Not Always Happy

Well, this is day six of cloudy, overcast, misty days.  Unusual weather, unusual times.

Days like this used to make me sad; depressed, even.  I would look out the window, see the clouds and a black cloud would cover my head.  I let the weather dictate my mood!  Ridiculous.  I was soo good at letting the weather dictate how I felt that the doctor actually diagnosed me with a disease called “Seasonal Affective Disorder”.  Imagine that.  It is a very real thing.  Some people, it seems, without sunshine do not produce the appropriate level of dopamine to stimulate serotonin and thus enhance their moods.  And doctors have a solution….pills!

I was on those for a while — two years, in fact.  And then one morning I woke up and sang a new tune to myself.  I don’t like medication so I decided I wasn’t going to be sad any longer.  I chose a new direction.  But in order to do that I had to do a lot of research and I found out that exposure to daylight and/or exercise would have the same effect as the medication.

I began to force myself outside for at least 20 minutes a day — no matter what the weather was like.  And as long as I was out there, I decided to take a walk.  So I got 20 minutes of daylight AND 20 minutes of exercise at the same time.  At the same time, I began weaning myself off of the medication.  Guess what?  It worked!

That was more than fifteen years ago and I have not had one day of S.A.D. since that time.  I have discovered that I like the weather — no matter what it is!  Some days are too hot to play outside for long, but that’s okay too.  I like the rain, I like the sun, I like the cold, I like the hot, I like it all!

I wouldn’t say that I am always happy.  Happiness is a fleeting thing — sparkly little moments in time.  I would say I am content and peaceful, enjoying each day as it comes without the aid of medication.

So today, as I look at the window of day SIX of clouds and misty rain, I rejoice in the cool weather, the fall colors, and the beauty that can be seen because I’m not squinting into the sunshine!

Isn’t God good??

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Oh, what love!

HE has engraved each one of us upon the palms of HIS hands ……

 

So many years I read over this verse with some arrogance.  A know-it-all, you know.  After all, everyone knows that it means the scars in HIS hands.  The scars from the nails when HE was nailed to the cross.  I always just assumed that when HE noticed the scars then HE would look at me differently – with a bit more compassion and tolerance, understanding that HE had suffered greatly for me and therefore would put up with a bit more.  In fact, I’ve thought that for years – many, many years.

This morning all of that changed.  My understanding changed from a me-focus to a HIM focus.

HE has engraved me on the palms of HIS hands…….

The engraving on HIS palm is not one of the broken, sinful, falling, shuffling, disobedient, rebellious, grudgingly obedient, sullen me.  It is an engraving of how HE created me to be….the finished product HE envisioned when HE first thought of me.  The engraving is a picture created in love, covered in grace and hope, lavished with mercy and lovingkindness.

HE sees me as I will never be in this lifetime and HE loves me as if I have ALREADY BECOME the wondrous creature displayed on HIS palm.

HE calls to me….beloved, my darling, precious, lover, friend, baby girl.

HE woos me with songs, and dreams, and visions, and caresses, and words of unfailing love and devotion.

HE opens HIS heart to me and allows me glimpses into HIS personality, HIS desires, HIS pleasures.

HE trusts me to be HIS and HIS alone.

HE gives me insights and trusts me to share those with HIS other children, knowing I will make every attempt to convey the message of HIS love as I have received it.

HE forgives me for not trusting HIM with the same fervency and faithfulness.

So many times in the past I have said ‘I love the Lord’.  This morning I received a glimpse of the depth of HIS love for ME, and that glimpse has created within me an urgent desire to love HIM as HE deserves to be loved, as HE longs to be loved, as HE has asked to be loved.

My prayer for you is that you will come to understand the depth of HIS love for you and find a way to return it to HIM.

Isaiah 49:16   See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands ……