Embrace Your Silver Linings

By: Marcy Barthelette 
The summer heat has changed our exercise routine considerably. We head out just before sunset and as long as we keep moving those pesky little mosquitoes leave us alone. Though we were at first reluctant to climb out of our daytime rut, we have been rewarded with spectacular displays of God’s creativity as sunset’s colors journey across the sky. How could the human mind witness such wonder and doubt the presence of God. Last night we beheld blue and purple clouds framed in a fine line of silver as splashes of orange and pink danced from west to east. What a show!
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Proverbs 25:11
We’ve often been told that behind every cloud there is a silver lining. We witnessed that saying in the literal sense on our evening walk but, of course, it also applies to life in general. As humans we often experience cloudy times in our lives…we’re currently in the midst of several huge ones and they seem to have no end. But there are always rays of sunshine peeking through the darkness. We may need to search for them but they are there.
Rachel is a gift to our family. She was a silver lining before she drew her first breath. Her parents had been unable to conceive a child, so they were honored when an opportunity to adopt a baby girl was offered to them. They had several months to prepare and our daughter was in the delivery room. She cut the cord and has been Rachel’s mom ever since. She is our tenth grandchild and one of only two girls so that made her even more special. When she smiles, her whole countenance lights up and she gives the best hugs in the whole world. Is she perfect all the time? Of course not, she’s a normal child but she’s close enough to perfect for me.
We haven’t seen her since February when we helped celebrate her ninth birthday, but she calls to tell of her adventures and her sweet voice is certainly a silver lining in this time of isolation. When she says, “Guess what, Grandma?”, I know I’m on a journey with her that will bring rounds of giggles to both of us. She’s even getting pretty good at telling jokes. Sometime our phone signals are weak because they live in the country so she’s learning to text very well. She will always communicate in some manner. I look forward to the day that we can all go camping again when we can embark on exciting journeys of discovery in the natural world. She loves the outdoors just as we do. Until then, I’ll have to settle for those memories that we’ve made in the past until we can make more.
Our other grandchildren are farther away and older but we get a call or text now and then. Our fifteen year old recently texted, “You’re the best!” Our 22-year-old college graduate wrote to thank us for our support over the years and for being there for him, even from a distance. Those are sweet silver linings. Each grandchild is precious in his or her own special way.
The other place where I find silver linings in my back yard. The intense colors of the flowers and the intricacy with which they are constructed never cease to amaze me. During my chores I sometimes frighten a little bunny who has taken shelter under leafy plants and sometimes she just lays there, all stretched out on her belly to take advantage of the cool, damp soil. If I look up I may see a squirrel spread-eagled on a branch, searching for a cool breeze on a hot summer day. In spring and early summer, there are caterpillars of all sorts. They spin their cocoons and re-appear as beautiful butterflies throughout the late summer and fall. At about that same time, tiny praying mantis youngsters climb to the top of the plants to escape the flood of water from my hose. One of the most interesting insects is the giant garden orb. Yes, it’s a large spider and it forms the most fascinating webs with a zipper right up the middle. Its webs often reach a six-foot span or greater and I never bother them because they eat my unwanted bugs and I enjoy watching them so much. And let us not
forget the birds who flop in puddles to catch a quick bath before all the moisture is absorbed by hot breezes or the tiny hummingbird, flitting from bloom to bloom at lightning speed to catch every drop of nectar. My friendly little garden snakes like to surprise me by slithering past my feet and, sometime during each season, I’ll find a skin left behind as they grow and shed, another of God’s miracles.
These lovely little silver linings take my mind off the worry about today’s difficulties for a while and I’m
grateful. My garden is my happy place!


Just contemplate the spectrum of tiny miracles that occur in nature every day. If God can do all of that
for His tiny creatures, imagine what He will do for us. Losing that job that paid the bills but offered no
personal satisfaction may lead you around a corner to something meaningful and challenging. The
house you bid on but didn’t get may have had some undetected problem and the right one will come
along when you least expect it. Maybe you did have a losing baseball season but you made some
great new friendships along the way. So the publisher didn’t like your book but there may be a much
better deal just waiting to announce itself.
We all experience silver linings, both large and small ones, and God is right there in the midst of each
one of them. He promised to be with us through thick and thin and He is. Just look for Him in your
own unique silver linings. If you truly seek, you will find Him! After all, He is our very best silver lining.
Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the
art of life is to get the message. Malcolm Muggeridge, journalist  

One Response to “Embrace Your Silver Linings”

  1. Bill Shireman says:

    Thanks so much for your wonderful article. Love the pictures. I try to walk before breakfast and have caught some great sunrises which only God can paint.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and word pictures from the garden. We can see so much there and experience the closeness of God.

Leave a Reply