Monday, June 29, 2015

Done Nothing Wrong

My poor little car.

It was sitting in its parking place, minding its own business but ready and waiting for the next time we needed it when BAM!

A family truck rolled downhill from the barn, sideswiped a tractor, took out a porch post and took a bite out of my car.

My poor car.
It had done nothing wrong.
It wasn’t even in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It was exactly where it was supposed to be, doing what it was supposed to be doing. But it didn’t matter. It was still knocked out.

While still down for the count, still right where it was supposed to be, waiting to be back in service, insult was added to injury. The back window shattered. We don’t know how or why. It’s happened before here. Once when a rock was thrown from the mower and once from thermal shifts in the winter. But this time there was no way a rock shattered the window—the is shielded from rocks by they deck. There wasn’t any huge thermal shift in the temperature. Sure, it cooled down a LOT after being hot, but it doesn’t seem like it’d be enough to cause it to shatter. Still, the window is shattered.

I’ve seen this happen to people. They’re exactly where they’re supposed to be, doing what they’re supposed to be doing and BAM! They’re knocked down and put out of service. Then, while they’re waiting and mending, they’re kicked from behind. Broken even more.

My heart cries for them. Why Lord? They were in Your will, doing exactly what You gave them to do. Why did all this happen? Wasn’t it enough they were hit the first time? Did they have to have that final blow?

As people we see the damage of the here and now. We see the seemingly unnecessary and unfair events and injuries and we want to shake our fist and rant. But God’s ways aren’t ours. He sees the big picture and knows.

'For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'  Jeremiah 29:11 NAS

I’ve learned as I’ve watched this happen time and time again. Months, maybe years later, I’ll see the fruit of their time spent waiting and healing. Their roots will be deeper and the fruit of their lives will be sweeter and more plentiful.

When you see someone slammed by life, broken and knocked out of service for a time, stand by and lift them up in prayer. Pray that they don’t become discouraged but that their faith will become stronger through this time, that their roots will grow deeper and their fruit sweeter.

God knows what He’s doing. Trust Him and pray for them.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Waiting on Blueberries and Prayers

A few days ago my son told me that the blueberries were ripe so I ran out to pick them, except they weren’t ripe. Each time he came in from being near the blueberry bushes he made sure to tell me they were ready but those times I wasn’t able to run out and check them, but I wondered if I was missing them. Again this morning he told me, stressing that the birds were getting them, so I dropped what I was doing and ran out with a container, ready to pick.

Guess what.

They weren’t ripe. Oh, they looked ripe at first and second glance, but they didn’t drop into my hand like I expected. I pulled it with my thumb a little harder. When it rolled into my palm I saw it wasn’t as ripe as I thought. Shrugging, I popped it into my mouth, eager for the soft sweetness. It had a bit of a crunch and wasn’t sweet. Unripe and not near as good as it would’ve been if I’d waited a day or two.

Unworried I moved on to another dark blueberry. When it didn’t roll into my hand with the gentle pressure I know ripe berries require I stopped and really looked. Its top, near the stem, had the reddish tinge of an unripe berry. With the tang of the last berry still in my mouth I left it hanging on the stem. A dozen unripe berries later I heard the quiet whisper in my soul.

Unripe blueberries are like unripe prayers.

If you press the issue and take a prayer before it’s time, you may find it to be hard and on the bitter side. It wasn’t God’s timing.

So how do you know when a prayer is ripe? Maybe the same way you know when a blueberry is ripe. If it rolls into your hand easily, without tugging, it’s ready. If you have to tug maybe it’s not ready. God will release it from its stem when its time.

Don’t tug on blueberries or prayers. Check them, expect them, but wait until they’re ripe. God’s timing is best.

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