These words of prophetic wisdom were delivered, last week, to me at the very height of my own crisis, from a very close friend and mentor, a spiritual warrior, who, as of late, has endured many valleys of his own, yet still continues on his daily trek toward that not-so-distant, insurmountable summit. Diabetes, a leg amputation and now dialysis may have set him back a day or two on his marvelous journey through this life, but still he presses onward and upward, each and every day, with a song in his heart and a smile on his face. Oh, if we all could catch his indescribable joy. It's an internal happiness that is truly contagious and a far reaching testament to his tried and true faith.
That being said, no matter what we are currently facing in our own tumultuous journeys, no matter how hard we try to make lemonade out of the lemons in our daily lives, we must never forget that someone is in charge. He knows what's good for us, by viewing in totality our "big picture," while many of us in crisis are only experiencing the immediate impacts of the moment.
It just so happened on this glorious spring morning, I noticed the ruby red-throated hummingbirds were no longer coming to their feeder. From a distance, the feeder looked absolutely normal and over half full. But once I meandered, up close and personal, I noticed the mixture, though still red in color, was stagnant with all kinds of nasty stuff floating throughout it. No wonder these fellas were avoiding it. It looked good and pleasing from afar, but once the birds tasted it, it must have been rank. Needless to say, I would not have touched it either.
I proceeded to empty all the spoiled contents, wash and clean it thoroughly and refill it with fresh hummingbird food. Within two minutes of re-hanging it, they were back, non stop; and are now happy once again. So it goes with our lives sometimes. We absolutely look fine from the outside, but inside, we have become stagnant and rank and in need of a good cleaning, washing and replenishing.
Remember the words of my truly tried and true special friend: "He's in charge." The mountains, along with seemingly immovable obstacles that are occasionally placed in our paths throughout the course of our lives maybe just what was needed to force us to pour out the "old" stuff that may have grown stale and complacent; and bring in the new stuff, filled with revitalized dreams and fresh visions, bursting with vitality and overflowing with expectation. As I've stated before and will state again: "While ye live to our Creator, prosperity and adversity, will be equally helpful to you" (1st Thessalonians 5:18).
Yet, when we're in the throes of crisis, it's hard to fathom and or accept these aforementioned words. We've done all that we know how to do; we've meditated and prayed long and hard for answers, all to no avail. We've pleaded through rivers of tears that His will be done, all the while wishfully hoping that His will aligns with ours. Yet, the answers have not come, or they've come in bits and pieces and or if they have come, they were not the answers we were hoping for.
Remember the Serenity Prayer, by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr: "God grant me the courage to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can: and the wisdom to know the difference." He is in charge of change too. Just look around us. The Earth is always in motion. The ebbs and flows of our lives are constantly in flux. To succeed, we must move with these changes and embrace them, look for the good in them and somehow find a way to leave the past behind.
In my own life, I am currently facing, by far, the most challenges I have ever experienced. I have been truly humbled beyond measure, broken, beat down and cast aside, by many who were in "my circle." Yet, I have not given up, nor have I quit. Because in the grand scheme of things, I believe He continues to be in charge, in spite of me and that's sufficiently more than enough.
We are all worthy of rescue and revitalization. We have within us priceless resources to help us succeed in every endeavor, as long as we know who is in charge and accept it. He knows far more than we could ever fathom, just where the paths we trod must go for us to achieve lasting happiness and genuine contentment. When it comes down too it, isn't that what we are all looking for?
Remember, by changing out the hummingbird food, its vitality returned and the birds flourished. Many times, we too, will be faced with the stark reality that we will be forced to replace much of what lies within us, that we too may flourish. It may not be easy and most times it will cost us more than we are initially willing to give. But, take heart, as long as we can wrap our hands around the belief that He's in charge, everything will work out, not always the way we want or envisioned, but in a way that's best and just the way He has planned.