One of the things we all have in common is that we suffer. Whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally, we’ve all felt pain and we know how awful it is. When we see someone else hurting, whether they’re strangers on the news or our own loved ones, our hearts ache and we want to make it stop. Some of the most incredible examples of love and community come from our response to tragedy. We come together and do what we can so those who are suffering don’t have to do it alone. Money, materials, and food are often needed, so we collect and provide. But it’s the driving force behind all of that – the heart to heart connection, the knowing that someone else cares enough to share in your pain that they don’t want to see you suffer alone – that’s where the beauty is.
Then there are those difficult times when we can’t seem to find a friend anywhere; all phone calls lead to voicemail. Your heart is breaking and no one is home. Nobody knows how much you’re hurting and you’re suffering all alone. Sometimes we only pray when that’s the last thing left to do. It might take that kind of pain and sense of desperate solitude to call out to God, providing the opportunity to vividly feel His presence. The work of Jesus on the cross and the gift of the Holy Spirit’s presence provide that heart to heart connection, only on a much grander scale, and we are assured that God cares enough to share in our pain and wants to provide the comfort we desperately need. We find that God never leaves us alone.
I’ve lived part of my life without acknowledging the constant presence of God, and part of my life knowing He is my truest friend. I’ve experienced suffering and joy during both. The difference is that life with God provides a comfort and peace that is beyond description, even during the most difficult times.
Come to Me – Bethel Music, Without Words
Potato Cheese Soup
3 or 4 Potatoes, peeled and diced (Yukon Gold are best)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/3 onion, chopped (white or sweet onion are best)
3 or 4 slices of American Cheese
2 T Butter
Salt & Pepper to taste
In large sauce pan, melt butter, sauté onion, celery and carrot until onion begins to be transparent, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add potatoes & stir in enough water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until most of the cubes are broken and soup thickens. Tear up cheese and stir into soup until melted. Enjoy!
Soup can also be made without carrots, onions & celery.
Meat lovers – add cooked bacon or smoked sausage after soup is done.
This recipe is enough for two people; not an exact science – just add to it for a larger group.
– list procured from the book, “Names of God”, by George Knight
Inhale for a count of 4 (Name of God) | Hold breath for a count of 2 | Exhale for a count of 4 (Petition)
Inhale (God of Comfort) | Exhale (Give my heart rest)
Inhale (Redeemer) | Exhale (Turn my mistakes into something good)
Inhale (My Advocate) | Exhale (Fight for me)
Inhale (Spirit of Truth) | Exhale (Help me feel your presence)
Take a few minutes each day for prayer. Communicating with God through the practice of prayer can become as comfortable and natural as taking a good deep breath. Eventually you might find yourself in a constant state of prayer all day.