Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sticky times in Mississippi

It's another beautiful day here in Mississippi--hot, but then it IS July, and hot and humid is what I should expect. The other eight or nine months of the year down here more than make up for the miserably sticky summers we endure. I haven't been here very long--it'll be two years this October--but having spent decades in Michigan and a year in central Alaska prior to my Mississippi move... well, I know winters. And believe me, winters in Mississippi are far milder than they are in the other places I've lived.

I've had far, far better weeks than the one I'm having currently. But then, we humans take the good with the bad, making the most of the blessings we are given and muddling through the bad times in whatever ways we find work best for us. For me, it's leaning on the Lord. Yes, He sometimes seems distant and this week is a prime example of my not being able to connect with Him the way I usually do. I know it's me, not Him. He's right where He always is--beside me, with His hand in mind, guiding me through the minefield of life, telling me where I can step safely and where I should avoid putting my feet.

But I'm not listening the way I should be. He's speaking, but in a soft voice; He's not lecturing, haranguing or scolding me. Rather, He's encouraging me with His love, showering me with His neverending affection and His abundant blessings, and staying beside me every step of the way. I'm distracted by my pain, however, and instead of concentrating on getting past it, I'm focusing on wallowing in it. I'm not looking in the right direction, nor listening with an ear toward understanding. In my very human way, I'm thrashing around in this pool of despair, drowning in my sadness and not paying attention to the strong hand He's extending toward me. I'm not hearing His gentle voice telling me that all will be well; that He has everything under control and that I should not fear. I'm bent on doing it all alone--and that's so sad. For if I continued in this manner, I would surely drown.

But I won't. Even the simple act of putting my thoughts down in this blog helps me to see Him and His glory in the words. Praising Him never fails to lift my spirits, even as I lift my eyes to the skies and see the vast evidence of His power and love. I will recover, as I always do, but it won't be because of anything I do. It will be because He never blinked, nor abandoned me. He never stopped watching over me. He knew, long before this miserable week happened, that I'd be hitting a rough patch and He knew that I'd need His love and guidance more than ever. He also knew that I would look away and try to forge my own path through the pain. Still, He did not give up. He knows that my way is not the right way, but when I come to my senses, I won't hear "I told you so". Instead, I'll hear Him say, "Next time, lean on me, because I love you and I'll never let you down."

Until the next time...

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