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Nothing like an escape

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By Doug Ponder

We left out last Saturday to go to Columbus, Indiana to sing at church homecoming there on Sunday.

For those of you who don’t know, my wife Danielle sings in a southern gospel group called “The Sextons.” They were all Sextons until Danielle married me and became a Ponder, throwing the whole group off haha.

We have been married for over a year now and I have been traveling to singings with them for over two years. If you had asked me five years ago if I would love going to southern gospel singings almost every weekend, I would have given you an immediate answer of “no!” But now, I can’t wait to go to them because it is a place where I can go to escape the world for a few hours and refuel myself.

I have been going through a lot lately. There has been a lot of stress at work, dealing with my mom’s estate, trying to sell her house and on and on.

Plus I am still grieving with losing mom and it seems like I am missing her more everyday.

On top of all of that, both of my grandfathers have recently suffered severe falls and I am worried about them. One of my grandfathers is doing a lot better, but my other grandfather fell last week and fractured a bone in his shoulder. He is currently at UK Hospital and had shoulder repair surgery on Monday.

I also get down at certain times in my life when I start thinking about everything as a whole. Both of my parents have passed away, both of my grandmothers have passed away, an uncle I was close to has passed away and several other extended family members have passed away. All of this has happened before I have even turned 30-years-old.

I can remember a time before I was 10-years-old when no one in my life had passed away. During that time, I even had two great-grandmothers still living. When I look back on it, I am thankful that I was fortunate to get to know two of my great-grandparents before they passed away.

It’s easy to get down and depressed. It’s easy to look at my other peers who have both of their parents still living and get a little jealous.

At the same time, I know there are people who have it worse than me too as I am sure there are people my age who have lost their spouse, both parents, etc.

I know there are always people that are so called “worse off than me” as a lot of the old timers describe it, but that still doesn’t keep me from missing my loved ones who passed away. I know what they are saying with the phrase and I agree with them, but it is still hard.

The older I get the more I realize that life isn’t fair, I can’t do anything right without God and God is where I can get the strength to make it through everything. I think the quicker a person can learn these three life lessons in life, the better.

Things won’t be fair. We will battle sicknesses, we will watch other loved ones battle sicknesses, we will lose loved ones, we will have financial struggles and on and on.

With that in mind, we must always remember that Satan really tries to hang us up when we are dealing with the things that I mentioned in the paragraph above. The thing to remember is those things are going to happen to us whether we are saved or not saved.

The thing to remember is Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we would have happiness in our lives ON EARTH without any sickness, trouble, loss etc. He didn’t die so we would have prosperity in this world, but it was so we could be saved from going to hell and could receive our prosperity in the next world in Heaven, which is a prosperity like none of us can imagine. To sum it up, this is not our actual home, so of course things aren’t going to be fair down here with 100 percent happiness.

But while we are still here on this world, as Christians, God never leaves our side through the bad times and the good times. I can accurately say that I struggled more with losing my dad when I was ten-years-old and when I lost my grandmothers and uncle when I was in college. During that time I didn’t seek God or seek to further my relationship with Him. However, when my mom passed away in April 2018, I was furthering my relationship with God on a daily basis and leaning on Him made everything much more bearable and peaceful.

Although I am not happy with losing my loved ones, I have peace knowing that God never leaves me and peace knowing my loved ones are all in Heaven too.

If you aren’t saved, you can have this peace too and have what we have as Christians if you accept Jesus Christ as you Lord and Savior, develop your relationship with Him by reading His word (Bible) and praying daily, and find a “Bible believing” church to attend.

I know to a lot of people, it all sounds crazy. Although it’s not crazy at all, I understand that thinking because I once thought it was too. I am ashamed to say that it use to annoy me to hear people talk about God all the time, but that is not the case anymore. Now, I wish more people would and I try to encourage others to do so.

As I said before, Satan really tries to mess us up in so many ways. It really is as simple as I have written above. I wish I would have quit letting Satan mess with me sooner than I did. I hope some of you will start shaking him off immediately too and start seeking God.

There is no magic equation, no complex answer, etc. It’s simple. Follow what I said above and seek out God everyday, and you won’t regret it.

Remember, you don’t have to get your life right or clean before you get saved. He will do all those things after you get saved and seek Him out on a daily basis.

It’s like the old saying of throwing chewing gum at the wall hoping it will stick. When you throw this kind of chewing gum at the wall, it will stick every time.

And once again, as Christians our comfort is in the fact that when we seek God, He will find us and never abandon us. He will be with us no matter what we go through. No matter what we lose or face in this world, He will still be right there.

That is where I find my comfort and I am so thankful for it.