There will be others!

It has taken me awhile to figure out what I wanted to post this week. I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t have the desire to sit down and write. Many thoughts and topics crossed my mind but for different reasons, I ruled them out. It finally dawned on me a couple days ago that I was having a hard time being thankful. How can one post on a blog about being thankful in all things when you don’t feel thankful?
Gratefully, I came across this devotional thought from my friend Tom. “One of my “Thanks” this year is finding my Joy in God. ” The joy of the Lord is my strength,”  Neh 8:10. This crisis makes me go deeper into my relationship with the Lord, and the deeper I go the more thankful I am for him.  This  trial has me seeking him constantly, where he becomes, “my joy and my delight.” Ps 43:4.
My friend’s words stopped me from focusing on the sadness of knowing there would not be 35 family and friends (pictured below) packed around tables for Thanksgiving. It provided another lesson learned that adversity makes me lean in and go deeper in the trust I have for the One who created and wants only the best for me. Proverbs 23:18 reinforces this affirmation by saying, “Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”


If that wasn’t enough, Facebook reminded me of a prayer I wrote last Thanksgiving.
My Thanksgiving poem-

Gratitude for which I strive

Instead of stress eating me alive 

The world wants us to never be content 

Achieving much, asking what’s next. 

So on this another Thanksgiving Day

Lord I ask that my heart does stay 

Focused on you and all that You give

Abundance abounds and in that thought I’ll live

So my encouragement to you is this simple exercise. Stop focusing on what you don’t have, where you can’t go, or who you can’t visit. Instead, take the time to look around you and take in all the abundance you have in your life. Once you have gotten yourself refocused with an attitude of gratitude, find some ways to bring thankfulness into others’ lives knowing this season will indeed pass and another Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. I can’t wait to celebrate it with the folks pictured below 😀


missing Maggie and Caroline

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How are you dealing with tension and stress?

There is so much tension in the world these days. It comes from so many directions. Stop for a moment and think. Maybe even find a piece of paper. Write down from where the tension in your life is originating. I think you will be surprised by how many things come to mind. It may explain why you are feeling tired and discouraged. Think about your computer or smart phone. Throughout the day, you are opening different apps and websites. With each one that is opened, the battery starts to run down and the system starts to get sluggish. We need to regularly go in and clear the cache, close the apps and websites. We also need to plug it in so it can recharge. So it goes with our brain and nervous system. Look back at your list. So many things are flying through your brain that you forget or aren’t able to shut down. They unconsciously weigh you down and tire you out. The question is how do we acknowledge and deal with the tensions so that our mind can find time to relax? We also need to figure out the best ways to allow ourselves to recharge so that we can venture out with a mindset of wanting to make a positive difference in the world. It reminds me of an earlier blog post linked here. http://thankfulinallthings.com/to-what-are-you-tethered/ It is so important to venture out knowing we have a way to get back.

Why is acknowledging tension, fatigue, and discouragement important? There are many reasons but the one I want to focus on is how it impacts how we love our neighbor. I am generally a pretty even keeled, slow to anger person. When I look back at why I lash out or find myself being short with someone, I realize it is because I am tired or some other stress triggers it. Therefore, I have found setting reminders so I stop throughout the day to defrag and clear out the stress that has come my way, helps me in dealing with others. It also makes sure I get a good night sleep so I can be recharged for tomorrow. How do I know this will work?

I trust in the Lord and obey Him even if friends choose a different path or when suffering or discomfort is guaranteed. Seeing His will done is more important than my own comfort or personal ambition. I commit the consequences to God and cling to His promises: He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5), and He makes good out of every situation (Rom. 8:28). I can cling to these promises because I can look back and see where God was present in my adversity and His good was evident even when I didn’t see it at the time.

I read a book years ago called Travelling Light. With the Twenty-third Psalm as his guide, the author writes about burdens we were never intended to bear. Using these verses as a guide, Max Lucado walks us through a helpful inventory of our burdens. May God use this Psalm to remind you to release the burdens you were never meant to bear. Yes, fellow Weary travelers, we are called to rest and lay our burdens down. As Matthew 11:28-30 instructs, “ “Come to Jesus, all you who are weary and burdened, and He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you and learn from Him. You will find Him gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”

Take the time to Be still friends and know that God is with you and wants to replace all of your anxiety, fears, and stress with His peace that “surpasses all human understanding.” If you find these posts helpful, please subscribe to the blog so you can be notified when new content is posted. You can contact me by email at michael@mrg7175.com

Isn’t it great when someone says you made a difference no matter how small or large?

