• Topic > Life Struggles

    A Longing in Stone

    “Ah, every pier is a longing in stone!” says a line in Fernando Pessoa’s Portuguese poem “Ode Marítima.” Pessoa’s pier represents the emotions we feel as a ship moves slowly away from us. The vessel departs but the pier remains, an enduring monument to hopes and dreams, partings and yearnings. We ache for what is lost, and for what we can’t quite reach.

    The Portuguese word translated “longing” (saudade) refers to a nostalgic yearning we feel—a deep ache that defies definition. In essence, the poet is describing the indescribable.

    We might say that Mount Nebo was Moses’s “longing in stone.” From Nebo…

    Bowl of Tears

    In Boston, Massachusetts, a plaque titled “Crossing the Bowl of Tears” remembers those who braved the Atlantic to escape death during the catastrophic Irish potato famine of the late 1840s. More than a million people died in that disaster, while another million or more abandoned home to cross the ocean, which John Boyle O’Reilly poetically called “the bowl of tears.” Driven by hunger and heartache, these travelers sought some measure of hope during desperate times.

    In Psalm 55, David shares how he pursued hope. While we are uncertain about the specifics of the threat he faced, the weight of his experience…

    Second-Wind Strength

    At the age of fifty-four I entered the Milwaukee marathon with two goals—to finish the race and to do it under five hours. My time would have been amazing if the second 13.1 miles went as well as the first. But the race was grueling, and the second-wind strength I’d hope for never came. By the time I made it to the finish line, my steady stride had morphed into a painful walk.

    Footraces aren’t the only thing that require second-wind strength—life’s race does too. To endure, tired, weary people need God’s help. Isaiah 40:27–31 beautifully weds poetry and prophecy to…

    Being Consumed

    In his book The Call, Os Guinness describes a moment when Winston Churchill, on holiday with friends in the south of France, sat by the fireplace to warm himself on a cold night. Gazing at the fire, the former prime minister saw pine logs “crackling, hissing, and spitting as they burned. Suddenly, his familiar voice growled, ‘I know why logs spit. I know what it is to be consumed.’”

    Difficulties, despair, dangers, distress, and the results of our own wrongdoings can all feel consuming. Circumstances slowly drain our hearts of joy and peace. When David experienced the consuming consequences of his own…

    Peace-Filled Hearts

    For forty-five years after his career as a professional athlete ended, Jerry Kramer wasn’t inducted into his sport’s hall of fame (the highest recognition). He enjoyed many other honors and achievements, but this one eluded him. Although he’d been nominated for the honor ten times, it had never been bestowed. Despite having his hopes dashed […]

    Obscured by Clouds

    A rare super moon appeared in November 2016—the moon in its orbit reached its closest point to the earth in over sixty years and so appeared bigger and brighter than at other times. But for me that day the skies were shrouded in gray. Although I saw photos of this wonder from friends in other places, as I gazed upwards I had to trust that the super moon was lurking behind the clouds.

    The apostle Paul urged the church at Corinth, in the face of their hardships, to believe what is unseen but will last forever. He said how their “momentary…

    Dangers Of Pride

    The Bible says that pride goes before a fall. Because no matter how high we try to lift ourselves up, we’ll always end up crashing down in the end. Today on Discover the Word, the team, and author Liz Curtis Higgs examine the dangers of pride as described in Proverbs 16:18. Pull up a chair […]

    When Harmless Conversation Turns To Gossip

    We all enjoy hearing and telling stories—stories about ourselves, and also stories about other people. But when does harmless conversation become gossip? Today on Discover the Word, the team, and author Liz Curtis Higgs challenge us to examine our motives before sharing information about others. Join us today for Discover the Word!

    Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart

    We’ve all gone through seasons when we thought we knew what we were doing but then reality stepped in to remind us just how clueless we really were! Today on Discover the Word, the team, and author Liz Curtis Higgs discuss this wise counsel from Proverbs: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and […]

    Are You Preoccupied With What Others Think Of You?

    From the clothes we wear to the car we drive, it’s easy to become preoccupied with what others think of us. But today on Discover the Word, the team and author Liz Curtis Higgs encourage us to trust in the Lord, rather than fear people. Another thought-provoking discussion on the Proverbs, today on Discover the Word!

    To Hear From God . . . Start With Reading His Word

    God wants to speak into our lives, to show us which path in life to take, and which to avoid. But hearing God’s voice starts with reading His Word. Today on Discover the Word, the team, and author Liz Curtis Higgs encourage us to spend time in God’s Word and commit it to memory. Join […]

    Joy in Hard Places

    Whenever she was unable to take my phone call, I’d hear my friend’s voicemail recording inviting me to leave her a message. The recording cheerfully concluded, “Make it a great day!” As I reflected on her words, I realized that while it’s not within our power to make every day “great”—some circumstances truly are devastating—a closer look might reveal something redeeming and beautiful in my day, whether things are going well or poorly.

    Habakkuk wasn’t experiencing easy circumstances. As a prophet, God had shown him coming days when none of the crops or livestock—on which God’s people depended—would be fruitful (v.…

    Standing with Courage

    While most German church leaders gave in to Hitler, theologian and pastor Martin Niemöller was among the brave souls who resisted Nazi evil. I read a story describing how in the 1970s a group of older Germans stood outside a large hotel while what appeared to be a younger man bustled about with the group’s luggage. Someone asked who the group was. “German pastors,” came the answer. “And the younger man?” “That’s Martin Niemöller—he’s eighty. But he has stayed young because he is unafraid.”

    Niemöller wasn’t able to resist fear because he possessed some super-human anti-fear gene, but because of God’s…

    Life Beyond Compare

    In a TV program, adults posed as high school students to better understand the lives of young people. They discovered that social media plays a central role in how students measured their self-worth. One participant observed, “[The students’] self-value is attached to social media—it’s dependent on how many ‘likes’ they get on a photo.” This need for being accepted by others can drive young people to extreme behavior online.

    Our longing for being accepted by others can be seen throughout the ages. In Genesis 29, Leah understandbly yearns for the love of her husband Jacob. It’s reflected in the name of…

    Worshiping God When Going Through The Storm

    It’s much easier to praise God when life is smooth sailing than when you’re in the throes of a storm. Today on Discover the Word, we look at the time when Jonah found himself in the belly of a fish, but surprisingly still chose to worship God. We’ll save you a seat at the table today for Discover the […]

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