Washing Duvets

Our dog, Jack, if I do say so myself, has truly landed on his feet by coming to live with my mother and me.  From dismal beginnings as a homeless puppy in a ditch, to a life of morning peanut butter sticks, daily nutritional food, an assortment of toys, and even his own duvet’ to sleep on.  He loves his duvet so fluffy and soft.  It’s not unusual to suddenly notice it’s gone quiet in the house and he has seemingly disappeared; but no, he’s napping on his billowy duvet.

It was time this week to wash it.  I pulled it out of his bed and wadded it up into a huge ball for easy carrying to the dryer.  This got Jack’s immediate attention.  He came over and took a mouth full of duvet, trying to pull it away from me.  “Jack,” I said, “I need to wash your duvet.”  He looked at me with great astonishment as I pulled the duvet out of his hopeful jaws and stuffed it into the washing machine.  The timer being set, I glanced at Jack and couldn’t help but laugh.  There he was doing a vulture imitation with his head hung low to the floor.  The loss of his duvet obviously weighed heavy upon him.

I thought to myself, if only he could understand I’m making his treasured duvet even better.  That’s when a truth hit me.  I didn’t want to think about it but I had to stop and consider my own behavior before my Heavenly Father.  Hadn’t Jack’s lack of understanding and pouting, at times over the years, been mine, too?

My thoughts quickly darted to yesteryears, remembering times when Father had given me a wonderful blessing of some sort.  I was so happy!  Then, with the passing of time, something happened that I could not understand.  It seemed the blessing had turned sour.  Why would God let such a thing come to pass?  What was happening?  I cringed as I recalled that, like Jack, I too had hung my head like a vulture, disappointed in what I did not understand about God.  Was there some lesson God was teaching me?  Was this a molding time?  Had I done something wrong?

All those serious thoughts swirled in my brain.  I made myself believe God must have been disappointed in me; when actually, all He was doing was making my blessing even better.  I’m sure I’m not alone in sometimes being a bit befuddled concerning methods of God.  While no one can understand God’s ways fully, we do know that His ways are always, without exception, for our good.  He tells us so in Romans 8:28.  God loves us without measure.  Therefore, when something goes wrong  — it doesn’t necessarily mean that God is displeased with us.  He might just be washing duvets.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

 

 

What Comes In The Morning

“…If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust the Lord and rely on your God.”  Isaiah 50:10

I find a great comfort in this verse simply because it acknowledges that Christians can get discouraged.  There are times when one can be made to feel guilty or like their faith in God has weakened when he or she admits they feel down in the dumps.  Well meaning people can say, “no need to feel down; you have God to help you.”  Yes, a discouraged Christian is well aware of that fact.  Reminding one of it doesn’t help.

Times of darkness, depression, feeling very low, comes to everyone at some time or another.  It’s a part of life; a part of living in an imperfect and ungodly world.  Discouragement happens.  We don’t like it.  We don’t want it but there it is swallowing up our hope and joy.  Can anything be done to ease our downcast heart?

There are many examples in the Bible of God’s people falling prey to unwanted discouragement.  The classic case, of course, is Job.  One thing after another hit him full on.  Job lost everything he had:  family, wealth, health, and status.  His wife was his worst comforter.  Yet, in the midst of unimaginable turmoil, Job makes a statement that is extraordinary.  He says in Job 13:15, “Even if God were to kill me, I have no other hope but in Him.”  What an amazing statement!  Job trusted and believed in the fact that God’s ways might not be his ways, but they are by far the best ways.  Job fully understood what we are told in Romans’ 8:28, “ALL things work together for good to those who love God and are called by Him.”

My father often said, “When you don’t know what to do — do what you know to do.”

What you and I know to do, even in the midst of the the blackest sorrows of our lives, is to keep looking up, hang on tight, call out to Him who loves and helps and leads, grab hold of His promises and make that choice to walk on in Him.  Look up, grab hold, walk on, and while you are walking,  remember another of His promises found in Psalm 30:5, “…weeping may last through the night, but joy always comes in the morning.”  

When Your World Caves In

Have you ever been in that place when, whatever can go wrong, does. Events can happen in our lives that leave us swimming in sorrow. We are fighting against the current. We don’t know where to turn to go back into our worlds where peace once reigned.

I was reminded of these thoughts this week as my mother and I enjoyed a few days in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. Every morning and evening we sat on the porch of our cabin watching the sun rise and set again. Our view was spectacular, stretching out across a range of mountain tops as far as we could see. The beauty was breathtaking.

Often as I gazed upon these magnificent mountains, I thought how mighty they are; how strong they stand, how immovable they appear. It was easy to think, if we humans had the strength of a mountain, how strong we would be, too. But no, that thought was incorrect. It’s not the strength of a mountain or anything else that our eyes can see. It’s the strength of the One who made the mountains.

Isaiah 54:10 tells us, “For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken, says the Lord, who has mercy upon you.” Isn’t that a lovely reminder of the One who gives us the strength we need, when we need it. In this same passage, God goes on to declare, “Oh storm battered city, troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you.” What a promise from our God who does not lie! When we are broken, He is able and desiring to rebuild us.

Are you so troubled today that you see no way out of your pain and predicament? Are the events in your life towering above you, mightier than a mountain? Remember, it’s not the mountain of problem that is stronger than you; it’s the One who controls all the events in our lives. It is our powerful God who promises in Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

Today, if you are being crushed by a mountain of affliction, don’t stare at the trouble; look to the One who is stronger than what troubles you.