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To my Ohio family... may you all lean in close to God's mercy today...

A few years ago in the midst of adopting our two kids, Roman and Adia, our family was hit with a major set back. I had for days worried about what was going to be the next step and prayed for God to intervene... When I received the news that we were not going to get out kids like we had planned - this set back was just too much! I had used my last ounce of patience with this situation... my frustration and worry turned to rage and I took that rage out on my living room wall. I had in just a blink of an eye ran my fist through the wall and was in the floor weeping (not from pain of my fist - but from the pain of feeling like I had completely failed).

Psalm 22:24 New Living Translation (NLT)

For God has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.

I just couldn't handle this situation and my anger had gotten the best of me. I turned to my wife and said I was sorry - I retreated to my bedroom to search for God's forgiveness and to ask (once again) for his mercy and his grace. I went to my room to find some peace and some answers. In that moment, God revealed to me a great mystery... in the midst of my deepest pain - He was there! In the midst of my most difficult time of my life - He was there! God had given me what only He could give me - not answers - but time to know him more. Time to search Him out. This was my opportunity to let Him know that I did trust Him. You see it wasn't about the wall or my anger - it was about His mercy that only He could give.

Isaiah 30:18 New Living Translation (NLT)

18 So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.

What a picture of the abundant mercy that God pours out on us - we who are overwhelmed with life! In our darkest hour - God waits with light and with love. He is ready to help us out of our despair. He is there to help us turn the corner so that we can be restored.

He doesn’t just select some of his mercy for a few and hand it out a little bit at a time. He dumps the whole load all at once, instantly. The feeling is overwhelming and it is in that moment that we see just how much our Father loves us. The lost and broken shell of a man I found myself in was and is totally, freely forgiven. The pain is present, but God's mercy over powers the pain - His strength filters in and overcomes. He is there and yet He waits...

You don’t have to brace yourself for the big lecture about how stupid you’ve been by feeling this way or that way. There is no finger wagging or “Just get over it - it's going to be OK”. There is only grace and mercy and love poured out on us as we are welcomed into God’s presence. I guess that's the amazing part. He doesn't just show me his mercy - He wraps me up in his grace and my heart bursts forth with a redeeming joy that no matter what this life throws my way - God's mercy overcomes! God's mercy is greater than my pain. God's grace is greater than anything that this broken world ushers in.

Psalm 56:3-4 New Living Translation (NLT)

3 But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. 4 I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?


Psalm 56:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.

Over the past few days, my heart has sunk and I am overwhelmed with grief. I'm lost because I can't be there to help you. My heart is torn out of my skin and I know that you need what I can't give you - God's mercy and peace. These moments in life cause us all to question... we are all taken back... we all want to go back in time and do it over. But we can't. We move forward - but how? How in his pit of agony can I breathe... how can I pick up these pieces and make it whole again...we can't... I am overwhelmed!!!

C. S. Lewis

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”

I know that some of you right now are reading this and you are surrounded by grief, pain and suffering. You are asking for answers. You want to know "WHY". I can't give you those answers of "WHY"... but I can point you to the one who is waiting for you... He has always been there and even in this broken world when it all falls apart - when we are afraid and unwilling to acknowledge or need for God - He waits... He is there... He is willing to show you his mercy...

Psalm 62:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT)

1 I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

In the loneliness of pain - God is there. In the stillness of emptiness - God is there. In the gut wrentching agony of death - God is there. He waits... The void that we feel is not from God - it's not His fault - it's not that he is absent... He waits... He waits for our hearts to melt into his own heart. He waits for our moments to silently slip into his moment. He waits... He is there! May you move beyond your situation and know that God is there... moving you forward with grace and love... may you receive the mercy of our Father today! He waits... He watches... He runs toward us when we turn back for home!

Psalm 62:5-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 7 My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

God love you all my Ohio family...I pray for peace and mercy in this time of great struggle and loss! He who is in me is stronger than he who is around me!

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