|This morning's reading fare and a posy from a friend.|
My folly never ceases to surprise me. As I desperately wrestled with the feelings – guilt, shame, frustration – and pinpointed the moments that had led to this momentary fall from grace, Husband came to the rescue. "I am a crappy little Christian this morning," I disclosed. "I feel bad, too," he said. He'd been away for the weekend, living his Man From Snowy River dreams, and had returned the previous night with a horse... yes, we now have a horse. Its name is Dan. His name is Jim. If you're familiar with The Man From Snowy River, you will laugh.
As it turns out, he felt guilty that he'd got to live his dream while I was left at home. "But I had a wonderful weekend," I said. "It's my own fault for feeling down. And I don't think God would want to rob you of good things." As he helped me clean the front room of our house and I set about preparing lunch for some guests (I wonder if Gwyneth cooks to appease her ill feelings?), the domestic productivity was complemented by a confessional session and our mutual moods were lifted. And then we put some music on (a mix of his country-hick tunes and my Michael Buble... daggy in equal measure!). And our words turned from confession to praise.
In church on Sunday, our preacher shared part of 2 Chronicles with us. In this book, King Jehosophat is faced with the prospect of an impending battle with three armies. Frightened, he prayed to the Lord for guidance. Instead of putting on a brave face, in front of his people he said, "We do not know what to do, but we look to you for help." Hearing this, a man named Jahaziel said, "Your Majesty and all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, the Lord says that you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this large army. The battle depends on God, not on you." Then King Jehosophat ordered some musicians to march ahead of the army, singing, 'Praise the Lord! His love is eternal!'. When they began to sing, the Lord threw the invading armies into a panic." And the battle was won without the King's army lifting a finger.
In this story, we see how turning to God in weakness, then in praise for his protection, can turn a dire situation into something hopeful. I wound up having a wonderful afternoon with our friends; a truly blessed time of sharing and good food (my insecurity at being a crappy cook – a poor man's Gwyneth – were thankfully assailed). It's inevitable that we will have moments of helplessness and despair, but this is when God can really get to work in us and our lives and prove his faithfulness.
Girl With a Satchel