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Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 is over

My yoke has been easy and my burden has been light.

I’ve been reading blogs today and over and over I’ve seen statements to the effect “Thank the Lord this year is over” “Thank the Lord for bringing me through this year.” Some of them were even gloomier than that. “This has been a terrible year. I’m glad it’s over.” “I’m looking forward to the New Year because maybe I can forget all the bad things that happened.”

I have to say that I’ve never had any of these feelings with the coming new year. I’ve had some times in my life when people told me in retrospect, “How did you ever stand that! How did you get through that!” Or they've said, "Oh you poor thing!" But I suppose I’m pretty dense because I never realized that I was having a hard time!

When my dad died, I inherited a piece of property that the state took as part of the new freeway. They offered me a token amount of money for the ‘right-of-way.” The portion they took was only about a half an acre and I suppose the small amount they offered was fair for the amount of land; however the piece of land they appropriated was the only access to the remaining acreage. I was left with a piece of land I could not use. I refused their offer and we went to court.

In his concluding remarks my attorney told the judge (and I’ll condense it. He did a much more heart rending presentation) He said, “Here is this widow. She lost her husband and was left with two young children. A month later she lost her mother. Because of her financial circumstances she was forced to live with her father who in the course of time also passed away. She has raised her two children without any aide from the state. She has never applied for food stamps. She has never asked for ADC. She has never asked for medical assistance. She has worked and supported both herself and the children and is now struggling alone. And she is still not asking for help. All she is asking is a fair reimbursement for the land that the state of Ohio has made useless to her.”
I sat there at the plaintiff’s table and thought “Oh my goodness, that poor woman!" And then I thought “Gracious! He’s talking about ME”

What he was saying was the absolute truth, but I had never realized my situation. I believed and still believe implicitly in the scripture, Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Because God has proven Himself to me over and over. He has given me rest to my soul. He has carried my burdens. He has lifted worry from my mind. He has supplied all my needs at the exact moment when I needed them. In every trial He has made a way of escape.

When I hear about some events in my life from someone else’s point of view I’m sometimes surprised to realize that they are talking about me. So many things have happened that others have sympathized over and I’ve felt a little bit like I’m accepting their compassion under false pretenses. Those events have indeed been occasions in my life, but I’ve never felt the weight of them. I’ve never had reason to sit and bemoan my fate in life. I’ve never worried at my lack of medical insurance for either myself or my children. I’ve had to explain my circumstances a lot of times, but I’ve never felt that there was any reason to moan about them. I’ve never had reason to feel sorry for myself because through my entire life the Lord has carried the weight. All the high places have been brought low and the low places raised and He has made my path smooth before me. He is a fantastic Lord.

I don’t understand those folks who are always crying about how hard they have it or how difficult their circumstances are, because my Lord has never left me alone or helpless in a hard place. He has never left me feeling bereft. Maybe part of the reason is that I’ve never asked for more than I needed and He has always supplied my needs every day. Sometimes I didn’t get a prayer answered immediately but the need was always supplied. He has never left me ‘in the lurch’

There have been times when people have disappointed me. There have been times when ‘good Christians” have let me down. There have been times when even preachers have shocked me with their lack of compassion. But God has never failed me.

I’ve never had occasion to say, “Whew! Thank goodness this awful year is over” He has carried the burden and lifted me up at the same time. He did it so faithfully and lovingly that I never realized the hard places. “I found it so! I found it so!’ Only in looking back when someone pointed it out to me did I realize that maybe those times were hard, but they were blessed by His protecting Hand.
So as the year ends, I want to praise the Lord because He is my Lord. He is my helper, my conforter. He guides me and keeps me. He is always there picking up the greater part of the burden and smoothing the hard places. I praise him because I need not look back on this year with regret or sorrow. I praise Him because there is nothing behind me to be sorry for and there is nothing ahead to fear. How wonderful! Thank you, Lord!

I’ve found my Lord and He is mine,
He won me by His love;
I’ll serve Him all my years of time,
And dwell with Him above.
His yoke is easy, His burden is light,
I’ve found it so, I’ve found it so;
His service is my sweetest delight,
His blessings ever flow.
No other Lord but Christ I know,
I walk with Him alone;
His streams of love forever flow,
Within my heart His throne.
He’s dearer to my heart than life,
He found me lost in sin;
He calmed the sea of inward strife,
And bade me come to Him.
My flesh recoiled before the cross,
And Satan whispered there,
“Thy gain will not repay the loss,
His yoke is hard to bear.”
I’ve tried the road of sin and found,
Its prospects all deceive;
I’ve proved the Lord, and joys abound,
More than I could believe

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