Friday, February 26, 2010

Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries--and Pits!

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Have you ever been through a painful situation that you can do nothing about—a situation that you just have to live through and make the best of? Loss, grief, sorrow, pain, betrayal , regret--they touch every one of us at some time in this life, in one form or another.

A long time ago, I was kidnapped by the Satan’s Angels bikers. It almost seems surreal to me now. The situation brought a lot of fear, pain, grief and regret. It was a hard thing to live through. There were changes that came about because of it and I had to choose. The pressure was indescribable at the time, and the possibility of death loomed over me. Yet, here I am on the other side of it though I am not the same person.

That situation changed me forever. The very thing I thought would bring death, brought life instead. When confronted with death, you set aside shallow issues and deal only with the reality and facts of life. It makes us better people in the long run. When you’ve journeyed through and come to the other side of an originally bad situation, the end result can be gladness and wisdom. Why? Because we’ve adapted; we’ve learned something about ourselves and about others; we’ve grown and changed!

I guess that’s why Solomon tells us that perfume only lasts so long, but we take a good name to the grave. We all love money, ease, beautiful things—but do these things last? I want the memory of me to be sweet in people’s minds. How do you choose to be? What is important to you? These are things we should think about during this vapor of life.

We tend to think that prosperity (in any form) is good, and adversity is bad, but prosperity and adversity both come from the same place. God has designed life to be full of the unexpected and we need that.  It’s good to realize that neither are inherently good or evil. In fact, adversity can do good things for you, but prosperity can bring about undesirable effects. What may seem good or bad at the start may bring the opposite result at the end. It’s vital to remember that when going through life.

Trials and afflictions teach us the most. It’s the sandpaper that smoothes, the burn that cleanses, the kneading that softens. They have the capacity to change us for the good. They can make us stronger and cause us to be merciful and understanding, because now we relate on another level. Our focus has changed.

Depending on the situation, sometimes a sound rebuke will help us more than agreeable smiles. It takes a good friend and a strong person to be willing to tell us the truth, but sometimes that’s just what we need.  Agreeable smiles can bring us to a dead end when truth is lacking. It’s pointless.

Wisdom is a defence, just like money is. Still, God is the one who brings things about. It is Him with whom we have to do. He does this for our good. To help us find Him—for without Him, we are only living “things” under the sun.

This portion was based on Ecclesiastes 7: 1-14

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7 comments:

  1. I like your analogy of the sandpaper, burns and kneading, and from experience I know it to be true - not during the difficulty, but much later down the road. "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained in it." Hebrews 12:11 NIV

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  2. Thanks Glenda. The scripture you've used here is perfect for this post!

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  3. I'm going to throw out another verse:

    "...But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." (Romans 5: 3-5)

    The Christian who does not embrace that there will be suffering in this life is not embracing God's Word, nor the plan that God has for that person. We never have to suffer alone, however, though when we are in that deep position of helplessness, we sure can feel alone. We have a suffering Savior who knows exactly what we're going through.

    And it's not God's plan for us to be hurt, though it can feel that way. He truly is trying to grow us into more Christlike people, and if you live like Christ....that's not a road easily traveled. But there are rewards in faithfulness!

    Thank you for sharing from deep within yourself, Carmen, and bringing us this thoughtful series from Ecclesiastes. Solomon can come off as a bit "stuffy" in the direct reading, but you take his thoughts, verse by verse, and present them in a new way for us to ponder.

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  4. That's an excellent scripture Sue! I wish I'd included your second and third paragraph in this post. You've said it so clearly! Thank you for your insight on this piece!

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  5. WOW... YOU ARE AMAZING. YOUR STORY IS SO TOUCHING AND I LOVE THE SCIPTURE. I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU FOR SHARING SO MUCH OF YOURSELF. I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS BUT AT THE SAME TIME ITS ALMOST EASY. I KNOW THAT SOUND WEIRD BUT I KNOW WITH ME I HAVE TOLD MY STORY OF MY PAST SO MANY TIMES IT ALMOST DOESN'T SEEM REAL. LIKE IT INEVER HAPPENED TO ME. IT FEELS LIKE I AM JUST TELLING SOMEONE ELSE'S STORY.

    THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU SAID

    BETH

    WWW.JUSTINBETH.COM
    WWW.JUSTINBETH.WORDPRESS.COM

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  6. Carmen,

    Wow, I just came here to ask you a favor and encountered this - only God could have allowed you to come out of that in one piece! Satan's Angels...anyone else seeing the irony in that?

    Anyway, it's me, Dan – Kelli's blogger-in-training. I saw that you left a very nice comment on Kelli’s blog this morning. Since then, I posted a slightly revised version, deleted the old one, and with it, your comment. Sorry! Would you mind an awful lot re-posting that? I know Kelli will be interested to hear from you. Thanks..and sorry!

    Dan

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  7. I came over from 2nd Cup of Coffee...What an amazing post. So glad you allow God to give you the strength you need.

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