I was in conversation with a friend and we were sharing bits and pieces of our lives and the people in it. She was sharing how one of her loved ones struggles with believing God's goodness, feeling like God snatches away the carrot just as he reaches for it.
And I commented how I, too, get that .... struggling/wrestling to believe. To believe Jeremiah 29:11 where God tells us , "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm...."
She comments about an illustration that she saw...
... A woman was grabbed by a man out of her car. People gasp thinking she is being abducted only to realize that her car was burning. What looked like in a moment to be a bad or negative action was actually one of a saving, heroic action...
And isn't that how many of our happenings are in our life?? In the moment it feels hard. Painful. We get angry.... Why, did God allow....?? Why, did this happen...? Why...?
Later, in hindsight we see how the negative actually has a positive and a good, saving, and yes, heroic action in it.
Picture a seesaw, one of those childhood toys that children love to play on at a park...
It takes two. Two people. It works best when the weight is evenly distributed.
Up. Down. Up. Down.
The one with the most weight, wins. I remember the triumphant feeling of holding another person in the air. And watching my boys when they were small struggle to keep someone up, calling "Mom, help me." Or, holding on to blades of grass or shifting weight only to try to win by keeping someone floundering high in the air.
And when we're the one in the winning seat, our view is upward. Maybe, just maybe that is the key... an upward focus in the middle of life and all that goes with it...
Life is like a seesaw. There are TWO 'people' that play a part of our life's story.
On one seat we have joy and good times. The moments when our hearts soar with connection to God and others. We feel like we had something to offer this time. It feels like a time of summer. Productivity.
On the other seat.we have sorrow. The hard times when we feel weak or death has entered our door, calling a loved one for eternity. We may wonder if God is really there or if He still loves us. There's the pain of failing health, accidents, relationships gone awry, rejection, worrying about ( ) and .... you fill in the blank.
Life is a mixture of joy and sorrow. It's what's woven into the fabric of life.
The past months I have felt the weight of pain and weariness. It has held my joy and peace high in the air, floundering, until I thought it might fall off the seat. I prayed. Asking God to help and yet even believing in that was swallowed up in the weight of what was bogging my soul.
What do you do when it feels like your strength to believe is so weak? When it feels like you can't take another step of faith...
We have those days, maybe months sometimes.
One of my favourite passages comes to mind of the paralytic man who physically could not go to Jesus. And four of his friends have a belief and a strength and each grip a corner of his pallet and CARRY HIM TO JESUS.
Sometimes we need to be carried. to. Jesus.
Sometimes we need someone to intercede for us when our faith or strength is weak.
So, today, I am thankful for other ladies. Ladies who have whispered and breathed a gentle wisp of hope in my heart. Like my sons calling for mom to come and help them hold the other person up as they sat on the seat of a seesaw; I too, felt like I was calling for help to win.
Life is a lot of perspective. It's been said many times that a situation is 10% what happened and 90% attitude.
And sometimes, we lose perspective, losing our way, to joy and peace, and it may take another person to breathe those wisps of hope into our hearts.
Another thing I am grateful for is the many articles, books, and personal stories that many have shared because they have mentored me and breathed life and hope when I was struggling to believe.
Our stories matter. And when shared, some day, they will touch a life and it may be just what was needed to encourage another's soul.
And I realize that my prayer for help was answered and when I felt disconnected from God and wondered if He still loves me... He did. He was not looking at me with disdain.
GOD IS WITH YOU, TOO!
Taking our stories and using them for His glory.