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Looking out the living room window the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage sighed very deeply and said, “When will this stinking rain stop?”
I chuckled to myself very carefully not to let it come up to the surface of my face to let on to anybody in the room.
She turned around and said to me, “I am just about done with all this rain.”
With a fake grimace on my face I said, “I don’t know, but I’m done with it too.”
I had to walk away at that point because I could not control the chuckles that were rising to the level of my face.
When I got some control of my emotions I thought to myself, this must be how Noah felt. Whenever it rains as it has been doing lately, I usually think of Noah. Only this time I was thinking of Noah’s wife.
Listening to my wife talk about the rain, I could not help but think maybe this is exactly what Noah’s wife was saying to him.
“Noah,” his wife said, “when will this stinking rain stop?” Then I can imagine her saying, “I can handle one day of rain or maybe two, but this is getting to be ridiculous.”
After all, Noah’s wife was just like anybody else’s wife especially the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
Knowing my wife like I do, I know she likes to be in control. From the moment she gets up in the morning until she goes to bed at night, she likes to be in control. When something is going on that she cannot control, then we have a different situation.
Could that be said of Noah’s wife? This rain was coming down day after day after day for 40 days and 40 nights. Nothing had ever happened like that before. I believe Noah’s wife was a little frustrated with the fact that she was not in control with the rain.
My wife gets up every morning with a large list of things she wants to accomplish during the day. I need to be careful because sometimes she has one of her “Honey-Do-Lists” for you know who. She is very productive in her day and she hardly sits down to rest. She is proactive all day long.
When she decides to do something, she does it no matter what.
Now, for the last several weeks it has been raining just about every day. She enjoys yard work and even mowing. Now with the rain, it has disrupted her schedule.
The fact that she cannot control the rain carries with it a little hidden giggle inside of me. She takes pride in planning her day and fulfilling her plan to the letter. She is in control of everything.
Everything, that is, except the rain. I know the rain is playing with her.
Several times, especially this past week, the morning started out bright and sunny with barely a cloud in the air. When my wife saw that, she was very excited.
“Finally,” she said almost hysterically, “I can do some mowing.”
With that, she was laughing and very excited and prepared to go out to do some mowing.
I think there was a cloud hidden somewhere watching for her because as soon as she got outside and got the mower running the rain started to come.
With a great deal of haste she put the mower away and come inside to dry off.
As soon as she was inside and got dried off a little bit, the rain stopped, the clouds faded away and the sun was shining. She looked out and with a big smile on her face said, “Finally, this rain is over.”
She got outside, got the lawn mower out and ready to go and was mowing for five minutes and as I watched I could see that smile on her face. Nothing she enjoys more than riding that lawnmower and making the lawn look beautiful.
Suddenly, I heard thunder in the distance and then came the rain.
As quickly as possible, she put the lawnmower away and ran inside dripping with rain. I did my best to get out of her way because this was not one of her “Happy Moods.”
For the rest of the day she was working in her craft room and I heard her under her breath say, “Rain, rain go away and never come back any other day.” I sympathize with her because the rain had kept me from doing some things I wanted to do.
If rain is the only thing my wife cannot control she is a very lucky person. I, for instance, cannot control very many things in my life. I would like to, but it just is not in the cards for me.
I cannot imagine Noah sitting in that ark for over a year not being able to control anything. That is the essence of what faith is all about. If I can control a situation, why do I need God?
I need to exchange my pride for faith in God. It reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
The best things in my life are those that are beyond my control where I can begin to see God at work in that situation.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, in Ocala, Florida. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail email@example.com. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com
King James Bible Job 14:2
He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
On this verse Job acknowledges the finality of death, of course, Job lived before Christ, whose death and resurrection gives us new meaning … and death has lost its sting.
Great read today comes from Sermon Notebook
THERE IS A FUTURE TO ENVISION
A. It Includes A Precious Place – “In My Father’s house are many mansions” – We need to remember that we are not home yet! While the troubles and trials we face are part of this earthly existence, they will not follow us where we are headed! Praise God, the burdens of life are temporary at best, 1 Pet. 1:6. My friends, we are just “pilgrims and strangers” passing through enemy territory this evening! I guarantee you, it will be far better when we get home! After all, the best is yet to come, Phil. 1:21-23. If you are saved, there is a place for you in the Father’s house and one day you will be going home, 2 Cor. 5:1-8.
B. It Includes A Prepared Place – “I go to prepare a place for you” – Ill. This world and all its wonders. It was made by the hand of the Lord in just 6 days. Oh, how glorious and wonderful Heaven must be! After all, he’s had over 2,000 years to work on it! It will be far greater than our feeble, human minds can comprehend, Rev. 21-22. But, when I think of Heaven, I like two verses best of all: 1. Rev. 21:4 and 2. John 14:3. (Note: By the way, Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people! Are you prepared for that place?)
