Pick-Me-Up: Broken Fences

“Broken and Vulnerable,” © Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

© 2018 Lynn Abbott

Perhaps, it’s just me.  But frequently when life knocks the wind out of me, someone or other shows up–ready and willing to take me “out.”

This world just seems to work that way. Have you noticed? When we are broken, we are vulnerable.

If you have grieved over any kind of loss, you understand broken fences.

Sometimes an image says it all.

People often ask me, “Where do you find inspiration for a painting?”  And the answer to that is varied.

It depends.

Yet, often, a landscape painting reflects my heart at the time of painting…

One day, in search of artistic inspiration, I wandered a favorite local haunt with camera in hand.  A historic site, the estate is open to the public.

At the edge of the property, I spied a broken fence. It particularly spoke to me because I had recently experienced loss…

Often, a landscape painting reflects my heart at the time of painting…

In truth, brokenness characterizes so much of our lives in this imperfect world.

And just as in the case of the meadow beyond the fence, my life seemed overrun by wild animals.

When the ship goes down, sharks circle the lifeboat.

Yup. The enemy prowls, and attempts to pick off the weak.  You can count on it.  It’s his modus operendi.

Yet, our heavenly Father infinitely cares about every aspect of our lives.

When sharks circle, He draws near to His child.

When hearts break, Abba longs to comfort.

No matter how small, no matter how insignificant we believe our pain to be, our tears are precious to our Father (Psalm 56:8).

In truth, brokenness characterizes so much of our lives in this imperfect world.

And there is grace. Always grace.

It may not come immediately.  Sometimes, we find ourselves praying year after year.

Nevertheless, we can depend on Abba, (Psalm 55:22).

He hears. He knows. He loves.  And He ultimately provides.

The days may appear dark but Abba will never forsake His child (Hebrews 13:5b).

Indeed, Psalm 34:18 promises, ‘The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit.’

You and I don’t have to “do.”  It isn’t a matter of proving ourselves by bearing up under our grief.

We find rest in Abba’s arms because He not only knows our hearts, but He loves us perfectly.

His love and grace cover everything in our lives, and so, as John writes in his first epistle, “perfect love casts out fear,” (I John 4:18).

There is grace. Always grace.

What a relief that is!

I don’t have to put on a brave face. I don’t have to hide my weaknesses.

Instead, I run into Abba’s arms and weep.  I can be completely transparent with my heavenly Father.  He loves me like no other.

For this reason, I know I don’t face the wild animals on my own.  In fact, because my heavenly Father is near, the enemy’s snarling and snapping mean nothing.

Without a doubt, God is in control. His light breaks through even in the darkest and murkiest places.

After all, our heavenly Father is in the business of mending our broken and vulnerable fences.

“The LORD sustains all who fall,  And raises up all who are bowed down…The LORD is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His deeds.  The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them,” ~ Psalm 145:14, 17-19

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” ~Matthew 5:4