Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bearing the Burden in Gladness

   Sometimes when you pray for the same thing over and over again day after day, and no change seems to happen in that direction, you begin to wonder whether you are simply praying for something that is outside of God's will for you. That maybe you're really asking for the wrong thing. That you simply must be confused. And then suddenly a veil lifts and you are reminded of the old adage that an unanswered prayer doesn't always mean "No", sometimes it just means "Not now". As in, He has perfect timing.

   I have spent some time recently praying for a certain fog to lift from my heart. I knew that it was there, that it was sinful in nature and that it was of my own creation, but still, all of my human efforts seemed to do nothing but make the fog thicker. Denser. Harder to see through.  I didn't know anymore if it was a matter of my efforts being too far from perfect, as all human efforts are, or if maybe it was just something I was meant to learn to live with. A permanent disablement meant to force me to develop a needed strength in another area in order to fulfill my life's calling.

   It turns out that what I really needed in order to move forward was to accept that maybe that really was the case, and be willing to bear that gladly. No sooner had I decided that I would find a way that didn't involve waiting for the fog to clear, did it begin to dissipate. The removal of resentment I had been praying for began to take place in my heart and even better... a compassion I had not felt in a long time appeared in its absence.

   The transformation is not complete yet. But knowing that it's taking place within me this very moment feels to be so very much more than I was even hoping for during all of those prayers.

Art by Ohaniella

   This seems to be a reoccurring thing in my life. A lesson I must learn over and over again. That oftentimes the only thing that will fix a problem is accepting that the problem may just be permanent. To stop trying to fix it and simply ask "how can I achieve my life's purpose in spite of this thing. Or better yet, because of it" The key though, seems to genuinely be okay with bearing that burden for the rest of your life. So accepting your burden in hopes of relief from it almost never works. It is the glad spirit of the acceptance that heals the wound. So don't stop praying. It may be the only thing that can bring you around to the place of acceptance required. Even if it takes time. Even if it feels like it's taking forever.

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