The Preacher's Wife

Retrospect on Life On Being 80

The way I see it, life itself is a mixture of good and bad and we can choose which side we will "major" on..we can make long gloomy lists of the un-pleasantries of life and soon we would be drowning and wallowing in self-pity. OR, we can CHOOSE to look on the good things that we have been blessed with and soon our lists would be so long that we would be walking and flooded in sunshine. Have you ever thought of that captivating word..BITTERSWEET?? That's what life is, if we are in the Lord.. Sure, there are the bitter dregs of pain, disappointment, disillusionment, grief, etc. but on the other side there is so, so much sweetness that it just outweighs the bitter, like bittersweet chocolate. The faint hint of bitterness enhances the delicious sweetness that melts on the tongue.

We can keep stirring up the ugly dregs of memories and thoughts and "bad stuff" till we have a permanent bitter taste in our mouth that just turns us sour and unpleasant to be around...we get to the place where we don't even like ourselves.

But when we give it all..our entire life with it's ups and downs, to Jesus, He has a wonderful way of applying "Heavenly memory loss" ..I call it God's anaesthesia ..and pretty soon we forget all about it, even forgetting the circumstances and names and faces of people who have caused us much pain and trouble. I know we can't just hide our heads in the sand and deny that life has no trials, but we can treat them as temporary and not a permanent , crippling disease of the spirit. We all have our down days but we don't have to set up housekeeping there. My mother used to have so many funny expressions that I still cherish because they were so descriptive. When she didn't feel good she would laugh and say, "I feel like digging a hole and crawling in and pulling the dirt in after me.".. There are some people who, if you ask them the casual question. " How are you feeling?" will tell you, and tell you, and tell you and... I don't want to be like that. I hope I can accept the bitterness of life with God's grace and a positive attitude and belief that tomorrow will come, the sun will shine, the birds will sing. Above all that, no matter what happens here in this Life, I am not alone.

I have been blessed with family and friends who truly love and care for me. That makes me rich beyond belief. And most blessed of all, I have a Savior Who is constantly with me, bearing my burdens, giving me strength and comfort and yes, even joy, in the bitter days. And the sweetness of that cup FAR outweighs the bitter dregs in the cup Satan would have me drink.

We have an Example. In Hebrews 12:2 we find these words."Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM , endured the cross , despising the shame..". We learn from Him to look beyond..beyond the now toward whatever He has set before us. It will be joy..He said so. He looked beyond Gethsemane and Calvary to the Joy set before him, when He would be seated at His Father's right hand in Glory, and just before He returned to that Glory, He spoke of the gift of His joy to His beloved disciples...'that your JOY might be FULL." And there is that beautiful passage in 1Peter 1:8, the promise of " joy unspeakable and full of glory." This is how we can endure Life's discomforts and griefs.We learn from the Master to "look beyond."

Note: Some passing thoughts that came to me after a friend commented on my positive attitude and joy in life on the occasion of my 80th birthday.

©Copyright Ruthrmartin.April 2006


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