This beautiful rendition of “Alone Yet Not Alone” is performed by Joni Eareckson Tada. The song is featured in the movie Alone Yet Not Alone. So moving… Listen, watch, and be blessed!
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.
Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reasons why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares.
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who choose to walk with Him.
By Grant Colfax Tuller
I often find much uplifting and inspiration in the words and illustrations of Joni Eareckson Tada. Sometimes life can be overwhelming as it bears down upon us. And those of us who battle chronic pain, fatigue, or illness understand that it can make life’s challenges seem multiplied ten fold. But God is always in control and He is faithful to finish the work He began in each of us. By His Spirit, we have the power to accomplish whatever service He has called us to do and whatever task He has set before us! I love Joni’s illustration, “God’s tapestry of grace”. It is God’s grace and the power of His Holy Spirit that enable us to keep going, even in difficult circumstances and despite all obstacles! Praise the Lord! Be blessed today in HIM!
Lamentations 3:22-24: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
Looking back over the year 2013, I must admit it was a year of seemingly relentless difficulty for me. Perhaps you can relate? As soon as one trial had passed, another would quickly follow. And often there were multiple trials all at once which became an almost insurmountable struggle. One day, in a moment of weakness, I was praying and literally crying out to the Lord to ease my load, feeling as though the darkness might soon completely overtake me. I longed for a reprieve from the seemingly endless barrage of attacks from the enemy- a breakthrough! Then, softly and intently, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “Angela, stand in the ‘bright spot’.”
I cried out in desperation, while in the middle of a particularly bad flare, “What bright spot, Lord?”, overwhelmed and struggling at the time to see the tiniest glimmer of light outside His immediate presence. Surely, in the midst of all the trials- a year-long whirlwind of family chaos and turbulence, the effects of chronic pain and fatigue, months of difficulty getting resettled after a necessary summer move, nearly three months of fighting not to succumb to depression, and not to mention the current ice storm with thirty-two hours of no power, no heat, and no running water at home- I thought surely, there wasn’t a beam large enough for me to stand in. “You’re all the light I see, Lord,” I said. “Where would You have me stand?”
And then, like a vision, it came to me. Though the circumstances that weighed so heavily upon me were like walking through dark shadows that seemed to engulf me, I began to imagine beautiful rays of light as they broke through the clouds of darkness. In those rays of light- the “bright spot”- there was hope, warmth, even joy, and renewal. So I asked the Lord, “Father, where is the bright spot in all of this?” I longed to see it and to feel it’s warmth flood my spirit. Then I felt Him saying to me, “Look around you to those things where I am and you will find it.”
It was a week before our Christmas Musical at church and I so wanted to sing for the Lord and bring glory to His name. Singing is one of the things that brings me joy and gives me inspiration. I so enjoy singing with our Praise Team and worshipping our Lord together. And for nearly three months, I had longed to once again find the ability to connect with the passion and inspiration I knew God had placed within me for His ministry. So, in that moment, and for that very time in my life, singing in the Christmas Musical became my “bright spot”. For a little while, I was able to bask in the rays of light from my “bright spot” and felt God’s warmth pour over me as His joy began to renew my spirit. Making an effort to attend weekly practices and listening to my performance CD at home and in the car, I had been looking forward to singing with my sweet Sisters on the Praise Team and to the program God had inspired our Music Minister to lead. But my basking wouldn’t last long. The next morning I awoke with a scratchy throat. And, by the following morning, it had turned into the worst sore throat I could ever remember having. This time the Holy Spirit led me in a different way. But I’m certain it was His direction which prompted me to call and make an appointment with my doctor, something I usually don’t immediately do. A visit to the doctor is certainly not one of my favorite things! But this time was different- I knew I needed to get to be seen as soon as possible and suspected it was strep. Sure enough, the test confirmed I had strep throat!
It seemed my “bright spot” had vanished. But I soon discovered it had only moved. Often in challenging circumstances, the Lord’s desire is to inspire our faith to grow as we continue to trust Him and follow His leading. So I prayed for His strength and the ability to trust faithfully and to keep my focus on Him, instead of on my circumstances. The circumstances surrounding me were still very difficult. That had not changed. But just as He always had, by His mercy, grace, and love, the Lord brought me through. Each day, as I followed my doctor’s instructions, took my medication, and placed everything in God’s hands, I began to improve. Slowly, I began to practice using my singing voice a little at a time and was soon able to sing again! More importantly, God helped me realize that His gift of inspiration doesn’t always come from within. Sometimes His desire is that we rest in Him for a while and be carried by and become part of the inspiration He bestows to others. I’m continuing to learn, when the dark clouds of gloom and uncertainty loom over me, I only need to ask the Lord to help me look for the “bright spot” and to stand in it!
No matter how dark the clouds looming overhead or the shadows surrounding you, there is always a bright spot- a place where God says, “I am”. It may be uniquely different, depending on your circumstances. Where is your “bright spot” today? Is it the love in your children’s faces? Is it spending time with your grandchildren, lending them your love and guidance? Is it something God has gifted you to do that brings you joy? Perhaps it’s having lunch with a friend, or a phone call to a loved one. Maybe it’s giving of your time and talents to minister to others. Or it’s spending time studying or teaching God’s Word. Maybe it’s a walk in the park or a drive through the country, enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. Look for your “bright spot” today. Stand in it! And the Lord will give you warmth, hope, His unspeakable joy…and He will renew your spirit!
John 8:12: Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the Light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” (HCSB)
Standing in the Bright Spot,
Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to embrace the New Year with joy, for Your blessings are beyond measure. And help me to approach each new day with a joyful outlook and to diligently share Your love with others. May Your love bubble up from within and overflow! In the precious name of Jesus, our LORD. Amen.
Wishing You a Joyous, Hope Filled, & Love Inspired New Year!!