Popular Posts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Legend of the Phoenix

Do you know the legend of the Phoenix?  According to legend, at the moment of death, this mythical bird becomes engulfed in a ball of fire and is reduced to ashes. From the ashes rises a new egg or young bird. Though a pagan legend... this is so symbolic of rebirth on many levels.  I pondered this today as I reflected on the past weekend and prayed and dealt with my own little demons. Let me explain.

My family and I had a little mini-vacation at the beach this past weekend, sharing a house with my husband's siblings and their families. We got back late on Monday night.. burnt different shades of red and brown.. some of us with 'shades tan', exhausted, a bit dehydrated and our hearts strangely full, yet burdened.

It was a time for lots of sun and sand, picking up shells and watching the others have fun on the beach.  We watched our youngest and third daughters frolicking in the water for hours.. these two have always been 'water babies'. We laughed at the four year old's attempts to 'body surf' as she tried to imitate her older cousins.

Several people were missing, including a few of the older cousins who had to work.  My two daughters on opposite ends of the globe practically.. a gaping hole in our family, quite impossible to ignore. Even while we were laughing and enjoying God's beautiful creations, we were missing the 1/3 of us to share it with.

Notably absent, like a missing puzzle piece, was my sister-in-law Jo-Anna. Her absence was a loud reminder of how deceptive and fleeting this little reprieve from daily life really is. How on the surface life seems normal and you can be playing cricket and football and roughhousing in the sea today and tomorrow your life comes crashing around you with simple words. Words that mean the end of life as you know it.. perhaps forever? 

As I shared a few walks along the beach with my husband and we also shared what was in our hearts, the thing that seemed to weigh the heaviest was the situation with his brother and sister-in-law. Oh, how heavy that tugged at our hearts. We both knew and understood that we can do nothing but pray. We looked at their children having a good time, turning almost chocolate brown under the sun and our hearts were bleeding for them.

Partly my sorrow was in the knowledge that God can fix this.. will they let him? We have tried.. even there on the beach my husband tried to talk to his brother. It seems that the door is closed.. shut firmly.. even in the face of the Lord Himself?

Oh but we all know that God can open doors once sealed so firmly.. He can unlock secrets hidden behind walls of stone... and so we pray.

Oh, but for your grace God.. this could be us! Oh but for your love and the pruning and purifying.. we could both be walking different paths right now! And that knowledge floors me, wrings me dry.. leaves me in awe of your mighty works in us.

Even as I praised Him for His beautiful gifts... the warm sand, the sparkling water that was like a sauna, the breezes, the gorgeous full moon that seemed to last forever. Even as I thanked Him for the hand holding mine and the renewal and growth of our marriage and our love.. I wept inside for the little sliver of fear that threatened to spiral up inside.. what if? 

What if I were less obedient, what if I did not find my strength in Him, what if the doors had remained closed and the stone wall unchipped? What if love had died forever, what if ears remained deaf and eyes blind and hearts closed? What if pain wrapped around like a shroud and death remained?

The He whispered, "Be still. I have made all things new for you, do not let fear overset you.  Death and Resurrection... death is painful..it is hard to watch death.. but let it be. It must be so before rebirth...as well you know!  I knock on doors relentlessly.. some day they will open to me. Even now, spirits are restless because they try to ignore my voice. Pray and wait.. my timing is always perfect. Let it go..leave it in My hands, but do not cease to pray. Even should no one else believe.. hold fast to your faith. 

And so, my friends,  I ask you to continue to pray for Nicholas and Jo-Anna. Today is the day they are telling their children that they plan to end their marriage. Your prayers gave us an extension of a week, time indeed for the Lord to work on hearts and I thank you sincerely for your efforts.

 Pray for God's will to be done.. perhaps is IS His will for complete death of this marriage so that it will rise from the ashes a beautiful new creation... just like the phoenix of legend.  We never know His purpose or understand His ways.. but we do know that there is hope.. always hope in Him.

Finding Heaven


Unknown said...

I prayed about this when I received your comment on my blog. Just now am I coming to read your post and I realized that I prayed exactly how you asked us to. I'm praying for them to both have an opening in their hearts, where forgiveness and love might break through.

Lisa Maria said...

Thank you so much Jen.. I so appreciate everyone's prayers. It seems like my husband and I are the only ones who are trying to encourage them to save their marriage. Both sides of the family seem to have just accepted and believe it's for the best.

Rightthinker said...

I will be praying. I am so sorry to hear of another marriage planning on ending..

I love this post, and what you have communicated from your heart here.

God Bless you.

Jessica Heights said...

I'm praying!