Tag Archive | sorrow

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.

all-alone-4_l

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.

~~~

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.

care.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

And there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.

All these things are gone forever.”

-The Bible

zippity-do-dah

When you sing while all is not well,  it’s because you most likely have come to a place of understanding how joy and sorrow can exist together.  For the Christian, it is understood that Jesus endured suffering for the joy set before Him.  Another who comes to mind is Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who lived daily with suffering all around her.

Most of us have experienced it really is better to give than receive – a remedy for a heavy heart. Another remedy is simply enjoying life despite our circumstances. I’m not talking about faking it. I’m talking about realizing all of humanity suffers in some degree or another, concluding it is what it is, and tapping into joy.

It’s one thing to enjoy life when all is well, and by all means, do so! It’s another thing to enjoy life when all is not well. Do so anyway. You will find your emotions lining up!