While I’m in the third year of my extended visit to California, I have the opportunity to watch a few worship services on the East Coast and South each week. (Shout out to Riverside Chapel in Nashville, Takoma Park Church in Maryland.). Too often however, the cameras turn their attention to the congregation and I tell you it ain’t pretty. I see so many unhappy faces while listening to the “good news” that it’s concerning. It’s concerning because other people are wondering if this church stuff is for real. Does this God we talk about and worship actually do what you say He does? It doesn’t seem to show. Find a way to smile, to laugh, to trust God as if He’s real and is gonna fix the mess! Smile! In other words, live like you have hope.
If you had to do a study on the causes of many diseases, most often you’d find stress, anger, and anxiety as the root causes. It’s crazy really, that just your attitude or approach to life can make all the difference in the state of your health. ( talking to me here). We are most certainly going to cry and have reasons to do so. We are most certain to get depressed, and have reasons to do so. But work to find a way to not stay there. Ask God to send someone to talk you through the mess, the sorrow, someone who will check on you, someone to whom you matter. Because if we stay in the demonic spirit of broken, it’s over! We’re done. Make sure you have someone, (ask God), something in place to assure your laughter; a movie to watch, a comic to enjoy, a friend to call, and yes a book of bible promises to study and embrace. I say that because sometimes we need instant help for real. God is so good, He usually sends that person or thing right away, or when he knows you need it most. Life brings with it, tears, and sorrow. It’s real, it’s prophetic, it’s promised.
Yesterday, we celebrated my birthday, it’s not my birthday but we decided to celebrate two weeks early because, well because we can! I tell you, we laughed and laughed and just had a good time. Thank you my sistahs!
Just in case you’re wondering, because fb only shares a moment, our lives are so far from perfect it’s not funny and actually, as often as you see us celebrating, we’re praying together, for each other more, in fact, daily. There are about nine of us that have consistently met for the past three years. One is being challenged with stage four cancer. One has finished up with a series of unbelievable back surgeries from a horrific car accident. One has suffered multiple family deaths, two of us lost siblings unexpectedly, a couple have lost our homes, one of us still hasn’t got one. We are recovering from divorce, there’s lack of consistency in finances, ( that’s a nice way of saying, we’re broke!). Some of our children cause us deep concern, and the list goes on. It ain’t pretty! Sickness, loss, loneliness, are what you don’t see. Yep! And I don’t have to guess, many of you are going through some serious stuff too. Things that would cause you to turn to a number of ways to help you cope, to help you survive, while causing more problems in the end; and I don’t blame you. I used to blame and too often criticize, but I sure don’t now.
Here’s what I’ve come to know, however. Laughter is most important, the Bible even says so, in Proverbs 17:22. A merry heart, does good like medicine. It’s real. Cancer, stroke, mental illness, and so many diseases have been directly linked to harbored anger, anxiety, fear, loneliness. Ask God to send something, someone, to make you laugh. Reach out for, ask Him to send someone to talk you through, pray you through, and make you laugh. And yes if you must, find a good therapist and comedian. I’m not even kidding. LAUGH!
Here’s the other thing; God says in Psalm 50:15. “Pray to me when you are in trouble, I will deliver you, and you will honor me”. Wow! I was actually preparing something totally different today, but read this and it touched my soul.
God says, “listen, call me when life happens; divorce, lack of income, accidents, friends turn their backs, loneliness, sickness; call me”. No one can do anything for you, unless I send them to you, or you to them! Call me! I’ll do what you need when you need it most. I’ll get the glory cause I’m God.
And why do you think God wants the glory? So those you tell will know who to go to, instead of alcohol, suicide, drugs, and everything in between that will destroy them! You could not only be saving you life but someone else’s! He’s not an answer, He’s THE ANSWER, and this has nothing to do with church affiliation. This is about God affiliation!
Find a way to laugh, smile, focus on Him. Call on Him. PRAY, LAUGH, REPEAT. This will pass, you’ll get through! Happy almost birthday to me! And happy Monday to you!