Tag Archive | sorrow

measurements.

Everyday we use measurements.

We rely on the accuracy of measurements.

We trust measurements.

Buildings, medicine, travel, food, time .. life requires a standard of measurement.

The Bible is a standard of measurement, too.

It is accurate. It is to be trusted.

The scripture is not a measurement to hurt us. It is for our good.

We may not understand the Bible 100%, but we understand enough.

When we are suffering, it provides the standard of measurement to help us.

All too often, we turn to other things.

I think God understands this.

So he waits.

We were made to reach out to Him. He wrote His words on our hearts.

We choose the measurement. Ours or God’s.

God uses the natural, physical world to explain the spiritual. They are parallel. Jesus spoke in parables to explain the spiritual.

Give us this day our daily bread. 

Bread that mysteriously anchors us, comforts us, guides us, frees us, strengthens us …

Bread that changes how we think, how we feel, how we act …

Are you grieving?

Do you know what God says about eternity? How he will wipe away every tear? And there will be no more sorrow or death?

This is a measurement for grief.

Without it, we will feel stuck in a place not meant for us. Unsettled. Asking the same questions over and over.

Until we apply the correct measurement.

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days like this.

Sometimes, when I think about my life, it has felt like a roller coaster of unpredictability, guided by an unseen force which doesn’t compliment my orderly mind, always looking for bottom lines.

But then, there are days like today – humid, still, and with a light rain (the kind you don’t mind getting sprinkled with). The kind of moment when we allow ourselves some meandering because we are not in demand. I don’t wear gloves pulling weeds. I want to feel the damp dirt and don’t mind it getting under my fingernails. And all the while I think, it doesn’t get old – the earth gives us food. This is amazing. How can someone not believe in God when his presence is everywhere?

Since working in a garden is slow, quiet work, it made me think about meditating on the scripture. We are accustomed to the quick read or sound bytes of information. That’s like a quick rain storm that doesn’t penetrate to the roots.

God wants us to be deliberate in meditating on how he sees things (which almost always contradicts how we see things), allowing truth to penetrate our easily distracted, misdirected, and confused thinking.

I don’t think it matters where we live or what challenges we have. God says his word guides us and lights the way for every single human being. It is the daily bread, feeding our mind, will and emotions. Without allowing it to settle in and take hold, how do we perceive things? God’s perfect way? Or our imperfect way?

One leads to peace and contentment despite circumstances. The other is unrest, fear, and worry.

Even the really bad stuff will have an answer when we meditate on trusting the Lord with all our heart, believing what he tells us about the day when he makes everything right.

God is in the power of the universe and in the tiniest seed.

If God can do that, how much more can we patiently wait and trust him with our lives and all of the sorrow?

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grief.

Kijg9A6kTThere are no quick fixes for grief. It’s a process that continues the rest of your life.  You are not the same person. In some ways you are better. In some ways you are not.

If it weren’t for God, I would not have made it. I didn’t hold onto him as much as he held onto me. When no one understands, God does. When no one is there, God is.

How can I explain the calmness that came upon me in the middle of many nights?

How can I explain joy in the midst of sorrow?

How can I explain being content with unanswered questions?

I can’t. I can only say it exists. I felt it.

The very same God who did not intervene when my son died, is the same God who protected me from grief overtaking me. Thing is, many people turn away from God. I did not.

That’s because I made a choice to trust God, believing he knows all the answers to my questions. I won’t know “why” today. But someday, I will. Because he promises that there will be a day when he wipes away every tear and there will be no more sorrow or death.

For me, that is an answer. He knows life will be painful. For now. And I choose to keep that day in my thoughts.

Photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ / Foter / CC BY-SA

friday’s quote.

“In this sad world of ours sorrow comes to all and it often comes with bitter agony. Perfect relief is not possible except with time. You cannot now believe that you will ever feel better. But this is not true. You are sure to be happy again. Knowing this, truly believing it will make you less miserable now. I have had enough experience to make this statement.”

