Wednesday, October 12, 2016


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Life is beautiful!
You wake up like me at 4:00 am to go to work and you are greeted with an immense sky filled with the most amazing stars. Yes, there are days that we wake up with that smile already pasted on our faces. The car starts. We have a few dollars left in our EZ Pass and we left food in the house for the kids to munch on throughout the day.

Life is hard!
There are days the cold breeze gives me just a hint of the cold weather I'll be waking up to soon. I'd much rather stay in bed where it's warm. Some days, the car is my enemy, like just a few weeks ago when it got an attitude and decided to stop on the expressway or near the bridge. Yes, there are days I've gone through change looking for just enough to pay a toll or prayed that when I looked inside my purse, I'd find some cash to get something we needed. I'm not alone. I am more than positive you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

Some weeks pass by with our health in order, the bills paid, our family time is wonderful and every day fills like Christmas morning. Other weeks our bodies ache, sickness lingers, prayers seem to not reach heaven, our minds are tormented, we argue and become restless. We make decisions we are happy with and other moments we think we're so close to God we know His mind and we make some of the dumbest and biggest mistakes of our lives. I know. I've done them. I've been there. And so has God. His mercy has been extended over and over and for that, I am one happy person.

So, How do I get by on a regular basis? If I write about everything feeling so amazing, does it mean I have some kind of favor or some kind of good luck on my side? When I express that life is good, I am saying to you that in the midst of those times when life isn't so amazing, it's still good. What I want to make clear through my words is that even when the stars are shining early in the morning, and the day goes well and then something happens and everything is going well, life is still good and I hold on to the saying, "It's all going to be okay." Why? Why would I dare to be what seems two sided? 

I have learned to take God at His Word. If His Word has it written down for me as a promise, a word of hope and encouragement, then I have to understand deep inside my heart and my mind that no matter what kind of a day I have, it is not the end because God has promised to keep His Word when it comes to being there for me, my children and the million issues going on in my life. Maybe yours as well. Perhaps you're going through some rough patches in your life. Maybe you've even come to a point where you are certain God has stopped listening to your prayers or maybe never even gave you a thought. Maybe you've become angry with God or feel so let down that you can't seem to open up that old Bible in your home and just try and see if there's a word in there to remind you that He still cares, He still listens, and His is still watching over your life.

If you open my Bible, you'll find the letter "P"written alongside many scriptures. In my teens, I wanted to learn those promises and have easy access to them. Although the beautiful sun rose up each day to greet me and my life was filled with moments that were precious to me, there were so many times life was filled with hurts, disappointments and feeling alone. Being able to take the time to read through my Bible and find those promises in God's word made all the difference then and continue to be the comfort in my life today. Maybe it's time you take hold of His promises. Maybe you need to create your own way to outline those promises from the Lord for your life. I guarantee that you will not regret the time you invest in seeking those scriptures that remind you that you are not alone, that God loves you, that He has forgiven you, that He is your healer, and that He has given you power over the enemy. You will begin to praise the Lord and worship the Lord in your heart and in your home when you discover those scriptures that remind you that the Comforter is with you, He is in you, He came to set the captives free and you are His child.

My prayer and hope for you today is the same prayer I have for my own children, that God's Word will become something amazing in your life. I pray that you will discover the treasure of life and joy hidden in the scriptures and in all of God's promises. You will read them over and over and every time you will find the Lord will minister to your heart differently. God knows our needs and His word is for each season in our lives. My friend, if I were to share some of the things I've been going through, you might say, "Oh, how sad." And maybe if you shared what you're going through, I would have to stay quiet because what my issues are tiny specs of issues when it comes to what you're battling and facing each day. Each one of us has a battle, a struggle, a moment of joy but also a moment of having to fight. We are all in one way or another living each day but still passing through these many problems and difficulties that come with living in this body of clay. Sickness holds on. Financial problems seem to remain. And we can't act like it's not true, but many of our homes are just a war zone sometimes. So, what do we do? 

I end it with this. Take hold of the promises of God. Make reading God's word and speaking to the Lord a priority in your life. Lord, help us to make your words a permanent tattoo inside our hearts and our minds. Let nothing remove your promises from before our eyes. Let our focus be You and only You. Lord, let us be thankful at all times. I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring into my life or to the lives of those who are reading these words. Life is beautiful, but Lord, you wouldn't have promised to be my Strength and Help if life was not also really hard and painful sometimes. So, I surrender my life and my family to you, but I also pray for everyone who reads these words today. 
Be their Strength. Be their Comfort. Be their Healer. Be their Joy! Be their Friend. Be there.

In Jesus Name, we hold on to Your Promises, Amen.



By Angeline M Duran Santiago  The storm rages on and the winds buffet the lands in violent twirls. Some say it is the season for hur...