Wednesday, August 28, 2013

COURAGE -- Alan Reynolds

One of the most amazing things about people is the way some have the capacity to rise above their circumstances, even when life is hard.

True, some people, like Lot's wife, tend to look back in bitterness. But there are those triumphant others who smile through their tears, who pick up the broken pieces of a shattered life and start to work with them again -- and often make of those broken pieces something beautiful and even joyful.

         She lost her spouse after thirty years of reasonably happy marriage, and life became a nightmare. Life was empty, food tasteless, sleep difficult, and waking each morning something she'd rather not do. Even God seemed gone. Yet she got up each morning, put on her best face, and stepped out to meet the world. It took courage, incredible courage. No one but her closest friends knew the grief that was in her heart, the tears she shed when no one was around.

         He lost his job, after twenty-five years with the same company. Fifty years of age, too young to retire, he faced the prospect of finding other employment, the discouragement, day-after-day, being told, "Your qualifications don't fit our requirements." But now, there he is -- in the park with his granddaughter, pushing the swing, sitting close on the teeter-totter to balance her lighter weight, making a little girl happy while her mother is at work.

         Or, there is the woman who has so desperately desired marriage and children, but now has had to realize, as the years slip by, that she may never have what she has so much desired -- no partner with whom to face life's storms or share life's pleasure, no children to bear and to hold, to love and care for. She could grow bitter. But how often she accepts the reality and plays the hand life has given her with grace and even joy!

 It is amazing how some people, when life turns hard and bitter, continue to find joy in living -- in the beauty of their garden, in the laughter of their grandchildren, in music, painting, friendship, volunteering, or faith in God.

All of them, all of us, find courage to get through the really hard times, the times that seem to wring us completely dry, until we hurt. But maybe God allows us to be wrung to bring out the courage He has put in us. The courage that gives us what we need to help others in their difficult times. And no matter what happens God gives us the courage to face each day, each moment, to keep going forward, keep looking up.

Be Strong and courageous. do not be afraid  do not be discouraged; for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. 
                                                      Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

I'm often amazed by the resilience of the human spirit, Alan. The pastoral role, as with other helping professions, brings before us living stories of courage, such as you've shared here.
I find that signs of God's grace at work in the life of one enduring great trial/s is inspiring and encouraging, and helps me put my situation in perspective.~~+~~

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