It really will be okay

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Sometimes I forget that spring is coming.  Everything seems dry and dead and there is barely any color.  Locked in the bathroom, asking God why, I wonder if He really heard all of those silent, heartbroken pleas, the soulful dew faced prayers and the loud proclamations made, while pacing back and forth, my confident steps seemingly pounding the glorious truths out on the ground beneath me.   I prayed, I believed, I proclaimed, I professed but alas, the outcome was not as I expected.

For a moment, I am lost in self pity, it almost feels good.  Don’t I deserve it?  The flesh pleasing state of ME?  I realize my plan might not have been the best after all, I may have misunderstood God’s intended effect.  I feel hurt, forgotten and blind-sighted.  I could give in to this darkness, the cloak of heaviness the enemy is more than happy to shroud me in. I have been here before though and I know that choice leads me nowhere.

So, I take a deep breath and utter with the weakest trembling voice, “nevertheless, You are still God”. That profession alone awakens and revives that faith that I knew I had and suddenly, the day doesn’t seem quite so dark and dreary.  I let the truth of those words, sink in and suddenly I’m eager to escape my place of refuge and run toward the light.  A spirit fed river begins to course through me, leaving peace in every dark and shadowy place.  Like someone emerging from under the raging sea, gasping, I take a big gulp of redeemed life and am gently reminded in Whom I believe.

I open the door, walk out with strength in my step, a profession of life on my tongue and hope in my heart.  God still reigns.  Through all the turmoil, trials and tragedy of this earthly walk, He has been with me and brought me through every single time and He will again and again.  Victorious living, one day at a time.  He has already provided anything I really need.

I know that even if everything turned out according to my short-sighted, selfish plans, there would still be times like this.  There would still be days of loss and sadness, days of oppression, days when I need to do like David did and strengthen myself in the Lord.  I remind myself that His ways and His thoughts are higher than mine.  He can see so much more than I and so much farther into the future.  How arrogant of me to even presume for a moment that I can figure it all out?

This side of heaven, there will be trouble but the load is so much lighter if we let Him help us carry it.

Spring is on it’s way, it’s always right around the corner.  Will life be perfect?  No.  I won’t bury my head in the sand and pretend like it is or smile when I just can’t.  But deep inside, there is a peace that passes all understanding.  This peace reminds me of a time when I didn’t have it and that alone is cause for rejoicing.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.” And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Rev 21:4-5

 

Vultures of the human variety

White-backed vultures (Gyps africanus) feed on...

White-backed vultures (Gyps africanus) feed on a carcass of a wildebeest in Masai Mara National Park, Kenya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several times a week I walk, at least a 2 mile stretch, sometimes more.  Today was my “lunch walk” so I only had 30 minutes and was determined to make it count.

I was clipping along at a rapid pace, my body already on melt down alert from the blistering FL sun, when I smelled it.

It was a rotten, dead animal smell that caused me to pick up my pace even more.   This was partly because of the horrid smell and partly because of the large assemblage of hideous vultures beside the road gawking at me as if I were after their dinner.

As I continued around the bend, happy to be rid of the stench and the stares, I began to think about buzzards.  We all know that they are scavengers.  What I didn’t know that I read today and found interesting is that a group of vultures is sometimes called a wake.  Very fitting!  Another note is that although they rarely attach healthy animals, they may kill the wounded or the sick, which brings me to my point and what I was pondering during the remainder of my walk.

Have you ever noticed that some people are like vultures, looming over a mess, waiting for their opportunity to run and congregate to observe catastrophe close up, feasting on bad news and then regurgitating it (like the vultures do to feed young or when scared) wherever they go.  It smells even worse by then, I imagine.

Sometimes these people take a weak or injured individual and try to finish them off just to satisfy their appetite.  They thrive on rottenness and death, walk all through it, supping until they are full and there is nothing left.

When someone is weak or downtrodden, they need encouragement and when every situation around them reeks, they don’t need more gossip and exposure.

They need understanding, love and a true friend; someone to defend them when they can barely stand beneath the weight of despair.

I am so blessed to have friends like that and a God who watches over His children.  One of my prayers today is that I will never feast on someone else’s pain, but instead that I will come alongside and share the burden.

Mitch Teemley

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