We’re snowed in!…. so I have lots of time to slow down, catch up on life, and think.
Reading my Bible for the last three and a half years has been a struggle. I go for weeks without reading anything. I get up at 5:45 am so I can rush to get ready before I have to get Mossy out of bed and prompt him through every step of getting himself ready. Then after he goes to bed, I often feel so brain dead, I just go numb and look at pictures on Facebook. Or I’m so out of habit, I’d rather just be entertained and turn on Inspector Morse (great show, by the way, and it’s on Netflix!)
However, with six days of being off due to this snow storm, I’ve had time to sip my coffee and open up a devotional book a dear friend gave me years ago. It’s a year long devotional called “The One Year Book of Hope” written by a woman who lost 2 babies because of a genetic disorder. I guess because she knows sorrow, I can take in her words with a deeper respect.
Today, the focus was “Treasures in Heaven.”
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
I had to smile as I thought of countless times I’ve heard neighbors, therapists, friends, and family make comments about me being a “saint” or having a really nice “mansion in heaven” because they see how hard life can be with my Mossy. They see him scream at me, cuss me out, throw things, and take 13 year old attitude to a new level.
But… What about my neighbor who had to live with ongoing pain, putting off her neck surgery because her husband had an unexpected stroke that disabled him severely? She is his non-stop caregiver. What about my dear friend who’s husband cheated on her, lost her daughter, and then remarried a wonderful man who then passed away suddenly? What about a poor child in a 3rd world country who loses his parents to aids and lives on the streets, enduring God knows what? The list goes on. I can think of countless friends, family members, and neighbors who have experienced tragedies outside of their control.
I do believe I’ll have an awesome treasure in heaven, but not because I’m doing something great for this young man. Not because I’m enduring stress, pain, and struggle. I’m going to have an awesome mansion for one simple reason: I let Jesus be my Captain, my Teacher, my Pilot, my Lord.
There are days, I leave the house in a silent rage because Mossy is refusing to cooperate. I walk poor Puggle around our neighborhood as he runs to keep up with my angry pace. And I pray, “He is your child God! I can’t do this, I don’t know what he needs!” And then somehow, by the time I get back to our house, there is a plan in my head and it works for the moment…. until the next time I need to “walk Puggle.”
That’s what following Jesus looks like these days. It looks like:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit -Psalm 34:18
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. -Matthew 11:28
Hebrews 11: known as the chapter that lists out all the well known characters of the old testament – Abel, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Joshua…. and then it says…
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. -Hebrews 11:13-16
I want my answer to myself, when I’m hopeless or raging… and to others who call me a “saint,” to be…
Jesus is the one who gave up his life for Mossy… and for me. We both need him every day… and he is near… we aren’t doing this alone.
He is near through the countless ones who pray for us, let us come over and hang out, take Mossy for an afternoon or evening so I can get a break, provide rides and childcare, live next to us and don’t complain when we make too much noise, mentor Mossy as male role-models, reach out to me as a single mom, and provide to us a home away from home.
Take heart, He has overcome the world.