There are heartaches and troubles all around the world today.
No one is exempt from pain. You see the rich and famous, and think, they have perfect lives.
But, I trust they are in their own personal prisons.
My family and I have had more than a few bumps. But, we are no better off or worse off then many others in our neighborhood, town or in this world even.
This morning, there are people locked in "prisons" of all kinds.
Some are dealing with loss, physical pains, depression, anxiety, addictions, relational problems.
Some are dealing with work-related issues, maybe some have lost their jobs, or simply don't make enough money to make ends meet.
Others may be dealing with health issues, while others may be embroiled in legal issues, actually be falsely imprisoned, or facing situations where it seems there just is no light at the end of the tunnel. There are many people in this world, of all ages, who don't even see the street sign alerting that there is a tunnel ahead.
This is what I learned at church this weekend. I am not an overly zealous religious girl, but I do believe there is a God who has a plan and I do believe in Jesus Christ. I work daily on my relationship with Jesus and I pray my children find their way to Him.
Yesterday I learned that in the darkness, in the "prisons" that may keep us locked up and from freedom of joy, whether it be emotional, mental or physical freedom we have a choice.
We can turn bitter, hateful, doubtful, depressed, or we can become stronger.
I know I have heard some say that when things are going bad, they think God is punishing them for something. I'm sure I have said that myself But today I do not believe that is true.
"Prisons are the classrooms of Jesus," said Pastor Dan Harrison in his message Sunday at Springbrook Community Church in Huntley Il.
"When in prison take a biblical view and realize the opportunity to learn ....," he continued.
There was a show on TV a long time ago, it was a light-hearted view of God. And this character in the show was supposed to be God in the flesh, walking around in modern day America.
And this young 20-something, who was understandably doubtful that this average looking man was truly God, said prove it. Prove to me you are God, preform a miracle, he said.
This God character pointed to a tree.
It was a simple gesture, right?
But, can you grow something from nothing? Sure, we can plant seedlings and baby trees, but it takes a greater power to successfully grow life where there once was nothing.
I also have heard that God does not want us to be perfectly comfortable while here on earth. He wants us to feel some discomfort and learn something from that discomfort while here on earth.
We all have different lessons to be learned. I can tell you, firsthand, you often do not enjoy the learning process. It is natural, human to become down-right sad, angry and miserable during the lessons.
I don't pretend it's always a fun journey. Remember, I have had a long life already with lots of prisons that I have had to overcome.
For the last 20 years I have written for large metro newspapers and have covered stories of all kinds of people locked in all kinds of prisons.
Over at Amandamarrazzo.com I just blogged a series of news stories on a murder trial that today has many, many folks locked up in "prisons" -real and emotional- they are desperately trying to break free from.
I'm just here trying to help us all make sense of it.
Until next time, love each other, don't turn bitter in moments of pain, find your lessons. There must be a reason for all of our prisons. I believe God truly wants us all to be happy.
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