Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mud and Rainbows

God knows what I need long before I need it.
        A kind gesture.
        A hug.
        A comforting word.
        A glimpse of heaven.

He also gives me what I need but seldom want.
        A difficulty.
        A crisis.
        A tragedy.
        A test of faith.

Through these he gives me the former, strengthening my character, my faith and perfecting my patience. Ah, patience, the ability to remain calm while waiting to be delivered from suffering, or granted a heart’s desire.

I still find this to be one of the most difficult virtues to practice. I want the suffering to end and I want the miracle or gift now. The gift I am now impatiently waiting for is retirement. I admit, as I've aged, particularly this year, I tire much easier and the hour long commute to work takes it's toll, both in energy and time. 


After being widowed twice, I know how precious time is. Life can change in one heartbeat and I feel time is passing too quickly, especially since my husband is nine years older than me. 

However, through this period of my life, God is offering me a chance to learn patience and trust by making me wait for the things I desire. There is a reason, other than the obvious financial ones, why I am still in the work force when others of my age are retiring (or do retire when first eligible).  I have learned from past mistakes not to rush His plans, regardless of how much I want to force the issue. I have paid and paid for those mistakes, and still paying for some. Not this time. I’ll wait. 

The mind says okay, but the heart still yearns for that elusive desire, the one that circles around and around in my thought every morning when the alarm goes off. I have started saying a litany of things I am thankful for, right now, this moment and try to focus on the present and not look too far into the future. So what if it is eleven months, forty-eight weeks, three days and eight hours until my possible retirement? Who's counting? Not I, not anymore, only for physical purposes when the time comes. 

God is counting. His timing is far different than mine, and far better. This of course circles me right back around to trust and patience, trusting that He will indeed give me what I need, not necessarily what I want, exactly when I need it and not necessarily when I want it – particularly patience.

Joseph T. Sullivan gave a thoughtful definition of rainbows in his devotion for today in Good Morning, Lord.  Positive people see rainbows where others don’t. Rainbows are one of many expressions of God’s love for us.  I have seen rainbows during some of the most stressful periods of my life. Just recently on my way into work. I opened the garage door and there on the opposite side of the street was a vibrant, full rainbow. It felt like it appeared, just for me, at that moment. 

Of course, I had a whole different attitude during my commute that morning, and if I remember correctly, the entire work day and commute back home was different. Attitude, especially one of gratitude instead of wanting, really does make a difference. Here is to all the rainbows in my life, even the ones seen through the mud puddles. I know the mud will eventually dry up and go away, and one day, I’ll see only the colored light.

5 comments:

  1. Oh, I feel your pain. Waiting on the Lord is sometimes a challenge. A "yes" answer is usually easy to discern, but sometimes it's hard to tell "no" from "not yet"--and that has always been my problem. Well, okay, patience in general is my problem. Thank the Lord, He already knows that!

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    1. You are so right, Linda. Lack of patience is a common trait, and we are very thankful that He knows all of our faults and imperfections and still loves us.

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  2. Well once again I can relate, but not for retirement, but easing up of the financial pressure. I keep thinking okay God, has this been enough? Then a call comes for more work for me and I think...wow! I was wanting less work not more. He is still working on me. I am looking for those hugs and when I stop to watch, they are there...even if they come in forms I wouldn't have expected.

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    1. Yes, Janette, isn't that the way He works? Sometimes it seems to be the opposite of what we think we need. I still have you in my prayers for some relief, some longer periods of sunshine and a little less rain.

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