The wind can be a gentle, welcoming breeze …
… or fierce and damaging.
The rain can fall softly …
or in torrents of destruction.
We live with both.
Hope is seeing beyond the moment and knowing God speaks to us through the joy that comes in the suffering.
Winter can be a harsh season for many. Blowing snow and slippery roads cause accidents. Frigid temperatures cause costly heating bills and frozen pipes. Bitter winds bring frostbite. Ice and snow accumulate and cause power outages, inconveniences, and must be shoveled away.
Living in a season of hardship is work – a physical, mental, and emotional drain.
But then, there is always the promise of the next morning when the sun, always dependable, always constant, always God’s way of speaking to the world of his existence, illuminating the landscape, revealing HIS GLORY.
But … you have to see it. You have to want to see it. You have to believe it.
You have to welcome it into your life.
Things will look better in the morning because weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Photo credit: Kathy Moulton
Evil exists in a broken world.
People get sick.
Tires go flat.
Houses catch on fire.
We relish in the good – and so we should.
But sometimes, evil can shadow the good and we forget the good is there.
There is only one who can redeem the atrocities in our lives. God.
The Bible tells us he is compassionate and merciful. His love is so great that he died for the world because evil kept him at a distance.
Does his love stop there? No. It continues on and on and on.
And often, God shows he is with us when he surprises us with comfort when snowflakes fall gently upon the earth.
All around us is God’s presence.
Photo Courtesy: bkaree1 / Foter / CC BY
In one moment, everything can change.
Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad.
What do we say to someone who lost a brother, daughter, sister, husband, girlfriend … in the movie theater massacre?
What do we say to the man who lost his wife, mother, and two teenage daughters in a car accident a few days ago?
People offer condolences those first days. Everyone is gripped with the soberness of sudden death. Our lives suddenly stop. It could have happened to me we think.
But then, there are the weeks and months following when very few, if any, seem to remember your loss.
The pain doesn’t end after the funeral.
If you know someone who has lost a friend or family member, remember them. Don’t think that someone else is doing it. They’re not.
If you are the one who is lonely in your grief, you are not alone. Even if you don’t believe or are not sure about God … he’s sure about you … and he’s with you.
I cannot speak to all forms of pain. And I won’t tell you that pain is pain.
There are families sifting through the debris of leveled towns from tornado destruction. For every wonderful story of a loved one spared, there is a sad story of a loved one’s death. A woman with breast cancer has only days to live while another celebrates her news of being cancer free. A fatal car accident takes a life and another just missed an accident by seconds.
The stories go on and on.
Unexpected, unintended, unexplained.
Despite the interruption of a storm, an enduring strength for survival ensues.
God knew what we would need to survive.
Ice crystals from the snow left tell-tale scars on the hope of spring.
Having some scars is okay. You will make it.
It’s normal to ask why when we’re facing pain.
Why did my friend die in the car accident and the drunk driver lived? Why didn’t my father love me? Why did my child get leukemia? Why did I lose my job? I think what causes us to question is we compare ourselves with others. There’s nothing more discouraging than to work really hard at something, only to have it end in disappointment, failure, or heartache.
I’ve asked why many times – only to have it exhaust me. Most of the time there are no answers and we have to find resolve in that. I’ve often found myself saying, “it is what it is” and the practicality of that statement somehow made me feel better. Since I have found peace in trusting God, I am able to say it and accept it.
Ask why. But don’t keep asking when you know there is not an answer. It will destroy you. Life has plenty of sadness but it also has plenty of happiness. Think about those good things that happened and you don’t know why!