A soft place to land

A soft place to land

bear2 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

As a woman in ministry, I have struggles like everyone else, wanting to do my best for the Lord Jesus, yet finding opposition from the enemy who tries to sap my strength and take away my passion.  Sometimes there isn’t even a soft place to land when places/people which have been trusted as a safe place are no longer safe.

I am reminded of David who was a man after God’s own heart, yet at times felt betrayed and homeless.  I am also reminded of Jeremiah who is known as the weeping prophet who did God’s work by being the messenger bringing a warning of judgment, yet as the messenger he was rejected and abandoned.

Everywhere I turn, I see godly people having some of the greatest struggles of their lives.  When one is tested and tried and the work and the struggle is difficult both emotionally and physically, where does one turn to to find a soft place to land?  Where or what do you turn to?

What I have been finding is that the most trustworthy “soft” landing spot for me is God’s word.  I have been spending hours in the scriptures absorbing the love that God has for me.  When I read about God’s Sovereignty and his ability to bring good out of every situation, I have great hope.

The other night Richard and I watched a program on the universe and I was struck at the vastness of God’s creation and the unfathomable power that he must exert to create and sustain the entire universe filled with billions of galaxies and an untold number of stars.  Surely he is able to fix problems that seem unfixable.  Surely nothing is too hard for our Almighty Sovereign God.  I may not see all the answers that he has for all of my own struggles in my lifetime, but I trust that he has a reason for everything that he allows his children to go through.  I also trust that he will indeed work out all things for good to them that love God and who are called according to his purpose.  People may fail me but God never will.  He is my soft place to land and I want to give him the praise and honor that he deserves for his love and care.  The Lord Jesus and his inspired word are my soft place to land.

30 thoughts on “A soft place to land

  1. For some people who are going through a really dark time and unable to read God’s Word, just saying the Lord’s Name is sufficient. I do not know if this thinking is kosher with Christian thinking, but lot of the Saints of Old have done this. It’s almost like hanging on to one thing for dear life … and for now it’s the Name of the Lord.

    It appears to work. 🙂

  2. Thy Peace,

    Yes, I have known some who were not even able to read the word during their time of distress.  Calling on the name of the Lord certainly would work for them even if they can only manage his name.


    Thank you for your prayer for me.  Stress can come out in many different ways in the body.  While I am feeling God’s peace more and more each day, my body has reacted in a way that may never go back to “normal”.  Whatever will be is in God’s hands for he is the great physician.

  3. Don,
    I have been doing a lot of sleeping lately and a lot of bible reading and my emotions are coming in to line with the peace that God gives.  As far as the body goes, I have been told it is incurable.  Now that I know, it is time to move on and get back to “normal”.  For me ministry is what is normal.  As my passion starts to come back, I am going to work to be back doing everything I used to do.  The purpose of my life is only one thing – to bring God glory and if he can find glory in whatever physical condition I am in, then I choose to glorify him.  He is the potter.  I am only mere clay, but this clay desires to be molded into whatever shape, whatever vessel he desires.

  4. As far as the body goes, I have been told it is incurable.

    Cheryl, sister in Christ, I pray for you. I am sorry to hear about your travails. I do learn a lot from you. [Also from Paula Fether and Cindy Kunsman.] God bless you sister in Christ.

  5. Cheryl,
    I’ve admired your depth of meaning in the Scriptures, but I’ve never dreamed I’d be sending you what I believe about nutrition.  I believe the greatest medicine in the world came from God when he gave us an immunity system to kill things harmful to the body.  I’m not against taking medicine, but eating what is good for us is a start in the right direction.  For what it’s worth, here is what I believe:
    Fight Cancer by Starving it to Death
     Received this email and I believe it…Rex
    1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.
    2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person’s lifetime.
    3. When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

    4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

    5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

    6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, such as the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

    7. Radiation, while destroying cancer cells, also damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

    8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

    9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

    10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to change and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

    11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods that help it grow.
     1. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful.  A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt.

    2. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are starved.

    3. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

    4. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. It’s-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Avoid distilled water since it is acidic.
    5. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become purified and leads to more toxic buildup.

