When glad is an effort…{Lenten series, part four}

SNOWY ROAD Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

SNOWY POND Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

SNOWY CABIN Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

SNOWY YARD Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

Glad! He will make me glad…that’s what the song says that’s running through my mind this gray morning. And the candle is lit and the bible is open and I am searching God’s word for encouragement.

But the glad can be long in coming and I wonder if the glad really will show up for the circumstances are dismal and gray.

And all I can see is an overcast sky and yet more snow falling softly and even though it looks lovely, my heart is chilled at the prospect of another sunless winter day in the Northeast.

My heart tightens when the news interrupts the classical music softly playing with word that seven Marines have died in a training exercise and I think about their wives and mothers and the screen blurs. Convicted! My burdens are so light and temporary.

And while there is no hot mug of tea to chase the chill and offer comfort that only a cup of strong tea can, I am glad for giving it up. For the letting go of a “woobie.”

I had no intention of giving up anything for Lent this year, thinking it cliche. He has other plans, and spoke it so directly that morning that I immediately determined to listen and obey and trust that He would teach me in the giving up during the days leading up to the greatest of days.

Resurrection.

Hoping and praying for resurrection in my heart. And my thinking, which gets gloomy with a touch of SAD.

And so I purpose to choose glad. And am gladder still that the giving up makes me press in tighter and hold on longer, seeking comfort from that one true source of comfort. And of joy.

Jesus.

And dawn slides into our living room and I smile, warming slowly to His touch, receiving what He offers knowing that I know that He knows best.

DAWNS LIGHT Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

So I ponder the gladness that can evade when I ruminate over that which isn’t. Whether my worries center on physical infirmities or painfully tight finances or where in the world we will set up “our home” when this one finally sells, it really doesn’t matter.For in those unholy moments of worry I shift my focus from the truth of Him who is and was and will always be, to what may never be, letting fear squeeze me tight, my breath coming short and shallow.

Exhaling intentionally, I close my eyes and then take in a deep breath, breathing into my heart, just like a dear girl has taught us. And my heart starts to expand…

KIMMI YOGA Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

I read through the Psalms for the day: 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100. In His faithfulness to meet my every need, His words resuscitate my weary soul and I rejoice remembering that today is the FIRST DAY OF SPRING, seemingly so long in coming this year, but finally here at last!

WORD IN LIGHT Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

WORD Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

And hope springs eternal and someday He will return, at long last. The waiting and the groaning shall be over. We will all sing loudly and joyfully.

And we will be unable to ever thank Him enough for all that He has done and exactly how He did it.

And once again, in His quiet way He teaches me the Way of gladness as a choice, like everything else. And words from a devotional poem speak loudly.

But soon my heart spoke up from ‘neath our burden,
Rebuked my tight-drawn lips, my face so sad:
“We can do more than this, O Soul,” it whispered.
“We can be more than still, we can be glad!”

So like Pollyanna, that delightfully optimistic girl character created by Eleanor H. Porter in 1913, I will play the Glad Game and find the joy and nod my head to the words of James:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1: 2-4

And I pick up my cross which is blessedly light even when I think it’s heavy and I’ll follow my brother to Calvary and then onwards to glorious resurrection.

Leaving the doubts caused by fear and opting instead to think on the bright side.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8

And counting my many blessings all along the way…

COUNTING Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

~sheila

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