". . . Moving to Disney world is not an option. There will be tribulation; Jesus said so. But be of good cheer: He’s still in the business of guiding and strengthening and healing and overcoming. . .”
~ When the Glass Slipper Doesn’t Fit
~ When the Glass Slipper Doesn’t Fit
by Claire Cloninger & Karla Worley
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Scripture -- often overlooked -- is a verse that brims with meaning and emotion. Reflect on these ancient words from the pen of Job:
“From the city men groan; And the souls of the wounded cry out”
~ Job 24:12
Slip into the landscape of this verse for just a moment: Beneath the loud splash of commotion and bustle in our homes and neighborhoods, behind the flurry of display and showi'ness in our churches and communities and cities, there are invisible, wounded, broken hearts --- souls aching from shattered relationships, illness, death, financial despair, crushed hopes, unforeseen disaster, hidden sins, shame, the list goes on and on. Job calls them groans.
In Hebrew, the word suggests that this groan comes from one who has been wounded. Perhaps this is why Job uses this very meaning in his poetic line: The souls of the wounded cry out. In this line, “wounded” comes from a term meaning pierced -- as if stabbed.
But . . . it is the soul (not the physical body) that is crying out! . . . because the deep hidden lacerations of the heart can be -- and are -- far more painful than a physical stabbing. Does this describe you today? Someone you know?
And why is this 'crying out' so often likened to a 'winter season' in one's life. Why is that?
Winter is more that just a season of the year . . . Here in Minnesota, it is a way of life for many (many!) months. And we do not escape to Disney World!
Hardly! Here's what we do: We wear turtlenecks and scratchy wool sweaters and coats and hats and mittens (and boots and scarfs and hand warmers and earmuffs and long thermal underwear and sometimes spikes on the bottom of our boots), and we make industry of our climatic condition: Snowmobiling, skiing, ice-skating, hockey, dog-sledding. The more foolish and irrational among us chose to support the Minnesota Vikings. Who knows why -- really. The cold air does something to our rational thinking processes.
For the most part, Minnesotans love winter! And if I've learned anything in North Country it is this: We cherish the Summer months because we know that Winter is inevitable.
In very much the same way . . . Jesus told us that we would inevitably face tribulation:
". . . In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
~ John 16:33
Winter most definitely speaks of barrenness: Icy shadows. Naked branches. Short days. Long nights. It is an ideal time to slow down in quiet reverence and remember that
“God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.”
~ Psalm 115:3
If you've been a Christian for very long you know that our lives here on earth are indeed God’s agenda. Not our own. If you are a mature Christian, you know that our plans and designs are actually laughable in God's grand plan for us and for His Kingdom.
Look at your own life today. Were there any designs ten years ago for the current state of things in your home and family? Be honest. Who in their proper mind would ever predict how life will turn?
But is God still working in your life? Can you look back and see His guiding hand throughout those last ten years?
If we're walking in fellowship with Him, His blessings and His agenda become more evident with every step we take -- despite what "season" we happen to be in at the moment. When the despair of a winter season has past, we are always wiser, stronger, and deeper in love with Jesus. Because He is most assuredly "still in the business of guiding and strengthening and healing and overcoming. . .”
Every Christian reading this post stands at a crossroads as this New Year - 2009 - begins to unfold. We can look backward or we can look forward. The backward glimpse is often devastating. It hurts. For many of us, unexpected circumstances and Satan's handiwork to injure and impair occupied and dominated a great part of 2008.
The good news is that God’s Word holds answers. The Word of God brings light and understanding to the perplexities and heartaches of life. BUT. . . the only way to discover these precious Scriptural principles to direct and sustain us in the winter seasons of life it to actually open our Bibles and read from it!
Oh! how sad it is to see Christians whose knowledge of God's Word is so obviously lacking. There is only ONE thing that will guide us through tribulations of this life -- the groanings that we will inevitable experience. It is God's Word!
Is it winter right now in this season of your life? Are you weighed down with feelings of confusion, depression, and loneliness? Do you feel forsaken, spiritually on hold, barren, cold?
There is absolutely no questioning it – our lives here on earth will always include winter. But, beyond the thick gray clouds of winter…is God! His agenda is miraculously greater than ours. And some days His Light just makes everything beautiful and shiny! Let HIS WORD be a blessing and a source of comfort to you in 2009!
Heartlight's Daily Bible Reading Plans http://www.heartlight.org/devotionals/reading_plans/
Bible Gateway's Reading Plans
BiblePlan's Reading Plans
~ Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
©2009 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife
This installment of InOtherWords is hosted by Bonnie at Ink It Blog.
And. . . Yea! That's my front yard in the photo!