    6. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

    7. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells, try and drink fresh vegetable juice, bean sprouts, and eat raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. (Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F.)
    8. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Florescence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death which is the body’s normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

    9. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior to be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

    10. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

    No plastic wrap in microwave.  Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don’t freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic.
    No plastic containers in micro.  Instead, use glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. Such things as TV dinners, instant soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else.  Food should be covered with a paper towel.

  6. Thy Peace,
    I am grateful to have been a help to you.  Thank you for sharing that with me!

    I have had cancer in the past so your list of things to know and avoid is worthwhile seeing.  This time what I have is a nonfatal, stress induced skin disorder that has no cure.  The best I can hope for, apparently, is periods of remission.  The stress has brought a lot of depression and has forced me to take time off to deal with my own emotional well being.  Thank God that I am on the mend and time in the word of God has helped me a great deal as far as my emotions are concerned.

    Thank you for your concern.  It is so good to know that there are people who care.

  7. This message is from L’s to Cheryl:

    Dear THY PEACE, 

    I could not leave this prayer for the sick on Cheryl Schatz’s site because I do not give my e-mail.

    Could you copy it and place it there for her. I would so much appreciate your kind help. L’s

    Prayer for the Sick
    Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.

  8. Cheryl, as I read your impression with the greatness of God, I also thought of the fact that this God also numbers the hairs on our heads and cares whether a sparrow falls to the ground. Some would try to take away one aspect of God or another, either by denying His holiness or his love, but both are true of God. When all the dust settles from battles in the trenches over various issues, we can always refocus by remembering such seemingly trivial things as the hair on our heads and the sparrows. These simple things silence many proud theologies.

    As for your health, I do agree that what we eat has a great effect. But there are also genetic and environmental factors we cannot control. There are many theories about how to optimize health, but in the end we know that we live in a corrupt world and that God will not allow us to suffer beyond His provision for strength. In spite of those “friends of Job” who may try to capitalize on such things, God will repay everyone eventually and bring justice to all. It is always sad to hear of our brothers and sisters in Christ having to suffer, but it reminds us all to count our blessings and sympathize with those who suffer.

    And while some may call it escapist, I can think of no better motivation nor higher hope than Jesus’ promised return. It is very, very near! I can practically hear that trumpet blast even as the world braces for global economic collapse and the downfall of civilization as we know it. It is a source of strength the world cannot fathom, a source of hope it cannot quench. Our redemption is at hand and the end of all suffering is upon us.

    ThyPeace, thank you for your kind words. “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Prov. 17:22), andAnxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (Prov. 12:25)

  9. Thy Peace,

    Thank you for posting that prayer.  I take that as a very comforting thought and prayer for me.  Thanks for “L’s” for posting that through you!!

    Since I finally got a diagnosis from what we were already sure was a stress-related problem, and since I now know it is something that I will have to deal with for years to come, I have thought much about Job.  Job was falsely accused of sin and treated badly even as he was in the midst of his physical suffering.  We cannot see all that God is doing in the working out of his plan, but it is a fact of life that suffering is used in our lives for a reason.  At the very least, as you pointed out, it makes us long for the coming of the Lord Jesus and our new bodies.

    Thanks also for reminding me of the wise words of Proverbs about how our heart can receive a huge lift from kind words.  I have been in too much pain to even be on my own blog, but today I feel greatly encouraged by the words written here.

  10. I can get atrial fib from stress so I know that stress can have physical effects.  I try to destress my life in many ways, knowing that a certain amount is useful but too much can be harmful.  I try to know my limits and respect them; knowing that sometimes others may not understand and think less of me when I decline something.

  11. I am so sorry to hear that you are in pain.  However, as one who has learned to live with pain in the last 3 years, I’ve also learned it can be a good reason to be sure to take our quiet times with the Lord.  Sometimes we can keep going and going, when we should be taking time out.  The pace of our world’s system in this era is just too fast really.

    Thinking of you in prayer……

  12. Don,
    I have been able to take an amazing amount of stress in the past.  Sometimes we are blindsided by those whom we have trusted.  This kind of stress is much harder to take.  What I am learning is that God is the only one who will not fail me.  The rest of us are mere humans who have a less than perfect record.  I suppose this is why we need to continue to walk in grace.

