Saturday, July 16, 2016

Looking for Lovely and Finding Hope

This hasn't been the best of days.  
A few situations seem hopeless and depressing.  I really hate when that happens, but you know when you live 40 plus years, you start to see that the one certainty in life is that trials will come.
They just do.
The world is a broken place. 
But with that, a good thing you learn in hitting middle age is that trials will also fade, and one day those things that seemed so desperate and all-consuming will be distant memories.
They really will.
And as my always Mama adds, "Then you'll have a whole 'nother pile of poop to step in".
Which is a little disheartening, but also true.
So this afternoon in an attempt to redirect my focus from the false sense of hopelessness, which is surely from the enemy, I went out back to find something lovely to collect.  
The Bible study I am reading, Looking for Lovely, suggests that we collect the "lovely", the moments that matter, evidence of God's presence in our lives, treasures to sustain us and help us to persevere through trying times.  The author uses Romans 5:3-5 to suggest that persevering through suffering will develop character and ultimately bring hope.
Hope.
Just what I needed.

So there I was, out back looking for hope, while watching the rain, and reading my study, and still feeling a tiny bit sorry for myself, when suddenly the sun shone so brightly in my face I couldn't see.  

I thought, "Okay, LORD, I know you've got this.  I know I have to trust you.  I know I can have hope in you."  
I began to feel a little better there in the warmth of the light, and I was thankful for that small moment of sun, and hope, and clarity.
Then B stuck his head outside and said, "Hey Mom, is it still raining?"
"Yes!" I said, feeling a little irritated that my moment was being interrupted.
He grabbed a hockey stick and ball and walked out into the yard and said, "No, it's not."
It was then that I realized that the rain had stopped.  The sun had been so blinding I hadn't even noticed.
Wow.
So there was a deeper message there, and I think it was something along the lines of "fixing my focus on Him, blinds me to the rain and storms around me".
That was definitely something to remember, but there was more.
Suddenly, B called from across the yard, "Mom!  Come here!  You've got to see this!"
I reluctantly got up, and started walking over to where he was.
"Don't look yet!" he called as I came closer.  Proudly he told me to turn around as he pointed out a HUGE rainbow.

It was right over our house.
It was right over where I had been sitting earlier.
It was a real promise.
It was real hope.
It was lovely.
And I wondered how long it had been there, and if it had first appeared as the sun hit my face so brightly, and if I would have missed it if B wouldn't have come outside and interrupted me.  
Such irony.
There I was, huddled under my porch feeling hopeless, insignificant, desperately looking for lovely, and there it was all along, in all it's majesty, right over my head.
Look for the lovely my friends.
It's there even when you don't see it.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-5
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