He watches over each of His sparrows. And He watches over me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Bottle

      Somewhere in heaven there is a beautiful bottle with my name etched upon it by God's own hand. It carries a simple label - "Tears". Psalm 56:8 says that God collects my tears in a bottle. Over the years I have read that verse many, many times and thought it to be a very comforting concept. However, I never gave it a lot of thought until a couple of months ago when I was presented with the tears in a bottle concept in various ways over a period of two or three days. It was at that point I decided to give it a lot more thought and started seeking out information as to what it meant. There are various explanations mentioned at different sites on the web. Tears were collected in bottles by mourners to show their love for those who had passed. There were two methods listed for collection - one was to wipe the face with a cloth and then to wring the cloth out to collect the tears and the other was to simply hold the bottle at the face to collect the tears. I began to think then about collecting tears of someone I loved as they cried as God collects mine. Now this I think would be alright to do if it didn't take too long and if the person crying cooperated by sitting upright and didn't move around too much. But what about those times when the weeping lasts for hours, an entire night, is done with the hands over the face, happens while pacing in anger and frustration, takes place while curled up in a chair, or with the face buried in a pillow. I have no doubt I would not have the fortitude to continue collecting tears. I have shed many tears in each of these positions and the Psalm says God collects my tears. There are no conditions about position or place. He simply collects them. Imagine the God of the Universe in all His power and might gently coming alongside me and collecting each of my tears. Imagine Him coming alongside you and collecting yours.
      Throughout my life I have cried many tears and I am sure you have as well. In the last months I have shed more than all of them combined. And God Himself has collected each one of them. My heart soars when I think of Him bending down and coming so close to me as He does so. Why?, because each of those tears is important to Him. He cares that I grieve and He loves me.
      I like to think that when my husband reached heaven God showed him that bottle and perhaps even let him hold it. And now on this night of the 10 month anniversary of my beloved's passing into glory as I shed a few more tears I know that God Himself is so very close with that bottle. My husband is with God and therefore he is also with me. I am comforted and am able to let the tears flow because He is so close right now.
      God stands ready with your bottle. Ready to come alongside and be so close. We are of great value to Him. Know that and be at peace.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Once Again!

     I have been determined not to let the second month pass before posting again. I am just barely making that goal!
     In the weeks prior to starting this blog I was Moses - telling God I did not have the words and simply could not do this.  Then once I got the nerve to jump out there and go for it I quickly turned into Peter and after being elated about "walking on water" and being very proud of myself I promptly fell in and got all wet!
     So now I think I have dried off enough to try this again with a lot more humility and understanding that this is not an idle endeavor. Whoever reads these words will be impacted by them and the words will only come from me when God tells me what to say and when to say it.
    I have been reading other blogs and am so impressed with them. The designs are awesome and the subject matter is incredible. I should warn you that I am not yet very cyber literate and my design will most likely stay quite simple and unadorned for a bit until I become more familiar with what I am doing. I am reluctant to press too many buttons for fear of what may result. For now I seem to have found a design and color scheme that is pleasing, so I will stay with that.
    So, what to write about this night. For the last three weeks there has been a small, seemingly minor happening in my life that has come to mind and I think I am being led to share it. A few weeks ago during a casual conversation with a friend on a widow's group on facebook the word patience was mentioned in regard to getting over the grief caused by the death of our spouses. This friend said it was too bad patience was not a four letter word and I immediately had the thought "but  it is - it's called "wait".
     Shortly thereafter I remembered a spring afternoon much like the one we had today when my hubby and I were sitting outside watching all the sparrows busily tending to their nests and their young.  We were often privledged to see the young emerge from their nests and taught how to fly by their parents.  This particular day a little one did come out of the nest but after fluttering clumsily to the ground it was apparent she (my choice of pronoun 'cause I'm a she) was not ready to fly. She did not appear to be in any distress but sparrows are supposed to fly and she wasn't, therefore it was obvious something was wrong. We watched for a while and I became quite concerned, although hubby said let her be - she'll fly when she is ready. So to keep her safe from our dog I gently picked her up and placed her in a part of the yard that we had fenced off. For the next couple of hours I checked on her frequently. She appeared to be fine and would give me a "chirp" when I came near but simply sat there patiently and waited observing the world around her. I got involved in something else for a while and when I went back to check on her she was gone. She obviously had flown away. Now at the time I did not see the significance of that incident or how it would give me meaning for this season I am in now. That little bird found herself shocked by finding herself in a new situation and a different "place"; just as I have found myself shocked by this state called "widowhood". Although my husband's death was not sudden it was still a shock for me to find myself here in a world that is so very much different for me. I know I will need to get my wings ready to fly and I have been struggling these last almost ten months to get up there and soar but have not yet been able to do so. There have been some brief, very short flights but I always come back to that safe spot to rest because I get worn out and am just not ready. The little sparrow on the other hand did not try to fly at all - she simply waited patiently until she knew she had the strength and when she was ready she took off and went into her new life with gusto. Now I really understand Isaiah 40:29 & 31 - He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak. Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. So wherever you are little sparrow fly high and strong. You taught me a valuable lesson.
    Are you waiting for something as well? May I humbly suggest you be as that little sparrow and take advantage of the resting place where you find yourself these days. I am content in not using my wings until God says "go" because then I know they will truly be strong enough to take me where He wants me to be. He has a plan for our lives and when He is ready He will show us.
    Blessings dear ones.