Sunday, November 16, 2008

The purpose of pain

Fantastic service this morning at Highland Oaks. Lynn Anderson spoke about giving thanks during tough times. That sure is a tough assignment! I guess my tendency is to see a tough situation as all negative. But the scriptures tell us to be thankful at ALL times. We have to discipline ourselves to refocus on all the positives in our lives rather than dwell on the tough situation.

Another part of this morning's experience was the singing...the songs were all about finding peace in difficult times. I get emotional during HO's singing anyway - the praise team is beyond belief and Chad Higgins, the leader, is superb. And I'm a softie for great choral performances. But this morning's theme and beautiful singing really touched me as for the first time, I let out the repressed feelings about my Mom. Soon, the tears were flowing - not so much for my situation, but for hers...and then we sang "When Peace Like a River" and when we got to the last verse about the clouds rolling back and the Lord descending and well, I was a mess.

I know I don't HAVE to understand why Mom is going through this stress at a time when she hasn't the mental or physical strength to cope with it. I keep returning over and over again to my favorite scripture, II Cor. 4:16-17:

Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

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