My friend, may I ask you a question? When life’s storms hit and our spirit is wounded, hurting and looking for relief why is it that some among us are merely wounded but still standing and others are broken, even destroyed?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Several years ago, one of the most severe storms in many years pounded our four little acres. It came out of the northwest embedded in dark, angry clouds. We saw it approaching in the twilight and could hear its snarl off in the distance as it rolled over farm and forest with a vengeance. The thunder was continuous, not intermittent. It sounded like a slow rumbling freight along some lonesome rail line in the distance. The clouds before the storm were swirling masses of white popping up here and there and then disappearing almost like forewarning smoke signals telegraphing some distant and brooding attack. It began to rain, hail, and I was forced into a watch behind closed windows. Soon the wind picked up dramatically and the rain moved horizontally pressing against the house. Soon the sirens began to whine and we knew it was time to take pets and people to the basement and wait out the storm.
With morning’s light the awful truth was revealed. Nine of my stoutest Beeches had been either uprooted or snapped off completely. The storm had cut a narrow path straight through our front yard from the northwest to the southeast. Every Beech tree in its path had been damaged or destroyed. As I slowly surveyed the damage I noticed something remarkable. Although almost every tree had been damaged, there wasn’t a single maple tree that had lost more than a small limb here or there. Looking closer, I figured out the mystery. The Beech limbs point at steep angles, straight to the sky. The maples spread their limbs outward. When the wall cloud smashed into Beech Springs, it caught the Beech limbs like a sail. They gave only a little and then twisted and snapped. The maples boughs, subject to the same fury, simply bowed and swayed, lost some leaves but no sizable limbs.
It’s remarkable how you and I are so much like those trees as we when we are forced to bend due to hardship or sorrow in life; some of us like the Beech and others like the Maple. Life’s storms hit and the Beech among us often break, but the Maples God plants are merely wounded but still standing.
When the storms of broken relationships blast unexpectedly into our lives, the great pressure of wrongs not righted, cause us to twist and turn in our own anger and bitterness. We try to withstand the tremendous pressure by telling ourselves we were the ones who were wronged. But, anchored in our emotions, we can only reach out and hope to withstand the fury of our own unforgiving spirit. But, without a merciful spirit and the willingness to forgive, we become stripped, broken and useless Christians. We need to be able to let the wind of our anger and bitterness rush through and past us. This can only happen when we show mercy and a forgiving spirit, a spirit that humbly bends and bows to the hurts and pains of the wrongs that others inflict upon us. Is there someone in your life that has wronged you? Don't try to bear up under the fury of your own hurt emotions. Be merciful and forgive and keep the core of your spirit pliable, your heart green and growing. Everyone gets wounded, but most are not destined to break if hearts are prepared in advance to forgive and bend with the inevitable sorrows of life. Filled with the Spirit a Christian bends, but he does not break.
We pray. Thank you Lord for giving us a spirit that can bend when the sorrows of this life lay heavy against us. We look to you to fill us up with your Spirit, so that when misfortune and hurt happen, we know we will survive. Lord, we would prefer that the storms in life would be few since bending in forgiveness is often hard and always pushes against our will to win. Forgive us Lord when we do not prepare ourselves for the storms of life which will most certainly come. 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. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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God bless you for Jesus sake.