Affordable housing was the topic on my radio show a couple weeks ago. I had the opportunity to speak with two Realtors whose initiatives resulted in four families buying homes when they never thought it possible. I congratulated them saying, “you all can always look back and be thankful knowing your efforts has and will In the future, help others experience homeownership.” It reminded me that our individual decisions to go out and serve can and will make the world a better place. I saw a powerful video about Rick Rescorla that illustrated this very point. Very few know his name but his one act cost him his life but saved the lives of 2700 fellow employees. https://youtu.be/J8XfwZAKPMk As I wrote last week, he exemplifies choosing not to retreat but to strive forward on behalf of others.

Two scripture passages jump out at me when thinking about how knowing we have made a difference in the world allows us to be thankful. Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” 2 Corinthians 9:11,12 “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

The ultimate verse though is Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” The greatest motivation to do good works is not so that we can be applauded or told how much someone appreciates you. It is that God exhibited the greatest act of love by allowing His son to die for us and therefore when we got out to serve others, It is like we are serving Jesus himself.

I read a book years ago with the title, The Five People You Meet In Heaven  by Mitch Albom. It follows the life and death of a man named Eddie who is killed and sent to heaven, where he encounters five people who had a significant impact upon him while he was alive. Thinking about it reminds me of the opportunity each of us has to create positive or negative ripples out into the world. I think we would all agree, like Eddie in the book, we would rather have people smiling when they say to you “I remember when you…….” I bet the almost 2700 people who survived the tower collapse on 9/11 remember what Rick Rescorla did for them.

“Ever present Father, You are active in everything and everyone and every moment, moving the world toward the full manifestation of your loving reign. Help us to love ourselves wholly up to you; to be instruments of your will in this and every moment” Gregory Boyd

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Will you choose to retreat or strive forward with a desire to impact others?

Last week I wrote about how we can live with Hope knowing from our past that God will be with us. Habakkuk tells us that, “ The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.” – HABAKKUK 3: 17-19. Notice the tense here is in the future. “He will make” not “He might” or “He probably” or even “He did” meaning it is only in the past. The picture above is not only beautiful but denotes a quandary. When I come into the presence of God, Will I choose to turn left or right, or will I continue to move forward even if I don’t know what the new day will bring? My friend Pamela Bunn gave me permission to repost her blog From this AM because she makes the point In such an eloquent manner.

Never the Same

“When the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed feasts, he who enters by the north gate to worship shall go out by the south gate, and he who enters by the south gate shall go out by the north gate: no one shall return by way of the gate by which he entered, but each shall go out straight ahead.When they enter, the prince shall enter with them, and when they go out, he shall go out.” Ezekiel 46:9-10

Moses’ face altered in appearance with its heavenly glow. David was renewed with strength for battle with sin and soldier. Nehemiah gained clear direction for what to do next. Daniel and John had visions of their majestic God and His kingdom plans. Once before their Lord, these men of God never returned or saw the same way, but went ahead with Him in new understanding, passion, and power. (Exodus 34:29,34-35Nehemiah 1:4-11Psalm 32:3-5Daniel 2:19-23Revelation 1:10-114:1-11)

Every time we come before the Lord, we have opportunity to retreat unaltered the same way we entered, or to go out different. Spending meaningful time with the Prince of Peace, the King of kings, the Ruler of the universe, changes us, and this is our holy God’s intention. 

When we go before our Lord in devotion, what is our desire and expectation? If our hearts are not malleable, and our ears deaf to all but our own voice, we will miss the opportunity for God to have His way. Are we checking the “Quiet Time” box off our list, or are we seeking genuine worship and communion? Do we bring a list of requests we’ve tallied, or ask Him to search our hearts and speak to us with conviction and instruction? Do we allot a hurried amount of time, or converse, and wait, until He is finished with us? (Genesis 17:2218:33)

Do we approach the feast He has prepared and sup in such a way that when we enter weary, we leave refreshed? When we enter bitter and angry, do we leave cleansed and emboldened to forgive? If we enter confused over relationships, decisions, finances, future plans, do we leave trusting the Spirit to guide one step at a time?

