One of the skits I remember from watching the show Hee Haw (when I was very young) had the barber telling about all the things that happened to him. His client sat in the chair and after each announcement, he said “That’s good!” and the barber would respond with “No, that’s bad.” and proceed to the next incident to explain why it was bad. Then, the client would say, “Oh, that’s bad.” and the barber would say, “No, that’s good.” and explain again. On and on it went. The best part was the myriad of facial expressions of the client as he responded happy/sad/happy/sad.
That pretty much explains last week for me. Circumstances were sad / happy / sad / happy / sad / happy . . . you get my drift. The roller coaster ride began with a serious car accident involving two of my nieces. Thankfully, the broken bones will heal, the soreness will go away, and hopefully life will go on as before. We are thankful for God’s protection of both girls. And we await His provision for the medical bills and the replacement car.
I enjoyed a weekend with my kids in the Chicago area and drove home on Sunday late afternoon. When I got home, I learned that Kate had gone to the emergency room and received two stitches in her hand. A vicious avocado attacked her while making guacamole. Her hand remained painful and swollen all week and hindered her effectiveness in getting things done.
Again, God protected Kate, and provided a neighbor who could drive her to the emergency room, now that she no longer has her sister as a roommate. But along with the pain (and blood) came the realization of being not only on her own, but being lonely – a battle all single people fight at times.
Off and on throughout the week, other minor incidents managed to pile on top of each other. A hurtful word. A broken tooth. A misunderstanding at work. A messy house that couldn’t seem to stay clean. A lack of energy. A cat with fleas (again). A delay in getting a task completed.
And mixed in between all of those were good things. An encouraging word. Lunch with a friend. A new couch delivered. Satisfaction in a task completed. Time spent in the Word. A special time of sharing, prayer, and encouragement in Sunday School class.
Up/down/up/down/up . . .
So much of the week was spent asking God “What do you want me to learn from this?” “How do you want me to respond to this?”
The most poignant moment was yesterday in church as I played the piano during communion and the plate and cup were not offered to me. (It is hard to know what to do for the piano player.) I was disappointed and praying as I finished and returned to my seat in the pew. Then a tap on my shoulder and a friend offered me half of her bread and half of her juice so that I could also celebrate and remember the Lord’s sacrifice and promise. I was touched by the sharing of so little which meant so much. I felt the sweetness of being in the family of God.
God answered my prayers – Learn that I provide. Learn that I protect. Learn to give. Learn to receive. Learn that when life looks hard, I AM still there. Learn that in your loneliness, you are not alone. Learn to weep with those who weep. Learn to rejoice with those who rejoice. Learn that sometimes, you are the one who weeps. Learn that sometimes you are the one who rejoices. Learn that no matter what comes your way, I AM faithful.
Psalm 89:5 – 8 “The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty is like the LORD, A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him? O LORD God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty LORD?” Your faithfulness also surrounds You.