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Blessings Through Barrenness

19 Comments

Thought you might enjoy these thoughts that I posted a few years back:

This is the time of year that I used to dread.  Most of the Christmas decorations have disappeared from our neighborhood’s homes, the warmth of holiday music has dissipated, the air is bitter cold, and the trees are dark and seemingly devoid of life.

Blessings Through Barrenness

My husband and I commute to work together, and lately I have been struck with beauty that I haven’t noticed before.  One thought has been swirling in my mind for a few days now.

There is great beauty to be found in barrenness.

This thought strikes me as my eyes take in the awesomeness of those trees that in the past I would describe as cold, dead and dull.  What I see now is entirely different and enlightening.

As we drive home after work, the winter sunsets are almost overwhelmingly gorgeous.  Last night there were deep shades of indigo, violet, magenta, pink and blue.  The colors were layered beautifully, and could be viewed through the intricate patterns of lace and latticework formed by the branches of those “dead” trees.

All it took for me to notice and see the beauty of barrenness was to look past it, and focus on the beauty through it.

Our lives are like that.  We tend to focus on what is lacking, and sometimes just can’t understand why a loving God would allow certain things to happen in the world.  We look at our own lives, our sufferings and weaknesses, and we feel barren and sometimes even abandoned.

We are called in faith to look through the barrenness and focus on the perfect beauty and love of God.

He is the beauty that calls, amazes, humbles, and overwhelms us with love.  He is The One that works all things toward good for those who love Him.

Do you love Him that loves you?  Are you willing to look through your weaknesses, persecutions, and sufferings and focus your trust and whole being on the saving love and grace of Jesus?  Will you open your heart to His Divine Mercy?

Only then will your eyes be opened to the intricate beauty of barrenness… for only Our Lord knows the full design of the tapestry that is being masterfully created through what we view as unacceptable.

Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:8-10

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

19 thoughts on “Blessings Through Barrenness

  1. Simply beautiful. You’re a talented writer.

    I’ve had the opposite experience; I love winter. Well, winter up north, anyway (I’m in Florida). I love the quiet of winter, the early darkness, scenes from the window of masterful pen and ink ‘drawings’ of a sleeping life.

    Where I am, ‘winter’is full of brown; it’s the time of year of brown grass, brown trees; windows full of brown. Since being here, I’ve thought that what is experienced up north and down south contributes to the beauty and thrill and hope of Easter. My redeemer lives and I can see it in the green and the growth and the flowering and all the crazyiness of the natural world awakening. We go through the seasons to appreciate the seasons of our lives and the seasons of the Church and the seasons of our hearts. And He lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your kind words. Your description of winter up north describes how I feel!

      We recently moved from Central CA to Colorado. We lived in California for five years and I truly missed the change of seasons.

      We arrived here in CO in September, and experienced the most magnificent autumn ever.

      Now, the winter…snow and brisk cold accompanied by very bright sunlight that fill me with the beauty of winter. Beautiful snow capped mountains in the distance, and the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

      Yes, there is beauty in each season of nature, and also in the seasons of our lives.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so very Much.

    Live IS as we choose to see it.

    Those who seek beauty always find it.

    Those who don’t find whatever it is, that they are seeking to find.

    The practice of religion is termed “Faith”; why? Because God is continually testing our faith. … Do you Love Me?…PROVE IT!

    To Jesus Through Mary,

    Patrick Miron
    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:
    This is very accurately pointing to how it must always come down to the stripping away of the extraneous and really seeing the core or bare plain truth allows us to see beyond this temporary skewed or half-truth existence, When we can see in this way then the great beyond and the reality of God as being present in all things, in each of our lives; His seeing and knowing everything that there is, allows us to “see His glory enough to be rapt in awe” which must draw us closer to Him and thus make our lives more about understanding His will for each of us while in these flesh bodies as for what they really are; only a stepping stone or path to Him in all of His glory. I think what you explained in your experience is that this more stark forest appearance was giving you an opportunity even in the dead of winter when as you said the trees are dead if actually only sleeping until they awaken in the spring to their fullness or potential of the then powerful sunshine or light giving them new energy to manifest that potential fullness. We are not in our fullness while here in this almost sleeping state needing to awaken to God’s fullness, which can only come after our own long winter period of life. But this winter time when those trees are dead as you stated they have an opportunity for life ahead just as we are now dead in that we do not and cannot have a continued life from this world now burdened with sin, to one of real fullness when we truly bloom and spring forth in a complete fullness of life everlasting in Paradise that we can have through our Savior Jesus Christ, who will give us eternal life through Him and so much beyond our comprehension; when in the absolute presence and glory of God our Creator! So the shimmering radiant and magnificent colors you saw through those dead or sleeping trees, is what awaits anyone who seeks God’s glory and accepts the hardship of winter or the difficult times of living here, because in that, we gain more power and strength being humbled and knowing we are nothing without God; thus growing our faith while on our path to Him! We live for Him and His glorious purposes so that is all that matters. When we see and look into the world and at own personal lives through that prism we then truly draw closer to Him and begin to really know Him, just in the way that Jesus our beloved Savior looked upward and cried out to our Father in heaven; “why have you forsaken me!”

