July 16, 2021
If you peek through my window, you’ll find me dancing. I’m celebrating because a few weeks ago, after a year of Zoom presentations, I delivered my first in-person message.
After I finished, I put the mic down on the podium and stepped off. As I made my way to the book table, a sweet woman hugged me tight. “Thirty years,” she whispered in my ear “it’s been that long that I drew away from God. After my son was killed, I wanted nothing to do with God or the Bible. I was away for 30 years. I decided to come back.”
For most, 30 years seems way too long to carry sorrow. But heartache has no expiration date. Sometimes, it weighs heavy for a lifetime. Unless we take a bold step and do what this champion in discus throwing did.
An excerpt from The Sacred Romance.
…I read the story of a Scottish discus thrower from the nineteenth century. He lived in the days before professional trainers and developed his skills alone, in the highlands of his native village. He even made his own iron discus from the description he read in a book. What he did not know was that the discus used in competition was made of wood with an outer rim of iron. His was solid metal and weighed three or four times as much as those being used by his would-be challengers. This committed Scotsman marked out in his field the distance of the current record throw and trained day and night to be able to match it. For nearly a year, he labored under the self-imposed burden of the extra weight. But he became very, very good. He reached the point at which he could throw his iron discus the record distance, maybe farther. He was ready.
My Scotsman (I had begun to closely identify with him) traveled south to England for his first competition. When he arrived at the games, he was handed the official wooden discus—which he promptly threw like a tea saucer. He set a new record, a distance so far beyond those of his competitors that no one could touch him. He thus remained the uncontested champion for many years.
Hanging onto heartache and wondering if joy will ever come back.
As you read this, someone also has in their life’s a discus called heartache. And what do they do? Goodness gracious, they hold on to it. Days are dark and hard as their feet drag. Exhaustion tells them the weight is too heavy. Perhaps it’s because deep, really deep inside, like me, they doubt God could ease such intense pain. We wonder if He will indeed lift our sorrow. And in our limited, human mind we can’t imagine how, in the gloom of pain, could joy ever come back.
And to make it more complicated, some folks grip their heartache tight because they find a strange sense of comfort by re-living the details of the loss.
Good news, the reason doesn’t matter. Instead, what makes the difference and brings one to the champion stage is obedience. Obedience to God’s instruction: “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22).
He will never, never let us fall.
That promise is fulfilled when we let it go. And when we do, God will strengthen us. He will hold us up through the journey. And He will equip us enough for us to make it to the finish line of victory.
That triumphant moment arrives when we transform our thinking, our words and prayers. We replace, “Lord, the pain is too much. I don’t know how long I can endure it” with something like “I trust You, Lord, when I release this deep pain, you will give me the freedom I need.”
The next step is to wait. Wait to see how He begins the mending. Wait to see how He comforts. Wait and see how He opens the door to a new chapter and a new heartache-free future.
He did that very thing for me. When my youngest son was murdered, doubt had to end, faith had to increase, and trust take over.
That’s the reason, with thankfulness overflowing in me, I can write this from my chair of victory, typing on the keyboard of faith and gratitude.
Thank you, Lord! Thank you for receiving our cares. For turning that pain to a divine purpose. For transforming each burden to a blessing and grief to peace.
Father, I’ve had this burden for way too long. I vow to let it go, and in faith, I step into the freedom that comes through the reassurance of your promise to sustain me. In Jesus’ name.
What is the burden you need to let go today?
Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.
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