Friday, March 28, 2008

The Now and the Not Yet

Just a few days ago we welcomed Spring - although to look outside the window as I type this now at mounds of snow making a white border down both sides of my driveway, it's hard to believe that warmer weather is actually on the horizon. Seasons in our world flow one to another. Our calendar each year records the first day of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each one begins on a designated day, coming expected, unchanging and predictable. The seasons in our life are not as reliable. We experience spring's freshness, summer's warmth and rest, autumn's cool winds and winter's harsher climate at any time of the year. We can even live with the elements of two seasons running parallel across our lives at the same time.

The other morning I was awakened by the sound of nature outside my window. Two birds were welcoming the day. The little songbird's melody was breathtaking. The trills this little bird sang as he cascaded up and down octaves was a glorious song of celebration. Yet, joining in this duet was the mournful cooing of a dove. How sad this song appeared in comparison. Both were singing the song the Lord had given them. One sounded as if it was overflowing from sheer joy, the other offering a sacrifice of praise through pain.

How often in my life two songs are being played. I'm rejoicing because of God's goodness in one area, yet fearful and doubting in another. It's like looking outside right now and knowing spring is here, yet feeling winter's blast on my heart. Spring joy is bridled by winter pain. What I know to be true in my head, yet only seeing the reality of circumstances surrounding me. Living in the now and the not yet. Having the joy of one situation clouded by the trials and hardships of another. One brings laughter, the other tears.

I think of laughter as a gift. I often rejoice in laughter, yet hide my tears. Tears, too, are a gift from God. They do not go unnoticed by Him. Both are wordless emotions that express so much. I read recently that tears caused by laughter are very different than tears caused by sorrow. Their composition is different. Tears caused by sorrow matter so much to God that they even have a different consistency than "happy tears". That's how He designed us.

Ken Gire writes, "The closest communion with God comes, I believe, through the sacrament of tears. Just as grapes are crushed to make wine and grain to make bread, so the elements of this sacrament come from the crushing experiences of life."

It's so hard being caught in the middle of one piece of music. The treble part is victorious and lilting, while the bass accompaniment lingers long, low and harsh. Inside, my emotions are torn. The arms of my heart are stretched out. Each one is being pulled in the opposite direction. A battle is being fought. The journey of life brings the Road to Emmaus, but also the Via Dolorosa. Two paths. Two seasons. Both leading to the same Savior.

5 comments:

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

Joy,
This is so good! What a profound observation! If only our lives could be as predictable as the change of seasons. Though we can pretty much be assured there won't be a blizzard in July, in our personal lives we never know how the "winds are going to blow" from day to day! Praise God that He knows, and everything is under His control! As long as our eyes stay on Him we can endure anything!

Have a nice weekend. I hope all is well!

Love, Kelley

Yolanda said...

BEAUTIFUL!

And you are as well.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

elaine said...

Joy:
This is good writing and healthy pondering. Two seasons running parallel across our lives at any one time--love the imagery.

I need to pay more attention to my tears. It does seem that my sad tears are saltier than my joyful weepings. Perhaps that's a story all itself.

Anyway, I am constantly perplexed by co-existing seasons. How can they seem such friends at time?

Thank you for your honest ponderings. It makes me ponder as well. Right now, my life boasts both Spring and Winter.

peace~elaine

Digging for Pearls said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jenny said...

Joy,
That is so true, I feel like I have two songs going at the same time. But you know what I think that makes it better. A praise through the pain, and at the same time joy over another part of our lives!
Thanks so much!
Jenny