, faithful, determined, committed, relentless, unchanging, unwavering, unfaltering, unflinching, firmly fixed, enduring. Now think about the meaning of the word and its synonyms in terms of God’s love for you. What is this saying? It’s saying that God’s love for you is sure, firmly fixed. It will never change. It doesn’t flinch (recoil, wince, or drawback in fear or distaste) when you mess up. His love for you is relentless (continuous, non-stop, endless, untiring). Wow! God never stops, never tires of loving you! Basically, the Bible is saying that you cannot escape God’s steadfast love!

Not only does God show you steadfast love, He is steadfast love! His love isn’t endowed to you out of some sort of obligation. God can’t help but steadfastly love you because it’s who He is.

How often have you felt alone or unloved by those around you, including those closest to you here on this earth? Have you inadvertently allowed that feeling of being unloved due to broken, flawed relationships to spill over into your relationship with your Heavenly Father, causing you at times to feel unloved by Him? I have. It’s a terrible way to live; not loving yourself because of past failures, mistakes or guilt, assuming that God must feel the same way.

But the reality is much different than our feelings. God described Himself this way in Exodus 34:6 “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Don’t you just love that God Himself uses the words, steadfast love, to describe Himself? He says He is abounding (profuse, generous, boundless, inexhaustible) in steadfast love. What’s wonderful is that His abounding, profuse, generous, boundless, inexhaustible steadfast love is directed at you and me!

Because of your disappointment in yourself, have you unknowingly carried around the feeling that God must be disappointed in you too? The truth is, the mistakes you’ve made don’t come as a surprise to Him. Think about it. God is omniscient and in His omniscience, He knew long ago about every sin you would commit, every mistake you would make, some of them over and over again. Yet, long ago, before the foundation of the world, He still chose to love you. Even sending His Son to die on a cross in your place for your sins!

Satan, the great deceiver, the father of all lies, the accuser of the brethren, loves to remind us of our past mistakes and our sins, but God has chosen to forget our past sins and mistakes. God sees the person you are yet to become, through the help of the Holy Spirit. “For we are God’s handiwork (His workmanship, His masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10. When God sees you He sees His masterpiece (a work of outstanding artistry, an artist’s greatest work). God sees you as one of His greatest works!

I’m so very grateful that God led me to that verse that day. It’s wonderful yet a lot to wrap one’s brain around. I’m still digesting it all because God’s love is so very different from mine. His is a perfect love, mine is imperfect. I’m learning not to judge God’s love based on mine. My imperfect way of loving here on earth is far from steadfast. Thankfully, though my love isn’t steadfast, His is. Always.

I am learning to settle into God’s steadfast love. To settle into means to get to know, become familiar with a new way of life, to adjust by getting a new way of thinking, to make yourself comfortable. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the definition of the word comfortable and it’s synonyms too. Comfortable: to be free from stress or fear. At ease, restful, relaxed, secure, safe, unworried, contented.

So settle into God’s steadfast love for you. Get to know it. Become familiar with it. Get comfortable with it. You’ll have a new way of thinking and you’ll be free from stress and fear, living a life that’s much more secure, unworried and content, glorifying God in the process.

And if the Liar tries to deceive you once again, which he will because he in no way wants you abiding in God’s steadfast love, go back and ponder it all again, as many times as you have to in order for it to sink down deep into the depths of your heart. Don’t get discouraged. Instead, remember that freedom doesn’t have to be all at once. It can happen in small steps, in stages. Persevere. Don’t give up! God is stronger than any chains Satan can bind you in.

What Does it Mean to Settle Into God?

The past couple of days, I’ve heard it said that we should settle into God. I’d never heard that before. I liked the thought of it, but I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant so I looked up the phrase ‘settle into.’

What I thought would be a quick little glance at the definitions of a couple of words, ended up being an eye-opening, uplifting, morning-long journey for me as I realized how overflowing with meaning and purpose those two simple words were.

Ready for an inspiring word study? As you read the following word definitions and their synonyms, allow them to sink down deeply into your heart.

Definition of ‘settle into’ and it’s synonyms:

Get to know, to become familiar with a new way of life, place or job.

To adjust, get used to a new situation by changing your ideas or the way you do things.