    Listen here to this fine explanation as to this one massive point of what Jesus went through for us, and then you like me will see; that any suffering I can do here is nothing, absolutely nothing, in comparison and I should be thankful for my own personal trials and tribulations; my suffering on the cross that the Father has willed; he knows what is best for me as He does every single one of us! Amen.

    This brings to mind someone that spoke this language of understanding the meaning of pain and suffering extremely well and that is Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

    “Mother Teresa chose the little way. She heeded the simple call of caring for the least, the lost, and the lonely. .

    This is what we are all called to. To care for the one that is presented to us each day. Though Mother Teresa reached worldwide recognition, she remained humble. She remained true to her faith.

    Life is the most important gift we are given. She cared for those who were seen as useless, dross, to be discarded. Some view a mass of cells who will become what we call a human as an inconvenience or not really life. But a life is a life. Whether a leper, a lame person, a disabled person, a child recently conceived. Mother Teresa saw each human life as sacred and beautiful and cared and had compassion on each one. She exemplified Christ in his compassion for each of us, who are also the least, the lost, and the lonely when separated from Christ. Mother Teresa showed the light of Christ to each person she encountered, even in their dying moments.”

    “Now imagine, you have been serving the least, the lost, and the lonely—the bottom of the barrel according to the human condition—for fifty years. Would you not have moments of doubt in your faith? Would you not wake on some mornings and wonder if anything you did yesterday mattered or would matter today? Would comforting another person dying in your arms truly comfort that person? In Mother Teresa’s diary it was revealed she had doubts in her faith. She had dark moments, as though God was absent in the care she was providing or the love that she was showing. This is the way of the cross. It is a comfort to know that even Jesus Christ had a moment of crisis in faith as well when he shouted, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Is this not our cry in the darkest moments of our lives? At least that is what it feels like—that God has forgotten us. This language is riddled all over the Psalms, the greatest prayer book.” beliefnet.com/faiths/catholic/articles/mother-teresa-the-suffering-saint

    I weep watching this, so this is a powerful thing to watch!

    The only perfect human being was crucified without a blemish of sin for us who are riddled with it and He took every sin committed by the human race upon Himself willing accepting that chalice and His becoming the Sacrificial Lamb of God which is truly inconceivable to even begin to understand what that is in reality but it was reality on that cross for Jesus Christ and we all deserve hell where you saw the Devil in the bottomless pit where he belongs; but, God our Father in Heaven by His endless Grace and Mercy says we do not belong there, and that we will be with Him, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit for eternity, if we each just accept Jesus as our Lord, Savior and Redeemer; loving Him with each of our hearts!

    You see as I hear what you are saying you are seeing beyond the cold, dark, lonely dead tree in that state to the light beyond them which is always shining and there but we don’t always see it for one reason or another being caught up in everyday surviving and living in the ways of the flesh material world.

    “After fifty years of serving, there were times it all became mundane and seemingly worthless. But God truly honored Mother Teresa’s work. The way of sanctification is suffering and grace. All the great works that Mother Teresa did, did not save her. Redemption has come through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. The suffering that Mother Teresa had in her thoughts was grace. These suffering thoughts caused her to turn to Christ in her darkest moments. In the book, The Diary of a Country Priest the main character (the priest) is declining in health and suffering quite a lot. But as his suffering increases, his spiritual growth increases all the more. I believe this is what happens to “spiritual giants” as some call them. The same is true for Mother Teresa. She suffered with the those who were suffering. She comforted those suffering. And in turn, her suffering in mind has brought comfort to us saints who doubt our faith, stumbling around as we do. But in suffering we are drawn closer to Christ who is our redemption.
    Let us honor Mother Teresa for her fortitude to bring light to the suffering world. And honor her as a saint and Saint. She is one of many who points us toward Jesus Christ. Mother Teresa pray for us. Amen.”
    C. N. Dudek is a writer and editor and has written for Examiner.com as the Baltimore Christianity Examiner. You can read more about him at On the Galilean Shores.
    beliefnet.com/faiths/catholic/articles/mother-teresa-the-suffering-saint

