I am so delighted at how fast this month flew by. I entered it with the dolorous viewpoint that I struggle with in wintertime, as you no doubt noticed. One of my coping mechanisms is to push myself to do something creative every day, whether I feel like it or not. Writing about a Day in the Life makes me notice the little things that are not dismal. Publishing posts about what I believe about God helps me to be accountable. Am I living like I believe what I said I believe? Or not? What would my children say about that, considering that my words and actions are statements of what I really believe, everyday…
Maybe you think it is almost fashionable to get depressed in wintertime. Let me assure you, nobody, not even a pessimist, would choose to walk through valleys of depression, whether it’s baby blues, hormonal upsets, or even the SADness resulting from lack of sunshine. It is not fun to feel like all happiness has fled, maybe forever, and howling wilderness is all that is left. It is even worse when your brain gets confused and cannot muster the strength to override the feelings like you have trained it to do. I told my husband one day, “I have a strong place in my mind, but I keep falling off it.”
I love the beautiful attitudes in Matthew 5. In my own words, these are the attitudes of the people Jesus gave assurance of his blessing.
- I need help (poor in spirit).
- I am incomplete; I am missing something; I am broken (those who mourn shall be comforted).
- I cannot do what I am called to do; with His help I can (meek, inherit the earth).
- I have empty places only He can satisfy; I am desperately parched (those who hunger and thirst).
- I am here to be kind, whether others deserve it or not (merciful).
- I cannot live separated from God, therefore I cannot excuse my sin (pure in heart shall see God).
- I love harmony more than strife and being the top dog (peacemakers).
- I am willing to die for love of the Righteous One (persecuted for righteousness’ sake).
- I will not waver from the way of Christ, even though it goes against popular opinions and I am ridiculed (reviled falsely) for my loyalty.
The list itself doesn’t sound giddy with happiness and #blessedness, does it? Yet, the passage concludes with “Rejoice! Your reward is in heaven!” I think we seldom have a proper concept of being broken in a broken world. There is truth that Jesus makes us whole, but there is also the living that goes on in our imperfect situations, with our deceitful hearts that tend to stray away from wholeness. Jesus made it clear that we are in a good place, what the Amplified Bible calls “happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous –with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions”, when we are bowed down in utter poverty, begging Him for what we need. It’s a paradox of the Kingdom that is hard to describe, but if you have been there, you know it.
The beautiful attitudes have given me courage. They are not feel-good attitudes. They are attitudes that line up with what cannot be shaken, and so they are blessed. There may be months of frozen wilderness, but I know that there is a Faithful One directing the affairs of the whole Earth, and one small person’s wasteland is so amply provided for by the resources of heaven. Maybe you, like I do at times, feel that the flowers must bloom again or you will die. (I speak metaphorically, of course.) They will. Believe it.
Jeremiah, the prophet who wept his entire career, wrote the one of the most beautiful verses in the middle of his Lamentations:
You can hear him shoring up his soul on those verities. I, too, am staking it all on that!
And now, for the giveaway, I have a different idea from the normal giveaway. You already won when you left your comment during this past month. Because I was cheered and blessed by your voice, telling me what you thought, how you are doing, etc, I have something to give you. Remember my dahlia row in the garden? I have some bulbs to share with every one of you lovely commenters. I just need your mailing address sent to my email: dorcasp8 at gmail and I will send you a wrinkled, ugly looking tuber that will give you great bouquets of glory this summer. It is an allegory, okay? 🙂 I cannot tell for sure which bulbs are the ones like the photo, and which are solid crimson, so it will have to be a surprise for you.
(Thanks for walking February with me. Please don’t forget to email me your address. I think there are 25 of you. )