Friday, 05 June 2020

M Michele's Musings

Thoughts from Silas Marner

 

 

Recently, during church service someone shared that God doesn’t always give us what we want, He gives us what we need. Though I had not read the book in over twenty years, a colorful character and the namesake of a book, Silas Marner, authored by George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) immediately popped into my head. The book is one of my favorite classics probably because it has a happy ending. I love happy endings! Silas Marner was a man who lost what he wanted but eventually found what he needed.  

Silas Marner was falsely accused of stealing and lost his fiancé to his “best” friend, who seemed to have framed him. In shame, betrayal, overwhelming hurt and loss of faith Silas leaves his home and settles in a small rural area where no one knows him or his history. The disillusioned Silas chooses to live an isolated life having little contact with any of his new neighbors aside from his interactions concerning his work as a weaver. He dedicates himself totally to his work. Every evening he takes out the hoarded gold coins he has earned and counts them in adoration, his sole source of comfort and happiness in life. One night his gold coins were stolen by a wastrel and Silas goes into a deep depression. Sometime thereafter, a two-year old child ends up on his doorstep; the child had wandered away from her sickly mother who died while passing nearby Silas’ home one snowy night. With no one claiming the child, Silas takes her in to raise. Silas believes that the stolen gold coins have been returned to him in the form of the golden-haired child. The child, whom Silas named Eppie, changes his world completely. Though his precious gold is gone Silas’ former unhappy state changes to one of joy and he begins making new friends. Silas’ faith is restored. He has hope, love and purpose overflowing in his life all because of the precious gift, in the form of a small child, dropped from heaven on his doorstep.

Though Silas Marner is a work of fiction there are a lot of hidden truths tucked within the eloquently penned words found on its pages.   Silas Marner’s life started out good. He had a trade that he was quite good at, he made a fair living, he had a beautiful fiancé, he had friends and he had faith in God. Then one day his world was turned upside down and most everything he trusted in was gone. Along with the betrayal and hurt he even lost his faith in God for a time. I am sure we have all been in a similar place at some point in our lives. Maybe we haven’t lost our faith but we have come close because we haven’t understood why God would allow terrible things to come upon us. We have all probably prayed and prayed or tried to pray ourselves out of hard times which are not pleasant or fun to experience. The wonderful thing is that no matter what we experience, God always has a plan. Even if we falter and lose sight of our faith, He is always looking for what we need to bring us back; because He loves us.

For a season Silas let unforgiveness burn in his heart. The bitterness in his heart shut out everyone and everything that really mattered. In an effort to never be hurt again he unconsciously turned from people and God. Silas became an unfriendly recluse. We have all had occasion to hold onto unforgiveness. The sad part about not forgiving is it causes one to be bitter. Unforgiveness causes us to shut out the people around us, trying to protect ourselves from being hurt again. In the process, we hurt others and ourselves. One of the most wondrous things we can experience is the forgiveness of God. It is also a treasured gift that we can bestow upon another. Silas would forgive and eventually travel back to Lantern Yard, the place he had left in shame and heartache so many years before. When we struggle to forgive, God is always near to provide what we need in order to bestow forgiveness upon someone who has hurt us; because He loves us.

In turning from people and God, Silas put his hope and faith in the gold coins he earned, living and breathing to hoard more money.   He was obsessed with the gold coins, taking them out each night to admire and count them; the gold coins became his sole focus in life. Silas was putting his hope and trust in inanimate things that really didn’t matter, things that could never return his love.   Though Silas Marner had riches, he was a sad, broken and unhappy man.  Even when our attention is not where it should be, God always has a way of lovingly directing our hearts back to Him. God gives us what we need to direct our focus where it needs to be; because He loves us.

Silas lived many years as a lonely, lost soul. Some of Silas Marner’s hurt and heartache was due to the sins of others and some were the result of his own life choices. Our lives are no different. There are things we experience as a direct result of the sins of others. We are simply a victim. But some of the negative things in our lives are a direct result of the choices we have made. Every choice, whether good or bad, will affect us either positively or negatively. And in every situation, we have a choice to accept the situation in faith, love and trust. Or, like Silas, we can let it jade our view and turn our hearts from God.   One of the most amazing things about God is that He is always there for us even in the mistakes and bad choices. He stands ready to give us what we need to start making the right choices; because He loves us.

In the story, Silas loses the things that are most important to him and he falls into deep despair and bitterness permeates his soul. But then one day Silas’ world is turned upside down when a small child unexpectedly appears in his life. Eppie was not what Silas asked for or even what he thought he needed, but Silas got exactly what he needed in Eppie. She lifted him out of the misery and gloom that had long consumed his heart and soul. Through Eppie he finds his purpose and he finds love. Everything that was lost to him is restored through the miracle of a child entering his life.  It makes me think of God who sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ in the form of a babe. “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord!” Luke 2:10-11 Jesus was sent from Heaven to change our lives, to redeem us from sin and the effects of sin. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Just as Silas Marner’s life was never the same after Eppie, when we accept Jesus into our hearts and lives as our Savior, our lives are never the same either. Just as Silas had purpose after Eppie, God gives us purpose through our relationship with Jesus. “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 Our lives can be changed by a simple touch of the Master if we but accept that touch.   Sadly, not everyone welcomes Jesus into their lives, He is not what they want, or so they think. But everyone desperately needs God in their life; He is always just what each and everyone needs every moment of every day. Once we discover our need of God then He will always be what we want in our lives. And just like the story of Silas had a happy ending we too, if we accept Jesus, will have a happy ending to our lives; because He loves us. “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11  

May you be blessed this Christmas with His love and care as you Celebrate the Birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!   Blessings upon Blessings! No matter what life may throw your way may you always have happy endings!

 

 

Columnist: Michele Abshire

 

Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine.  

Michele began writing notes of encouragement to people God put on her heart which led her in the direction of writing short encouraging stories, letters, essays and analogies.  This quickly became a ministry for her.  

Michele's vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Michele enjoys your feedback so leave a comment in the form at the bottom of the page or email her at  micheles.musings@gmail.com

 

 

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