To gradually feel that something is normal or natural

To make yourself comfortable in a place because you are going to be there for a long time.

I then looked up the word comfortable and it’s synonyms. Its described as this:

Comfortable:

To be free from stress or fear, not in pain, physically relaxed and free from constraint. Also; at ease, restful, relaxed, secure, safe, unworried, contented.

A word study wouldn’t be complete without applying what we’ve learned to our lives. Below are some ways in which we can learn to settle into God.

Get to know Him more. How? Through prayer, worship and His word, this will help you to become more familiar with who He is. Ask God for help in changing your thinking patterns. Adjust to His way of thinking. A new way of thinking leads to changes in your ideas and the way you do things. Your new way of thinking will gradually feel normal or natural. You will be settled into a new way of thinking, God’s way of thinking.

Finally, make yourself comfortable in His presence. Know that He is with you wherever you go. You never leave His presence even though you may not feel His presence at times. In His presence you can find freedom from stress or fear. When feelings of stress and fear subside, you’ll begin to feel more at ease, restful, secure, safe, unworried and content. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Matthew 11:25-30

Know that God longs to be with you not just now, but for eternity. So you might as well settle into Him, get comfortable in His presence, because you are going to be there for a long time!

Does Your Heart Need to be Pierced?

Looking and praying for that to change, I have begun to read Ephesians chapter 1 verses 1-14 while asking the Holy Spirit to pierce my heart with the reality of what God has done for me through His son Jesus. I am learning that it greatly helps me as I read the scripture verses where the pronouns “we” or “us” are used, to replace the words with “me” or “I”.

This is how I read the verses: Blessed be the God and Father of my Lord and Jesus Christ, who has blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose me in Him before the foundation of the world, that I would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined me to adoption as a daughter through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on me in the Beloved. In Him I have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of my trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on me. In all wisdom and insight He made known to me the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him………In Him also I have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined accordng to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will. In Him, I also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of my salvation – having also believed, I was sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of my inheritance until I acquire possession of it with to the praise of His glory.

Now, lets really, really mull over the incredible richness of what this is saying. First of all, I love that this starts out by blessing the Lord, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ……..The supreme duty of creation is to give praise and to commend our God. Who has blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ……….I’ve been blessed! I’ve been giving complete and total blessing by the total source of all blessings, God, through the realm of God’s complete heavenly domain thanks to Christ. Just as He chose me in Him before the foundation of the world…….. Wow!! God was thinking about me, making plans for me first, before He created the world! His concern for me was more important than His creation of this magnificent world! I came first! That I would be holy and blameless before Him; God chose me, an unrighteous and unworthy sinner to stand before Him and be declared holy, righteous, and worthy of His salvation! In love He predestined me to adoption as a daughter through Christ Jesus to Himself……….. God’s reason for choosing me? Love. There was nothing in me to make Him want to choose me, nothing but sin. My salvation, my being made God’s daughter, is all about His love and grace, nothing else. What a humbling, wonderful feeling it is to be loved that much! No one here on this earth could ever begin to love me that much! Again, all of this is through Jesus Christ. It is He, who through His atoning death made this possible. Thank you Jesus! According to the kind intention of His will, to the praise and glory of His grace………Again, it was God’s kindness, it was His will for me to be saved. I had nothing to do with it. That is why it’s to the praise and glory of His grace. If I at all had a part in it, if my salvation in any way shape or form was dependent upon me, then I guess I could receive some of the credit, right? But no! That’s why it’s to the praise and glory of His grace. God gets all the praise and glory! It was His grace, His umerited favor, a complete and total gift!