C. It Includes A Powerful Promise – “I will come again” – Everyday you and I live with one of the greatest promises the world has ever known as our support. We have our Savior’s promise that He will personally return to receive His people unto Himself one day, v. 3; 1 Thes. 4:16-17. In fact, He wanted His people to know He meant this thing, so He restated His intentions in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, Rev. 22:20.
smile~! show those pearly whites everywhere, a smile begets a smile. negative emotions are eased when smiles are present. hope exists in a smile. smiles are immediate ice breakers and help put others at ease. studies show individuals who read smile emoticons, subconsciously physically return the smile. proof positive smiles are contagious. :)
share~! use what you have, be it monetary or other, and give selflessly. don’t give with the intention of becoming a “i did that so you owe me” type of giver. let your sharing be an un-tethered gift. and remember, sharing your time, your heart and even your prayers can be the most important gift of all.
compliment~! who among us doesn’t treasure a compliment? it is the acknowledgment of value – a surefire way to make others understand you are truly looking at them and their accomplishments. this is not say constructive criticism cannot be given when required, but let’s be honest hearing “that really is an awful color on you” … what about, “i have always liked the way you set that (insert color here) dress ablaze, yes i’ll always remember you in that!”* *truth in a muse’s marriage, “the early years”. compliments are sincere while flattery is the feigning of truth. be sure your compliments are unmarred by fictitious pampering.
encourage~! lift up those around you who seem disenchanted, depressed or lackluster. encouragement can be made with cards, letters and (cringe) yes, even an email to someone you know who needs to hear a voice of kindness. advise if appropriate, but a resounding “i know you can” or “i have faith in you” works wonders to a discouraged heart.
courteous~! this is ever so easy to do. simple thank yous, yes sir (mam/miss), no sir (mam/miss), pardon me…and a myriad of little actions, such as holding a door or picking up someones dropped property..all take nearly no effort. people are often amazed when they are treated with good manners. try it, you’ll see.
eliminate~! purge yourself and your belongings. now, i don’t mean to the extent of a cheapo “hollywood 10 hr cleanse” nor am i suggesting you become devoid of all material objects (your home etc.) – i want to explore ridding oneself of burdens. lets do that together! is there something in our lives that feels weighty? is there a big STOP sign along our life’s path? are we surfing in the negative wake of negative people? if so, we need to break free! stamp out that which has turned us into emotional/physical hoarders. shining the light on whiners and debbie downers has an uncanny way of making the rats run for cover. by using your illuminating lamp of elimination, those around you will feel compelled to become sunbathers of positivism rather than night-crawlers of negativity.
appreciate~! oh goodness, does one ever tire of hearing how much they are appreciated? i really don’t think we can say it enough. too often we get wrapped up in how to say it differently, but there really is no need. imagine yourself being told by someone, “i appreciate you – i appreciate your time, your engagement – i appreciate your presence in my life”. the sincerity of appreciation goes (imho) deeper than a thank you. appreciation expresses your heart ties to an act or to an individual. voltaire stated this, “appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
inspire~ ! this could also be entitled motivate. look around your world, look at family, friends – no doubt there is one or more individuals who are feeling less than enthusiastic about, work, life or their future. being sympathetic and feeling empathy are key factors in any relationship, but there also comes a time when you need to lift another human being spirit ~ to hoist them onto a level footing (where they catch sight of that brass ring once more). from tangible gifts to words of wisdom, inspirational remedies are as varied as the maladies. inspiring that lost craving of life’s desire will, more often than not require a tactile or sensory input. remember, inspiration comes in the most quiet of whispers to the loudest of marches. whether you choose to be a songbird or a symphony, your one primary goal … light a spark!
ask~ ! don’t expect answers if you never ask the questions. seems divinely simple, but sadly many of us do not follow this very basic premise. we talk, we talk more, we keep on talking ~ never pausing to ask anyone’s opinions, thoughts or feelings. if we are truly wanting to impact the world in a better way, does it not seem plausible that we would want to inquire about the emotional and creative well being of those around us? how does it make you feel when someone you care about asks you “how are you feeling today?” … perhaps someone you admire inquires, “can you give me your thoughts on this?” you feel valuable. your thoughts matter. you have worth. personally, i follow this rule, ‘ask before i tell’. seeking wise counsel benefits us all.
repeat~ ! ask, inspire, appreciate, eliminate, be courteous, encourage, compliment, share, smile …. over and over ~ again and again. without fail. the world will be touched by you … it will be changed by you … and you shall be all the better for doing just that.
~Do You Know~
I cannot remember
When the day of life began ~
The uphill battle of this journey
In a life that keeps on turning
What will I be? Where will I go?
Do you know…Do you know?
I feel the rising of my soul
And this day will take its toll ~
I venture forth
Commanding a tyranny
Of resolute relevance
Into the night
What will I be? Where will I go?
Do you know…Do you know?
In this figurative landscape
That is my life
Shipwrecked in a sea of words
Drowning in an ocean
Swirled and stirred
I cannot be heard
I am emptiness
Do you know?
That you alone
Are my anchor ~
Do you know?
That you alone
Are my oar?
Let me release myself into
The mighty ocean waves ~
Let the sea water offer
Up a briny caressing haze
I shall be adrift
Until the end of days
What will we become?
Where will we go?
Do you know?
Do you know?
(muse from the book Anthesis)