Have you had the experience of feeling as if you’ve got far too many burdens to bear, far too many people to take care of, far too many things on your list to do? You just can’t possibly do it, and you get in a panic and you just want to sit down and collapse in a pile and feel sorry for yourself.
Well, I’ve felt that way a good many times in my life, and I go back over and over again to an old Saxon legend, which I’m told is carved in an old English parson somewhere by the sea. I don’t know where this is. But this is a poem which was written about that legend. The legend is “Do the next thing.” And it’s spelled in what I suppose is Saxon spelling. “D-O-E” for “do,” “the,” and then next, “N-E-X-T.” “Thing”-“T-H-Y-N-G-E.” – Elisabeth Elliot
The world is busy and complex.
It’s your choice if you want to get off at the next stop or be swept away in the current.
The simple things in life are often the most profound.
And just do the next thing.
Loss makes us grieve.
Death is loss.
But there are many other kinds of loss.
Failure (perceived or real).
You were going one way, until suddenly, it all stopped.
Your fault, his fault, her fault, their fault.
Why blame? Does it help?
Learn flexibility. The way a vine finds the path to reach the sky.
… but not unscathed.
A leaf turns yellow and a new one grows. A blossom drops and a new one forms.
Let the tears fall and the anger find a place.
But then, live again.
Randy Son Of Robert / Foter.com / CC BY
The vehicle in front of me hit a bird.
My heart sank.
The driver didn’t stop. Most people do not.
But God does.
What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it?
He didn’t say God stops the sparrow from falling.
He said God knows about it.
A bird. There are millions of sparrows. Yet God sees the one.
He knows about you, too.
God is close to us. Very close.
He shows us in very personal ways.
That’s because despite the wrong in life, God wants us to know what is right.
Like the time I spotted a cardinal when I couldn’t seem to draw one to the feeder.
And the time I found the perfect picture for $3.99.
And the time I found the right color for my new bathroom for $2.99.
And the time I discovered the watering can I’ve always wanted for $5.
But most of all, on that dark day, when out of nowhere, the wind playfully stirred the leaves around my feet, swirling upward, enclosing me in a protective embrace. I surprised myself with a small laugh. God had descended upon me. And I knew it.
These moments are not for a select few. God embodies true love. He reveals himself to you because he cherishes you.
Who else would surprise you?
Only the one who knows what you need. And when you need it.
With all our technological, medical, and scientific advancements, the common and routine can frustrate us.
That’s because we are limited. And the first step of grieving is acknowledging and admitting death is inevitable. The truth sets us free. That means the part of us which is weighed down with confusion, discouragement, frustration and disappointment breaks free with acceptance.
We are made of the same stuff as our predecessors who lost loved ones to disease, accidents, and war.
We cannot stop it.
Generations before us lived with death. Does this make our personal grieving easier? No. But it helps us to know we are made of the same stuff as our ancestors. We’re human.
We cannot control everything that happens to us the way we choose our ring tones or favorite search engine.
To grieve is to accept.
But to accept is to trust.
Trust in what? Or whom?
There is always someone who writes the book.
In the Beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth.
Photo Credit: Etolane / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND,
How do I deal with grief?
We live in a world of instant gratification.
Even the poorest among us has access to a fast food lunch, a cell phone, and/or cable television.
The problem is not all things in life can be instantly gratified. Grief is one of those things.
We want to push it away for another day. We’ve got things to do and places to go. But grief interrupts our rhythm.
The world has advanced in leaps and bounds, but our soul hasn’t. We may adjust and accommodate and even welcome the intrusions of someone’s random thoughts posted on a social website. Yet, our soul is the bedrock of who we are and it is limited. Without recognizing those limitations we expect more than we were made to handle.
There has to be times of calmness. We were not made to be constantly alert.
Grieving the loss of someone cannot be filed with the rest of your daily activities. It won’t allow it. Grief will demand your attention and the more you try to keep at bay the more it will intrude. Ignoring it is like ignoring a bullet wound.
Next post: How?
Photo Credit: Roozbeh Rokni / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile
Songwriters: Charles Chaplin, John Turner, Geoffrey Parsons
Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel” (Ronn ashore) / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Toni Blay / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Toni Blay / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Does anybody see?
Does anybody care?
Everything has a purpose.
And some of the best things in life are hidden.
Until someone finds it.
And that includes you.
Kingfisher: Htet-Aung / Foter.com / CC BY-NC
Sometimes, giving out of your pain seems unattainable. That’s because you are looking to do something big.
Did you know that Jesus said the least in the kingdom is the greatest? In other words, we often look for the biggest and brightest and best of everything – when God almost always picks the smallest, and dimmest, and the least of everything.
Jesus was born in a barn. Not a castle.
Your giving can be useless and small in your eyes, but it’s a sacrifice God takes note of.
And you know something? It seems to be the secret to soothing your hurting heart — giving of yourself even when you’re sad.
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones … truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.