Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Tea

I admit to drinking more tea this week than normal. With the bone chilling cold we've been experiencing (and setting my thermostat when the guys are away to 66 degrees)... hot tea certainly hits the spot. Coffee gets me out of bed in the morning, tea gives me comfort and keeps me warm. :)

I've been thinking about seasons lately, most likely brought about by real Winter setting in for awhile. I was all bundled up and walking out to the county road to get my mail this afternoon when I took the time to look around at the beauty of this season...

The neighbor's red barn against the white snow, how what looks like thick forest in August is now so sparse that I can see the houses on the other side, the animal paw prints in the snow... wondering to whom they belong (besides the neighbor's dog), the snow on top of the rural mailbox... beautiful signs of the season in the midst of bitter cold.

Out of nowhere, a thought came to me as I was walking. It was as if God poured out Wisdom to warm my soul while the flesh was... freezing. I thought how silly it is to complain to God about the seasons in our life, not only the seasons of life... infancy through old age... but seasons in life. Those excellent seasons when all is well and life is full of joy...and those which bring pain, fear, discomfort, despair, fatigue... sorrow. Such seasons are common to all mankind if one lives long enough.

Just as it would be silly for me to stomp my feet and yell at God because it is cold in January, so it doesn't make sense to get angry with him for those empty and cold seasons when one can't feel His presence... or when trials are upon us which we can't understand.

My husband used to complain that he was mad at God and that he was "quitting". Well, I would remind him that God is most often the only person who cares enough about him (perfectly) to hang on so it does not make sense to be angry with him. And as far as quitting... how? I mean, really, when we tell God we're upset and we are not going to go on... just what does that mean? As I would remind him, quitting is not an option.

I want to finish well even if it means I enter Eternity out of breath and crawling on my knees with the last ounce of strength left to pull from within. I have no desire to stand before God and complain about the unfairness of it all. Instead, my greatest desire for myself... my husband... and my children is that we will stand before the King one day and hear those words that only He can proclaim, "Well done good and faithful servant".

Not rich servant, or healthy servant, or perfect servant... no, not even holy servant (for He knows better) but He says... good servant... and faithful. One who did not give up the fight no matter how weary their flesh. One who ran the race, not perfectly... nothing near perfection... but faithfully... and with joy in the journey for they knew what lay at the end of the race... that joy which comes from trust and faith.

So here I am in the midst of Winter and dreaming about the time our Dogwood will blossom, the daffodils will once again come up from the frozen ground, and what is now a black and white world will again be full of color. In July, I'll probably complain about the heat.

Such is life when one is far from perfect but striving toward the goal line with joy (and the help of a little caffeine here and there).

8 comments:

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

This was wonderful, Brenda. I've felt the way your husband feels and I know what it is to feel deep despair. As you say, "quitting isn't an option." And to know that there is a beauty even in the harshest of days...we can take comfort in that.

Are you writing your book yet? I'm serious!

Shelley said...

Hi,my name is Shelley. I have really enjoyed my time here,and plan to visit more....
We seem to have the same taste in music(smile).
This post was wonderful,and held much truth,thanks for sharing......

Blessings,Shelley

freetobeme - Anita said...

Ah, yes, I, also, want to finish well. Someday, maybe, we can enjoy a cup of tea together up there!

Cheryl (copperswife) said...

Thanks for the precious reminder that we all need to run the race set before us......bumps, hills and all!

scrappy quilter said...

Brenda, thanks for your words today. I too have felt like your hubby does at times, yet I know "quitting isn't an option". And I'm so glad it isn't. He alone gets us through the darkess days. Thanks once again for your words of wisdom.

~carol

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your daily words of wisdom.

There were days months ago when I did stomp my foot, cross my arms and with a very childlike pout say "I QUIT!!!" But I'm still here, allowing...nay...watching as my body is being used as the chosen battlefield at this time/season. May Jesus receive the victory. (I have an extreme fear of needles, to help overcome this fear after I inject the insulin I sing There's victory in Jesus my Saviour forever, He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood.)

Jimandi, who's still praying for Christopher.

the voice of melody said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post. I enjoyed my visit here very much. :)

Sharon said...

Brenda...I too want to hear well done when I enter eternity.In fact it is one thing I wrote about in my journal very early this morning before church.Great post as usual.Love~Sharon :-)