Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don't Look for Clouds on a Sunny Day

In the 70's I was a fan of The Carpenters. Their lyrics and music managed to be simultaneously gentle and heart-rending, and served as the backdrop for a number of emotional events in my young life. Their song "Rainy Days and Mondays" was particularly meaningful for my not-yet husband John and me.

When John was a college sophomore, I was a senior in high school. He made the 90 mile trip home each weekend to see me but had to return to school each Sunday afternoon. Mondays were always particularly difficult days for both of us. He longed to be back at home but instead would find himself in a room with 200 other college students listening to a lecture that he didn't want to hear. And, since I had decided that he was the answer to all my hopes and dreams, I would spend Mondays writing his name in the margin of my notebook and wiping away tears. If it would happen to rain on a Monday things just seemed ever so much worse, and in the spring of 1972 there seemed to be an inordinate number of rainy Mondays. The Carpenters' song came to represent longing, unrest and a desire to be anywhere but in the place that life had sequestered us.

This morning I was in my mother's room cleaning when "Rainy Days and Mondays" began to play on her radio. I was in a negative mood, tired of January, tired of awaiting with anxiety the birth of my first grandchild, tired of stressing over a twenty-year-old son, and tired of taking care of my mother. The song reached out tendrils of despair and longing and wrapped them around my heart, and I felt suffused with depression.

And then, like a dash of cold water putting out my self-generated fire of self pity, a thought so clean and clear that it could only be from the Lord spoke clearly, “It is not Monday. And it is not raining."

I am no longer the young girl who believed that a human being could satisfy the longings of her heart. I have learned that God orchestrates all of the circumstances of my life, both those I perceive as being joyful as well as the ones I view as grievous. In my years of walking with Jesus I have found that in every circumstance of my life He provides richly for me, so that with Paul I can say that I have learned the secret of happiness in all seasons.

I am particularly grateful today for His forgiveness for bad behavior because as I indulged in my rainy Monday frame of mind I was unkind to those I love. On a sunny Thursday in this season of my life I choose to praise God for who He is and for the things He has done.

Scripture: I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13 NIV

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