Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dead Man Walking

I love it when I find programs on television that I watched as a little girl. I’ve discovered that one such program comes on daily. Did/does anyone else watch “Little House on the Prairie”? They just don’t make shows like that anymore. It’s so wholesome! The families always ask a blessing before each meal. They teach their children respect. God was in the classroom and spoken about in everyday life. The Christmas episode actually told the story of Christmas. It’s just so refreshing. I cry during every episode, but really, isn’t that the defining mark of a great story? One we can relate to and embrace.

Yesterday’s episode was powerful. The Ingles' family, who had left Walnut Grove during a recession time to be with their daughter Mary, who had recently gone blind and was now teaching at a school for the blind in the city, decided to travel home. The goodbye’s were beautiful. So much love in that family - it’s hard to believe you’re not watching a ‘real’ family and that these are only actors.

As their wagon approaches their town and we see for the first time the devastation that has hit during the absence of so many of the town people, as they too had left because of the economy, we look onto a desolate scene. It’s a ghost town. No businesses are running. The ground hasn’t been tilled. The farms are sitting idle. Bleakness. Life has gone.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the buildings that stand lifeless. They are just a mirror of the hearts of those, who for personal reasons had stayed behind. They had lost the will to live. Although physically there was very little, if anything wrong, their countenance reflected a life already buried. Charles visited one man who’s wife had just celebrated her 45’th birthday. She sat in a rocking chair, aged beyond her years. Her husband said, “God has forgotten about us.”

That’s where we find Job today. I think he feels forgotten by God. An outcast looking in on his life and despising his existence. He doesn’t understand what is happening and questioning why God would allow so much to happen to him. Listen to what he says about God in Job 9: 17-18, “For He attacks me with a storm and repeatedly wounds me without cause. He will not let me catch my breath, but fills me instead with bitter sorrows.” He goes on to ask in chapter 10, “What do you gain by oppressing me? Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands…?”

Are you ever in that place? A place of bitterness and anger? Relentless storms have come and they are not letting up. Nights are dark. Days are darker. A once trusting traveller has become an atrophied adventurer, suffocating in the winter of the soul. A cancer of emotions is calling you to quietly slip away, for life has just become too hard. What’s the point? Why go on living? You identify with the man spoken of above and say, “God has forgotten about me.”

My heart aches today for you if you are in that place. How can I write about it? Because I’ve been there. I know the numbness that can settle around your heart, but I also know that God has not abandoned you. No matter how situations appear; no matter how alone you feel; no matter how far away you’ve wandered or how deep the pain, God is there. He has not forgotten you. Although your desire for Him has waned, His heart is aching for you. I don’t know why He has allowed living to be so hard right now, but God is there and He loves you. Circumstances are hiding His face. I know you have no strength to hold on, that’s not a problem. Let go and fall into His arms of love. He will carry you. God is not unfamiliar with resurrection. He can breathe new life into your heart. Praying for you this day with so much love.

"He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy." Job 8:21

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elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm a huge "little house" fan, so I could so relate with this post and with the parallel to Job's heart. How many times have I felt like that woman on the porch? Still and yet, I know that my God has never forgotten about me; sometimes it's simply hard to see the tracing of his hand in my life.

Good thoughts, Joy. Happy Wednesday.


Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I love to watch Little House on the Prairie too. You're always teaches a good moral lesson in every episode!

I think that I am always looking more on the clouds than on the bright side of things so this post today was an encouragement to me. Just as you, Joy, and other bloggers, have been an encouragement since I have met you.

Thanks! and God bless you!


lisasmith said...

I need to tell you that I have been trying to get my daughter to read my Little House series books for about a a friend came home from school with her and brought her Little House books. My daughter just dug mine out of her!

Didn't you find yourself crying with Job and praying for him as you read today???

On Purpose said...

I too love "Little House on the Prairie"!!!

This post today is so heart warming, you truly have a God honoring minsitry...and your life is full of His purpose. Thank you Joy for sharing these words. I know these words are truth and will speak to hearts and lead them into His ever loving arms!