Friday, August 12, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow


I never realized, till Joey went to Heaven, how much music, art and literature are really about that beautiful place. I began to see it everywhere, and this song, originally made famous by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, and then re-birthed with a Hawaiian vibe by Bruddah Iz and his ukulele,  is one that stands out in particular.   There is such a deep longing for Heaven in every human heart. And if we long for it, then God has not only created the longing, but He has also created the fulfillment--the Place.

This artist has taken liberties with the lyrics. Where he has put the word laughter, the actual lyrics say, "Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops..." Troubles, not laughter. Troubles seem to be a very important part of the transforming process of life. Laughter is nice, but it doesn't change a thing in us.  The sufferings and trials of life, and how we respond to them,  are the telling thing.

The mystery of suffering is a big one, and needless to say, I don't pretend to understand it. But I have concluded one thing:  troubles are intended to make us fit for Heaven. If we walk through them in simple trust and obedience, even when we are crushed, filled with questions, filled with doubts and fears, we will be transformed. But if trouble turns us away from God, or we attempt to fix it our own way, or surrender ourselves to hedonism to make the pain go away, it locks out its necessary effect.

 Suffering, in and of itself, will not improve us. We have to make a choice about the suffering for it to make us better. If it is painstakingly borne as being permitted by a loving heavenly Father for a good purpose, it will eventually produce character, perseverance, and love. Then, we can know that troubles are doing a good work in us--a work that's essential. Because frankly, and this is the heart of the matter, most of us would ruin Heaven, and create another tragic earth,  if we are not transformed on some level before we get there.
Don't you agree?

So now I am often saying, "God, transform me. Use my suffering to make me better." 
And though it's not easy, I try to really mean it. Cuz in my deepest heart of hearts, that's what I need.  

 Somewhere over the rainbow, I'll wake up in a place where there are no more troubles...this NOW is my only moment to be changed by them.


II Peter 1: 5-15
 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Karen, this is so beautiful!. I love Iz and I love the song. Where did you get the beautiful poster of the song? I want one!!!! Hard times dear friend, hard times. Trying to understand all of this and the suffering. I love and always do love the things you put into words. I long for heaven, that is where we will be with those we have lost and loved. xoxox Sharoon

Anonymous said...

I'm glad God has the Jesus clause. The fact is, all of us would ruin Heaven without Him!
Love, Gary

Jeri said...

Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, I think I just spent an hour on your blog and Joe's trip blog. Thank you for sharing your heart and this story as painful as it has been, it is also beautiful. My heart aches with you as I read. Your words are beautiful.May the Lord fill your heart with His presence and joy (Psalm 16). Connie Larson

Holly said...

Karen,

Thank you for sharing...I honestly had to stop reading for a moment to wipe the tears. I am so glad to know God is such a huge part of your lives. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Holly