Hung Out to Dry

Long ago, discipline on British sailing ships was harsh. Punishment could involve the lash, cat-o-nine-tails, even keel hauling. A victim was tied to a rope and pulled – invariably drawing him under the vessel. If he survived he was suspended from the yardarm, left hanging, or hung-out-to-dry for a predetermined length of time. Not a welcome fate. (https://superbeefy.com website)

Is this how you feel? Abandoned?  Dejected?  Worthless?

Watching the comings and goings of birds in my garden, I noticed two grackles battling with what appeared to be a twig.  They were having a tug of war with the object in their beaks.  Only when they relaxed for a moment and dropped the ‘twig’ did I realize it was alive:  It was a worm, that they were warring over.

As it fell from their beaks, it landed on a branch below them, wriggling but unable to propel itself back to safer ground.  It was literally hanging there, an upside down U, and in great danger.

As it hung there the grackles both moved in to regain their quarry.  The worm fell again.  This time it was out of my sight, but its fight for survival continued.  I fear it must have lost the battle.  It was either gobbled down the throat, or throats of the birds, or perhaps they gave up and left it hanging there; where it would slowly die, unable to return to the comfort of its home.

We can feel that way occasionally.  When day-to-day events leave us unable to cope.  We long for our comfort zone; long for relief.  Often there is none forthcoming.  We become helpless in the struggle to survive, whether it be relational, financial or work-related.  Just like the worm we can feel powerless.  We are hung-out-to-dry, with no energy or escape available to us.

If only we could have stayed in our familiar territory, we’d be much safer.  It is often too late when we realize our choices have compromised our moral, ethical, and personal standards.

That hapless worm had no hope of survival, but we do have another option. God.

There are many promises in the Bible to aid us in our daily lives.  Here are some reassurances to that might give you comfort, and strength to carry on.

Matthew 11:28  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (NKJV)

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.  (NKJV)

If, at this point, God is not your thing, reach out to a trusted organization for help.  There are many resources available to you – but you have to ask.  That can be hard, because to a certain extent, you are admitting failure and we all like to think we know what is best for us.  Social services or a good church can be great places to seek (safe) help.

Don’t know a good church?  Visit different ones; attend Sunday services until you find one that you feel comfortable in.  Then you can reach out to the pastor and share your concerns, and benefit from their counsel.

Sharing your challenges with someone can be cathartic; can be a life-changer: A life saver.

Just Never Give Up!  You are more valuable than you think.

Patricia

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Death Defied, Life Defined – Review

Death Defied, Life Defined, A Miracle Man’s Memoir by Paul E. Perkins, is a compelling story of Paul’s constant battle against heart failure.

While waiting for a transplant, he shares the trials and tribulations of the accompanying health, and emotional issues involved.

What becomes paramount, when the waiting becomes too much, is the sheer determination to not give up.

Through surgery after surgery, relapse after relapse, he outlines the struggles he valiantly chose to not succumb to. His weary body came close to giving up the fight until the moments when he died.  These out-of-body experiences are described in detail, to the point of making the reader envious of the ‘journeys’ he travelled.  They give credence to other reports of heavenly visits, and of messages of hope that the recipients are charged with sharing on their return to the earthly realm.

He gives dramatic detail of medical teams, family and friends support, all so vital in providing him with the will to continue the painful, harrowing months of waiting for much-needed organ transplants that become his only option to death.

There is much in-depth detail in this story.  Paul gives greater power to his death experiences with the infinitely elaborate accounts of events leading up to each occurrence.  His obvious respect for the medical teams on whose care his very life depended is obvious. 

A book that cannot be ignored.  A story to make you think beyond your own limitations.  A tale of hope, and love, and the deep will to live.

I found it fascinating, captivating, exhausting, as I took on the weariness of his fight to survive.  His overwhelming determination to overcome provided me with much food for thought, and the out-of-body episodes enthralling – I could understand his yearning to just go.

His tremendous fighting spirit left me battle-weary, but hopeful of better things to come, proven as being credible, once again.

Well worth reading.

Patricia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REACHING GOALS

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The little grey squirrel ran through my garden toting a large peanut shell in its mouth.  Inside lay the morsel that the creature had diligently sought.  It had hunted for a while but found what it wanted.  It had achieved its goal.  Food.  An essential, needed to guarantee life.

“Seek and you shall find” the Bible states.  (Matthew 7:7) NIV

Of course, the search that we are directed to make, in this instance, is meant to be for God.  The giver of spiritual life.  Squirrels on the other hand, have a dogged determination to never give up on their own particular goal: To find food, no matter how long it takes.

Sin in our lives can be equally determined. We encounter addictions; wants; temptations and more, ignoring the fact that these seek to destroy rather than to nourish.

Nevertheless, a common denominator is persistence.  Sin will find a weak mind or spirit and possess it.  Whereas the food sought by God’s critter nourishes.

We often cannot tell the difference until it is too late.

We need the mastery, and determination of God’s creatures.  They must achieve their goal.  They must win at all costs – or die.

We too must choose to win, because if we give up and give in to sin, we will die.  Oh, not necessarily physically, but definitely morally and spiritually.

We must remember that sin does not seek to nourish.  Its goal and purpose is to destroy.

What goals do you have today?  I do hope they are uplifting and nourishing, and not destructive.

Philippians 3:14 (NIV)   I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Patricia

Broken

dsc00657The ice storm that caused such havoc in the southern United States moved through Ontario this week.  Its remnants are with us still.  There is a gradual melt beginning but needless to say it leaves behind damage to many trees in its wake.

I noticed this bough lying on the ground yesterday.  It took as much ice as it could handle, but finally the weight was too much for it to bear and it broke away from the tree and crashed to the ground.  Now it will die.  Life for it is over.

When we are burdened by too much stress; too many responsibilities or decisions to make, we too can come crashing down, usually into a depression, even to burn-out.  We can no longer cope with the additional weight coming our way.  Finally, we give up.  We crash. Sadly, a few will die as a result.  The strain proves to be too much, and they have no other support around them. They give up.

When things get tough, the saying goes ‘the tough get going.’  Easier said than done.

The Bible gives us a good directive in Matthew 11:28 where Jesus tells us – ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.‘  He promises us support even in our darkest moments, if we can only hang on to His words and trust Him.

When doubts and concerns overwhelm you, and you have no family or close friends to turn to, God is a very willing listener and will certainly sustain you if you will give your worries to Him and not let them smother and destroy you.

Hang on, when the going gets tough.  Find help through a good local church or organization, and please don’t sever yourself from community.

Life is worth living if you will trust in the words in God’s life manual.  The Bible.  It is a fundamental blueprint on how to live, and how to overcome obstacles.

Try it and see for yourself.  Don’t wait until you can’t handle life any longer.  There is always hope.

Patricia

Find the Bible Passage In any Bible, but if you are unfamiliar with the book, look into The Message where it is in everyday language.  Easy to read.  The title is Matthew and the chapter 11.  Look down to paragraph 28 and you will find the above-mentioned passage.