A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lawnmower Devotions-Isolated Storms

Today will be sunny with isolated showers! Highs around 73. Winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

Since I work for a Lawn and Turf company, I am a regular watcher of "Your Local on the Eights." I plan my day around the weather, and the weather pretty much plans my day for me. If it's too cold, I can't spray. If it's too hot, we don't want to mulch. If it's too dry, we don't fertilize, unless we are sure rain is imminent. If it's too wet, we don't mow, however we will mow in the cold and mulch in the wet.

The terms "isolated showers" and "scattered showers" are a mystery to me. What do they mean? Usually nothing, especially if the percentage is as it is above-30%.

This year they have meant that I can be somewhere working in a torrential downpour while just 4 blocks away the sun is shining and everything is completely dry. At least once a week so far this season, we have been rendered completely soaked, scrambling to cover gas cans and equipment and heading for home when we discover that just across town, not a drop of rain has fallen and we can continue working. I'm guessing that is what they mean by an "isolated" shower. In just one small area, it can be raining cats and dogs, in the proverbial sense, but everywhere else is sunny and bright.

Life is a lot that way! A "shower" in one area of our lives can render us drowning in raindrops or teardrops and we are miserably trying to run for cover. Unfortunately, we fail to realize that most of the time, our "storms" are just "isolated showers" not the tornados or hurricanes we make them out to be.

Over the years, I have learned that most things in life are relative. It all depends on what you compare them to. If I am working on a 2 acre property with a million dollar house, my house looks quite small and dingy. But if I'm looking at the huts in the Philippines that some of my brothers and sisters in Christ live in, my house looks like a castle!

When 3 of our four children were in intensive care after a bad car accident, 2 of which were right at death's door and crossing back and forth over it's threshold, that was a bad storm. We could have been completely lost in it's powerful winds! But we chose to travel just a few blocks over to see that the sun was still shining. Our children, by God's miracle, were still alive! There were still 6 members in our family! We had a God who is still in the healing business, and at that time, we were His best customers! We had people we loved and who loved us all around us. All over the world, people were praying for our children petitioning God for their lives. And had things not turned out the way they did, we would have had the full assurance that our children were in a better place and that someday we would all be together again.

I often marvel at professing Christians who only see the "isolated showers" in their lives. They are just stuck there, crying in the rain instead of looking past the shower to see that so many other things are right in their lives. They stand and sing at the top of their lungs that old Linda Ronstadt song, "poor, poor, pitiful me, poor, poor pitiful me. All these storms won't let me be, Lord have mercy on me!" And it may be only that their clothes washer is broken or their car is in the garage. They seem shocked that something bad, or at least a little inconveniencing has happened to them and their underwear is in a major knot!

Don't we live in a fallen world? Don't we have a relentless enemy? Are we, by our good works, immune from pain, inconvenience and hurt? Heck no! Friends, we have a big red target on our backs if we are truly serious about serving and living for Christ! This ain't no Sunday school picnic! It's out and out war! Are we so self-absorbed that all we can see is what's wrong with our lives instead of the big picture that if you live in America, you are blessed beyond the majority of the rest of the world? And if you are alive in Christ, ALL the power of God is at your disposal! Does not petition with thanksgiving = ferverent, effective prayer which makes GREAT power available?

Instead of wallowing in self absorbant pity, why not put on your big girl pants and give God thanks that you have a car at all, or water to wash your clothes in? When things go wrong, why not look at them and in Pollyanna fashion say, "things could be a lot worse!" This will work in almost every situation! And you know what? When the unconverted see that in spite of all of our, what they would deem, "problems", we are still at peace and even thankful, that is a mystery to them!

Of all the people that my husband and I have led to the Lord, the large majority of them saw that we "weather" the storms of life in a way that they rarely see. They were intrigued and a little jealous and were so worn down from trying to figure us out that they asked us "what makes you the way that you are? How comes all the things you go through don't seem to bother you? If it were me, I'd be a basketcase!" What an open door to share the life and peace that can only come from the one who can walk on a raging sea and speak "Peace! Be still!" and it obeys?

Does that mean that we are totally unaffected by the storms and showers of life? Of course not! Just 2 weeks ago, we were faced with buying a new water heater, a new engine for our largest tractor, a wedding reception deposit, an $800.00 truck inspection, and a head gasket for our car all in the space of 5 days. Everyday it seemed that we were caught in an isolated storm while we were still wet from the previous day's shower. We had to battle hard to keep from giving in to desperation and frustration and asking "Why, God? Why?" But instead, we took a step back and began to thank God for all that we did have. We began to praise Him for His provision, which He has promised to provide. In this case, He rebuked the devourer. Our mechanic got "inspired" and was able to fix our tractor. God gave us discernment to see that our truck mechanic was really "taking us for a grand and glorious ride", so we took it somewhere else to have it inspected and it cost us $19.00. The head gasket turned out to be a $40.00 hose and some labor. The water heater is still leaking, but only because I have not called the repairman yet! I'm too busy working!

I don't believe that all this was coincidence. Nothing in our lives is, if God is really in control of them. Just that fact alone is enough to weather any shower you may be caught in, even if that shower turns into a tornado or a hurricane.

So next time something happens that knocks you a little off kilter, STOP! Look at it in the greater context! Leave it with God and travel just a few blocks over where the sun is still shining! "Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praise worthy, think on these things! Those things that you have recieved, and heard and seen in Christ, DO! And the God of peace shall be with you!"

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