I love this time of year. It is the few coveted weeks that I have the time to get up before the kids do and go for a morning walk. The sun is rising in the sky, the air is fresh and new, the birds are singing their morning songs and for at least 30 minutes out of the day it is “my” time. Time to walk myself into a healthier me; time to clear my head of all the thoughts that cram themselves in such a small space; time to pray and talk to my God and Father about the things that are on my heart; time to fill up on the sanity that I will need to make it through another day.
Our weather has been crazy lately with all the storms and heavy winds that have been wreaking havoc in so many places. Yesterday morning in particular the sky was so gloomy, the clouds were moving stealthily along their way, waiting for the right moment to unleash the destruction that was swelling up inside of them. As I walked I’m wasn’t sure which was heavier, the weight of the storm holding itself inside of the gray masses or the burdens of life that have been lingering inside of my soul for way too long now. Simple everyday living can take its toll on you, add other complications, battles, struggles, concerns, mishaps, mistakes, circumstances beyond your control and some outright bullcrap and, yeah I know, your wore out aren’t you?!
So as I walked, I talked, I prayed, I argued, I pleaded for those that need miracles, discussed things that need to be done, asked for the provisions that stretch beyond my means, and finally after 7000 and some odd steps, too many words, and coming back to the awareness that I was walking in a neighborhood full of people and passerby’s, the one-sided conversation was replaced with tears that gently flowed from an exhausted heart of a woman, mother, companion, daughter, sister and friend.
I was a little distraught because God wasn’t talking back to me (as IF He could have gotten a word in edgewise!) He knew better than anyone that I needed some help to straighten myself up before I made it back to my front door. Then as I looked up I saw it. A single ray of sun bursting its beautiful way through the darkness that hovered. Like a Bob Ross painting, it appeared out of nowhere, changing the whole appearance of the landscape that was before me. A break in the clouds, a ray of light, a change in the scenery, a subtle yet beaming reminder that there is more to life than gray skies and storms. It may sound a little outrageous to you, but somehow that loner sunbeam brought comfort to my weary soul, restored strength to my tired mind, wrapped itself around my weeping heart.
I have heard it said that God will never put more on us than we can bear, that everything we experience must come through his hands first. Well, I’m not much on hearsay, so I did a little investigating into the scriptures and discovered that I liked the way the Message puts it: “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. “(1 Corinthians 10:13). I can honestly say and I know I’m not alone in this statement, that there are more times than one where I have felt myself standing on the ledge of uncertainty and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that if one more thing happened I would jump head first over the cliffs of insanity. Those moments when your faith is traveling on the tracks of reality and you just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Those happen more often than we would like to us and to those we love. I will also come clean and say that there are times when I witness tragedies that others face, and I wonder how in the world God could really expect us to believe that all things will work together for our good if we love Him. I know I shouldn’t admit that, it could make me look like a terrible Christian, but I have always been one to just lay it out on the line with God. He knows my thoughts before I even think them, what’s the point in trying to pretend, right? That kind of fake and phony religion that says you have to always act right, think right and talk right has always left a bad taste in my mouth.
But as much as I can attest to the knowing personally the hard times, the struggles, the battles, the doubts, I can also say with all confidence that when the storms in life seem unbearable, when the skies seem dark and full of despair, somewhere, somehow, there will be a break in the clouds that will get us through. If I just turn to the One who has promised to never leave me or forsake me, the One who says I can come unto him when I am tired and worn out, that He will give me rest and show me how to live (Matthew 11:28-30). I may not always understand why and how, but I can rest assured God’s word is true and He always wants good to come out of the things I face. I have found nothing else in life that I can put that much belief in and it not fail me. There may not have been an audible word spoken, nevertheless a lone sunbeam shone brighter than the noonday on that dreary Tuesday morning. It reminded me of countless promises that I can lean on, find hope in and draw strength from to carry on another day.