Is your heart being pierced yet? Is the enormity of God’s love and amazing grace leaving you awestruck? Let’s dissect some more of these amazing verses. Which He freely bestowed on me in the Beloved. In Him I have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of my trespasses……Again, I am reminded of Jesus tremendous sacrifice, the total emptying of Himself through the shedding of His precious blood in order to cover for my sins. Jesus paid the price that I was supposed to pay for my sins so that I would be forgiven! Forgiveness was freely bestowed on me in the beloved Jesus Christ! According to the riches of His grace which He lavished on me……These are the only kind of riches we should want or need, the riches of God’s grace, His unmerited favor. There is absolutely nothing I could ever do to earn even a tiny fragment of God’s grace. Not only has God lovingly and mercifully shown me grace, but His word says that He lavished it on me!! Wow!! To lavish means to bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities upon. God has been extravagant in the grace that He has chosen to bestow upon me! In all wisdom and insight He made known to me the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him……God has also freely bestowed upon me in Christ Jesus, wisdom and insight as to His will for my salvation and for the church. How? Through the illumination of His Word with the help of the Holy spirit who now dwells within me, another free gift of God through Christ Jesus. God shares with believers His purpose for our salvation and His purpose for His church. In Him also I have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will……Through Jesus I have obtained a divine inheritance that is so much more than any earthly inheritance I could ever want or hope for. This inheritance is eternal and filled with an abundance of God’s riches. This divine inheritance is so certain that it is spoken of as if it has already been obtained! God set this in motion before the foundation of the world and in His sovereignty is working all things according to His will, including my salvation, my inheritance! In Him, I also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of my salvation-having also believed , I was sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of my inheritance until I acquire possession of it to the praise of His glory. God’s word says that after I heard the message of salvation and I, in faith, believed in Him (that faith is also a gift from God, lest I should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9), that He sealed me with His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given as a pledge of my inheritance. Not only did God, through His amazing grace save me, but He gave me the Holy Spirit to guide me so that my salvation should never be lost! I am forever sealed as God’s own! I know that if left up to me, I would lose my salvation. In my sinfulness I would surely mess it up! But God in His infinite love and wisdom has taken care to make sure that I will always be His! All this is to the praise of His glory!

God is good. He’s good when I don’t deserve it. I will never be able to fully grasp the measure of His love, mercy and grace. How deep, how wide, how infinite. There is nothing more humbling than God’s umerited favor upon my eternal soul. Oh how I long for the realization of what He has done to sink in more!

My friend, if you are a true believer, these verses apply to you just as much as they do to me! Does your heart need to be pierced? If so, perhaps you’ll consider joining me in the practice of daily reading and inserting yourself in these rich and powerful verses. I’d love to hear from you whether or not it begins to make a differnce in your heart and in your thinking.

Nothing more to be said here except, “Praise God!”

When Life Gives You More Than You Can Bear

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I had been struggling to cope with our then, barely 17-year-old daughters pregnancy and her having left home against our will to live with the baby’s father. I was devastated! Sometimes love hurts. On top of that, I had received a phone call from my father in law’s wife, distraught over the painful news of her daughter’s untimely death in a car accident. Sometimes love hurts.

I couldn’t begin to imagine the immense pain she must have felt and as I lifted her in prayer to my heavenly Father, I thought about how He was there as that awful fatal car accident happened. He was there when my father in law’s wife received the horrifying news of the loss of her daughter and He was there as I laid on my bedroom floor trying to catch my breath, sobbing uncontrollably after my precious daughter, with child, left home.

“Father”, I whispered. “I know You are a God of love and compassion. You see and feel my pain and anguish. You are witness to people suffering and in pain every day; people hurting one another, people hurting themselves. You are there to see the pain of marriages and relationships crumbling, of families being torn apart, people sick, starving, lonely and in despair. You see and hear the grief-stricken cries of overwhelming pain when people receive the news about the death of their loved ones. You see it all, Lord!”

Our God, in His never-ending love, indeed bears the pain and anguish of not just me and my father in law’s wife, but He bears the pain and anguish of the entire broken world! From my own weak and limited human perspective I find myself asking God how He copes, how He endures the pain.

As I ponder it all in my heart, I’m reminded that my Heavenly Father sees the big picture, the final outcome of His perfect plan; the plan that I, cannot yet see.

If we could see the outcome of His perfect plan, one for our own good right up front, how different things might be for us. But the reality is that some of our time here in a broken world will be spent in pain not finding the answers that we so desperately hoped for this side of heaven. The purpose may not be clear until we stand face to face with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I feel led to turn to 1 Corinthians 13 and as I do I can hear His still, small voice. “Yes, Rebecca, love can cause us pain, but it’s my perfect love that gets us through that pain.”

