One of my friends has started jokingly referring to herself as Jobetta, Job’s little sister.
In the last few weeks friends have taken hit after hit. Death, cancer, accidents, broken bones, sick kids, drunken drivers involved, plane crashes, car crashes, life plan crashes.
It’s heavy stuff.
The first few hits certainly connected and I felt them.
But the blows have been coming fairly steadily since the beginning of September. I’m tired of having bad things happen to people I love. There is no magic dust to sprinkle over these situations. Yes, God is at work and hope is present; but that doesn’t shorten the path, does it?
No it doesn’t. (I’ll answer my own rhetorical question, wink.)
But there is nudge in my soul to look for small mercies and name them.
And they are there. Again and again. Small mercy upon small mercy.
No, the path may not be shortened, but it can be sprinkled with twinkling lights at night and small flowers during the day.
I do not understand how small mercies work. They feel a bit like facing Goliath with a sling shot. But right now, I am leaning into the power of mercies and in this season the mercy offered is paradoxical. The more I notice, the more there are. No, the road may not be shorter, but the burden carried on the road is lighter.
I lean over, find another small mercy, pick it up and load it into my slingshot.
Thank you Jesus for the small mercies offered. Please help me have eyes to see them. Amen
What small mercies have been extended to you this week?
“No, the path may not be shortened, but it can be sprinkled with twinkling lights at night and small flowers during the day.” I love this analogy :) I will keep looking for the twinkling lights.
Thanks Shona, your linking to FB was a twinkling light for me today :)
I just stared at the computer screen when I read about “Jobetta’s” current trials. I’d like to say that my attitude was such that I thought, “Wow! There’s a lot of opportunity for God to shine!” but it wasn’t. I couldn’t help but think, “Dang! That’s just not right!”
But that’s not what you asked for, so… Last semester was a very lonely semester for me, one of the loneliest periods of my life actually. This semester, I feel like God has given me a new friend. She’s Chinese, her English is almost perfect, she teaches Listening and Writing (my two favorite classes to teach), she lives down the street (versus an hour bus ride), she’s a Believer, she has a 2 year old son and she’s my age. We had lunch today, and I thank God for her.
And I heard about two more situations since writing last night — one not so big (but still significant to those involved!!!) and one a right hot mess. Thoughts of “DANG!” have occurred here too :). And you know what, that’s true! It’s not right and more signs of Eden lost, eh? (Not that we needed more signs!).
Oh new friends are lights in our lives! I can feel all Anne of Green Gables and bosom buddy-ie when I feel that click with a friend. So thankful for that twinkle in your life!
I started a thankfulness journal at the prompting of my counselor. At the end of every day i write down basically all the good things that happened that day. After about a week i went through and read my previous posts and noticed a pattern. On the good days i could usually come up with 10 things, and on the days where i struggled… i still had at least 5, and most of those days had 7. I didnt consciously write down 7 things but noticed that number on some of my lower days. The discipline of writing those down helped me see that even through the struggle, He continues to give good things, more than i thought.
MB, I love this practice! And you know I’m a fan of patterns :)! I so appreciate your last sentence: “The discipline of writing those down helped me see that even through the struggle, He continues to give good things, more than I thought.” Amen and amen.
Susan Gaines says
I always feel somewhat self-conscious when I attribute sweetness to God and yet, He is so sweet in certain moments of encouragement. My brilliant strong-man has battled inoperable brain cancer since Oct. 2010 and has every legitimate treatment available: Massive chemo, stem-cell replacement & full-brain radiation which ended Sept. 2013. Prior to the radiation the cancer has revived itself twice after the initial diagnosis. My former strongman is a very rational introvert married to a very expressive extrovert. He’s always been the silent type, but in his weak condition it seems to magnify that silence. Talking takes so much energy. Over the last 2-weeks I’ve been recovering from a terrible chest cold & have slept in the guest room. Like most, when I am ill any sadness is greater. I surprised myself earlier this week when I prayed, “Father, may I have a sign he loves me?” I know my husband loves me; I needed a little tangible reinforcement. The next evening as I slept soundly in the guest room dreaming I was at the base of a granite mountain I was planning to climb with another (this would never occur in real life), I settled down to sleep. During this deep sleep I was aware my fellow climber was settling down to sleep next to me but was really invading my space and forcing me to awaken & move over. I couldn’t understand why in the world she was doing that to me. Reality: it was my husband trying to join me! Believe me when I tell you it is difficult for my husband to stand up straight to even hug me; nothing like this has happened in such a long time. Wasn’t that an amazing sweet thing for God to do? He just wanted to be with me. Sweet – an attribute you will never find ascribed to God in the Bible and yet I have experienced it time and again. Praise His name.
