There is so much sadness in the world. As much as I try to focus on the positives, there are times when grief tries to overtake me.
I have “lost” four close friends in less than a year. While they are not truly lost (we know where they are), I miss them.
Even though the pandemic separated us, we had the hope of an earthly reunion when things simmered down. Now we wait for the heavenly reunion.
It is not only their absence that has troubled me, but it is also thinking of the suffering they experienced before being released from their earthly bodies.
Suffering has a purpose, but still it is distressing both to the one experiencing it and also to those who watch, powerless to stop it.
But among the cumulative feelings of grief, today The Lord brought many opportunities to experience joy in witnessing His Grace and Mercy.
We got to spend time with our daughter, son in law and grandson. There was a time when I thought we would have to continue to be separated by distance. And then came the miracle of their moving here.
I saw our friend, who had life threatening heart surgery just a few months ago, celebrating his 76th birthday with his family. He looks wonderful!
I saw a father reunited with his once estranged daughter. I saw him helping her with her car. I saw the hugs that signaled restoration.
I saw the husband of my heavenly promoted friend out cutting his lawn. His faithful dog was by his side. Life, though different, has continued. He knows he lives in a community around him, who care.
I saw two friends, once separated by divorce, who have reunited. They were happily playing with their children and making plans for the future.
I saw children playing, enjoying the kind of childhood that so many others are missing. They were riding bikes, playing with sticks, climbing trees and running just for the fun of it.
I went on rides with my husband. We watched the sunset together, watched familiar tv shows, and shared hugs and good foot rubs.
I saw flowers and trees blooming and giving new promises of life to come. I saw birds building new nests. I heard their songs of joy. And just for an added treat, we saw “Mother Goose” tending to newly hatched babies at the lake tonight.
All of that was in one day. And there were other blessings too numerous to count. Life is hard, but God mercifully provides cushioning for the rough spots.
After the labor pains, and, indeed, in the middle of them, He brings joy immeasurable. It is a beautiful world!
You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your Presence!
I invite you to listen to this song and reflect on the joys in your life. Here is the link.