This year has been strangely harder for us than other sad-a-versary times. I have my own theories as to why but it has been a ridiculously hard couple of months. There have been many private tears and (much to my embarrassment) many public tears. Those who have known me over a long time will know that generally I attempt not to cry in front of people. However sometimes the 'attempts' fail as I can't hold the tears in. The last couple of months appear to have been one where my pride has been taken out on this. I have wept with trusted friends, cried through sermons (not because they were bad! Lol!) and tears have rolled down my face during worship. We got to the point at home that all the tissues in the house were gone and even the kitchen roll was used up!
I am not sure it is helpful to state all the reasons why I think this year has been so much harder than previous years but as Malcolm and I have talked about the tears or just had a hug I have realised afresh how blessed I am that we walk each day together. The honesty of telling him that I couldn't hold the tears in and his reassurance that it is ok and of his love. Recently a friend and her husband prayed with us; it was a precious time. A few days later I realised that I had wept on and off since that time. I messaged my friend and told her and her reply had a depth of wisdom that Malcolm and I found so helpful. She said this "Tears release the deep pain, I see them like Father's gift to help us let go of the stuff that hurts xx".
My tears, which had been embarrassing, suddenly took on a different thing. They became a gift to let out stuff that I have held so tightly in recent years, almost fearing to show the reality of a deep pain that remains one we carry daily; despite trusting and walking with God. It may be a seeming paradox- in fact I live it and yet don't quite understand it myself! The deep pain of grief, disappointment, loss, of hope being scarey etc etc and yet at the same time a trust in a faithful God, a grateful heart of how He has brought us through and a love for God that some can't compute in light of our experience. These two seeming extremes of grief / pain and trust / love seem to dovetail into our daily experience - they merge in what seems to be an odd combination. So through the tears of the last few months; I have begun a new journey of trusting God in my tears. I may still struggle that folks may see that real side of my ache but perhaps just perhaps my gift of tears this past few months may bring a new release of the ache. Warren Wiersbe said something along the lines of God can heal a broken heart when all the pieces are given to Him. Psalms tell us that God stores our tears in His bottle, Psalms talk about the Valley of Baca (the place of weeping or tears). May my tears be a heartfelt offering of my life, my worship, my love, my trust, my desires - tears - God take my tears and use them! May my tears have a fragrance of a sacrifice of worship. May my tears be used for whatever He wants to do...... healing for my pain, ministering to others in pain, a sacrifice of worship - that I will praise despite..... and so today I catch myself saying a brand new prayer:
May God use my tears for His glory!
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Yesterday I collected a second hand cabinet I purchased off of a website. The person selling it was getting rid of it. I imagine they thought it was of no use and just old. They just wanted to discard it.
But me - well I looked at it on the website and I saw potential. I saw alterations that could be made to transform it, I saw how useful it could be, I saw how good it could be, I loved it; I wanted it! So I spent the money and brought it investing in to a cabinet that I felt had potential to be a really nice feature in our home. There is an excitement rising as I think about the changes that I will make to it. I am looking forward to the process as well as the end result.
Today I walked past the cabinet. It almost looked sad and tired. It got me thinking about how God looks at people and sees past the present state of things, how they look etc......He sees the potential. He sees the transformations that can be made, He sees how good someone can be with His Holy Spirit working in them, He loves the person already (prior to any changes!). He wants that person. Get this - He has excitement rising as He thinks about all that He has planned and will do in and through a person.
This then got me thinking about areas of my life that perhaps I feel are useless, just need discarding or can't be used, things that may seem hopeless .......... Today I learnt to start seeing the potential for transformation when God's Holy Spirit gets hold of an area. My encouragement to readers of this blog today is take a moment and just think that we have a God who not only sees the potential for transformation, is in the business of transformation, gets excited about transformation but He is the ultimate expert in transformation of people, situations, feelings, circumstances......whatever it is ..... trust Him for the transformation!