Tuesday Reblog: My Greatest Thorn and My Greatest Blessing — Amazing Tangled Grace

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My Greatest Thorn and My Greatest Blessing — Amazing Tangled Grace Thank you.

“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). A particular thorn in my flesh has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. Through what has easily been the greatest pain I have endured thus far, God has brought joy into my life. Through […]

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Tuesday Reblog: Collecting – It’s Life or Death! — Melissa McLaughlin

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By Melissa McLaughlin The good news? I am a minimalist. This means, I actually enjoy cleaning out and donating unused items, reducing clutter and simplifying my surroundings and life. For me, less is truly more. The bad news? I am surrounded by a long line of collectors. This means, most of my family actually enjoys […]

via Collecting – It’s Life or Death! — Melissa McLaughlin

Questions

Psalm 22:1 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?

I believe God is big enough to carry our doubts, criticisms, anger, confusion and frustration, but there often seems to be no explanation to why things happen. Yes, we are free to question God, but we need to develop patience for God will reveal the answers only when we are ready to hear them.

Our world is not at all perfect, and neither are we. God is perfect. He wants us to continue to read His Word so our faith may be strengthened for He sent Christ to show us the way. Don’t look to find meaning to the suffering, but let the suffering add meaning to our lives. If we have never suffered, how can we empathize with others who suffer? If we never fail, we can’t lift up those who also fail. Our suffering adds meaning to our lives. Our pain adds to our love for others who also suffer, as we suffer, as Christ suffered.

Hebrews 4:16 says: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

We need to ask God to help us to become more patience and more like what he wants us to be. Thank Him for the good things, and seek the resilience to endure the bad. To live, not in the shadow of fear and despair, but in the light of God’s love.

Perhaps one day, God will answer our questions of ‘why?’ Perhaps we are just impatient, and want to know the answers before we are ready to understand or accept them. Whatever the reason, trust Him and know it’s all right to ask Him questions. Allow God to develop patience and trust.

Father, as we call on you in our times of need, help us to grow in patience and understanding as we learn to trust you in all things, bad and good, in our life. Amen

© Chrissy Siggee – 2019

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Haunting Wails and the Seashell

Multi-coloured seashells lined the shelf in Sophie’s spare room. They had always fascinated her nine-year-old granddaughter, Emma. Each shell had its own special story. Today, Emma had asked to hear about the big, shiny, spotted one, which twisted and curled to a little holey point.

Emma carefully lifted the shell from the shelf and sat on the bed as Sophie entered from the kitchen, wiping her wet hands on her apron. She smiled down at her granddaughter holding the shell gently in her lap. ‘I suppose you want to know about this very special seashell.’

‘Where did you find it, Nana? It’s so pretty.’

‘It is pretty—as pretty as the beach I found it on. But, this shell has a sad story to tell. The memory will live forever in here.’ Sophie placed her hand over her heart before continuing.

‘Poppa and I were visiting a place far from here on the west coast for a holiday back in 1992. It was our holiday of a lifetime—just after your mother finished college. It was a summer. We were staying at a resort village and Poppa and I spent the evenings walking along the cooling sand. On the third evening there was a full moon and we were about to head back up the beach to our bungalow when we heard a pitiful moaning. It seemed like it was coming from the ocean. The sound lingered like a haunting wail that echoed. I have to admit, I was afraid. I’m not one to believe in ghosts, but that night I would have believed anything.’

‘Oh, Nana, that must have been soooo scary. What did you and Poppa do? What was it?’

Sophie traced the contour of the twisted shell to the point, holding her finger in mid-air for a moment before continuing. ‘Well at first we just stood there trying to work out what it was. Some of the resort staff came running down onto the beach yelling, ‘Save them! Save them!’ It was then that we realized there were black mounds rolling in the surf. They looked like huge boulders. Some were closer to us on the wet sand; water lapping around them from the incoming tide. Some of the people started running into the waves. Poppa grabbed my hand. The boulders were actually whales. Some had already beached themselves—others splashed about a little offshore where waves crashed around them.’

Tears ran down her cheeks as she recalled the events. ‘People were trying to persuade them back by yelling at them. Others just stood, staring, as one by one they beached themselves. It was an awful sight.’

‘Did they go back into the water?’ Emma asked, her eyes reflecting her anguish.

‘Unfortunately, most of them didn’t. I guess its part of nature. We never did find out why those whales beached themselves. We tried to help by keeping the whales wet. We even tried to encourage them back into the water.’ Sophie shook her head. ‘Four days later the beach was covered in dead and dying whales—fifteen in all. I remember I sat in the shallow water beside a mother and her calf and wept for them. Poppa and I took turns taking short naps and taking time out for meals provided by the resort’s kitchen. We continued our vigil for four days—the remainder of our holiday. We’ve always considered it a small sacrifice. We managed to get three whales back out into deeper water—only three, but we were relieved we were able to help in a small way.’

‘Oh, Nana, this is the saddest story of all. But, where did you find the shell?’

Sophie picked up the shell and blew into the small hole at the point. It made a howling sound, like the wind. She handed it back to Emma so she could have a blow, and continued her story.

‘About mid-morning on the last day, men with hoists came and loaded the dead whales onto the back of trucks to take them away—for burial. I suppose we were too exhausted to ask where. When they lifted the calf beside me, I noticed something lodged in the wet sand. Poppa used his hands to dig it out and held it up to look at it more closely. One of the helpers from the night before took it from Poppa’s hands and washed it in the seawater. He lifted it to his lips and blew it, long and loud. It sounded almost like the mournful cry we had heard the evening before. The man handed it to me and walked away, back up the beach to the resort where he worked. I’ll never forget those whales—or the beach.’

Emma blew into the shell. The haunting wail lingered like the memories on the shelf. Sophie sat beside her in silence for a few minutes.  Emma traced her finger around the shell before placing it into Sophie’s hand. She too, traced her finger to the point then placed it back in its place. They continued to sit in reverent silence.

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.