Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scrapbooking Our Storms?

I am half chuckling to myself at the visual and half pondering the reality of the question, “What if we scrapbooked our storms?”

The thought came to me yesterday, right before I was to speak at our women’s bible study on Mark 4:35-41 -- Jesus Calms the Storm. Now, I’m not a “scrapper” (are you smiling, Anne?), but there is a part of me that wishes that I was. I feel bad for my children. They are going to grow up huddled around a computer screen, viewing the pictures of their youth because I have not created volumes of sentimental scrapbooks, let alone printed out photographs. Maybe someday ….

Anyway, as I concluded the study today I posed the question to the dear women, “What if we actually scrapbooked our storms?” What if instead of only scrapbooking happy times – special occasions, birthdays, vacations – we scrapbooked the times when we found ourselves swamped by our sorrows, our sufferings and our pains?

Oh, I can only imagine what the papers would look like – clouds, rain drops, whirls of wind, mud puddles, avalanches, all in deep, muted shades. Maybe the additional decorations (there must be a term for them J) would be shreds of paper, ripped and torn, demonstrating chaos. I suspect it would be hard to have actual photographs; how does one capture pain, loneliness, sadness, depression, betrayal, and more, in a picture? And certainly most of us would not want to be photographed in the wind blown, weathered, wet with tears condition that we find ourselves in. However, perhaps rather, we could record all that God has taught us about Himself on this journey with Him.

And why don’t we? Are we afraid to show ourselves in our hard times? Does it make us feel too vulnerable? Insecure? Scared of what others may think of us if we sat down with them and paged through our pain?

The longer I live and the more storms I weather with Jesus in my boat, the more I know we need each other, too. We need to spend time with our neighbors, our friends, our families, and share with them the lessons that we learn from God about God, in order to help encourage and strengthen them in their journey with Him. And we need to record them for ourselves. As new storms blow in, we need to be able to look back and remember what God has done and Who He is to us, personally.

Maybe I’ll start a whole new crafting craze! I doubt it, but I would encourage you to at least record what God is teaching you. In the days, months, years to come I believe He will use it for you and for others as a reminder that He is faithful and to spur you on to continue to hold on to the hope that you have in Jesus (Hebrews 10:23).

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