On the Serious Side
I like looking on the bright side of things most of the time and I am a joyful contented person as a whole but lately a lot of “stuff” has crowded into the “living room” both figuratively and in real life. Winter months will often do that especially up here in the North where the sun comes up late and goes back down again too soon, even before the little ones have gotten up from naps. The weather can be beautiful and thrilling but it can also be daunting, unrelenting. One day I find myself saying, “This spring rain, will bring May flowers and I can’t wait for all the snow to melt.” The next day we get another foot of snow and then a day after that four cars go off our windy country road on an ice glazed mountain slope because the gravel truck does not come early on Sunday. Those are the days it’s hard to be joyful!
Besides the weather there’s life. Ugh, I’m a grown up now, with grown up problems! How did the time go?
Does this sound like you?
Is anyone out there? God do you hear me? Are you listening?
Do you see me, are you listening…please answer!
My life is a vapor, my body is frail and turns to dust like the burning coals in the fireplace!
I feel like the grass, limp and dampened by months of snow, I even forget to eat!
I groan and wither away. I’m skin and bones…. I can’t sleep.
I am like a lone bird that can’t (or won’t) fly. My flock has gone south and left me on a rooftop.
People hate me, they sling insults using my name.
Food tastes like ash and my morning coffee is full of tears… because you have forgotten me God.
Days go by like a shadow and soon I am withered like the grass in my yard.
How many times have you sat and lamented these same words? Do you know who wrote something very similar to this? I took it from the Bible, please read the original text in your own precious Living Word. My paraphrase is only a retelling, but it occurred to me that someone (most likely David) felt the same way I have been feeling and wrote it all down even thousands of years ago. We are not at all different, you and I, us and them, they and oh I don’t know… you get the point.
Many many times we look at our circumstance and it overwhelms us, totally utterly paralyzes us. If you look back on your life what stands out to you? What do you remember? Usually it’s a series of major events, some bad some good. Do you remember paying the bills ten years ago, do you think about how stressed you were during exam week, can you specifically remember that darn cold that kept your little one out of school for the day last spring? NO, not usually unless it turned into a major event! I thought about this for a while and realized, the things that consume us the most each day, robbing us of joy-THOSE are the burning coals, THOSE are the things that fade away and when it’s all said and done we don’t remember the potholes. So why do we let them overtake our “living rooms”?
Life really is so short when you think about it and it is sad. To quote a mediocre, but still entertaining movie we saw last week (the newest Indiana Jones) “We’ve reached the age where life stops giving and starts taking away.” We get older and we see more losses; loved ones, dreams, jobs…. Boy it’s not fair! If you ponder that too long it can get quite depressing and you WILL loose your joy! But here is another thing I’ve learned. The story I re-told didn’t stop with withered grass and eating ashes it goes on like this… Psalm 102
Lord, you are in charge! You are forever! You are talked about and praised over and over in history.
You are full of compassion… People everywhere fear your glory, even men of power revere you.
You will rebuild your city and return, famous!
God WILL hear my cries, DOES feel my pain and UNDERSTANDS my sorrow. He does not hate me for
expressing my distress!
I just LOVE the next verse…
“Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord!” (Ps. 102:18 NIV)
Then it goes on something like this….
The Lord saw and heard everyone on Earth,
He heard people groaning in jail and He released those headed for death.
People yell out His name, they sing about Him and they get together to tell about what He did for them.
God broke my strength and my life is so short-(this reminds me of a wild horse brought to paddock)
So I said, “Don’t let it end like this, you are outside of time and I am not ready to quit the fight!”
You built the Earth from it’s very foundation, you even molded the heavens with your hands.
The things you created will wear out like old clothes and be replaced but you remain!
You are the same, your days are not numbered.
Those who serve you will enjoy your company, their children who follow you will get to stand in your
If you are like me and in need of some serious encouragement don’t think for one second that the Bible is just ancient history, read it and think about what it would sound like if written today and I know you will discover many hidden treasures. Have you ever wondered why such depressing passages like the first half of Psalm 102 are written in the Bible? I believe it is for us to learn that God wants to hear from us, good or bad, he wants to be allowed to solve or problems and be let into our lives. He longs for relationship with us. Ponder that for a while! God, who IS everything has everything can be everywhere… longs for you! Why, because if He is Love, His Name is LOVE, than He delights in nothing less than showing it. Not for His benefit but because He IS! Exodus 3:14 (KJV) “I am that I am”!