Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Inspiration in the Mundane

As I was driving home from errands today, passing by some distant neighbors on our road, I saw the coolest thing:

An old man in his wheelchair, in the middle of his yard, weed-whacking!

It was so inspirational to me, because probably most elderly people (or even younger people) who are confined to wheel chairs would think to themselves, "I can't do that," and leave it to someone else.  And that would be totally justifiable!  Who knows what his story is, but he was determined to not be confined or limited by his circumstances, and that is exceptional. 

I wanted to stop and cheer him on with a "Way to go!"...then wondered if I should instead offer to help...but with 3 tired kids in the car and 2 of them crying and a trunk full of perishable groceries, I resigned to cheer silently from behind the tinted windows of my minivan...re-inspired to be creative in the difficulties I face. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Moon's Best Friend

Goodness, it's been a long break!  So many life changes have kept me perpetually reeling and frantically trying to keep from drowning, let alone keep up!  Here's to another try at keeping this up!  (Birth story is coming soon!)

. . . 

Last night, we were driving home from a visit to the grandparents.  It was dark, and hot--so hot!--and the sky was clear with just a few clouds hovering at the perimeter of the horizon.  We watched God's fireworks as we drove--lightning of various colors and intensities flashing across the sky ahead and around us.  But the sky above was clear, and the moon was bright, and the stars were twinkling.  As the storm drew closer to us and we to it, we found ourselves pummeled under torrential downpours of beating rain, and temperatures cooled--praise God!! And the moon glimmered from behind the storm clouds.

Then, when we had passed through the rain, we could see the stark edge of the dark storm cloud, still flashing intermittent lightening; and directly next to the storm cloud gleamed the bright, clear, calm moon.  I wish I could have taken a picture...It was like the storm cloud and the moon were old pals, just hanging out enjoying the evening together.  The moon, at any rate, did not let the chaos and turbulence of the storm affect its calmness and peacefulness.  At times it was hidden by darkness; at times it was diffused and shrouded by clouds; at times it was crisp and clear.

The image of it just struck me so profoundly, though. How the storms of life, no matter how frightening or torrential they may be, are nothing more than a shroud preventing our eyes from seeing God's goodness.  His goodness never ceases.  The moon was unphased by the storm because the moon is above the storm...just as God is above the storms we face, and unphased by them.  His peace reigns supreme in chaos, and we can share that peace by trusting His goodness even when we can't see it.

In church, the pastor exhorted: "Never make the mistake of thinking that God not answering is God not being sovereign."  He gave the example of Joseph, how for years life just kept getting harder and harder for him, and it seemed God had deserted him.  But all the while, God was preparing him for a position in which he could save thousands of lives, including his own family, who had left him for dead.  He probably felt so abandoned and forgotten by God...useless...his life and his dreams wasted...promises of God failed...perhaps even questioning what he'd done wrong to deserve such punishment...But look what happened--overnight he went from prison-mate to prince.

Many of us are so familiar with Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"  He just doesn't say how long it might take to get there or which paths we'll have to tread.  I keep forgetting that that is what faith is for...