Pictures of Joy...

This story has been such a wonderful encouragement to me... Thought I'd share it with you.

"Many, walking along the path of life, dwell upon their mistakes and failures and disappointments, and their hearts are filled with grief and discouragement. While I was in Europe, a sister who had been doing this, and who was in deep distress, wrote to me, asking for some word of encouragement. The night after I had read her letter I dreamed that I was in a garden, and one who seemed to be the owner of the garden was conducting me through its paths. I was gathering the flowers and enjoying their fragrance, when this sister, who had been walking by my side, called my attention to some unsightly briers that were impeding her way.

 There she was mourning and grieving. She was not walking in the pathway, following the guide, but was walking among the briers and thorns. "Oh," she mourned, "is it not a pity that this beautiful garden is spoiled with thorns?" Then the guide said, "Let the thorns alone, for they will only wound you. Gather the roses, the lilies, and the pinks."  

     Have there not been some bright spots in your experience? Have you not had some precious seasons when your heart throbbed with joy in response to the Spirit of God? When you look back into the chapters of your life experience do you not find some pleasant pages? Are not God's promises, like the fragrant flowers, growing beside your path on every hand? Will you not let their beauty and sweetness fill your heart with joy?

     The briers and thorns will only wound and grieve you; and if you gather only these things, and present them to others, are you not, besides slighting the goodness of God yourself, preventing those around you from walking in the path of life?
     It is not wise to gather together all the unpleasant recollections of a past life,--its iniquities and disappointments,--to talk over them and mourn over them until we are overwhelmed with discouragement. A discouraged soul is filled with darkness, shutting out the light of God from his own soul and casting a shadow upon the pathway of others.Thank God for the bright pictures which He has presented to us." SC 117

"God is not pleased to have His people hanging dark and painful pictures in memory’s hall.

 He would have every soul plucking the roses....

and the lilies and the pinks, hanging memory’s hall with the precious promises of God blooming all over the garden of God. He would have us dwelling upon them, our senses sharp and clear, taking them in their full richness, talking of the joy that is set before us. He would have us living in the world, yet not of it, our affections taking hold of eternal things. He would have us talking of the things which He has prepared for those that love Him. This will attract our minds, awaken our hopes and expectations, and strengthen our souls to endure the conflicts and trials of this life. As we dwell on these scenes the Lord will encourage our faith and confidence. He will draw aside the veil and give us glimpses of the saints’ inheritance."—Ms 24, 1888 quoted in 3SM 163, 164.  {Hvn 174.3}

My soul desire, is to stop gathering the thorns, and hanging them, as pictures, about the halls of my mind, letting them fill my soul with doubt, and despair, But to gather the beautiful, fragrant Roses! And plaster their beautiful pictures of joy all over the halls of my mind!

God is SOO very good to us! I know that I have much....oh so much to be thankful for! I have started a little journal, that I write something I'm thankful for in, every night before I go to bed. It's been amazing! There is always so much to be thankful for!

This promise is for each one of us:

"For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody."  Isaiah 51:3 

I want the Lord to fulfill this beautiful promise in my heart...

How about you?




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