Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Does God gives us sorrow for a reason? When we come through it with the respect and the awe it deserves are we able to encourage others going through it themselves? Are we better for it because others see Christ in us?
My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
Wood stoves are one of those appliances that’s both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it heats our entire house during the coldest days of winter. The heat is even and steady day and night. On the other hand it is probably the most dangerous appliance we own, capable of destroying the entire house should it be used incorrectly or poor maintained. Here the fire and not the fuel or the stove is the source of the concern. For that reason I deal with fire with respect since it has the potential for these extremes. On a daily basis throughout the course of the heating season I have to add fuel to it, stoke it, regulate the dampers, and ignite it when it grows cold. However, if I use the right tools: fire-proof, insulated gloves, cast iron tools, long matches, and dry wood, getting through the process of tending the fire, despite being wrought with danger, is fairly safe. Although it is never just automatic, as fire can never be taken for granted, I have found working is fairly smooth, a flowing rhythm that delivers me back safely each time when I show respect and trust the outcome to be a safe one.
One thing we can be guaranteed in this life is sorrow. We are all sinners, therefore sorrow will touch us somehow during the course of our lifetimes. Like fire, sorrow can destroy or sorrow can build up; it depends upon the tools we use to deal with it when the cares of this life ignite the fires of sorrow and they burn their way through our hearts.
Here’s a story. In northern Chile, between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, lies a narrow strip of land where the sun shines every day! Clouds gather so seldom over the valley that one can say, “It almost never rains here!” Morning after morning the sun rises brilliantly over the tall mountains to the east. Each noon it shines brightly overhead, and every evening it brings a picturesque sunset. Although storms are often seen rising high in the mountains, and heavy fog banks hand their gray curtains far over the sea, the sun continues to shed his warming rays upon this “favored” and protected strip of territory. One might imagine this area to be an earthly paradise, but is far from that! It is a sterile and desolate wilderness! There are no streams of water, and nothing grows there for it never rains. (Our Daily Bread.)
Jesus states in John 12:27-28 we read “‘Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!’” Longing for total sunshine in our lives, we often believe that sorrow has no place. We couldn’t be more wrong. A life of sunshine is great, however, life without clouds, an occasional downpour or even the fire of grief, would be neither productive or challenging. The fires of sorrow, like those drenching showers of sadness, will also end, and like Jesus we will safely come through neither burned nor drenched as we place our hope in him. God gives us sorrow for a reason; when we come through it with the respect and the awe it deserves we become encouragement for others going through it themselves. We are better for it because others see Christ in us and thereby find hope that this too shall pass.
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. Thank you Lord for those times in life when you visit us with the tempering fire of sorrow and the cleansing rain of sadness. Forgive us Father when we complain too much about our hurting hearts and sodden spirits. Remind us daily that when we linger in sorrow and sadness we become nothing more than contemptuous to others brothers and sisters in the faith who look to us for strength in their times of sorrow and sadness. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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