    I know this is truth because I found myself being thrust into a huge amount of unjust punishment and suffering brought on by other humans who were my enemies and I wondered like Mother Teresa and so many countless others why was this allowed; and after long suffering, pain and struggles I had to arrive at the place Mother Teresa did knowing that I’m in God’s Glorious hands and His only Son our Savior Jesus took all the punishment of the entire world, every sin and misdeed all for the eternal love of our Father who doesn’t want to forsake us, but, we must give total respect and love to His Son first of all for His total sacrifice and in turn love our Father in heaven completely so that we can be sanctified; then being able to join them in there perfect glorious holiness and eternal love. We should welcome our suffering and the dark times we must get through just like we appreciate those times when the bright shining light is gleaming through the obstacles or dead things in this world, but, yet we can see it so beautifully and know it is always there beckoning to us to keep seeking and having faith that grows by the day! Amen.
    God bless you and yours!

    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence Morra III

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reblogging and for your thoughtful comments. May God bless you and keep you in his loving care.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh so amazing that you saw this right now before I go off here to not return till morning! I just a moment ago left a message for a sister of mine to check this when she gets up in the morning and prays but I mentioned how just as I was wrapping up things here I watched a video clip that had Mel Gibson talking about the beginning of his career and then The Passion of The Christ, which for me was a confirmation that those dots I talk about in my life or in the world are surely being connected, and incentives from God are being sent our way! God of course; works in mysterious ways, but most important to keep in mind is that He is with us; Immanuel.

        I had actually put aside a big article I’m writing when I saw your posting today because it took hold of me inside immediately touching my heart deeply and I knew then I was to change course and focus on your article now! So now you showing up for me, is the cherry on the blog posting cake for Jesus; telling me that I did right! I’m happy about that my Sister!

        God bless you and if I can do or say any more let me know!
        Brother in Christ Jesus,
        Lawrence

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful!
    Keep up the good work.
    – ed

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There is beauty and lessons to learn even through our barren times. We just have to be aware of all of it … to see it … to seek it. Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you! I needed to be reminded of this today. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This story touched me so deeply. Thanks for posting it. The light of Patti’s love never will die. In that sense, she’ll always be with you and the countless lives she touched. If it’s okay as a testimony to God working in my life, I share my overcoming story. https://osborne2029.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/a-boys-calling-to-be-a-missionary-of-the-heart/. May God continue to guide you and your life and writing ministry.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “There is great beauty to be found in barrenness.”
    So so true. Our winters are long. We can choose where we look and what we see.
    Choosing to see our creators colors and handiwork, we begin to really see.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a beautiful (divine) perspective! Your description of the beauty that can be seen through barrenness or “deadness” reminds me of the experience of Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom in the concentration camps. In that stark environment they shared the gospel with desperate women and saw many, many souls saved. One night as they were leading a Bible study one of them said how there (in the concentration camp) all distractions had been stripped away and they were able to put their whole focus on the Lord. In the same way, leaves on trees are pretty, but you wouldn’t have been able to see that gorgeous sunset through them. We need to be careful what we focus on, that we don’t let it hinder our view of God.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Blessings Through Barrenness – Nelson MCBS

  11. Today, your post is God’s voice to me telling me to acknowledge the dullness of heart that I am feeling just past Easter. There is a pall of grey covering everything inside me. Where there should have been joy and hope, there is disappointment instead. I believe God wants me to bring this to Him, unadorned, unvarnished by false brightness, that this is all fine – because only when I give Him this darkness can I find hope and light in barreness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes I am reminded that in our darkness and dullness of heart…when we feel completely empty…that is exactly the lesson that we need to learn. That when we realize that we are nothing without Him, and give Him all of us, including the darkness, we can truly ask Him to take care of everything. Completely trusting that He will take care of everything, because He knows what we truly need.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. We all need each other on this journey of life❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for your thoughtful words.

    “We need to be careful what we focus on, that we don’t let it hinder our view of God.” I needed to hear that!

    Like

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