Three months of the new year have swept by and we enter into the month of April. I remember as a young boy those days of April. The snow was all but gone, melted by the warming days of a bright sun. It was now a chance to be outside in the fresh air. Mom would open the windows slightly to allow the “germs” of winter to escape. I could leave the house in a lighter coat and maybe no gloves. Then, the dreaded “April Showers”. I was to young to fully know the need of them. Yes it was fun to go out from time to time and “clomp” around in the mud puddles, but still…. I spent to many hours staring outside at the rain coming down. I would look up at the angry clouds sailing over and sometimes we would run to the basement because of Tornado warnings. My bike stayed covered way too often and I could not ride it on the road, a source of great enjoyment to this day. Then, as today, I needed the sunshine to help lift my spirits. I looked at the rain as annoying, something that got in my way and something that made me sad. Most of all, in my young mind, I saw no need of it. I saw something that stood in my way of happiness.
Too some extent, I believe we see the troubles that come into our life a little like that. We have trouble at school or on the job and our countenance falls. Our wife or husband does something that we don’t agree with or our brother or sister picks on us and we feel mom and dad should deal with them. Maybe we have trouble with a relative or the car needs repair. Sometimes it is very serious and a love one is very sick and maybe dies. We stare out the window as we see all the black clouds sailing overhead. We may even loose hope and our faith takes a big hit.
We have forgotten the “May flowers”. As a child I did not fully understand the need for the black clouds, for the rain and a little of the upset that it caused me. I only saw the dreary things of April and did not think of the bright flowers of May and the much warmer weather. I did not think of the many hours that I would then have to bask in the bright sun and enjoy it all.
Psalm 42:8a “The Lord will command His loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me.” Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Like the bright flowers of May that lift our lives, God will lift our spirit and comfort us when those dark clouds of life come. We may feel like we are looking out at great darkness and no hope, especially if our hurt is because of the lose of a loved one that is very close. We may feel that we cannot go on or even want to. There is no need for that, for we have a great God that will stand by us, that will comfort us and will bring that “joy that comes in the morning.” There will always be some ache, we are only human; but the Lord knows that and His grace is sufficient for whatever has come or may come.
The Lord will show us those that would trade places in a second for our temporary problems or hardships. He will show us all we have to be thankful for and all the joys that we still have as His children. He will send those fellow Christians to help share our burdens and pray with us for relief.
Like many of you, our family is no stranger to deep hurt over a lost loved one. The hole is still there and will always be, but the Lord has put hope and faith with it. We are sad and devastated by lost, but we need to focus on the good. Focus on our loved ones, now free of pain, sickness, heartache, and all the rest. They walk on streets of gold and walk with the Savior. Our pain and grief is really for ourselves for we know our loved ones who have put their faith in Jesus are far better off than if they were on this earth. They have reached their reward.
I pray that no matter what may be burdening you today, that you will look to the Lord and all the greatness He has provided and will continue to provide. That your faith will rest in the only one who can share our burdens in such great measure. The Lord is great.
Pastoral Shepherding Assistant