Saturday, November 10, 2012

Leave It There

As the first flickers of dawn sifted through the tall pines, I stood in the back doorway struggling to focus. Words from an old hymn whispered to my soul: "Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there."

As a person of faith, taking my burden to the Lord is a natural instinct. The tricky part for me is leaving it there. Today, however, I needed to leave it there.

Returning to my bedroom, I sat silently on the edge of the bed. My alarm would go off soon, and another workday would begin. I felt heavier than Gibraltar. The scripture about casting my cares upon "him" came to mind. The end of that verse says, "because he cares for you." After repeating those words several times to myself, I lined my cares up in a long row and began praying.

"Lord, here's my concern about _______. I cast it upon you today." As I called out each concern, I made the motion of removing it from my heart and placing it in his hands.
Somewhere around the third concern, tears spilled out and dripped off my face. With each falling tear, I felt a sense of release and a genuine lightening of my load. It was truly miraculous. In mere moments, with just a few simple words, and a tiny bit of faith, Gibraltar had transitioned from my heart into his hands. Today, I would leave it there. ♦
I'm linking to Still Saturday, a new blog I have discovered for quiet inspiration.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Clouds and Silver Linings

Tuesday afternoon, while sitting in traffic, exhausted after a long day at work, I glanced out my window and was immediately captivated by this brilliant silver lining. Quite frankly, I barely noticed the cloud.

Figuratively speaking, clouds come to us all. A lost job. A sick child. A broken heart. A broken home. Natural disasters that damage and destroy.

During such times of loss and grief, silver linings aren't always easy to see. We may go for weeks, months, sometimes even years of existing beneath the cloud, just being still and being sad.

Personally, I believe there is great value in being still and being sad, and sometimes it is all we are capable of doing.

However, once we find the strength to move forwardto accept our pain, our loss and our sufferingwe can look back and see beauty in the things that made us weep. Not tangible beauty, perhaps, but a silver lining just the same.

Maybe it’s a restoring of the soul, a softening of the heart or a renewed sense of gratitude.

As James Buckham once said: “Trials, temptations, disappointments—all these are helps instead of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fiber of character but strengthen it. Every conquered temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured 'in the right spirit' makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.”

As evidenced by the picture I snapped at the end of the day, clouds (even dark ones) can be beautiful things. How we look at them will determine what we see.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