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dog days of summer

Hello there! Good morning friends!

It is sweltering outside, so we can just sit in the kitchen and drink some sweet tea under the fan! I would love to sit on a front porch swing if I had one! We have reached the dog days of summer for sure at this point. We are glad for the covering over our back patio. You will probably find a car or two under the kitchen table escaping the heat and napping too.

How are you doing? How are you really doing? Although it may not be portrayed in social media or in talks with neighbors, many people at this moment are experiencing some uncertainty and difficulty. Right now, there are not many outlets in which to share personal with others either, to lighten the load and to understand others are going through similar experiences. This is tough! There are only so many times I can rearrange furniture or clean out a closet to stay busy, right? Those projects are great and productive, but they fail to remove stress or loneliness. In a message of hope, it is a strange concept, but suffering is not the worst thing in the world or even something to avoid at all costs. Suffering is actually a great unifier, since every single human suffers by something at some point. No one is immune. Of course, it would be silly to assume, someone wants to suffer, because, really, nobody wants that! Since we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people, we will see sickness, pain, financial difficulty, strained relationships, loss, and failure. The HOPE is that we were created by the Perfect God! It is during these times that we, should we choose to allow it, experience God’s love and goodness in an indescribable way!

Difficult circumstances do not mean that God has left us, He is no longer in control, or does not love us. It certainly feels that way at times. Where is God when I feel like this? Does He care that I am devastated? Does He know that I think these thoughts? People have lost jobs, are sick, are scared, are abused, are lonely, or just trying to make it through. Of course He does, and He is right with us. We tend to base much of our view of God on feelings, but feelings are fleeting. Sometimes we have to be reminded of the Truth we know.

I keep the Lord in mind always.

Because He is at my right hand,

I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad

and my spirit rejoices;

my body also rests securely.

Psalm 16:8-9

If we never suffered we would totally miss the opportunity to see the goodness and faithfulness of our heavenly Father. We might miss the view from the other side when we see the good that comes from allowing God to work and the miracles only He can arrange. Some challenges throw off the closeness we feel with Jesus Christ, but nothing can actually come between God’s love and a Christian’s soul. How we feel does not equal reality. We might be discouraged and feel like God is far away but He is always right with us.

Even when we have no words to pray or have no idea what to pray for, the Holy Spirit intercedes FOR us (Romans 8:26). How amazing that when I feel weak and disheartened, He prays for me and with me! That is super comforting for me. The great God takes the time to hear me, stay with me, and pray for me. Even though there are all kinds of natural disasters, political unrest, and millions of people all over the world, He takes time to love me and you.

It might be a but silly, but no matter how old you are, there is always Truth to gain from children’s songs. I love children’s books but the preschool songs in the car get to be a little…much. There are only so many times I can play “The Night Night Song” and hear about Mama Bear nuzzling her cubs, as sweet as it is. In the spring at preschool choir this year, my two preschool choir girls learned a song from the Growing in Grace Preschool Music Curriculum with the best words, so I must include them! You can also listen to the sweet song here.

There are so many stars in the sky, just too many to see

Hundreds and thousands and millions of stars

But God has time to love me, God loves me.

There are so many birds in the sky, just too many to see

Hundreds and thousands and millions of birds

But God has time to love me, God loves me.

There are so many children out there, just too many to see

Hundreds and thousands and millions like me

But God has time to love me, God loves me.

We are all facing difficult circumstances, even at this moment. There is probably some sort of problem that we are currently struggling with. The amazing part is that we get a chance to know God better through it and see how He works through it. Everyone knows great days do not happen every day, but we do serve a great God.

How do we connect with God through difficult times? Sometimes it feels God is so far away or He would never understand, but Romans 8 is a great chapter for us. The following two ways help us through whatever we might be experiencing right now:

Prayer. When we take the time to talk to God, it allows us to stay connected to Him, share our feelings, and let Him show us what to do.

Praise. When we take the time to praise Him for all He is, it changes our perspective on life and prevents the Enemy from using difficulties to discourage us.

Under this peaceful fan, cooling off in the scorching July sun, remember that God cares and He loves you! Talk to you soon!



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