October 24, 2008

In A Time Of Turmoil, Part 3: Beauty for Ashes

Isaiah 61:3 ---

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

Holy Bible, New International Version

A Conversation Between Parent and Child:

Child: Why are you allowing so much pain and uncertainty in my life? Didn't you promise to take good care of me?

Parent: How do you know I haven't taken very good care of you?

Child: There is so much uncertainty. I am not sure of how things will work out. I can't see my future. I don't know how or where I will receive the help and support I need to meet my obligations, to be happy, to survive and succeed in life.

Parent: You are describing your feelings, not my actions. Try again to explain yourself.

Child: I want to feel more secure, more certain that everything will work out, that everything will be OK. I feel I am at the mercy of those who can't be trusted, of those who may do me harm or ignore my needs.

Parent: Are you at my mercy?

Child: Yes, but there are others.

Parent: Do these others rule over me, or do I rule over them?

Child: I know you rule all things and people, but there is so much turmoil, so much uncertainty.

Parent: Do you believe there is turmoil and uncertainty in heaven?

Child: No, but I am not in heaven. I am here, on Earth, where there is fear. Sometimes the fear gets inside of me and I don't know how to get it out.

Parent: You have only to ask. I will remove as much fear as you are willing to release.

Child: But even if I am no longer afraid, I am still uncertain of my future.

Parent: Do you think I have considered your future? Have I planned and prepared for your life and all of the times ahead of you?

Child: Yes, but I can't see those things. They are unknown to me.

Parent: They are not unknown to me. Trust. Listen. Rest. Obey.

Child: I don't know if I can do those things forever.

Parent: Don't worry about forever. Just do those things today.

Child: I think I can handle that.

Parent: Sure you can. Call if you need help. I'm always here.

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