help

It Is Well… With My Soul

Sometimes, I pray while I exercise. And no, I am not talking about praying like “Please Lord Jesus, help me to finish this last half mile running strong, without throwing up or tripping on my own feet.” (Although I do frequently pray  something similar.)

In this particular case, I mean praying for others. Specifically those of you on my iPad Prayer List app. Now before you think I am trying to cut corners and multi-task, please know that 1) I still have my quiet time with Jesus in addition to my exercise prayer time 2) I never read/pray while on the treadmill, only the stationary bike and/or elliptical should I risk breaking my face and 3) For some unknown reason, I can concentrate and focus exceptionally well during a challenging workout, just as  good if not better than when I am sitting in my chair in my living room.

Yesterday was one of those occasions that I decided to pray for the numerous folks on my prayer list while burning calories. As I started hopping around on the elliptical and opened up my iPad, I was suddenly overwhelmed with all of the new prayer requests that were laid on my heart in the last 12 hours.

My mind flashed to the news article about some of my friends/schoolmates at K-State that were in a car accident over the weekend which resulted in fatalities. I remembered the Facebook status of a family from back home that were grieving the loss of their 15-year-old cousin from a hunting accident. Monday was the two month anniversary of my miscarriage. And finally, yesterday I had to say “See you later” to my beloved Mama as I dropped her off at the airport after what seemed as too-short of a visit.

Ever have one of those days when your heart and soul just feel heavy? Yeah. That was the feeling. Right as I was debating on quitting my workout mid-gait and running to the car to burst into tears, the acoustic version of “It is Well with My Soul” came through on my iPod.

Immediately, peace flowed through my heart. God whispered “I am bigger than all of these things, my beloved child. Rely on me… and it shall be well with your soul.”

That beautiful song, a song full of God’s love and promise, echoed in my mind for the rest of the day. With each tear that fell,  I was comforted. Strengthened. Hopeful. Prayerful.

Is your heart heavy today? Are you in the midst of a trial or a life season that seems more powerful than an ocean wave? Please leave a comment below  or send an email to sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com so I can pray for you.

In the meantime… Know that God is greater than ANYTHING you are going through. Sit back, take a deep breath, press play on the following video. Listen, feel, live the lyrics and melody. Say to yourself “I love you Jesus. And because of that love, it is well… with my soul.”

Soulfully living well,
SGK

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
 ~John 14:27

Categories: believe, Comfort, death, exercise, God, heart, help, hope, Jesus, promises, song, strength | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

A Taste Test: Bitter to sweet

It was the summer before my 5th grade year. We had just moved to southeast Kansas a couple months ago. It was blazing hot July in our little trailer house that we had just “planted” in the middle of a bean field. (Literally.) I was bored. Which made me hungry. Which made me curious.

I decided that Mom had to have something interesting to snack on in our pantry or cabinet. I was a short kid (still am at 5′ 2″) so I enlisted the help of a kitchen chair. I scooted it across the floor and parked it in front of the pantry. I climbed up and peered onto the top shelf… JACKPOT.

I had discovered something I was not expecting to find… a Country Crock Butter container. I picked it up and shook. It was heavy. I climbed down, excited to see what was hidden in this precious yet odd storage device. I popped open the lid and…

“Well poo,” I thought to myself. I peered into the container to find a grainy white crystal-like substance. “Now why would Mom store sugar hidden on the top shelf in a butter container?” I wondered. My 10 year old mind deduced that it had to be SPECIAL sugar. Being the curious (and hungry) kid I was, I shoved my face in the bowl, stuck out my tongue with anticipation, ready for sweet, sugary goodness to flood my taste buds.

“Phhhhhsssssssssssssfffffffffffffffttttttttttttt!” I spat out my “treasure” so fast that I swirled backwards and nearly tripped over the kitchen chair. “GAH! WHAT IS THAT STUFF?!?!”

I found out later that it was not, in fact, some special magical sugar that my Mom was hiding… it was picking salt.

Talk about a curiosity fail, huh? Apparently there was a REASON why it was hidden… so people wouldn’t mistake it for sugar. It was not only a surprise, but it was nasty– very bitter. (Don’t believe me? Try it. I dare you.)

Sixteen years later, I have learned my lesson not to stick my tongue into an unlabeled Country Crock butter container (not to mention that I have improved my etiquette skills… gross!) However, I have also noticed that I still sometimes approach life situations the same way I did with that pickling salt.

There are a lot of things in life that can really frustrate a person. I personally try to chill out and lean on Christ when I can… but hey, I am still a sinner. Sometimes I really struggle with bitterness. Let me explain.

When something (or someone) upsets me, occasionally instead of being slow to anger and quick to forgive, I treat the situation like the pickling salt. I go after it, convinced that my zeal or focus on the other person (or thing) will make me feel sweet inside and satisfy a “need” through revenge or vengeance. “I will show them,” I think.

But here’s the thing. I am always surprised when my hope of something sugary turns out to be a nasty, bitter experience that I wasn’t expecting. Instead of solving the issue and addressing it right away, I tend to take things into my own hands and allow the negative thoughts to churn in my heart (Thanks a lot, Satan. What a jerk. SIGH.)

After awhile, I realize there is ZERO, zippo, nada sweetness in my frustration. It tastes bitter. And bitterness does nothing to the other thing/person… I read a quote once that I have since internalized to help me release the bitterness and frustration I might be inclined to harbor: “Being bitter is like drinking a bottle of poison and waiting for the other person (or thing) to die.”

Christ is at work on my heart.  He is making me see things in a different light and telling me to HOLD UP before sticking my tongue into the figurative “butter container” that is that tough situation in my life.  He helps me to step back and think about the consequences of my actions and what it is going to do to ME internally. I don’t like the taste of pickling salt on my tongue… and I REALLY don’t like the hurting, self-induced feeling of bitterness in my heart.

Are you harboring any deep bitterness against anyone (or anything) in your life? Do you continue to stick your tongue into the pickling salt with negative results every time? Let go of the anger, resentment and bitterness. It isn’t hurting anyone but yourself. Allow the love of Christ to teach you how to turn FIRST to HIM in those situations of trial  and frustration for a bit of a “taste test…” and He will turn that taste from bitter to sweet!

A new kind of bitter-sweet,

SGK

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” 

–Ephesians 4:31-32

Categories: anger, forgiveness, help, Love | Leave a comment

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