Thursday, December 9, 2010
In the Fullness of Time
Some days are far from the romanticized images of childhood picture books. There are just not enough hours in the day. We find ourselves out of time and out of gas. We are like the obviously pregnant young woman who shopped in our store late this afternoon.
Betty said with a smile, "I know we're not supposed to do this, but -- when?"
"Tomorrow. " The cute mom-to-be in the purple sweater practically exhaled the words.
Her Christmas shopping days were over. She had finished her list. She had laid by her provisions, as they used to say. Now the hard work begins.
When young moms ask, 'Will my life ever get back to normal?" I answer encouragingly, "Yes. But normal is different now."
Nothing stays the same. Life is dynamic, always changing. We learn to adapt, if we are wise, rather than to cling to what was.
Sometimes we only think we are busy/overloaded/stressed during a season of life, only to discover later that we had not yet begun to know what busy is; however, that stress was all we could handle at the time. But we learn that we can do hard things. We grow the way most living things do: by stretching.
Each season of life brings its own challenges. How do we ever prepare for them?
1. Seek wise counsel. Study. Read. This includes learning from those who have gone before. We need not reinvent the wheel when we can learn from others, yet some part of us still retains that vestigial message: 'I can do it all by myself' attitude not reserved only for toddlers.
2. Pray. This is like the instruction on every shampoo bottle I have held since the 1960's: Shampoo, lather, rinse, repeat. One would think that we'd get it by now -- that they don't have to keep telling us how to wash hair. The admonition and call to prayer is always present: you'd think that we'd get it by now too. But rather than a first line of defense and a forward strike against a threat, prayer often becomes our last resort.
So even on the busiest days when we think we cannot add another item to the list or tackle another challenge, we do not know that we are truly capable of greater things. We just cannot do it all alone. And we never have to. The promise of God's word is that God will never leave us nor forsake us.
I pray that young woman we saw today knows the power of the Presence of God tomorrow during this life-changing day for her family! And each of us will benefit as well, even if it is not our birth day. Thanks be to God.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
Photo: Festive Family Christmas from Antique Holiday Postcard Scenes - 2006 Lord & Taylor Holiday Window Displays