I think I read somewhere (or maybe I just made it up because it sounds beautiful to me) that when the wind bends a tree and its limbs, the wind is actually helping to make the tree stronger. This morning, I was watching heavy rain and storm winds buffet my blooming trees, and the furious beauty of it struck me. Almost at once, I thought about how we are all buffeted by life's strong winds…and that God's presence in these very strong winds allow us to bend in ways that make us stronger. I know the truth in it at this moment…but I suspect I will have to be reminded again before too long.
Earlier this morning during my quiet time, God managed to do it YET again. He was able to comfort me and set me straight about a few things—He never forces me to walk away from the edge of that pit of despair, but He makes the Light so beautiful that I cannot help myself but to join Him in It. I usually have quiet time and reading/reflecting in the mornings, but yesterday I woke up too late. Hearing the scripture read in church is wonderful, but it does not replace my one-on-one time with God...it only supplements it. As those yuk feelings continued to build, I should have run straight to my room and made time for that. I know that for me, reading scripture soothes the savage beast inside, but I repeatedly refuse to read it when I need it most. What is up with that? Can you say rebellious? And what does it get me? Oh, yeah, hopelessness, self-pity, anger and bitterness…those are real helpful qualities, aren't they? Now, some of you may be thinking "That is so crazy—her missing that one-on-one time couldn't make that much difference." Well, all I can say is I was hopeless, pitiful, angry and bitter before…and I was changed after.
Writing this post reminded me of something else I had read (but of course couldn't remember where), so I went digging around to see if I could find it. Here is the fruit of my labor.
"But the painting selected by the judges for the first prize was very different from all the others. It depicted the height of a raging storm. Trees bent low under lashing wind and driving rain. Lightning zigzagged across a lowering, threatening sky. In the center of the fury the artist had painted a bird's nest in the crotch of a gigantic tree. There a mother bird spread her wings over her little brood, waiting and serene and unruffled until the storm would pass. The painting was entitled very simply, Peace.
"'That,' Peter [Marshall] would point out, ' is a perfect picture of the peace God has promised us.'"
The Helper -- Catherine Marshall