Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kindness for Days

I've had my own struggles with joy in this season of life. 
My heart has been discouraged this week by a few things and I've been fearful in having to make decisions that will impact the rest of my life.
 Being an adult is fun and easy until you actually have to be one. 
What has comforted me and encouraged me lately is kindness. . . the kindness of a stranger who let me go first at a four way stop. . . the kindness of the cashier at Target when I bought menthol patches for my very sore shoulder and she said, "Well tell whoever these are for that I hope they feel better," - she didn't even know who or what they were for but still went out of her way to be kind. . . there was also the kindness of the young man working at Target (are you sensing a pattern here?) tonight who pulled a shopping cart out for me - what he couldn't see was that I was wearing a brace on my wrist because my shoulder pain has spread to my hand. 
Sure, he is paid to help customers but is pulling out a cart in his job description? Probably not, but he did it anyway. . . there's also the kindness of the Lord who provided an open parking spot for me in the plex when I arrived home late last night.

I am gently humbled by others when by God's common grace,
 kindness is lavished on me - especially when it comes from strangers.

Kindness makes me realize that I actually can't do it all on my own and although not being able to do it all on my own makes me feel like a failure I must remind myself that

What is truth are the promises that God has laid out for His children in His word.
 Such truth is what I must dwell on when my spirits are low and my heart hurts. 

This morning I read Lamentations 3 which begins with:

"I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of his wrath;
He has driven and brought me
 into darkness without any light;
 surely against me He turns his hand
  again and again the whole day long."

These patently aren't words of joyful celebration. 
The passage continues this way right up until verse 21:

"But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope. . . "

Friends, but is a beautiful word. 

The beauty in this word comes not so much from the word itself but from the meaning.
 But means there's an exception. 
But means all that has been before or what I have been thinking is not right and probably not true. 

But means there is hope and in this case that hope is found in Christ. 

The passage continues:

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 
His mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
 great is your faithfulness. 
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him.'
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him."

I hope that despite whatever season you may be in dear reader, you are able to know the kindness of the Lord in that He is faithful and He has reconciled His children to Himself through Christ's death on the cross - the ultimate act of kindness.
 I hope too that when you are feeling discouraged your first response is to run to Jesus and let Him be your soul's portion for I have learned that He is mine.



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