    I do have a bad habit of going and going and not understanding when it is time to rest and/or give up on a particular struggle.  Perhaps I am learning.  Better late than never.

  13. Cheryl, you are precious to me so please take care of yourself. I do agree that Jesus never fails so we must keep our eyes on Him. I was reading something a few days ago about those in the Body who hurt us…sometimes it is very cruel….about the only thing we can really do in most cases is focus on the Glory of God. His greatness and Sovereignty. But, I know you know that.

    I pray that I will be a soft place for others to land when hurt by the Body.

  14. Lin,
    Thank you for your tender words!

    It is most unfortunate when Christians hurt other Christians whether out of fear, ignorance, or plain old cruelty.  Strong internal hurt can bring stress and along with it adverse conditions in the body.  It can also bring a blockage between our experiencing God’s love if we let the hurt develop into bitterness and anger.  I have tried hard to focus on prayer for the other person because this helps to keep bitterness at bay. 

    You are so right that focusing on God’s glory, his Sovereignty and his Almighty power will work to keep our minds stayed on him instead of our circumstances.

    To all my blog friends,

    I have been physically struggling for awhile and one of my blog reader’s encouraged me privately to share my struggle with my blog friends.  I thought a long time about how and what to share and then decided to post a few words publicly and then without getting too specific, I would share a few more details only in the comments section.  In hindsight I am so glad that I opened up and shared.

    Yesterday one of my friends from California who catches up on me from my blog, read what I had written and gave me a call asking for more details on my diagnosis.  After listening to all of the details, she is convinced that I have been misdiagnosed and that all of the physical effects will be gone within six months.  There are two diseases, both stress induced, that are often misdiagnosed as each other because their appearance is the same.  The differences are subtle but very significant.  The second disease is self-limiting and will run its course within about six months even without medication but it also has a high success rate of a complete cure with a particular antibiotic given over a two week period.  The first disease has no cure.

    I now have a great sense of hope that God is going to heal me completely even though I wasn’t given any hope by the doctor.  I did my own research on the internet looking at both diseases and their onset and I too am now convinced that I have been misdiagnosed.  My doctor wasn’t in today but an assistant gave me the prescription for the antibiotic that has helped many others.  God-willing I will get some relief soon and be back to my old self within two weeks.

    It isn’t always easy to open up about personal matters and there are many more details that I haven’t shared that would not be appropriate to share publicly, but this is one case where opening up was very helpful for me.  I would like to publicly thank Cynthia H. from California for being God’s special angel by sharing with me her own private journey and how her own disease that she battled 30 years ago was almost certainly what I have instead of what I was originally diagnosed with.  By sharing her story with me she gave me hope.

  15. Lin,
    I would also like to add that I hope all of us are willing to be a soft place to land for others.  Jesus is the only 100% faithful one but we can try to emulate him by using the hurtful and rough time that we have been through to reach out and touch someone else.  Thus we can be a life-line to others who is hurting, by being willing to be a ray of hope and a source of love to them.

    Lin, I am certain that you are being molded into that “soft place” for others who will walk after you in the same path that you have walked.  I trust that Jesus will greatly bless you for being that precious gift of encouragement too.

  16. Cheryl,

    That is encouraging news, I hope the meds work.  If the only cost is 2 weeks of antibiotics, it would seem rational to take them even if there was a very small chance of it being the curable case, if only to rule it out. 

    As you know, dianosis is an art and far from perfect and even with correct diagnosis, the state of the art of medicine advances as they learn more.

