My oldest son pitches in a baseball league in Southern California. As he prepared for the coming season he found himself struggling to regain the form that had made him a successful pitcher. He said he kept fighting and just when he was ready to give up and retire, he gave it one more try and finally hit his stride. Ryan told me he found the silver lining in his cloud.
I hadn’t heard that old expression going back to poet John Milton of the 1600’s in a while. They say when a cloud passes by the sun or moon you can often see a silver lining around the cloud as the sun or moon clearly outlines the cloud. How many times have you heard an older relative mention the silver lining when struggling beneath a cloud of worry covering a person’s life.
I was a pallbearer at a funeral with a fellow deacon and unexpectedly ended up getting a job as a Fuel Engineer at the coal mine he supervised. While finishing graduate school my dream job that I was about to take morphed into a bad deal. On my way to take the modified job, I stopped off at my mother’s in a blue mood. Miraculously a call had come to her house that day with a job offer there in my hometown. The sun shined again through the cloud as I settled there and began the rest of my life. Lemons turned into lemonade.
My youngest son tore a knee up in high school sports. He redirected his energy and focus into a large home youth Bible study and later said he didn’t regret the sports injury. A friend paralyzed from a car accident in his youth became a master furniture refinisher and an example of finding the silver lining in the Black community where he grew up. He told me he was grateful for the cloud that crossed his path because he thought he too might have ended up wasting his life as several of his friends did. What a living example of foregoing bitterness and finding the sunshine.
I told you earlier about the little boy furiously clawing his way through the huge pile of horse poop. When questioned, the young optimist enthusiastically grinned and reasoned, “With all this horse manure, there’s got to be a pony in the pile.” It makes sense. It just may not smell as good as looking at nice clean cloud with silver linings.
Most of us old timers long ago learned that life happens, and we deal with it. How we deal with it is the question. That’s where we have a whole lot to say about the final outcome. The Bible says what was meant for evil, He can turn to good. The next time I start griping about something remind me to take my own advice.
By Dr. Juan Harrison