The calendar on my desk reads January 1 and it glares hard. There’s a new sign on a fresh coat of paint, “In everything give thanks” and the smoke is rising from the old brown trash barrel.
The words like the smoke irritated my eyes, caused me to lose my breath at times. And as I read page after page I found a pattern in a time past, not so many years ago—a time when days led to weeks and sometimes even months. The pen had inked negative in the pretty journals. But we all know a pen has no ability to write alone. That’s what happens when the heart dwells in hardness too long rather than being sheltered in grateful. And there was no better place for the journals than the fire.
A few months after my Daddy crossed over into his heavenly home this lady said to me, ‘You’re a strong girl. You’ll get over this.’
And at the time I wanted to scream at her–tell her strong had nothing to do with it and no I won’t get over it. But the words wouldn’t come and I just broke. Again. And knowing and loving this lady for years–honestly, she meant for her words to be of a comfort. But me looking at the dark–I took them as just that–a dark hurt rather than being grateful for her love and concern.
The words we often speak to each other hurt and sometimes the negativity of sadness we choose for ourselves has an even greater power. For if we focus our thoughts and words to reflect only on the weeds and thorns, we will miss the true beauty of the blessings of the most beautiful of flower gardens.
In five short days it will be another new year. Time sure is spinning fast.
And life seems to be getting harder. Sadness. Troubles. Sickness. Negativity on every corner. And make no mistake about it–giving thanks in everything is hard. But what blessings are we missing while dwelling on the negative? What are we taking for granted when we should be thanking God…Every. Single. Day.
Talking with a dear friend a few days before Christmas and we stood together in the mire of deep tears as she asked me to pray for a loved one who was struggling with a sadness. She explained to me what had caused the hurt and then proceeded to tell me what she had shared with her loved one–about the letting go of her sadness while trusting in God’s plan….
‘In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, she said. ‘God’s word speaks of seasons in our lives and the words are there, right there side by side–a time to mourn, and a time to dance.’
And she explained to her loved one there are times of great sadness but there is always Jesus with His hands outstretched–reaching, waiting. And then she ask her–‘Are you willing to take His hands and dance?’
And I stood there with chills. Grateful for His hands. Grateful for the dance.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Ecclesiastes 3:4
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. Psalm 30: 11-12