Susan, I can understand why attributing sweetness to God might make you feel a bit self-conscious, and yet, as you shared, that was a sweetness extended to you! What a sweetness. (And as I sit here and think about God and sweetness — this is a way we bear his image I hadn’t thought of before! Thanks for pointing it out to me!)
Patti Woodward says
Amy, this is the best post ever. I am going through a crisis with Heather. Very big and life changing. Thank you for the wisdom shared. Much love to you. I would love to see you.
Oh Patti. I’ll contact you … so sorry. May mercies be present with you during this crisis. I love you!
Like you Amy I am mastering the art of small mercies with my slingshot. With my life it had to morph into more of small cannon. LOL. The thing I really look for is the Grace inside those Mercies. It feels more sustaining to me or a bigger shot to lob that seems to be more regenerative.
My small Mercies this week were getting back into a swimming pool, helping with ole Arthritis dumping edema in my ankles. Cleaning up my motorcycle and realizing it reaches my core muscles like nothing else even if I don’t go riding around, just by sitting on it and rocking. The brake stops the killer run away events (I still love the concept of flying but the need for a new knee has curbed the urge more than I want to admit). As much as I thought I wanted to sell it I see I may in fact be wiser now to keep it. Another of course is a double Blessing, one a Husky named Merlin and the other an Akita named Asha. They bring joy and crazy games at the moments I need them most starting from the moment I wake up, Asha kissing me and Merlin rolling on me like I was cat poop, just celebrating the morning and being alive. Another Mercie is that I was able to finish 2 more carpentry projects. Then last night a friend in California wrote me asking how I could still be close to God, find a way not to blame Him for the tragedies in my life (too many of those too many years running on a daily basis to count but I can mention my book is about the hope of a life screwed up by others and fixed up new by God – just the body took some tolls I’m working on.)
I wrote her realizing it is the way God taught me to be me that is His Grace actively working to help me aim forward, know in the core of my soul anything is possible if you want it bad enough, i.e. pester God to help me get there and then let go of it while He does His part. It seems to be when my eyes are on Him I don’t sink even if He has me walking on water or terribly thin ice. Loosing His face means my life falls apart. Keeping my eyes up miracles happen. Since I like to go forward I keep my eyes up. When everything goes haywire I remind myself that “The winter of my discontent will end, just not necessarily today.” Then like all of us I pray and His Grace becomes more than tangible, it’s alive inside of me even in misery.
I don’t give words in my head but share only what God tells me to those in pain, plant His seed and the rest will come.
p.s. Love your Posts! Keep them coming woman, you have the gifts.
David Rupert says
It seems almost lame when we look for these small mercies. But I remember last month, when I was hit by a $600 car repair bill, finding a $5 in my jean’s pocket. Oh my. I was elated! And still am cheered by this “mercy.”
I love it, Amy! It doesn’t make sense, and when you verbalize it, it almost seems rediculous, and yet when you practice it you see it’s worth. I just spent 8 days in a Chinese hospital with our 4 year old, sick with pneumonia. I liken a Chinese hospital stay to camping without the camp fire and marshmallows. It was by no means unbearable, but rather long, boring, and dirty. But there were so many small mercies in those 8 days. We’d bought an electric bike just a couple months ago, so it was an easy 10 minute commute for my husband, it came after summer was fully over so no AC was not a problem, and this was a huge mercy but we had so much help poured out from folks here.
Camisetas De Futbol says
I started a thankfulness journal at the prompting of my counselor. At the end of every day i write down basically all the good things that happened that day.