A year ago today I posted here about seeking courage to drink the cup the Lord had given me and continued to give me. Through the last year He has continued to be my strength, both in giving me courage to drink from His draughts and to give me courage to ask for that courage. I praise Him for His sustenance and provision! New mercies and sweet graces are continually surprising me, in the many & varied forms He shows them.
Today I continue to walk the path He has prepared for me. The path that still stems from the past and disappears into the future that I can not see. He continues to be my only strength to put one foot in front of the other. Even now, yet as before, we can only do what He leads us to do at any present given time. The past still influences and characterizes and molds us; that part of the path may seem left behind to those who continue to watch me walk forward… but it isn’t.
The road is, in fact, more like a river: the waters from before mingle with the current that urges me forward now into pools of even newer waters that I can not yet see. But the droplets all mingle together into one flowing river. You can not tell where yesterday ended and today began, and I can not predict where tomorrow falls in the river.
So I am yet sorrowful because the past is still fresh & raw, still mingling with today, still influencing & effecting & molding me… yet I am rejoicing, because of the beauties that past sorrows have grown ~those flowers that bloom only in the shadows~ and because of present beauties that lighten our load and give us hope for what tomorrow may hold, understanding that they do not hold any guarantees for tomorrow yet that bring such rejoicing as I flow along with the river’s current wherever the Lord directs it.
My heart is overflowing with such joy and rejoicing ~ again I say, we rejoice!! But the past is not forgotten. It is not distant. I have to daily work very hard to hold my thoughts captive and have courage over my fears. I continue to need strength to endure medical treatments. I still pass due dates, loss anniversaries, see marker babies, grieve with others, hope with others, and walk the line of living the dichotomy of sorrow & joy ~ grief & hope ~ death & life.
So today I share a meditation I recently read in Streams In The Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman that has blessed me and that captures the spirit of my daily journeys so eloquently. May it encourage you also, as as you bear your own burdens ordained by our Father and carried by His Christ, whatever your own sorrows & joys may be.
The Lord be with you and give you peace.
“As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10).
Sorrow was beautiful, but her beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the wood, and making little pools of silver here and there on the soft green moss below.
When Sorrow sang, her notes were like the low sweet call of the nightingale, and in her eyes was the unexpectant gaze of one who has ceased to look for coming gladness. She could weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to her.
Joy was beautiful, too, but his was the radiant beauty of the summer morning. His eyes still held the glad laughter of childhood, and his hair had the glint of the sunshine’s kiss. When Joy sang his voice soared upward as the lark’s, and his step was the step of a conqueror who has never known defeat. He could rejoice with all who rejoice, but to weep with those who weep was unknown to him.
“But we can never be united,” said Sorrow wistfully.
“No, never.” And Joy’s eyes shadowed as he spoke. “My path lies through the sunlit meadows, the sweetest roses bloom for my gathering, and the blackbirds and thrushes await my coming to pour forth their most joyous lays.”
“My path,” said Sorrow, turning slowly away, “leads through the darkening woods, with moon-flowers only shall my hands be filled. Yet the sweetest of all earth-songs–the love song of the night–shall be mine; farewell, Joy, farewell.”
Even as she spoke they became conscious of a form standing beside them; dimly seen, but of a Kingly Presence, and a great and holy awe stole over them as they sank on their knees before Him.
“I see Him as the King of Joy,” whispered Sorrow, “for on His Head are many crowns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of a great victory. Before Him all my sorrow is melting away into deathless love and gladness, and I give myself to Him forever.”
“Nay, Sorrow,” said Joy softly, “but I see Him as the King of Sorrow, and the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of a great agony. I, too, give myself to Him forever, for sorrow with Him must be sweeter than any joy that I have known.”
“Then we are one in Him,” they cried in gladness, “for none but He could unite Joy and Sorrow.”
Hand in hand they passed out into the world to follow Him through storm and sunshine, in the bleakness of winter cold and the warmth of summer gladness, “as sorrowful yet always rejoicing.”
“Should Sorrow lay her hand upon thy shoulder,
And walk with thee in silence on life’s way,
While Joy, thy bright companion once, grown colder,
Becomes to thee more distant day by day?
Shrink not from the companionship of Sorrow,
She is the messenger of God to thee;
And thou wilt thank Him in His great tomorrow
For what thou knowest not now, thou then shalt see;
She is God’s angel, clad in weeds of night,
With ‘whom we walk by faith and not by sight.'”