​​Shattered​

I love Fall. Don’t you? I love the colors, the smells, and the slight chill in the air. It’s just all so beautiful and rejuvenating.

Come September 1st, Fall fever begins for me. It’s the beginning of school, football, and the hope for a near end to long hot Summer days. Don’t get me wrong, I love Summer too but by September, I’m ready for a change.

Considering I’ve just spent an entire Summer dealing with breast cancer and breast cancer treatment, I am definitely ready for a new season and a little Fall fun.

I usually manage to postpone my Fall decorating until September 15th. I know that’s not the official start of Fall but I think I’m doing very well in being able to wait that long.

Recently, while doing my much-anticipated Fall decorating, I had a little mishap. With an item in one hand, I tried to remove a larger item with the other hand. In doing so, I managed to knock over my favorite vase.

As I stood there, staring at the shattered pieces of my precious vase, I felt so much regret. If only I had put the less meaningful item down and used two hands to remove the larger item, my vase would still be intact. Ugh!

Sometimes in life, we have a tendency to do that very same thing. While trying to hold on to something trivial or meaningless, we may be recklessly destroying something priceless and irreplaceable.

In the Bible, Lot’s wife had trouble letting go of her past, therefore destroying her future [Genesis 19:26]. In Haman’s refusal to release racism, his life and the lives of his family were annihilated [Esther 3-9].

Solomon’s unwillingness to lay down his lust for passion and women damaged his relationship with the Lord and the future of his kingdom [1 Kings 11].

While Jesus was here on the earth, the Pharisees, refusing to abandon their traditions and pride, murdered their own long-awaited messiah [Matthew 26].

For years I held onto bitterness and unforgiveness that was hindering my relationship with the Lord, destroying my relationship with my family, and eating me up inside. I was angry and resentful.

Thankfully, I came to my senses before it was too late. By the power of God’s word and His Spirit, I have been set free.

What things are you holding on to that may be destroying the most meaningful things in your life?

Maybe you’re hanging on to the unforgiveness that is shattering your relationships and your health.

Maybe, like Lot’s wife, you are having trouble letting go of your negative past and it’s hindering you from enjoying your present or killing your hopes for a positive future.

Maybe, like Haman, you’re gripping racism and hate while decimating other’s characters. Ultimately destroying your own life and the lives of your family by obsessing over destroying other’s lives.

Maybe, like Solomon, you are holding on to an illicit relationship or an addiction that is ruining your family and your reputation.

Or maybe like the Pharisees, you’re embracing stale traditions and religious pride so tightly that you are demolishing any opportunity for the newness of life that is standing right in front of you.

Don’t be the one who ends up staring at the shattered pieces of your life, relationships, and potential in regret. Let go of the unimportant and grab hold of the most important before it’s too late.

Hebrews 12:1-2a Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

​​​​​​The Extraction

Long before I knew I had breast cancer, I had been dealing with a toothache. It was in the top-left area of my mouth. I was also experiencing sinus pain in that same area. It would extend all the way to my left ear causing my ear to hurt as well. I didn’t know if my sinus was causing my tooth to hurt or my tooth causing my sinus to hurt.

I put up with the pain for as long as I could. Eventually, I went to the dentist to find out what was causing the pain. The tooth that was hurting was cracked and needed to be addressed but the dentist wanted to wait until my breast cancer radiation treatment was complete.

By the time I was finished with treatment, the toothache was nearly unbearable. I went back to the dentist to get relief. As he was drilling away at my tooth, following not only one crack but several cracks, the cracked paths led to the root of my tooth. He concluded that my tooth needed to be extracted.

After 3 hours with the dentist, my problem had been solved and my pain was gone. I was so relieved. However, once all the feeling came back in my gums I realized that I still had to deal with the painful healing process.

Sometimes in life, we put up with things that are causing us pain. The longer we leave the cause of our pain unaddressed the more it affects other areas of our lives and the lives of those closest to us.

Not until the pain becomes completely unbearable do we seek help. Sometimes we never choose to seek help and live our entire lives in pain; growing accustomed to it or avoiding it.

We can’t get the help we truly need until we get to the root of what’s causing our pain. Sometimes by getting to the root of the problem, we realize that what is causing the pain needs to be extracted from our lives.

Once we extract that which causes us pain and suffering we then enter the healing process. The healing process may be painful as well but it’s necessary in order to live a healthy productive life; a life we are meant to live.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Are there things in your life that are hurting you? Things that you leave unaddressed because it’s easy and safe? Maybe you’re afraid of what it will cost you to extract the cause of your pain?

Maybe what’s hurting you are negative or abusive relationships that need to be extracted. Maybe it’s a drug, alcohol, sex, or porn addiction that’s destroying your life. Maybe you’re addicted to approval, gossip, or food.

Maybe something in your past or childhood that’s left you cracked and broken needs to be addressed. Leaving the root cause to your pain unaddressed will not only hurt you but those that are closest to you.

Will you seek the help you need today? God is our healer. He wants to heal our spirit, soul, and body. All we have to do is go to Him and ask Him to reveal to us those things in our lives that are causing us pain and need to be addressed.

Psalm 103:2-5 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles’s.

Ask God to help you get to the root of your spiritual, emotional, or physical pain. He may lead you to a particular scripture, or a trusted friend to talk to and give you godly counsel. He may lead you to a church where you can get the support, encouragement, and truth of God’s word necessary for your healing.

Proverbs 4:20 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.

You don’t have to continue in your pain another day. Cry out to God for help and start living the healed productive life you were created to live.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.