Clear thoughts that come in the deep of night

In the quiet and still of the early morning hours, before the sun reveals her golden light, I often find myself awake upon my bed, alone with my thoughts. In these moments, I look with honesty and openness to what troubles my sleep. I look back and I look forward. I learned long ago a problem must first be identified and acknowledged before it can be addressed and resolved so I place an openness to see, to know truth, at the forefront of my endeavor. I walk through all that hurts my heart with prayerful pleas for God’s help. He is there. Always…

So much I’ve learned and long to share with others who could benefit, but closed ears and hard hearts won’t receive what is offered, even when it is offered in love.

Scripture is filled with wisdom, counsel to guide our every decision and comfort to hold us when life is hard. All day yesterday I kept hearing in my heart the echoing words from proverbs reminding me of eternal truths…in the multitude of counsellors there is safety, get wisdom and get understanding…

When we find ourselves at an impasse with another person, the root cause can often be traced to differing belief systems, different values, and different life goals. Gross differences exist among people. Some seek counsel, willingly pay a high price for it, both physically and emotionally, but they press on placing high value on gaining understanding and wisdom. Others refuse counsel, insisting on repeating cycles of poverty and pain…

As a young, teenage mom, I sought counsel. I found a person schooled in child development and I drove to Atlanta and back every week for months at a time, on and off, over the course of many years in order to learn. I took a paper route that ran in the wee hours on Sunday mornings in order to pay for the help I so deeply needed and so desperately desired. I faced things about myself that were difficult; decisions I had made, self-defeating beliefs, faults, failures, and limitations, yet I continued to go, to ask for guidance, to face the many challenges in my own life because I cared. I cared for the child entrusted to me. I wanted better for her. I wanted the best for her.

For such a long time, I was ashamed of my ignorance. I knew there was so much I didn’t know, so much I needed to know. I finally climbed to a new level of understanding and was able to put aside my shame when I realized I was doing all I could do to rid myself of the problem of my ignorance. I joined others in pursuit of education. I studied hard. I worked hard. It was not easy to work, attend school, and raise a child, but given my circumstances, that was what was needed and so it was what I chose to do.

Ignorance is simply lack of knowledge. There is a remedy for it. Study and learn. In order to learn, though, we have to have a desire to know, a desire to try, an openness to recognizing where we are lacking. The only shame in ignorance is choosing to stay in it. I so often thank God for this country where books and teachers are plentiful. We are a blessed nation and instead of honoring the blessings by engaging them with vigor, many refuse opportunity and choose instead to remain stagnant. I cannot understand…

I’ve had many jobs. I’ve cleaned other folks’ homes. I’ve worked in banks and a bookstore. I’ve worked in hospitals and colleges. I loved them all. I truly did. As a young child, there were times when my parents struggled financially and I well remember wishing with all my heart I was old enough to work, to earn money so I could help them. As soon as I was old enough to work, I got a job. I truly believe human beings were created, in part, to work. It is clear in Genesis when scripture tells us that God placed Adam and Eve in the garden to dress and to keep it that even before the fall it was good and right to work. I often think of that scripture as I happily tend my flowers. I will smile and say to the Lord, I’m just doing some of what you created me to do and I then thank Him heartily for my blooming beauties!

Unequally yoked…the cause of strife. When one person exalts the Lord and honors His Word and another does not, there will be impasse, there will be strife. What business does light have to do with darkness?

Another scripture that informs my understanding and opens my eyes to the necessity of work is this, “this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But you, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-14) There is a time and place for shame. Some things are terribly shameful and all of them can be eliminated by choice. Just as ignorance has a remedy, so too, does shame.

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