If happiness were measured by how much the sun was shining, in my world today it would be blindingly bright.
The last several months have been a bit of a trial for us here at Mama’s Empty Nest, not unbearable just a time of uncertainty. We’ve considered much, reflected more, and have diligently sought God’s guidance as we faced a period of insecurity. Through it all, hubby and I have tried to seek God’s will, petitioned Him in prayer and waited….and waited.
We’ve praised and thanked God the Father for the provisions He provided for us and how He continued to supply our needs during our bit of a trial. We’ve held tightly to our faith and scripture from 1 Peter 5:7 has been especially comforting to me: “Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.”
And just like that first beaming ray of sunshine thrust downward from the sky piercing its way through the dark and ominous clouds of a rainstorm, our long-awaited answers to prayer arrived this week, not just one answer but two!
American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, “Just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every cottage window, so comes a love-beam of God’s care for every separate need.”
Today, on this 10th page of my book of Opportunity in Chapter 7, there’s not just a warm sunbeam shining in our country home cottage window. Instead I feel like my entire home is ablaze with sunshine – a beacon of light – as God, maker of heaven and earth, has poured blessings upon our heads.
For most of this year, my husband has been unemployed. There have been ups and downs, highs and lows, encouragements and disappointments as he sought another position. In a period of time that can be devastating and demoralizing, I can honestly say – in our 33 years of marriage – I have never seen my husband stronger.
Instead of embracing defeat, he embraced our Savior Jesus Christ more than ever through reading the Word and devout prayer, through servanthood to others, and his willingness to help those in more dire need than ourselves.
I believe God has blessed my husband for his steadfastness and faith, for his total reliance on Him, and for his thorough self-examination identifying attitudes and thoughts he needed to change. Just this week, my husband was offered a job. Not just any job, but a job that he is excited about, an emotion he hasn’t experienced when it comes to work for a very long time.
On the heels of that sunbeam of joy that radiated down over us, our oldest daughter flew in for a job interview in our nearby city. She truly loves her current job and employer in the Deep South, but after four years of living in that area, her heart tells her she doesn’t want to stay there any longer. She recently expressed her desire to live closer to our family, a prayer desire Mama and Papa have lifted to the Father for quite some time.
After a promising phone interview, a prospective employer asked her to fly in for a face-to-face. Again joy permeated through me like the warmth of a sunbeam when our daughter was offered a new job right here in our city! Celebration reigned at our house this weekend!
This morning at o’dark thirty, Papa and I drove our beloved eldest to the airport for her early morning flight back south, where she won’t reside much longer. This time, the farewells at the terminal weren’t melancholy, they were jubilant as we look forward to the future.
The sun started rising as we headed home afterward. As dawn began to break, the old Sunday School song, “I’ll Be a Sunbeam,” came to my mind.
“Jesus wants me for a sunbeam to shine for Him each day,
In every way try to please Him, at home, at school, at play.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam, I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.
I will ask Jesus to help me to keep my heart from sin,
Ever reflecting His goodness, and always shine for Him.
I’ll be a sunbeam for Jesus; I can if I but try;
Serving Him moment by moment, then live with Him on high.”
That song echoed through my mind while I tried to stay awake as we entered a tunnel on our way from the airport into the city. As you exit this particular passageway, you are treated to a full view of our beautiful city. The sight of it never ceases to inspire awe in me.
This morning, upon exiting the tunnel, another awe-inspiring sight revealed itself – the gorgeous morning sun, rising up like a gargantuan round orb of luminous orange-red. Its light blinded me as it perched perfectly between two sentinel skyscrapers, slowly ascending into the morning sky, and I chastised myself again for not grabbing my camera before I left the house. It truly was a breath-taking, beautiful sight and I gasped, then said to hubby, “Wow! Look at that!”
A scripture in Judges 5:31 came to my mind: “So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”
As I squinted into the sun’s radiance, I thought, “How could we ever appreciate the sun if we never had night?”
Likewise, how could we ever appreciate the blessings if we never endured trials? How could we appreciate life’s happiness if we never experienced life’s storms?
Jane Porter, a Scottish novelist in the 1800’s, once wrote: “Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray. When it strikes a kindred heart, like the converged light upon a mirror, it reflects itself with the redoubled brightness. It is not perfected until it is shared.”
Happiness, like sunbeams, are not perfected unless they are shared, and I think that’s true about faith as well. That’s why I must share my faith in Jesus Christ with you in hopes that you too might want to be a sunbeam for Him.