Tuesday night, my husband gave me a lesson in Snowblowing 101. It left me more informed, yet less confident of my snowblowing abilities. Tony had to be at the office (you wouldn’t believe who goes out in blizzard conditions for their chiropractic adjustments). So with both kids now away at college and Tony at the office, the snow clearing responsibilities on the homefront were left to me. My usual contribution to snow shoveling is making hot chocolate and chicken soup for the rest of the family laboring away. Now alone I faced the gargantuan task of clearing away the massive snow. Well, not exactly alone.
Thankfully, God meets us in the mundane.
As I was working away in the middle of the snowstorm, He met me and shared some valuable lessons. So many that it will take more than one post to share. Today and tomorrow, I'll be sharing some snippets of what I learned in the storm.
Don’t WaitFirst of all, I ventured out into the snowstorm to clear away the first 6 inches that had fallen. I knew that if I waited until it was 12 - 18 inches high, the job would be much more demanding. Since I am a first class procrastinator, this was a major accomplishment.
If only I would face my temptations, problems and weaknesses the same way, dealing with my issues early before they get deep-rooted.
Be PreparedBefore going out, I put on my warmest, driest ski coat, my waterproof Thinsulate boots, my ski gloves and hat, and my lumbar support belt. Preparing like this left me relatively warm and dry despite the cold and wet environment.
Before facing the storms of life, it pays to be prepared. It’s important to have God’s Word hidden in your heart before the crisis hits, so that when trials come, the Word can be brought to mind. When you need to withdraw some cash from the ATM, you can only do so if you previously made the deposit in the bank. The Lord can bring to mind only what was previously deposited there.
This May Hurt A LittleThe branches heavily laden with snow look spectacular, a pristine winter wonderland. However, they present a danger to the tree. A few years ago, our dogwood tree split due to the weight of the snow and later died due to the gaping wound it exposed. My giant azalea and several trees were now in danger. It took a few battering blows to knock off the offending snow. But after the snow was gone, the branches lifted higher now relieved of their burden.
Jesus said that if we lean on Him, our burden is light (Matt. 11:30). He lifts our burdens and removes our pain. But sometimes, like the prodigal son, we need a “blow” to knock us to our senses and return to our Father.
Who’s Your Neighbor?
“That’s what neighbors do,” said Paul, my wonderful neighbor, who just finished snowblowing his driveway and, seeing my struggle, came over to do mine. We were at the 6 inch mark of the 18 inch snowstorm. Snow and tears froze on my eyelashes, my heart bursting with gratitude. Paul secretly came back later and removed another 8 inches.When a Pharisee asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor,” Jesus responded with the parable of the “good” Samaritan who, with no thought of being repayed, cared for a man who was left bruised and beaten on the side of the road. He sacrificed his time and money to help another in need. Although he was from a very different neighborhood, the Samaritan was the true neighbor who we are to “love as we love ourselves.”
More on Paul and my life lessons tomorrow....
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”