The songs that spoke most to me during those first years of mourning seem to be far from the mourning path—and yet for me they were personal and expressed something I couldn’t say in words. When IZ’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” with its throaty croon filled the airways, I’d stop everything and soak it into the hurt places of my soul. The rainbows reminded me of the promises of another place, a better place, a future to hope in. Another constant companion in the back of my mind was the lyrics to Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile”—not that the song made me smile, except bitterly, but something about the song swung along the grapevines of grief with me, voicing understanding of the sound a heart makes when breaking.
Autumn’s pace matches the beat of my life march. The fiery vibrance of leaf color says there is beauty in maturing, and something strong and sure promised for the future. For, at this time, my story has been weathered to be something buffeted by winds, but stronger, without the fragility of spring’s new growth. Reality is here, in the stirring of rain and winds that will bring a winter, but also is the knowledge that I’ve been here before. I’ll make my way, sure that the One who brought me thus far will follow through when all other promises are dust.
He warms through the coldest life struggle and sustains through the longest winter.
Gianna Jessen, a woman who, as a baby, survived a saline abortion and consequently ended up with cerebral palsy, refers to cerebral palsy as a gift. Lindsey Bever in her Washington Post article on September 30th, quotes her as saying, “ ‘And cerebral palsy, make no mistake, is a tremendous gift,’ she said. ‘I don’t know if any of you understand — maybe you do — what a tremendous honor it is to have to lean on the strong arm of Jesus all the way to heaven.’ ”
I can appreciate Jessen’s statement as the older I get, the more I glimpse the sweetness of utter dependence upon my heavenly Father’s plans for my life.
Not that I’ve got this trusting thing down. Just telling a friend this morning how hard it is to trust that God has good things in store for me. It’s easier to trust for the little things and for the big things so evidently outside of my control. The hard part is in lining up the emotions to believe for unexpected things, the “gifts” that God promises. It’s good that emotions don’t have to be there to have faith and believe—because that’s where I’m at.
Having stood in the fire, hoping not to be burned, and seeing as hopes, dreams, visions shrivel and die, makes standing strong in the face of life’s stream of adversities and declaring that “my God is bigger” difficult.
Because I do believe God has more for us here, and now.
In Luke 18:20, Jesus promises as thus “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
I refuse to listen to the naysayers of my own mind that say the trials and tribulations of being a Christian is what this life is about—suffering through until we have the relief of death. For the accuser of the brethren is ever ready with his darts of disbelief and discouragement.
Sure we will have our trials and tribulations, but behold He, Jesus, “has overcome the world” (John 16:33). So I choose to believe, today and tomorrow, that God has good for me in this life. I can’t wrap my mind around the mysteries of eternity, so I am content to say, here, today—I declare the blessings of God upon my life. Today, in the midst of life’s taunting ashes and burned ruins, I speak the unfathomable depths of a God who does the impossible.
What mountains steal your energy to climb? What valleys of sludge mire your every attempt to advance? What shadows dodge your steps and linger, hiding the fierce dangers of darkness?
Determine with me that through our God, all things are possible—both in heaven and earth. And I include in that “all things” the new dreams that might be forming, the hopes I might not be able to quite grasp…
May our prayers stir the heavens, my friend, may our worship cause our Lord’s heart be glad, that He might rejoice over us.
As I’ve poured my thoughts here, the joy of being His child has brought me into a wonderful place…
He is here. With me. And with you if you incline yourself into His care.
Delve into His Word. Into His promises. His shelter, His love, His care.
Blessings, now and always.
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4, NKJV).