Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Jesus Understands Your Pain

The North Carolina mountains occasionally summon me home. I’ve lived away from them for a long time, but my heart soars when I visit. There’s something about the grandeur of the hills that resonates with me. It’s as if those mountains wrap me with security and fill my soul with serenity. As my spirit climbs the mountain heights, contentment and peace infuse my being and I feel sheltered, safe, and strengthened.

I remember a special time years ago when I visited the mountains at Lake Junaluska with my mother and mother-in-law for a woman’s retreat. When we arrived, I experienced all those mountain top highs, along with the valley lows. I longed for my daughter to be present with us, but I remembered our strained relationship. Suddenly depression grabbed hold of me and threatened to destroy my weekend in “God’s country.” I determined to fight against the sensation of sadness, so I planned an early morning outing at Lake Junalunska’s amphitheater near the lake. 

Sitting on the steps of the amphitheater gives the audience a glorious view of the mountains. The water even reflects the beautiful hills. What makes this place exceptional is the cross; it’s placed on a rock platform within the seating gallery overlooking the entire area. Tranquility surrounds the site. I eagerly anticipated dawn’s early light as I planned to meet with my Lord Jesus the next morning in that sacred spot.

Waking up in the darkness, I tiptoed around our luggage as I dressed for the day. Then I hurried down the stairs and quietly exited the building. Briskly I carried my burdens down the hill to the cross. Entering the amphitheater I found a place to sit and began talking to God. 

As I prayed, I scanned the spectacular landscape and felt the glory of the Lord surround me. Off in the distance the mountains rose in strength and the water’s reflection displayed their beauty nearby. Glancing down into the water, I reflected on my life, the joy and the pain. I let go of my burdens and praised God for His faithfulness. When I looked up at the cross, I saw a bird peacefully perched on the horizontal bar and I pictured myself resting in the arms of Jesus. Words poured from my mind as I penned the following poem from my heart.


There stands a big white cross overlooking a beautiful lake.
It reminds me of Jesus the Savior who died for everyone’s sake.
Guardian of God’s creation, it eases many an ache.
Like the bird who sits upon it, I’m resting on the arm of the Lord.

Images of personal hurt appear in my mind’s eye,
As the sun rises over the lake, reflecting earth and sky.
The cross stands as a reminder that my Father dwells on high.
Like the bird who sits upon it, I’m resting on the arm of the Lord.

We’re told there will be trials throughout the journey of life.
Daily we need to meet with God in order to contend with strife.
He shows Himself to be faithful, as a gallant husband to his wife.
Like the bird who sits upon the cross, I’m resting on the arm of the Lord.


Are you burdened with a load of depression? Know that Jesus understands your pain! Find a quiet spot (it doesn’t have to be mountains; it can be your favorite chair) and pour out your heart to your Lord and Savior. Be silent before Him and listen to His words of peace. You’ll soon discover you’re resting in His arms. 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! Romans 5:1-5 (MSG)
AMEN! Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your grace and peace!

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