Peacefully Strumming during Pain

This past year has brought loss to some, like me. Either a loss of loved ones or loss of time together fellowshipping with friends and family. I am glad to know that I serve an immovable God. Let’s remember that the prowling lion intends to harm every child of God, but the Word says,

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20

The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever no matter what our circumstances may be, right? I had a thought that I wanted to share:  each season we have highs and lows. Like the strumming of a guitar. Just like a new beginner reading music for the first time, some may be confused when starting out and unsure which direction to start.  However, just like in life when we are going through a low, we are gifted with the Comforter and Guide. Remember, you don’t even need to dial 9-1-1.  Just look up and call upon Jesus; He hears you. 

I remember when I was thirteen, I lost my best friend, my big sister. That was a very traumatic time in my life. My family had to travel an hour and a half to the town we were going to have her funeral services. I remember as we started off on the ride, I began singing a song called “Killing Me Softly” by the Fugees.  It begins with the lyrics, “Strumming my pain with his fingers…” Little did I know that it was a song about poverty and drug abuse in the city, but I knew it was my song in that low time in my young life.  I was told to stop singing which bummed me out. I wanted to vent some type of way, and singing was a great outlet for me when I was younger and still is today.  Although now my songs are different than before I gave my life to the Lord. Recently, I was feeling extremely down and unsure about a few things going on in my life. So, after prayer I made the decision to get up and go to the place the Holy Spirit led me… to the river. It is a little walk from the flower garden to the water, so I had time talk to the Lord and voice my troubles. Then I get to the river, and I thought, wow it is so pretty. It was flowing so steady. I looked over to my right and saw a few leaves and I said out loud, “Lord, I have fallen like those beautiful autumn leaves, and I can’t move. I need help on which direction to go. Lord, I can’t get back up without you.” I cried big tears and said, “Lord, you are my portion, you never leave me, Jesus I need you. I feel your nearness with the wind that is blowing this morning.”  I cried for a bit while just watching the river flow so beautifully. Then I thought how neat it would be to send that leaf floating down the river and record it to show the girls when I got home. I get up and walk over to the leaves to grab one and notice they are attached to a branch. I thought how cool.  I will send the whole branch floating. That is when the Holy Spirit showed me, myself. That branch that was on the edge of the river was me. I had fallen because this past season I became distracted with a loss and heartache which led to the spirit of fear, intimidation, and offense. I was just like, wow! I said, “Ok, let’s get in the river.” I tossed the branch in, and that branch went floating.  Then somehow it came back to the shore. Laughing to myself, I said, “Oh no you don’t! Get back in there!” Then I really launched it further in. That branch lasted a while above water before it went under. I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying, “I carry you like the river carried the branch with leaves.”  You hear me when I speak to you. Don’t live in doubt.  Remember those are lies of the enemy.”

 Friends, the Holy Spirit is in us, flows through us, is ready to help us heal no matter how low you are, and bind every lie thrown at you. He will give you joy unspeakable and peace like a river. I encourage you to pause, be still and listen to His still small voice. I love how in the song by Will Reagan it says, “Lay it all down, lay it all down, lay it all down, lay it all down at the feet of Jesus.” It repeats those lyrics, and I believe it’s to help us remember to lay it down.  Yes, the fear.  Oh yes, and that other issue.  And yes… that problem too. Get rid of that mess.  Lay it down at the feet of Jesus because in the end the battle we face is not our own. It’s the Lord’s. Our God is sovereign. My song today is not, “Strumming my pain…” Instead it is, “Hallelujah!” because nothing can take away my Hallelujah.

Beloved, I pray that today, if your heart needs healing, that you just lay it all down. I pray that the Lord will surround you with His peace and presence right now. 

 Do not carry the burden; that weight is too heavy. There is a process for healing from deep wounds. So, start now, do not wait. Lay it all down because Jesus loves you. His love isn’t just a feeling, He is Love.

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19)

 I also want to encourage you, friends, to put on the whole Armor of God. The breastplate guards the heart, the helmet your mind, and the shield any fiery darts or lies of the enemy. Girlfriend put those peace shoes on and dance and sing praises to the Father, and while you are doing that, use your sword, sister. That Word, girl, the truth is real remember, and it’s the Living Word, wear that belt securely around your waist (Ephesians 6:10-17).

Stay alert, beloved! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are (1 Peter 5:8-9).  If today you are suffering in any way, I pray you will be like Joseph and tie yourself to the Pillar of God’s promises. We are overcomers and more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ who loves us (Roman 8:37). The joy of the Lord is our strength,” is brought to fullness when we accept His provision of righteousness by grace that reunites us so we can enjoy His presence. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Your sister in Christ,

Christina Bonuz

“Lay All Down” -Will Reagan

“Hallelujah” -Katie T

“No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus”- Steffany Gretzinger

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