The weather here in Ontario has been unseasonably warm this week and I for one am not complaining! After the incredibly hard winter we had last year, an extended period of warmer weather is much appreciated. A couple times this week, I adjusted my lesson plans to include some outdoor time to enjoy the gorgeous weather and appreciate the beauty that is fall at this time of year. As we are discussing solids and liquids in Science, it was very enjoyable to take time to admire the breathtaking, natural solids all around us such as trees, and leaves, through a thoughtful, nature walk. We have been blessed with so much autumn beauty all around us, that it was wonderful to make a conscious effort to enjoy it.
Some days are like that in general. Not just the weather, but everything seems to be going beautifully. These are the days we want to cherish, hold on to for dear life and really reflect upon. These are the days we feel truly blessed and genuinely at peace. All is right with our world and we could not be happier. But then there are the other types of days that are sadly the exact opposite. These types of days seem like the days from an awful nightmare and do not leave us with much to smile about. These are the type of days that cannot end soon enough for sure. I read a book to my students called Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns about Mud and Rainbows. It was a very cute story about how sometimes life hands us mud and other times life hands us rainbows. We can’t control or often fix what comes our way, but can only control how we choose to react to what life has ultimately delivered to us.
Sometimes we feel that all we have been handed lately is mud, mud, mud! Our lives feel so messed up, we see no way out. If our lives always went along in a perfect fashion though, we wouldn’t really have much to talk about would we? It is through those bad days, those hard times that we come out with the most powerful stories of survival, God’s grace, and personal growth and blessings. Some of us are only at the beginning or middle of our stories, so like any great story we don’t know how it is going to end. This can be very unsettling and stressful. We wish we could fast forward or rewind to happier times in our lives. The good news is, although we do not know the ending of our stories, God does. He is working things out on our behalf, but the working out of things does take time. As hard as it is, we must be patient. Where we may see no change, no improvement, no answer, things are often happening we are not even aware of yet.
When Phil and I wanted to start a family, we had a lot of problems. Several miscarriages and many ups and downs left us very discouraged and heartbroken. I remember during this time I received a call from someone in our close circle of friends who was unexpectedly expecting her first child. They had not been trying to get pregnant, but never the less were very happy. I took this news very hard. Here we were wanting this so badly, with no success and someone who had not even wanted a baby yet, was pregnant. In my heart I was angry, jealous and bitter. Little did I know though, but my situation was about to turn around very quickly. I wasn’t aware, but I was already pregnant with my first child, Tyler when my friend called me. Ironically our babies went on to have many playdates through the years. When life hands us mud, we can choose to become bitter, or better. Believe me getting bitter does not help. I have been there, and it gets you nowhere fast. It is truly up to us how we respond to hard times. Just like my pregnancy situation, when things look like they couldn’t get any worse, a breakthrough may be just ahead. As the cliché says it really is often “darkest before the dawn.”
Rainbows come into our lives after a storm, not before. The beautiful colours now stand where only darkness and heartache once were. None of us were ever promised a perfect life, but our lives can still be good. Some problems pass quickly, while others linger on and on. It is difficult to remain positive and optimistic when we see no change or end in sight. With God’s help we can do this though. The Bible says: “I can do all things THROUGH Christ who strengthens me.” We are weak as humans, but He is strong and ready and willing to help us through the tough times.
It is so vital to speak words of life over ourselves during the hard times. Saying things like “I will never overcome this,” or “I will never have a better situation” are not helpful. Instead we need to wake up each morning and declare that no matter what we are handed, mud or rainbows, we are amazing, gifted people who can and will overcome this trial with God’s help in God’s time. We need to remind ourselves daily of the trials we have already come through. We often forget. As we reflect, we are reassured that if we can come through THAT then we can certainly come through THIS!
No matter who we are, we all go through many ups and downs in life. John Denver said it this way that “Some days are diamonds and some days are stones.” I know we all prefer diamond days 24/7, but that is not reality. I remember the words of a song from my teenage years and the lyrics really stuck with me. It stated that “If it would never rain, if it would never snow, If I never felt pain, then I would never know, I would never know, what God can do.”
What a simple and powerful truth. If we never had a problem, then we wouldn’t need help from the ultimate problem solver, God himself. Some of you reading this perhaps have never considered taking your cares and concerns to God in prayer. I urge you to do so. The very act of prayer is encouragement to the soul as we feel and know that we are not carrying the burdens alone anymore.
I hope life brings you more rainbows then mud. I really do, but please know that even the muddiest situation can bring a bright and beautiful ending if we are patient and willing to look a little deeper. Our greatest trials can become our greatest blessings in the end. A rainbow is a reminder of God’s promise to us. Just looking at my beautiful kids Tyler and Shannon, I am reminded daily. What will be your "rainbow reminder?" It’s on its way. Please hang in there and know that there are better days ahead.
Until next time
Psalms 46: 1 ~ God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Little Lesson Learned: When life hands you mud, make a mud pie knowing that a rainbow is on its way to you when the time is right.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2015