  17. I have been away from these sites for a good while due to a death in the family and a surgery plus a complicated move.  Interesting to see the stress issues being addressed.  Cheryl, I pray for progress for you!  Tiro, living with pain, I can’t imagine. I am praying for you, too!  My health issues have not resulted in ongoing pain for any length of time.  I, too, have a stress-related health situation, and am being treated for it, but find that my biggest stressor is dealing with the comp/egal split in my fairly new marriage.  I know these things are allowed for a reason(s) but they are sure tough in the meantime!  I still need to get a handle on how to live victoriously and joyfully while married to a comp and living in his comp-ound!  I think the challenge for egal women married to comp men is a tough one, depending upon the circumstances, and mine aren’t hideous, yet, what is the price of the loss of freedom within the body of Christ?  I think how much freedom women have in the secular realm, for the most part, in our country, as they are free to associate as equals on any level in the work world or at home, etc.  Yet, within the Christian family, where we should be the MOST free to relate to our Father/Creator and with our brothers and sisters, we are clamped down upon and silenced!  I am freer in Christ, to worship and fellowship, if I only meet with women or if I meet alone.  That should not be.

    Recently, due to a discussion about why females aren’t asked to pray before the meals in my home, I thought about the irony that a girl may speak to her father, to her brothers, etc. about any subject except God!!!  When it comes to God, she may ask about, but not teach, pray to, etc., in front of mixed company.  It is a travesty!!!  And this is the state of things in many churches and church groups.  

    I need to go pray!


  18. Don,

    If the only cost is 2 weeks of antibiotics, it would seem rational to take them even if there was a very small chance of it being the curable case, if only to rule it out.

    This is my thought as well.

    Often people don’t talk about their own stress-related problems in the open.  It is “safe” to come into the open for those who are not using their name.  I do value openness because it is helpful to many.  I want this blog to be a safe place for all to share, even me.

    tiro is a very special person and I know that tiro would welcome prayers for the pain.

    Truthseeker, thanks for sharing about your own struggles.  Many of us can relate.

  19. Cheryl
    I have been unable to blog much due to my young family commitments in the last few months… yours is the first blog which i hope to get back to visiting regularly again now our baby is bit older… sorry to read you are not so well my friend.
    peter and i will be praying for you.
    much love and HIS peace that surpasses understanding to you!

  20. For those who are reading my blog and wonder how I am doing – I would like to give a praise report.  The two weeks of antibiotics have done a fantastic job of healing me!  I still have some scarring and faint marks but not that most people would notice.  Now I just need to keep myself away from unusual stress for the next while and I should be 100% healed.  I am just so thankful to God that what was a very bad diagnosis has been changed to a praise report.

  21. Awesome! Now watch some comedies, and realize that just being able to blog and make DVDs that have helped people has been a blessing in itself and a future reward for you.

    Katherine Bushnell believed that in the last days women would be free to use their gifts and take the lead in spreading the gospel, and I believe we are now seeing this. Outside the walls of “the church”, yes, but in the world. We were always supposed to be “salt”, and I like to remind people that you don’t dip your food in salt, you shake the salt over the food. Likewise, we are to go out into the world and preach the gospel, not endlessly repeat it to the saved.

    So here we all are, rejected by our own brothers and sisters, forced to go out into the world by persecution– just as God did with the first century believers who otherwise would have stayed in Jerusalem. Take heart that you are part of this exodus, following the will of God, and that women are being freed through your efforts.

  22. People in prevous moves of God can persecute those in the current move of God.

    I am glad you are feeling better.

  23. Cheryl,

    I am glad you are feeling better!

    Per salt, I heard a sermon recently in which the preacher explained that in those days, animal refuse was burned for fuel, since other sources were scarce.  Salt was added to the ‘fuel’ to make it burn brighter.  When the ‘fuel’ was burned up, only the salt would remain but it would have lost its savor or ‘flavor’.  What has anyone else heard of this meaning?

  24. My dear sister in the Lord,
    I am so happy to hear that the antibiotics helped. We thank and praise our Lord for answering our prayers. I know it is hard for you, but be easier on yourself. The body gets ‘run down’ and infections thrive when we are tired. One day we shall have our new bodies, but until then, this old tent needs some taking care of.
    I agree with Paula, “Now watch some comedies, and realize that just being able to blog and make DVDs that have helped people has been a blessing in itself and a future reward for you.”

  25. Paula, Don and Truthseeker,

    I forgot to mention you’all and your kind words to me. Thank you!!

    Truthseeker, I have not heard about salt added to fuel to make it burn brighter. If anyone else comes across more information, feel free to post it.

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