Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Posts tagged ‘grief’

When Life Gives You Pickled Lemons…

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Photo by smoorenburg on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Remember that old adage that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? There are some things that happen in our lives which cannot be sweetened up, no matter how much sugar is dumped over them. At times, the events of life cause deep grief and recovering from them takes time and patience. In the meantime, things can look pretty sour. And salty, if you were served pickled lemons. What can we do in the meantime to lift our spirits?

Today, I embarked on reading Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible by far with 176 verses. What caught my eye first was verse 11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” When we are down in the dumps, the first thing we need to do is run for our Abba Father God, rather than the refrigerator. He knows our hurts, shares our grief and is always there to comfort us.

As I continued reading, I noticed a pattern of phrases that dealt directly with depression and grief. “My soul clings to the dust; Revive me with Your word.” (Psalm 119:25) Ever feel like that? How about this one in verse 28: “My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word.”

Read on to verse 50: “This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.” No matter what the circumstances, the Bible is here to bring us up out of the dumps and to encourage, strengthen and bring much needed comfort into our lives. The key is back in verse 11, to have God’s word in our heart. Nobody can take that away and God’s comfort is always there to shine in the darkest of times.

Are you still wondering what to do with the pickled lemons? They won’t make lemonade, but they do add zing to many Mediterranean recipes, so get cooking!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

Call Me “Mara”

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By Lisa Nordell-Detres

The Biblical book of Ruth is just four chapters long, but is rich in lessons of faithfulness and redemption. As the story goes, Naomi was a Jewish woman who moved with her husband and their two sons to the neighboring country of Moab because of a famine in Israel. During their stay in Moab, Naomi’s husband and both of her married sons died. If the story ended right there, it would indeed be a heartbreaking story. I have never experienced the death of a spouse or children, but I know those who have and the feelings of loss and sorrow never leave. To experience the death of one’s entire family can only be summed up with Naomi’s words when she returned to Israel, “Call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” (Ruth 1:20)

Despite Naomi’s extreme anguish, she did not lose her faith in God, nor did she deny her feelings throughout the ordeal. She did not understand the reason why God had taken her family and never knew the whole story until she was in God’s presence. One of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, refused to leave Naomi’s side and vowed to stay with her for the rest of her life. Ruth’s faithfulness was noticed by Boaz, a wealthy and single farmer from whose barley fields Ruth gathered leftover grain to feed Naomi and herself. The story has a happy ending, in that Boaz married Ruth and Naomi was able to cuddle her grandson, Obed. What Naomi did not know was that Obed would grow up to be King David’s grandfather, in the direct family line of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Since we all live in a fallen, corrupt world, we need to know that bad things happen and may very well happen to us. How we deal with disaster is of greatest importance. Losing our faith in God, who loves us and has promised never to leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) is the greatest tragedy of all. If we trust that God knows what He is doing and that He is carrying us through our times of calamity and grief, we will come out on the other side with a stronger faith and broader perspective than we ever thought possible. We may never know why the bad things happened, but even that can be used for good if we cling to our faith in God.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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