And as I read 1 Corinthians 13, these words leapt off the page: Love is patient, love bears up under anything and everything that comes, it’s hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, it endures everything without weakening and never fails.

Yes, that’s how our loving God endures the pain of love. We can too, through His perfect love for us!

If you are experiencing pain and heartbreak in your own life as you read this, take heart. You are not alone. God does in fact, feel your pain and anguish.

Look to Him and His never-ending, perfect love. Let Him love you through it with His perfect love for you.

Assuming the Worst When God Seems Silent

My husband is a hard working carpenter. He is in the business of making people’s homes beautiful. So one can imagine my zeal when the occasion comes my way in which I’m able to be a recipient of his gifts and talents for our own home.

Our latest project has been remodeling our old worn out kitchen. Long overdue and years in the coming, needless to say, I was more than anxious and excited for the job to be completed.

Lying in bed every  night, my eyelids heavy as my consciousness begins to ebb away ,  I can envision in my sleepy mind, walking into my new kitchen with the freshly painted walls, tin backsplash that’s reminiscent of an old farmhouse kitchen back in the day, new bright white cupboards and drawers neatly organized with the pots, pans, plates, bowls and utensils and such, comfy in their new home.

But for the time being, I’ve had to settle for cupboards with no doors, displaced pots and pans sitting on the table, taking the silverware from the old drawer sitting on the floor in the corner by the stove and bowls and plates sitting out on the counter.

Maybe when I get home from my shift at the hospital tonight some more of the cupboards will have been installed. That night, as I wearily trudge down the stone path toward the house after a long, frustrating evening at work,  as tired as I am though,  I’m excited about what I will see when I walk through the door and into the kitchen.

What?  Seriously?!  What had he been doing all night while I was at work?   I tried not to let my disappointment, and yes, my anger at not seeing any visible progress show as I inquired as to how my husbands evening was.

“Fine,” he answered. “How was yours?”  I ignored his question and instead sent a rapid-fire succession of questions mingled with complaints in my poor husband’s direction. “Is there any reason the cupboards still aren’t up on the walls?  What could possibly be taking you so long to finish this?  What are you doing the whole time while I’m at work every evening?  Why can’t we just get this kitchen finished already?”

After I finished my tirade, I glanced over at my husband. He didn’t utter a word. He didn’t have to. The look on his face said it all.  I knew he was irritated, to say the least, at my childish outburst.

After a few moments of awkward silence, my husband stood up and graciously explained, “Well, first of all, I’ve been replacing our old worn out plumbing lines as well as updating the electric behind the walls where the cupboards will go so I can install a ceiling fan like you’ve always wanted. Oh yeah, I forgot that I had asked for a ceiling fan.  He continued on, “and I’ve been cleaning, caulking and repainting inside the bottom cabinets to make them look better inside and help to guard against those destructive mice.”

My husband continues to explain,  but I’m not listening.  Not because I’m not interested in what he has to say, but because I’m berating myself for my audacious behavior and assumptions about my husband’s hard work in our kitchen.

I assumed the worst because I saw no outwardly visible progress. I assumed nothing was being done when in truth, my husband,  the carpenter, was busy at work accomplishing so much more than I could have ever imagined, behind the scenes.

As I  reflect upon my chronic short-sightedness, I’m reminded of Jesus, the master carpenter, and how so often it may seem to us as though He’s not working in our lives at all.  It’s as though God isn’t listening,  He’s not answering. It seems as though He’s just not there. It seems as though He just doesn’t care.

Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Even though there are no outward signs of visible progress in our prayers or in our lives, our Lord and Savior is in fact hard at work, taking care of all the details, both little and big,  that we’re not aware need to be taken care of.

Perhaps while you’re waiting,  God is working behind the scenes preparing someone whom He’s going to bring into your life to encourage or bless you.  Maybe He’s working on giving you more than you’ve requested, or perhaps, like my ceiling fan, blessing you with something you’d forgotten that you’d asked for.  Could it be that you’ve got some cracks that need filling in so as to keep out destructive things in your life?

Whatever you are waiting on, know and believe that God is diligently and faithfully working behind the scenes, building and repairing.   And don’t forget, God works based on our believing, not our seeing.

In his defense, Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at work to this very day and I too am working.  John 5:17