After a week of tragedy in our nation, I’m feeling somewhat numb. This comes on the heels of the cancer diagnosis in my own family last week. Sometimes life can be overwhelming.
Yet amidst the chaos, I look out the kitchen window and see all the flowers in our garden that continue to bloom. Thankfully, they are unaffected by the day’s news.
The colorful zinnia at the top of today’s post is a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us. Each new day, as one flower wilts and drops its petals, another opens its face to the sun. And from that flower, comes life-giving nectar for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Amazing! Some would call this the circle of life. I see it as a reminder of God’s love for us.
My favorite times of serenity are spent walking in the woods, sitting in the garden, or listening to the birds. It is a pleasant way to shut out the world, or at least hold it at arm’s length for a while.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
When you take time to seek it, you will always find peace in the stillness of God’s presence.
If you live in a snow belt state, you probably know first-hand the unbridled joy every kid feels on a snow day. But the hours waiting for that official call always seem endless.
In our corner of Virginia, the Public Information Officer for our school district is a local celebrity. Parents and kids alike await his phone calls before every storm. His witty recordings have earned him a huge fan following, and dozens of memes have been created in his honor. Read more about him here.
When I was a kid, there were no robocalls announcing school was closed. There was no crawler on our black and white TV, and no website to visit. We turned on WBZ radio in Boston and listened while Gary LaPierre read through the list of towns with school closures. He read at the speed of a seasoned auctioneer — in alphabetical order. If you left the room, or there was static on the airwaves, you had to wait until the list began again. I felt sorry for kids in Yarmouth. That was a long wait for them!
If you grew up before there was internet, cable TV or cell phones, you get it. Waiting was a normal, everyday part of life. But today, we want everything now! We can’t stand waiting for anything.
In Romans, Paul writes,
“ . . . Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” – Romans 8:24c-25
Personally speaking I’m not sure that “patiently” describes how I wait. But I try to be patient while I hope for what is to come.
But what does that have to do with snow days?
Ahhhh. Well, what if our personal growth is shaped by the hope we feel during all the waits in life, snow day calls included? Perhaps we grow by learning to wait for what we do not have. We gain strength by hoping for something we have not seen. If we have only heard about something, or perhaps experienced just a glimpse of it, then we anticipate how great it will be!
That is how I view eternity. Think of the best snow day ever, the best vacation, or happiest memory of your life. None of those can even begin to compare what awaits us at the end of our days on earth.
But rest assured, it will be worth every moment of the wait.