What has God revealed about Himself and His manner of work in individuals, the church, and the world, in recent time together? How has He reshaped our thinking, or assuaged our fears? What niggling sins has He removed, what new resolve has He prodded, what changed attitudes and transformed affections has He created?

When we want much from Him, He will never disappoint. Our prayers may not be answered how and when we desire, but Almighty God will not fail to bring about His intentions for us and for His kingdom. (Isaiah 46:9-10)

Isn’t this so good? I can promise you God through adversity has revealed a great deal to me. 1st through my health challenges due to Guillain Barre Syndrome and 2nd with having to deal with staying healthy and away from any chance of coming down with Covid19. The closer you become to God the better person you will become, your life will have more purpose and and have a positive impact on those around you. I use the future tense “will have” because as Much Afraid learned in the book Hinds Feet, when you step out in faith, God promises an abundant life (John 10:10) and desires that it be full of Joy. (John 15:11)

I encourage you to subscribe to https://astherainandsnow.com/author/astherainandsnow/ as well as this blog www.thankfulinallthings.com if you haven’t already. You can contact me via email at michael@mrg7175.com

Looking back, allows you to look forward

Last week I played my annual 100 holes of golf to raise money for FCA and AIA. When the person I played with found out about my recovery from Guillain Barre, his 1st response was “that had to be really scary.” My answer, in all honesty, is nothing scared me once it was determined I would not need to go on a ventilator. That in itself was a blessing as the doctor gave me a 78% chance of that happening within 24 hours of being admitted to UVA. It was the only time I cried. I have thought a lot about not being scared and it boils down to one thing. My faith allowed me to trust God in as Paul writes in Hebrews 11, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” I also trusted a good friend who is a doctor when he said, “this is going to get worse but you will get better” But why did I have such a trust?

The trust came from being able to look back over my life to the significant moments where God met me in that place and showed me the way forward. As I shared my GBS story with my golf marathon partner, the book “Hinds feet in high places” by Hannah Humard came to mind. The author titled it based on Habakkuk 3:19, “The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds‘ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” and also from Psalm 18:33 “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.” I was not scared because I believed my strength would return, I would walk again and yes, even be able to play golf all day long for FCA/AIA. “Much Afraid” in Hinds feet “had the feeling that somehow, in the very far-off places, perhaps even in far-off ages, there would be a meaning found to all sorrow and an answer too fair and wonderful to be as yet understood.” I have experienced that same wonderful meaning in my life.

Elizabeth Elliott expressed where rest is found in marathons or any challenge we face: ”God is God. If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in His will. and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.” Pamela Bunn writes in her blog https://astherainandsnow.com/author/astherainandsnow/, “Though Elijah had his weak moments of discouragement and fear, Elijah would learn by experience that the Lord would never ask him to do anything for which He was not enough. Repeatedly, His adequacy came forth out of lack and impossibility, and that is where it best shines. (1 Kings 17:11-1618:32-39)

Prior to GBS there have been many times in my life that like Much Afraid in Hinds Feet, God met me which gave me the strength and courage to persevere in the midst of the adversity. Each time it made me stronger having gone through it. Little did I know I would need those times to not be afraid when lying in a hospital bed with GBS unable to move. Here are some things I learned from a sermon by Chip Ingram at https://livingontheedge.org that I hope will help you the next time you come up against a challenge.

  1. God uses adversity to make us more mature because we are forced to depend on God rather than on our own power
  2. We are weaned from the worldly and temporal things and made to realize what is really important In our lives
  3. We get to witness the reality and Power Of God. 
  4. God gives us the privilege of showing others what it looks like to trust in God.
  5. Finally, going through a struggle gives you the ability to help others who are experiencing some kind of trial in their life.

Paul sums it up well in 2 Corinthians 9:8. “It is in these very hard circumstances that His enough is the most welcome, satisfying, and glorious, showing forth the bounty of His nature toward us.” I pray you will find joy in knowing God is indeed enough. Be blessed!

To learn more about my GBS story visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie If you want to support my FCA/AIA golf fundraiser, click on this link. https://my.fca.org/donation?name=fcauvagolfmarathon I can be reached at michael@mrg7175.com

Thoughts on how to remain thankful

Bruce Pulver shared how he thinks of the word Hope. That led me to respond this way.