-Abraham Lincoln

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Photo credit: Darrell Wyatt / Foter / CC BY-NC

seasons.

If we’re honest, we want it to be summer every day.

We want smooth sailing on calm waters with gentle breezes.

We don’t like our lives to be disturbed with loss, sorrow, or failure.

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We know a storm will eventually kick up, but we are still surprised when it happens to us.

Prepare yourself to endure seasons that are unpleasant, knowing that seasons always, end and another begins.

Life is a series of wonder and beauty. When you face sadness, you learn to value happiness all the more.

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photo credit: linssimato / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

smile.

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking

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When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by

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If you smile through your fear and sorrow

Smile and maybe tomorrow

You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

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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

“Smile”

Songwriters: Charles Chaplin, John Turner, Geoffrey Parsons

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Photo Credit:

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

seeing is believing.

Lots of things go wrong. Lots.

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… but lots of things go right, too.

Pain threatens to kill the part of you that wants to live. Don’t let it. God has wonderful surprises tucked away for you that will make you smile. Yes, even in sorrow there is joy. Don’t take my word for it. Go look!

treasures.

Memories ebb and flow, washing upon the shore of our mind. Sometimes the tide comes in uninvited, carrying debris with it. If we allow the debris to lodge in our minds, we can become laden down with self-pity, discouragement, and depression.

The tide will go out. And with it, the debris.

But look! There are some surprising treasures that the tide brought with it. If you look carefully, you will find them.

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Pain does not have to drown us.  God knows we do not have the strength to tread water for long. He brings reprieve in the form of little joys that will make us smile in the midst of even deep sorrow.

The first clear notes of a cheerful robin, chasing away the bitter winds of winter.

The surprise visit of  a summer breeze, bringing relief on a hot summer day.

The palette of  warm, autumn colors painted on a dreary, gray canvas.

The gentle falling snowflakes quieting a troubled heart.

All is well.

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Photo courtesy: wildxplorer / Foter / CC BY

thanksgiving.

Not feeling much like being thankful? I know. When everything around you is painful, being thankful is not in your mind. And even if you think about being thankful, the fact is you don’t want to be.

And a picture of a sunset or snowflake or flower won’t do a thing for you. Not when you’re feeling some deep loss or despair.

Feel the pain. It’s okay.

But lift your tear stained face off  that pillow for a minute and breathe. You see the now. But there is a tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. Don’t let the sorrow consume you to the point of not wanting to live.  Just as quickly as that pain stormed down the door and pounced on you – it can leave just as quickly.

The Psalms are full of the heart cries of sorrow. Yet, in the end, the psalmist concludes his pain is bigger than him to handle. The solution for the pain he cannot contain is turning toward God and saying – yet I will trust in You.

There is something to be thankful for. Something.

Abraham Lincoln gave a proclamation to the American people during the Civil War.  Despite a time of severe sorrow and loss, he leads the country in establishing our national holiday on the last Thursday of November, and called it Thanksgiving. What? How can this be?

This wasn’t a war fought in a foreign country. It was right under the noses of the American people. The battlefields could not be ignored. They were stained with human flesh and blood from the slaughtered sons and fathers who never came home. Surely, our nation’s cries of angst echoed in the heavens up to God’s ears. And it took someone such as President Lincoln, who spent many private moments grappling in the darkness of his soul, to lead the nation to do the right thing. The thing that makes no sense. But the thing that would bring relief, comfort, and peace for an aching heart.

Thanksgiving.

Finding something to be thankful for is not avoiding or ignoring the pain. It is the secret to getting through the pain and seeing your inability to handle it alone. It is the secret to knowing the God you’ve heard about.

Being thankful won’t make the pain go away. But it will help you through it. Abraham Lincoln must have known that.

relief.

We never know what a day will bring.

Sorrow grips with cold cruelty.

But the sun warms the earth and brings relief.

And with it, beauty.

Just look very closely and you will see it.