One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, “Lord, I hate buttermilk.”
The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going. The deacon continued, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was totally perplexed. The deacon continued, “Lord, I ain’t too crazy about plain flour. But if you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em in a hot oven, I sure do love biscuits.”
Six weeks ago my husband and I were thinking life was beginning to settle down and we were starting to see glimpses of what empty-nesting would be like. Our oldest son lived 2 hours away with a great job and apartment. Our youngest, while still living at home was making great strides in his job and after buying his first car was talking about moving out to go live with his brother. Together they surmised they’d be able to help one another with the rent, put some money in the bank and enjoy their days off, hiking, a hobby they both enjoyed.
Before that happened our youngest wanted to use the great insurance coverage from his job to get a quail egg sized lump removed from his wrist as it was beginning to bother him. Into the doctor’s he went, thinking as we all did that it was simply a water filled cyst.
Two x-rays and a biopsy later proved it was bone cancer.
Our worlds stopped.
Cancer is not a word anyone takes lightly. It’ll stop you in your tracks and cause your heart to sink to your stomach. While we moved forward with the surgery and radiation treatments, the storms of our lives continued to swell.
Our boys have always been close. So when our youngest was having his radiation it wasn’t a surprise to have our oldest come home to be with the family, as a way to support his brother. However, when 2 days turned into 4 and 4 into 6, we knew something wasn’t right. Our oldest was always dependable, spot on, never missed a day of work and so the extended visit set off alarm bells. He’d only been at his new job less than a year so the timing didn’t seem right.
When his dad took him out to lunch, we learned he’d lost his job. The company was downsizing and he, a new employee was part of the first wave of employees to be let go.
Suddenly the stressful look on his face when he’d come home a week earlier now made sense. Not only was he worried about his brother, he now didn’t have a job and bills were piling up fast. College financial lenders don’t care if you’re out of work, they still want to be paid.
As we were realing from the cancer diagnosis and the news of our oldest being unemployed, we were hit again with another wave of news, my husband was given 1 week by his employer to prove that after 12 years of service, whether or not that they should keep him. If he could come up with an arguably good case, they’d keep him. If not, he’d be out of a job.
A few days later as we were trying to wrap our brains around all that was happening, my mom called. She was on her way to stay for an undeterminable amount of time.
“Wait…what? Undetermined? Staying with us?” These were the words swirling around in my head as I tried to make sense of every wave of challenge that swept over us.
According to mom, the loss of my father last fall, left her feeling lonely and lost. She wanted to “get away” to help her think through her grief and figure out her next step in life.
As if that wasn’t enough, my husband’s father fell off a ladder and ended up in the emergency room. And…although this sounds a bit odd, even our poor little pup was thrown into the mix of chaos when she tore a ligament in her front leg.
Honestly, my husband and I got to the point where we didn’t want to answer the phone.
Seriously, what could happen next?
We didn’t want to know.
So here we have 1 son fighting off cancer, 1 son moving home because of job loss, my husband’s job on the line, my mother moving in with us, my father in law recovering from a fall and a hurt dog.
When in life does that all happen within a span of 8 days?
Apparently, God was/is making biscuits in the midst of the storms of our lives.
In and of themselves, each event was enough to knock us to our knees. They were painful and ugly challenges that we didn’t like or want in our lives.
To say the least, lots of prayers were said and tears shed.
Now here’s comes the tough part.
It takes a hot oven to make great biscuits.
Yet God is good and we trust Him.
Not our circumstances.
This is the rock of truth we stand on. God’s ability. God’s promise. Not the storms.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
So let me ask you: how hard is it, in the middle of the storm, for you to trust God? Do you live in fear? Are you overwhelmed and pulled under by waves of life?
We certainly feel that way. These storms are not minor. These are life events that really “bake” your faith.
Will you join me in believing God’s promises for your life? Let us stand together, linking arms through the battles of life, knowing, trusting our God to keep His promises. Let us do so even when we are scared that the worse-case scenario may happen.
This is where our faith is tested and God is glorified. Through us, through our pain and ugly circumstances. Yes, He can and will remain God Almighty, our Protector, Provider, Counselor, Healer, Comforter. Yahweh. Jesus. Holy Spirit. Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and The End.
I believe there is a choice. One that is made when life is at its most difficult and it’s made deep down in our soul.
A choice that says, yes, my world is crumbling but God’s got this. He loves my kids, me, my husband, my extended family, all of us to the degree that He gave His only Son, Jesus so that we will forever be with Him.
Do you believe that?
Or will you choose to believe that God can’t keep His promises. That somehow our challenges, our pain is bigger than He is and that we must be the ones doing everything in our power to change our pain.
Now that’s hard stuff right there. Because honestly, don’t we all immediately go into survival mode when the life beats us down? We start looking to our own strength our own resolutions to get us out of the heat. But God wants us to look to Him. Rest in Him. Trust in Him, for all things at all times.
Trusting doesn’t mean there isn’t any pain. Trusting means you will choose to hold onto God, His word until He gets you through it all.
Trusting means that we believe what God says about who He is, who we are to Him and His ability to work in our lives in the midst of storms.
So then the question remains: Do you believe God will take the “the lard, the flour, the buttermilk” situations of your life and turn them into biscuits?”
I pray that you do.
Remember, above all…
Blessings and best wishes,