Bruce Pulver
“HOPE.
Have
Overwhelmingly
Positive
Expectations”
My response/add on
Having Hope allows us to remain
FOCUSED
Focused
On
Creating
Unbelievable
Success
Every
Day

Having this kind of mindset allows me to make the most of each day so I, by God’s grace, can be a better person tomorrow. Another way I look at it is with the two words RISE UP which comes from the verse Isaiah 60:1-3

60 “Rise up and shine, for your light has come. The shining-greatness of the Lord has risen upon you. For see, darkness will cover the earth. Much darkness will cover the people. But the Lord will rise upon you, and His shining-greatness will be seen upon you. Nations will come to your light. And kings will see the shining-greatness of the Lord on you.

God calls us Each and every day to RISE UP/P
Resolved Intentional Striving for Eternal things. W Unbelievable Purpose/Passion. Over this past month or so, I have been trying to live out Gregory Boyd’s Exhortation to live out my life knowing “God is in the Now” and when I do it makes the [Present Perfect] (the name of his book)
When I can stay in the moment it pushes away all the distractions, discouragement, and challenges so that I can live a life of gratitude. It is not that the adversity disappears. The story of Peter walking on the water In Matthew 14:22-33 illustrates this very point. The storm was raging while he was out there. It wasn’t until he took his eyes off of Jesus that he realized the wind and the waves. When he did, he immediately sank. Isn’t that just like us. When we start trying to do things on our own power the stuff comes flooding back in leaving us discouraged and defeated. We just need to choose to remember that God loves us and that is all that matters. When We go out into the world virtually or in person with that thought process it is much easier to be thankful and as Miles McPherson encourages, strive to honor those who cross our paths.
How do we stay in the Now? Here are a couple things I have done.
1) I have set a reminder on my phone at 6am, 9am,noon, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm. It comes up at BSKIG. Be still and know that I am God. When I see the notice, I stop and recite The Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23. I try to add things into both that bring up things that are going on in my life at that point in the day. An example is below.
2) I try to commit to honoring every person I encounter whether on the phone, via zoom, or in person. A quick prayer, “Lord, let me honor this person in this interaction so that they might see You in my conversation with them”

These simple things have helped me greatly in remaining thankful during these mind boggling times. I hope they will in some way help you as well. If it has, please forward it to others and ask them to subscribe so they can receive an email when Impost new content. You can reach me via email at michael@mrg7175.com.

My Quarantine version of Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

As I navigate the lonely paths of Covid19, The Lord will be my guide and His presence is all I need 

Whether I think it is needed or not, I will use this time for rest and quiet reflection. 

So that my soul can be refreshed 

As He guides me where He wants me to be used bring Glory and honor to His name. 

Even though I walk

 through the valley of people wearing masks

I will fear no evil,

He gives my faith confidence so that I can go or do wherever He feels the need to send me. 

 Knowing even in self-isolation you are with me and won’t forsake me. 

Like the shepherds’ rod and staff, your Word and the Holy Spirit will teach and comfort me. 

Even in the midst of my adversity, You will abundantly provide all that I need so that I will it be afraid. 

Like an anointing, You will bless and protect me from whatever evil that wants to prey on me. 

You will fill me with your spirit so that cup of love you want me to share overflows. 

I count and trust on the contentment of your love for as long as I am to live.

This assurance brings joy knowing that I will be welcomed and will forever dwell in the house that you went and prepared for me. 


Acknowledging the tension between Sadness and Gratitude

How could this picture bring about sadness? Doesn’t everyone look like they are having a good time? I mean you are on a dock looking at boats on a beautiful day with family. What could be better? The gratitude part for Dottie and me says, “we are blessed to get away to a beautiful place with those we love. Nothing brings us more joy. So where is the sadness? The sadness is what isn’t pictured here. It reminds me that my son, his wife, and three kids weren’t with us leaving a huge void. Not being the one to pull the wagon conveys Dottie and me having to stay socially distanced because of Covid19. There is not one picture of us and our grandkids because we couldn’t even be inside, hug them or have them sit in our laps.

