The Shard

June 19, 2017
by Lynne Phipps

Isaiah 61:3 – And provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. (NIV)

Working with stained glass has many joys associated with it, but also pain. As I work cutting and clipping and shaping the pieces, tiny fragments, shards of glass, fly here, there, and everywhere. Sometimes, those miniscule bits end up in some very tender places. I thought that I had swept my table clean, but when I ran my hand lightly over it, ouch, an almost microscopic shard slid right into the pad of my thumb. Having the tweezers on hand, I went to work and thought that I had successful extracted the little demon, but alas! It was not to be. The more that I worked at it, the more that the shard splintered, working its way deeper and deeper. Finally, I had only two choices: cut off my thumb, or leave it and let those splinters work themselves out, which is what they finally did over a period of many, many weeks. Every time I would feel another one emerge to the surface, I would pick it out and think that it was finally done. Then, I would rub my thumb against something and ouch — pain would once again assault.

One day, however, the pain was totally gone. The shard which had splintered was no more.

Nevertheless, shards of glass are not the only thing which can cause me pain. There have been times in my life when the decisions or actions of others have been like shards of glass driven into the tender recesses of my heart. Even though I truly forgave those who brought about the painful experience, healing did not come automatically. Rather, in more than one instance, it took many years for the splinters of hurt, disappointment, rejection, injustice, and anger to work themselves out. Every time that I thought I was over it, a memory or happening would spark a renewed emotional ouch that would have to be prayerfully endured.

One day, however, the pain was totally gone. The shard which had splintered was no more.

Perhaps, you are going through just such an experience today. If so, be of good cheer. Hang in there. Don't give up. Healing does come bit by bit as we continue to persevere and trust in the goodness and love of God Who has promised to turn the ashes of our experience into beauty and strength, the burden of our mourning into gladness, and the pain of our despair into hope and praise, just as He has promised. God is not a god who breaks His word, which means, without doubt, that:

One day, the pain will be totally gone. The shard which had splintered will be no more.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your promises, which we can stand upon with the utmost confidence that they are true and will unfold in our lives as we continue to persevere and embrace the power of their authority. Bless each one today who is hurting and longing for Your healing touch. Uplift and encourage them to keep on keeping on, knowing that restoration is indeed coming their way. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>

Atlin, British Columbia, Canada


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very encouraging Lynne.


    Another of your truly inspirational devotionals. Lynne. With appreciation.


    Thanks so much, Lynne.
    Indeed, we do have an awesome God!


    Thank you, Lynne, for a very thought-provoking account. I always enjoy your poignant messages. Always good to be reminded of God’s constancy!


    Thanks for your devotional today. As a stained glass artist I can relate to your analogy and I needed to hear this today.
    God bless.


    Hi Lynne,
    It amazes me how well you write and how your devotionals always hit just the right spot.
    Thanks.


    So you are a stained glass artist too.
    Wonderful.
    And what a beautiful interpretation.
    Thank you.


    Dear Lynne
    Thank you for sharing your devotional with us this morning. I have worked with glass as well in a workshop. One really does not realize how much work goes into creating a piece of art! Keep up the great work.


    Dear Lynne,
    yep, I knew it was you speaking. Sometimes we cannot shortcut the emergence of shards in our lives. We have to let time take its toll and for us to grow scar tissue around the hurt until it emerges finally and can be removed by a safe pair of hands. Sometimes we can do it with the other hand, sometimes after the shard has gone the scar tissue – there to prevent more damage from the shard – remains after the inclusion has gone.


    Good morning Lynne,
    Thank you for this devotional today and thanks be to God for always knowing what I need and when.
    I have come to know your writings and look forward to the message as it is written through your life experiences.
    I am feeling the “ouch” of a painful shard from my church and minister and today’s devotional affirms again that God is in the midst of this pain and I will heal.
    Blessings Lynne as you continue to find time to write in your busy life.


    Good Morning Lynne!
    What an awesome devotional today! You sure know how to tie it all together!
    As you summed it all up, I especially found the following ‘statement’ you made very powerful!!
    “One day, however, the pain was totally gone. The shard which had splintered was no more.”
    Thanks for such a vivid image that I think we all can identify with (perhaps not a ‘glass shard’ but who hasn’t had a sliver!
    Wonderful words of life & love!


    Hello Lynne,
    Thank you so much for this devotional today. It really applies to me. My husband left me several years ago (yes, for someone else) and the journey has been a painful one but I am doing Ok now and for the most part am happy. It is just that every once in a while the pain returns. It is smaller each time but never the less still there. Your words simply reaffirmed that what I still feel is normal. When he left I admit I was very angry at God but eventually turned back to Him and, oh my goodness, how wonderful that has been. My faith increased tenfold and I have never looked back.
    Please keep writing and sharing your words. They are very much appreciated.
    With blessings and sincere thanks,
    (AB)
    Hi Lynn,
    it has been some time ago when your devotional about the shards was published. There are indeed times when we seem to be hurt by the shards of others, words or deeds which hurt us, and when that happens we pray for restoration.
    Thank you for writing.

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