Friday, May 21, 2010

Its all I can do

What a hard week this has been. Throughout the spring the ups and downs of weather, bugs, irate customers, mud, cold, pain and fatigue have more or less fallen within the boundaries of a normal distribution. Up until this week, we kept telling ourselves that. But the inexorable march of the calendar and the way the temperature refused to warm have made a successful spring season fade from possible to improbable to unlikely. We may consider flowers a necessity but not every consumer will slog through the slop to pick out the perfect color combination for the shady but dry spot on the front porch next to the rocker. Priorities differ.

But that's not what weighs on my heart this Friday. A dear friend is gravely ill and her loving family is burdened by worry. We who are concerned friends but separated by distance and respect for family privacy can but imagine and pray. We know in our heads that everyone near and dear is in God's hands, but knowing doesn't erase our feeling of frustration and need to help in some way, any way. How hard it is to pray earnestly without despair! How I wish we could see visible sign of these sincere and loving appeals as they raise through the air to our Heavenly Father. How encouraging would we frail and lonely humans find a winged column of birds in flight, or a torrent of raindrops flying upward, a reverse of the Showers of Blessing promised in the hymn. God gave signs to the wavering Israelites and there are times I feel like asking, 'what makes You think we're any stronger?'

Of course He is hearing. He doesn't need our efforts or our petitions to know what to do. Prayer is for our comfort, to bring us closer to Him, not to let God know what we need or what our loved ones need. The fact that we can pray at all is an answer.

So we must take this opportunity to concentrate on loving. To do our work, our chores with our mind on heaven while our hands work on earth. To focus on thankfulness for daily bread and effort. To remember that our measure of success is of no merit of itself. We get up every day; we shall not despair.

When I am sorrowful, I know I cannot talk myself into or out of anything. I must step back and let He who is strong pull me out of that rut. Our duty and our privilege is to keep going.

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