Scripture like the one pictured above remind us of this tension. No matter what comes our way, we can remain “Thankful in all Things” because God made tensions like these for our own good. This tension and others like “out of adversity comes strength”, “letting go allows God to do His thing”, and “peace in the midst of turmoil” are used to strengthen our relationship with God. Our creator who is always with us in the good and the bad. Like the footprints in the sand poem, God is always there. We just sometimes forget to look for Him.

Kellie Balarie prays- “God, help us. Where we are weak, make us strong. Where we are wavering, help us lay our anchor down. May we find strength through knowing you hold us. We no longer need to be held down by the world’s claws. May we believe you are so believable we see your hand in our everything.”

May we seek contentment in everything whether it produces Gratitude or heart felt Sadness. Jesus tells us how in John 15:10,11.
“Keep My commandments and no matter what remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” I pray the same for each of you who read this blog.

For the story of how this blog got started, go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie You can reach me by email at michael@mrg7175.com

What can be learned from the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

The country lost an amazing force when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday. How meaningful it was that this, small in stature but mighty in character woman, passed away on one of the holiest days of her religion.

Affectionately known as RBG, Justice Ginsberg, was indeed a person of great righteousness.  I personally admired and respected her even though I sometimes disagreed with her legal opinions. I was not alone in that regard. “What’s not to like?” Scalia said of Ginsburg at that joint appearance six years ago. “Except her views on the law.” Thus did the two ideological opposites attract for what became from that day on a close friendship – one their families, friends and colleagues recalled affectionately after Scalia’s death at a Texas ranch in 2016 and again following Ginsburg’s death Friday on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.” (from USA Today article) https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/20/supreme-friends-ruth-bader-ginsburg-and-antonin-scalia/5844533002/

I don’t know about you but I am tired of the rancor and divisiveness in our society these days. Why does it feel so much worse than in years past? Could it be that it isn’t but social media is making us feel that way. A Netflix documentary, “Social Dilemna”makes this very point. The way the apps are set up cause us to be pulled one way or another making us feel like there is no middle any more. The relationship between Scalia and Ginsberg begs to differ. Judge Scalia was known to say, “We agree on a whole lot of stuff,” Ruth is really bad only on the knee-jerk stuff.” Ruth Bader Ginsberg exemplified the words of David in Psalm 90:10 “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom as each day takes us one day closer to eternity. 

Her life and the relationship she had with one, so diametrically opposed to some of her views, support what I have been writing here for the last few weeks. Like the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37, when faced with opposition, we need to STUDY the issue, seek to UNDERSTAND, and then allow ourselves to be VULNERABLE enough to listen to another point of view. The Samaritan had a choice. Instead of crossing the road to avoid the man who was robbed and beaten, He got close enough to SEE he was alive, FEEL his pain, so that he could be SHAKEN into action. Where do you need to do the same? Will you cross the road or meet the challenge head on?

The USA Today article goes on to say, “In an era of increasingly bitter partisan enmity, the odd coupling of Ginsburg – petite, serious, seemingly shy – and Scalia – rotund, garrulous, overtly opinionated – may be viewed as an anachronism. But many cited it over the weekend as a signal of hope.” Who with opposite view points is God asking you to build this same kind of friendship?

My Guillain Barre health challenge www.caringbridge.com/visit/michaelguthrie was the impetus for this blog. I hope you will subscribe. Contact me at michael@mrg7175..com

What does it mean by going the extra mile?

It has been 6 months since I went into a self-isolating protocol due to my compromised immune system that caused Guillain Barre Syndrome. Little did I know on March 12th that the lessons learned during my GBS battle would serve me so well in dealing with the Covid19 Pandemic six months later.

Are we having fun yet? Will the effects of Covid19 ever stop being our daily focus? When will we all feel safe to gather together in larger groups? When will we not feel concerned about taking any type of public transportation or eating inside at a restaurant? These questions continue to be asked with no end in sight. As I wrestle with these, one other question came to mind that got me through my GBS ordeal.. What’s next?

