Proverbs 5:14 (MSG)
My life is ruined! I haven't one blessed thing to show for my life!"
As I open the paper, look on-line, or even drive down the street, brokeness is what I see. Hearts are breaking and crumbling all around me. Is your heart shattered like the window in this picture today?
I still get a newspaper delivered to my door. I know I am dating myself by sharing that information with you, because it seems that only us "older" folks are hanging onto that tradition. I can't help it though, I love everything about the paper...the smell of fresh ink, the feel of soft trees, the sound of the crackling pages as they turn, the anticipation of some great knowledge to be gained, and the taste...no I don't really eat it...I was just kidding about that part!
Each day, after my run, I take our neighbor's paper and quietly place it on their front step so they don't have to get out in the weather. Then I proceed to my driveway where I snatch up our paper and head inside. It is like a birthday gift to me. I never know what's inside until I tear it open and peer in!
With the passing of time, the number of stories with dark and tragic endings seems to be increasing. Most recent headlines involve that of ridiculous crimes against children, natural disasters claiming unsuspecting lives, horrendous illnesses, and tragic accidents involving vibrant lives taken from us right in the middle of their prime. If left to my own accord, I would curl up in a tight ball and cry for the rest of my existence here on planet earth.
Thank goodness I am not left to my OWN "not so brilliant" ways of handling things. I am learning that I need to look through the side of the window that is not broken. Go back to the above picture and study it for a minute. Do you see what I see? The crack is right down the middle of the pane of glass. When I look through the side that is shattered, everything outside is blurry and distorted by the crack. However, when I look through the side that is not broken, I can see all the details and colors outside the window.
I am not suggesting that we put on blinders and do some happy-positive-weird chanting technique to help us ignore all of the bad stuff that is happening to us. Nor am I even hinting at the fact that I understand what someone is going through who is suffering a tremendous loss. What I am saying is that I have observed the deep despair of a mother who lost her child. I have witnessed a wife's immeasurable grief to the news of suddenly losing her husband. I have seen a young woman fight after being diagnosed with a life threatening illness. I have watched the grace in the life of an elderly person as their physical strength faded away. I have experienced a mother's angst as she stands by while her child makes unhealthy choices that will set the course for that child's life on a difficult path. The list goes on and on.
The one similarity that I observed in each of these people during their trials, nevertheless, was their unwavering devotion to the Lord. Was there window (life) broken? Absolutely! Did they ignore that damage? No! But, what I noticed them all doing, regardless of their circumstances, was making the decision to grasp onto the Lord! Instead of crying out...as in the verse above...."My life is ruined!!"....they chose to cry out...Psalm 91:2 (MSG)-"God, you're my refuge. I trust in you and I'm safe!" They fell to the foot of the cross and stayed there until they had a firm hold on Him~The Giver of Life, because He promises to carry us through and direct our gaze to the unbroken side of the window.
My prayers are not always me talking....but me listening. Today's prayer is all listening....and this is what He is telling me!
Psalm 91:14-16 (MSG)
"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "Ill get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!" (Bold and italics mine.)
Did you hear Him? He loves you so much....and He's calling each of our names! I have to go now...my phone is ringing too!