Monday, January 10, 2011


If I made a list of my favorite years, years upon remembering bring a smile to my heart, 2010 would not be on it. There was no catastrophic event, when once survived, I could pin a badge of courage. It was simply the accumulation of life. Family loss, business changes, work stress, overwhelming demands, health challenges. I would be embarrassed to divulge details because any one of these are small potatoes compared to the suffering some faced. Nevertheless, I was worn down.

By mid-December I was checking off days until I could turn the calendar, close the lid on a tough year and tuck it on the back shelf. I know there isn’t anything changed on the 1st than there was on the 31st, but it just feels different. A clean start. With much of the muck resolved, I hoped 2011 would be a year of ease. Boy, was I ready for ease. I peered into the months ahead and I knew they would times to embrace and savor.

Christmas week, our business got a bad report. My spirit slumped. In the following days, the breadth of the situation widened. Business was brought nearly to a complete stop while we assessed, regrouped and planned. This problem will negatively impact our business until long into 2012. My hope of ease vanished.

God, do we really have to do this AGAIN?

" . . . to refuse to bend our shoulders to carry a load
is to miss a new opportunity for growth."

J.R. Miller from Streams in the Desert

Yes, AGAIN. He said

I sat before Him in silence. I should have felt despair, panic, anger and sure, I felt some of that. But those emotions came like a faint whisper. What came boldly was comfort from all the challenges God has brought me through. That knowing swept over me.

If I had not chosen to bend to those loads in the past, despair and panic would still rule. But I did bend and God bent with me. In choosing to bend, God strengthened my resolve, my dependence and my knowing Him.

This year will not be easy. I can't say what life will look like as it wanes. It may not look pretty, but I know it will be allright. Facing the heaviness of burdens is easier now because I chose to bend. Of course there are plenty of times I chafe from the strain. Times my focus falters and I blow it. But, every time I choose to bend again, so does God.

He who listens to me shall dwell securely
and shall be at ease from the dread of evil.
Prov 1:33

This year will be a different kind of ease.
I choose to bend. AGAIN.