I wrote about this question in one of my early blog posts http://thankfulinallthings.com/plateaus-then-and-now/ When my body started to respond to the plasmapheresis, the temptation was to start thinking about being fully recovered vs what can I do right now to be a little better tomorrow? It kept me from getting frustrated in what turned out to be a very long and slow recovery process. Can I get an Amen that Covid19 has been very long and slow in its recovery? Staying focused on the “What’s next” kept and now is keeping me in the moment which is all I can control. I have recently been reading a book called Present Perfect that echoes this mindset. It is teaching me that God is in the Now not the the past or what the future holds. The Now is all I control. Scripture teaches this with verses like “pray without ceasing” and in 1st Thessalonians, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Going the extra mile is another way of looking at focusing on what’s next. Matthew 5:41 says, “And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” For me, this was so true as the PT’s forced me to push forward so my body could regain its full strength. It was literally just one step and then one more. Thankfully, the extra steps turned into miles culminating in running the community Bridges 5K last October with my dear friend Kaitlyn and other friends and family.

The anyone in Matthew 5 right now is Covid19 and the restrictions it has placed on us. Day after day and now month after month we are being asked to refrain from so much that bring us joy. It is also the racial tension that has gripped our country. Wrong is being done and people are finding it hard to “go the extra mile” in seeking to understand and look for good in their neighbor. Miles McPherson in The Third Option says, ” It is about self-sacrifice. To love and go the extra mile for someone is to want what God wants for them and be willing to be a conduit for them to receive it even if it costs us dearly” James in his letter exhorts us to “quickly listen, be slow to speak, and be slow to anger” Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 says we love others by not “insisting on our own way”.

So how do we keep striving on what’s next? Rodney Rock Hatfield, stays in the Now by using the word Focused this way. ” Faithfully Obeying Christ Using Scripture Every Day”.

Like on any journey, We just need to look back to where we started to to be reminded that we have progressed in our staying focused on what’s next. From my own experience, I can tell you it helped me not quit as I Failed forward toward the next plateau. May we all stay in the Now and may our mindset be honoring God is all that we do and/or say.

If you are new here, learn more about my dealing with GBS at www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie You can email me at michael@mrg7175.com

The light always cuts through the darkness

I have been meeting with a group of men on Fridays for over 5 years. They have been examples of people I wrote about last week in http://thankfulinallthings.com/is-god-calling-you-to-be-a-bridge-builder/. Folks who become bridges or those who provide support to those being a bridge to others needing help getting through a challenge or out of a difficult place. These Friday guys have been that for me and for each other. This past week one of them shared how he was really struggling. He was in what was a very dark place. What happened next was remarkable. In a matter of less than an hour, He went from a man in tears, visibly in anguish, to his head nodding and his face breaking into a smile. Why? The struggle was still real and upon him but what was different was he was reminded of God’s love for him by those in the meeting. Guys shined light into his darkness which allowed his spirit to turn its back on despair and move toward the hope that God promises no matter what the adversity.

You see. (Pardon the pun 😀) The light will always defeat the darkness. We just need to look for it. Think for a moment, you are lost in a vast space, so dark, that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. You call out for help and someone far way has a little pin light which they shine your way. No matter how dark, that light cuts through it and leads you to safety. That is what happened Friday morning. He could have chosen not to show up allowing himself to be defeated by his circumstances. Instead, he chose to join in and call out for help. One by one, individuals shared how they had faced the darkness themselves in their lives. It was beautiful to watch , “you are not alone”, being spoken making it clear there was a way out. They led their brother out of that very dark place.; to a mindset of hope where, even though the storm was still raging, he knew God was allowing this group we call “knuckleheads” to build a bridge. A bridge that would lead him out of the darkness and into the light. This poem by Annie Johnson Flint from Streams in the Desert describes it much more beautifully.

“Deep the waves may be and cold

But Jehovah is our refuge.

And His promise is our hold;

For the Lord Himself hath said it,

He, the faithful God and true:

”When thou comest to the waters 

Thou shalt not go down, BUT THROUGH.”

So many people shined their lights for Dottie and me to walk toward in the darkest of places as I dealt with and recovered from Guillain Barre Syndrome. Having gone through it, I now have a deep desire to be that light of hope for others. Friday morning, once again, showed me it does make a difference which allows me and my hopeful friend be “Thankful in all Things”

If you are in a dark place of despair, remember and have hope in the promise that God is with you. If you have successfully navigated through a challenging time, now it is your turn to shine the light for someone else to see. They are counting on you.

Matthew 5:16 “You are the light of the world… Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” 


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