Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Those Who Mourn Get to Play Too!

The other night, I was headed to taekwondo and glanced over in time to see the sun rays escaping through the clouds. I thought of how dark the clouds had become, how close to earth and how just a tiny little break allowed sunlight to flow through and reach my line of sight. The sun is never gone, we just don't always see it.

On a cloudy day, we don't really forget about the sun, we don't consider that it might be burnt out or displaced. We have an understanding that it is right where it's supposed to be but we can't see it. I think sometimes for the caregiver, life can cloud our way and we can't see, feel or experience God like we'd like to.

There are some days between caregiving and working online I barely have time to breathe. But our God is always right here with us -whether we see Him, feel Him, know Him or not. And He is anxiously waiting for us to turn to Him. He's sort of like the sun - hiding behind the clouds waiting for just a slight break to make His grand entrance into our day.

I'm still in Isaiah 61 and this morning I noted that He is the one who gives to those who mourn in Zion. First of all, Zion is also called the dwelling of the Lord. What? I remember being shocked the first time I realized there was any mourning in Zion at all. How could Zion and mourning coexist? But right here in Isaiah 61:3 God says how He deals with those who are mourning in Zion. He says He will give them beauty for ashes, He will give joy instead of mourning, He will give praise instead of despair. Pretty amazing if you ask me!

He is replacing all the pain and filling it up with Himself. He doesn't ignore the pain and pretend it doesn't exist. Instead, He acknowledges that there are those in Zion - those in Him - who have ashes, are mourning and are in despair. Then He replaces it with the opposite.

They Then it goes on to say that HE planted them like strong oaks for His glory. Wow! I found this very encouraging - we are not abandoned to caregiving, we are the planting of the Lord. I just need to think about that for a little while.

When I'm done meditating on that truth, I want to look at verse 4. I like this verse because it's easy for caregivers to feel inactive as far as building the kingdom of God goes. But in verse 4 the prophet says those who are mourning in Zion are the same ones God is going to use.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
They will repair broken down cities
They will revive what was empty
They will be called "priests of the Lord"
They will be ministers of God

I find that simply an amazing promise to those who mourn. There is life after mourning. There is life after and during grief. He may not change anything about the situation - but He replaces and replenishes right in the midst of destruction and devastation. Remarkable. All is not lost - He visits the caregiver - right where we are and fills us up with Himself.

Today I'm going to look for ways He increases my joy, pours spiritual oil in my wounds, and lifts me out of the ashes of my life. My thoughts will be on how He can use me from here - not waiting to be somewhere else. I will meditate on His total acceptance of who I am and what I do - and His willingness to accept me and use me in the midst of the storm. I'll also do what I can to find that little part in the clouds where His light shines through - and I'll bask in it. I'm ready to trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

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