Tag Archives: difficult choices

It’s a Bittersweet Symphony -this LIFE Write 31:Day 25

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Joy is often the result of a difficult experience. Without adversity, would we truly know the goodness of God? {Psalm 51:8}

My ankle throbs as it sits upon a pillow.

This rude interruption of life

I glance at a list sitting on the side table and shake my head. Nope, not today.  And I sigh. I had so many plans, things that needed to get done, orders that had to be sent out. All the things that I had procrastinated about now shifted to the back burner. Now there is a different plan, one that includes a sore butt to go with the sore ankle.

Consider it pure joy

I roll my eyes as the words flash quickly through my inner vision. Joy and pain. Do they really exist in tandem? My heart catches on the word consider. Consider. Not: it is, or you must – simply:consider it.

A little word research reveals this:

Think carefully about, typically before making a decision

Think about and be drawn toward a course of action

Regard something as having a specified quality

It isn’t demanding. Consider is a verb, a course of action. Something that we have a choice about and must decide which way to take.

Pain

Joy

Given just the two words I would choose joy, but the joy cannot be given, in this instance, without the pain.

They come as a package deal.

And doesn’t so much of life?  Our first instinct is to only feel the pain, but it is in the midst of pain that we can choose the response, to choose differently than the rest of the world. To set ourselves apart from the thrum of society, that takes and dishes, moans and complains and gnashes their teeth. We can choose to live in the immediate hell, or the joy of a Holy God before us.

We can choose the way of Jesus.

Joy is pure emotion – and aren’t we emotional beings?

A bit more word search tells me that it is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.

What if the joy that James was talking about is something that is available to us? Not a demand, but a request to seek what you desire instead of wallowing in what you’ve been given. To seek well-being, success, good fortune. We all have desires, but will they come to anything if we choose instead misery?

Trials will come. Jesus said it – but did He even need to?  I don’t know about you but I feel it. Sometimes every day. And there are times that I wallow in that misery. But all that accomplishes is to make everyone else around me miserable (misery loves company – yes?) And then their misery makes me even more so. Do you see the pattern?

JOY on the other hand, has the power to uplift and inspire HOPE.

James knew what he was talking about when his request was to consider joy. A trial faced with an attitude of joy encourages perseverance which will ultimately lead to fullness of life. The waves will still crash, but our heads will stay above the waterline. Life is found above those waves, and in their breaking, so are we. And what is left is what we should have looked for all along.

But it all begins with considering JOY, and then living it through.

2joyDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. Winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the JOY picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!

LOVE – Write 31:Day 13

love

“Love is the one thing that can destroy evil. It can change a life, and restore balance to a dying world. Loving God must come first. From there you will see real change.” {Deuteronomy 6:5}

I heard a story once of a child who sat watching a chick hatch from its egg.  Maybe you have heard this story before?

– As the chick began to emerge from the shell, the child noticed that it struggled to peck its way through to the outside world. Many minutes passed as the child watched patiently. Finally she could take it no longer. The child reached out her finger and pulled a large piece of the shell loose effectively making a way for the tiny chick. The child smiled to herself, satisfied that she had helped this little creature to be born, and she just knew that they would be bonded together for life because of her love for the chick and her efforts to help.

Indeed the chick emerged from the shell, but a couple of hours later, the newborn chick died. The child was devastated. She cried and cried to her mother. “What happened? I helped it to be born and I loved it so much, why did it die?” She was so sad that her “baby” had not lived. The mother comforted her child the best she could.  She knew as she watched her daughter help the chick that it would not turn out well in the end. But she had allowed the lesson to continue.

Now, as she consoled her weeping child, she explained just what had happened. “When a chick is being born, it is important for it to peck its way out of the shell all alone. Even though it takes a tremendous effort and is exhausting to the hatchling, it is through this effort that its lungs are developed, making them strong enough to do what they need to do for the rest of the chicks life. Letting the chick be born all by itself is a great expression of love because you are giving them what they need to survive.”

I have a chick.

And I have to admit, I have spent a significant amount of time pulling pieces of shell away, opening up areas in order to make the birth a bit easier. Yet through all of this peeling away of the tough, the unsavory, the challenging, this chick does not seem to be thriving. Little wonder. The mother hen in me wants to make things easier, imagining that it means that I love more completely, more deeply. But all I have done is to weaken the lungs. I’ve made breathing in this world a much more difficult task than it ought to be.

Oh, I know that we live in a cruel and challenging world, and we love our “little chicks” so much that we want to protect them from danger and hardships. But one day they will have to emerge on their own into that harsh environment and without the lung capacity, can they make it? Maybe the most loving thing we can do is to push them out of the nest. Let them struggle to be born. Give them the best chance to survive outside the shells that we’ve kept them incubating in for so long.

It grieves my heart to watch it. Like it did the child’s in the story.

Like it does God’s.

Love doesn’t always look like cotton candy and sunshine. Sometimes it looks like letting them fail. It is in those deep desperate places that we find God reaching out His hand. If we are always reaching out ours, will they ever look for His?

So I find myself today, repenting of my perceived good deeds. I’ve come to the end of myself and the end of my unwitting desire to kill my hatchling. I will watch from close by of course, and encourage the chick to peck for the sky. And I will love deeply and desperately as I watch this life change and become stronger, restoring balance to their little part of the world. I see the outstretched arm reaching as I pull mine back, and I know that one day she will breathe.

Do you know someone who is struggling for air?  I would love to pray with you. Leave a comment.

love-colorDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand and ready to give. Winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the TRUTH picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy yourself.

God bless your day!