Thursday, January 29, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ When This Sad, Sick World Gets You Down

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor
Guest blogger, Lori Hatcher   @LoriHatcher2

I'm excited to introduce my friend, Lori Hatcher to you today. Lori, like me, isn't afraid to ask God the hard questions. I think it takes a lot more faith to question God than to pretend there are no heart issues that hide in the shadows and fester. Hidden issues of the heart will dim the light of faith in our lives if we don't take them to God. Sweet friend, He pursues us with His love. I believe He delights in the trust it requires to have an honest conversation with Him.

Lori has a new book, Hungry for God ... Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women. The following is an excerpt from her book.

Welcome Lori!

Facetime: God, this world is so sick and broken. Where can I find hope?

I knew better than to click on the YouTube video of the cute puppy in the shelter. When my daughters lived at home, they'd run interference for me. "Don't watch that movie," they'd warn when a preview came on. Or they'd say, "It was a good movie, but Mom can't watch it."

They know I'm tenderhearted and have a tendency to carry images around in my mind for a long, long time. That's why they try to protect me from sad animal stories, news reports about neglected children, and tales about the abused elderly.

But sometimes the stories still sneak by. I hear about broken marriages, natural disasters, and suicide bombers. Fighting church members, hungry toddlers, and drug addicted homeless people. Cancer-stricken friends, bankrupt small business owners, and wayward children.

And my heart breaks. It aches for every hurting soul that walks this broken world.

I know the answers - that sin has been wrapping its poison tentacles around our planet since Eve's sin in the garden, and no generation is exempt. That we are engaged in a cosmic battle between good and evil that won't be resolved until Christ returns. That people will continue to hurt, kill, and destroy each other until the Prince of Peace reigns over all.

And while all creation groans to split its death-stained exoskeleton and be clothed in the light and life of its original, sinless skin, we must endure a little while longer.

These nine life preservers of truth comfort me when I am overwhelmed, and I cling to them:

     God never intended mankind to experience sickness, loss, and death. He created the world to be perfect (Genesis 1:31).

     He weeps with us, and we share in his suffering 
(Romans 8:17).

     Where sin increases, grace increases even more 
(Romans 5:20).

     When the burdens get too heavy, we can cast our burdens on him, and he will sustain us (Psalm 55:22).

     The Holy Spirit in us is more powerful than Satan's influence in the world (1 John 4:4).

     Our sorrow won't last forever; one day we will laugh again 
(Psalm 30:5).

     Our present troubles will one day bear eternal fruit 
(2 Corinthians 4:17).

     Eternity is forever and will totally eclipse our present time of earthly sufferings (Romans 8:18).

 And so we cry, crawl up into God's warm embrace, accept the grace he extends to us, and press on.

What truths from Scripture comfort you when you feel overwhelmed? I encourage you to think on them today.

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, 
I am he who will sustain you. 
I have made you and I will carry you; 
I will sustain you and I will rescue you." 
~ Isaiah 46:4 

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

God, this world is so sick & broken. Where can I find hope?  Guest blogger @LoriHatcher2 shares. (Click to Tweet)

Lori Hatcher is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She shares an empty nest in Columbia, South Carolina, with her ministry and marriage partner, David, and best dog ever, Winston. She’s the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine, and has authored two devotional books, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women and  Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time . Connect with her on Facebook (Hungry for God), Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or by email (

Hungry for God description:
What if you could look God in the eye and ask him questions? And what if he answered?

You may deeply desire intimacy with God but just don’t have time for extended periods of study and meditation. Between the demands of marriage, family, and work, you can’t figure out how to get it all done and still have a dynamic relationship with God. You may yearn for answers to the challenges you face every day, but the reality is you just aren’t getting them. 

If you need a resource that speaks to you where you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time: Five-minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you. This book is not one you know you’ll never finish but a brief daily devotion you can carry with you for moments of thoughtful reading.

 “With real-life inspiration and candid wit, these powerful, five-minute devotions will change your life and draw you closer to God.”
Dr. Kevin Leman, New York Times Bestselling Author of “Have a Happy Family by Friday”


  1. Thank you so much, Nan, for allowing me to share the only thing that makes sense when this world gets too hard -- our precious Jesus. Blessings to you, friend!

    1. You are so precious. I know the words of your heart will touch many. Thank you for sharing with us.