Thursday, September 29, 2016

Silent Presence

Have you ever had one of those days where you couldn't wait for it to end, but then it never did? That's me right now. I'm beyond tired, but there is an endless supply of things in my head, a never-ending stream of thoughts and feelings and thoughts about my feelings...then feelings about my thoughts, and so on. And here I am.

The only thing I know to do is write, only what's bothering me isn't something I can write about. I pray, and that helps...but it doesn't "fix it." I actually woke my husband from his comatose slumber to help me...but guess what he said? He had the audacity to tell me to hand it over to God. Can you believe that? After years of praying for him to step up his spiritual game...I was semi-appalled when he actually gave me solid Biblical advice. My husband can usually "fix" things for me himself.

So, here I am pecking away at this keyboard wondering if it's worth it to go to bed at all since I need to be up in less than four hours. In college, I would stay up and take a nap after my noon class, but I'm not in college nor am I any longer the age of most college students. I try to sleep, but the kind of peace needed for a calm rest alludes me. Probably because I'm still carrying the burden. What was that my husband said about casting my cares and worries and problems on God? God's bigger than my situation...I believe that, right? But why would he even take my worries? And what are "cares" anyway? I'd settle for feeling numb for a while, long enough to recuperate the strength I'll need to pick my cares and burdens back up tomorrow...because of course I'm going to carry them around again.

My particular burdens might be disappointment, a heart-wrenching sadness, and this empty feeling in the middle of my heart that steals my breath away....but, your cares might be frustration, anger, and physical pain because you actually punched a wall. A guy on the bus could have a completely different set of cares: emotional pain from a broken heart, fear of failure, and wounds from a childhood abandonment. You just never know...

I believe that in the invisible, spiritual realm, our "cares" are visible. The guardian angels must cringe when they're assigned to watch over the guy with three suitcases of "cares" strapped to his back, but even the most put-together person will carry around a pocketful of cares.

So, what did I do? First, I did one of those "open to the Bible and point at a verse" experiments, only I didn't point to a verse. Instead, I pointed to a title or heading within the'll never guess what it was...I actually laughed out loud. PATIENCE IN SUFFERING. Ugh! The passage of scripture didn't apply to me, but still....come on! Next time "open and point" produced James 5:13, "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise." I already tried the praying, so I began to focus on the praise part of the verse, and you know what? I actually have something very big to be thankful for...we got an offer on our house today. I hadn't thanked God for that yet because I was too busy crying or thinking about something else or feeling sad. But, as soon as I shifted my focus...I changed almost immediately. Today, I had forgotten to be excited about something I had waited for so long to happen because I was consumed with a form of grief that completely robbed me of my joy. So, yeah! The burden got smaller. It's still there, but when my focus changed...the "care" became lighter to carry. The last "open and point" delivered this verse, "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." And, that helped too. I did wonder something about that verse though, some information I may get from God someday if I remember to query him about it: "Dear God, it would help me a lot more if You would've left out the old part of the verse and it read: train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it." But today, the "old part" of the promise is in there as an encouragement I needed to hear. Funny that I hadn't actually pondered a verse I'd read at least a hundred times the way it truly read before this moment.

I put away my Bible, somewhat refreshed. And I could almost fall asleep, so I reread a poem I wrote last night. And the words spoke to me today, almost like God gave them to me yesterday because He knew I needed to hear them today even more than when I wrote them...maybe this poem can help one other person too...

"Silent Presence"

Sometimes there are no words for feelings.
Sometimes feelings are too strong for only one person to carry.
Even so, I am here.
I might be silent, but I'm here.

Sometimes time heals wounds.
Sometimes grace does.
Most wounds do heal though...
With enough proper care and rest.
Patience heals.
Peace heals too.

But, sometimes the healer comes in the form of grief.
What an unlikely salve God has given me to use.
Even so, I am here.
I might be silent, but I'm here.

We're all in this life together, my friends. So, let's practice a little casting today!

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