In the process of Konmari'ing my house - I have not watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, but I didn't have to watch it to get inspired to tidy up my own house - I found a page of notes in one of Dad's books that look to be notes from a campfire talk he gave at Camp Wildflowers last summer. In order to preserve them, I'm typing the notes up and sharing them with you all here. I have made some modifications to make the notes flow smoothly (mostly adding pronouns to clarify his bullet points).
This first line is from the camp theme song, and opened his talk:
" 'Oft times he weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride forget he sees the upper and I the underside'.
What do you do when God weaves sorrow into your life and you don't know why? You can't see the pattern yet, all you see is the underside, knots and maybe some tangles. Perhaps your pet died like Sysco, Chief's dog.
Lesson 1: Always run to God, never run from God. Here is a story of some of my dark threads. I have cancer, specifically this story is about my leg wound. Nov-Dec 2013 I first heard I had cancer and I had butt surgery to remove it. February 2015 surgery to remove cancer from my leg. August of 2015 it was not healing. We went through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's day without it healing. I was listening to the audio Bible and I heard Jeremiah 15:18 - Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed. Man, did I relate.
Lesson 2: Lament is OK. Even good when you run to God. There are Psalms of lament. Run to God and lament because you believe his promises. Mark 9 speaks of the healing of a boy with unclean spirit and his father cried out "I believe, help my unbelief!". So they kept treating my leg wound - I had 50 hyberbaric oxygen treatments, a skin graft - leg wound finally all healed up Sept. 2016, more than 1.5 years after the surgery to take out the tumor. Yet it opened up again later.
Lesson 3: Patient Trust when things are hard. Think of Hebrews 12:11 which speaks of the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Patience builds your spiritual muscles, your faith. One of God's purposes in suffering is to strengthen and prepare you. You know God loves you. He didn't just have his pet die for you and me, but sent his son to die, to live the perfect life of obedience we should have lived and die the death we should have died so we could be with our Father in heaven. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him - 1 Cor. 2:9.
So are you facing sorrow or a dark thread? Run to God. It's OK, even good, to lament to him. Tell God your pain. Recount his promises. Ask him to help your unbelief. Build your spiritual muscles and learn patient trust."
So. As I still grieve for my Dad and you face whatever your dark threads are, consider his little campfire message.