Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; 
who for the joy that was set before him 
endured the cross, despising the shame, 
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2

This past Christmas season, I met a friend for coffee at Starbucks.  She is a young nurse from my church and I was her Senior project (my medical condition is rare enough to make an interesting project).

She's a lovely young woman and we both agreed it had been too long since we'd seen each other.  We chatted about what was going on in each of our lives.  I was thinking of her again recently because of her comment that I always appear so calm.

I had recently watched a Joni Erickson Tada video (a gift from a lovely friend) where she talked about suffering bringing about faith and trust and... calm.  When I told that to my young friend, she thought for a moment and said it was also true of her husband who is a cancer survivor.  He rarely lets anything bother him.

I don't know, perhaps sometimes the calm is a "deer in the headlights" reaction to life and those of us who have suffered are more than a little shell shocked?  But I don't think that it is it... I think we have had a lot of the bad stuff of life thrown at us and lived through it to see God miraculously at work to bring us out of the deep pit.

Not always with perfect restoration nor a lack of scars.  Chemo therapy left her husband unable to have children so part of our Starbucks' chat was about their decision to begin adoption proceedings.  (She married him knowing the affects of chemo.)

As for me... my world shrinks a bit more each year as the affects of chronic illness brings with it a world of lack (energy, finances, etc.).  I wake up tired.  There is so much I want to do but some days even the necessary lags behind.  I take advantage of good days to get ahead on gotta do's and wanna do's.

None of us get through this journey without scars to show we've walked the path in a fallen world.  As I am constantly reminding my husband, just became it seems as if someone never has a problem in the world does not mean they don't.  (Sometimes he has a tendency to think no one has had it worse than him... a tendency of those with melancholic personalities like him and Eeyore.)

When we set our eyes upon others on the journey, we will see those who are better off and those of whom we could (if allowed) look down upon and speculate as to the cause of their unanswered prayers.

Neither is the way we are to live... we are to set our eyes on "the Author and Finisher of our faith".   He knows just what to allow in each life.

That is how we stay calm in the storm... when the waves are crashing and the wind is blowing and we can hardly catch a breath because of the winds of adversity... He is calm.  He's already seen it all and done it all and overcome it all.

Nothing we are going through has surprised Him.  We keep our eyes on Him and we can walk on the raging waves toward the goal without going under.

There is a lot of speculation going on among Christian ministers and the secular press as to what 2012 will bring about.  Most of them tend toward the doom and gloom side of the fence but there is a difference.

Those who are keeping their eyes of the Lord may have times of uncertainty and perhaps moments of panic but when we place our eyes back on Him and not the storm... we find that "peace that passes understanding".

I believe the Bible tells us God places us where He wants us... when He wants us... and with the people He wants us to travel through this life.  He hasn't made a mistake even if I would love to live in Colonial Williamsburg.

Whatever this year may hold, or the next, or the next... we can rest assured He has it in His hands and we can remain calm.   I know there will be tense moments (like when the roads are icy and a loved one is late getting home) but mostly I will be keeping my eyes on Him and seeing His peace to keep on the journey.

Picture:  Girlfriends Lunching


Jeanneke said...

Thank you for sharing this encouraging post.
So glad to be a follower of your blog.


Yolanda said...

i agree with you on this . I believe what I have went through lately has shaped me into who I am going forward. Hope you have a good week.

Annie Joy said...

Brenda, this was just what I needed to read. Thank you!

Rebecca said...

That's a good place to keep your eyes (on Him)!

Recently I've been encouraged by all 3 verses of "Day by Day..and with each passing moment" (song). I am SURE of it that "He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best...."

Ann said...

How true it is that we do not get through this life without scars. On the other hand, the process by which we are scarred develops the character our Lord is waiting to see and with it does come a certain kind of peace and knowledge that there is One who is always by our side.

Vee said...

Such a beautiful post... encouraging and filled with hope. Calm is such a nice word.

Anonymous said...

Deer in the headlights and shell shocked...makes perfect sense to me!! And too, with diabetes energy is so low, one must conserve all they can (I just got back my A1C...over 10!!) Sigh...

But there are always others so much worse...when hubby and I get discouraged, all we have to do is go to town and look around...we, after all, are not in a wheel chair, yet!! Nothing to complain about!!

But it is our loving FATHER who enables us to be calm in the midst of whatever comes, isn't it?
Elizabeth in NC

Sunshine said...

This is beautiful. Really, really beautiful. Sunshine

Mrs.Rabe said...

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...

I thought of these words as I finished your post. God allows each of us to go through different we can share one another's burdens and encourage each other along the way.

I am married to a melancholy, too. :)

Bless you Brenda!

Lori said...

You really need to put your thoughts into a book..just beautiful Brenda, thank you.

Angela said...

I find that as soon as one worry gets resolved, another rears its ugly head. There is no way to avoid being in the boat during the storm. I do cling to Jesus, but I wish I could do it a little less fearfully :( These are good words -- thank you.

Senkyoushi said...

Thanks. I needed this today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouraging post - you're quite right to say that though we see people doing well in life and coping beautifully, it might not always be the reality.

I once read that if a group of us each wrote their biggest challenge on paper and placed it in a basket and then randomly chose a piece of paper, we would each rather have our OWN problem to cope with.

Aren't we fortunate that we can at least be there for each other?

Shan said...

Dearest Brenda,

I have been taking time to read through your posts...I have been away from blog reading for far too long, and I just adore this particular post.

I think that you are right...the more one goes through, the more they learn to trust and lean on Him.

Hope you are having a lovely day at home,
Honey Hill Farm