From the rising of the sun to its going down
the Lord's name is to be praised!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Skipping the College Stage

Way before I became a mother, and before I worked at Word & Deed, I worked at Empire Valley Farms. When I think back on those days my eyes twinkle and a smile crosses my face. Those were days spent with my dear friend Becky who later became my sister-in-law. We worked long hours in the packing barn sorting cucumbers, tomatoes, and green peppers.

I was brought back to those days filled with hard work and laughter this weekend as I past the tomatoes in the vegetable aisle. The earthy, tangy smell reached out to me and pulled memories to mind about the chatter between two teenage girls dreaming of what lay ahead.

As we worked Becky made sure we enjoyed what we were doing. I used to stare at her in amazement as she would pull a tomato off the belt that moved the fruit we were sorting, and take a BIG juicy bite. It looked SO delicious but there was no way I could eat a tomato without something to go with it. The peppers on the other hand appealed to me. I tried to work up the nerve to take a bite of a jumbo, crisp green Bell pepper but to no avail. Who eats peppers like an apple?! People would surely think I’m weird and what if the boss saw me! So all the peppers went in the boxes as Becky rolled her eyes at me for being so…who knows what?!

Neither of us had any solid plans for the future and when asked if we’d be going to college in the Fall we would giggle and say that we were skipping the college stage and going straight to the barn. Why waste money on an education when people end up being labourers with a degree anyway we thought. Short sighted I know.

Eventually Becky did go to college and earned her PSW degree (Personal Support Worker) and it serves her well. I applied to Westervelt College and was accepted but in the mean time was hired by
Word & Deed Ministries. The job took priority and I never did get a degree. Now I realise that an education is never wasted but there are many ways to be educated. I learned a lot in the work environment and am learning even more now that I am a mother. I do look forward to the possibility of going to college someday when the kiddos are all grown up, but for now they are my teachers.

So here’s to Becky, and the tomatoes for the fond memories and the great education! :O)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Worry, Suffering and our Saviour who Wept

Have you ever feared to suffer? I know I have. Have you ever thought that worrying enough might just prevent bad things from happening? Foolish, I know. In reality worry can not prevent suffering and in fact it is sin. God is in control and we deny this when we worry. Matthew shows how futile it is by questioning “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”(6:31) In the Geneva study Bible the explanation on this verse informs us that the Greek word for stature can also be translated “life span”. So in other words, worrying will not extend our life in any way and in fact medical science proves that it can actually have adverse affects on our health! Go figure.

There is actually great relief in the instruction not to worry. After all, the burden of our future is not on us. We are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” (Matt 6:33a). Do you see the implication of this instruction?! It is incredibly beautiful. It leaves no reason for worry. When one is saved and made perfect by Jesus’ blood what on earth do we have to worry about?!

Matthew goes on to say, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (6:34) Our worries will not prevent or change how tomorrow will be, so leave it to God. He is big enough to get us through any suffering that life holds. His grace is sufficient.

Not only do we serve a God that is big enough, we serve a Saviour who knows pain. I have a friend who, when I unload about life’s frustrations, often says in a very compassionate voice “I get it”. It helps to know that we are not alone-that someone else has lived the same kind of pain. Well, Jesus ‘gets it’. When Jesus saw Mary and the people who were with her weeping because Lazarus had died, ‘He groaned in the spirit and was troubled’ (John 11:33) When the people were about to show Him where Lazarus was buried, ‘Jesus Wept' (John 11:35). Let the truth of Jesus suffering penetrate your heart and give you comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Jesus ‘gets it’.

Here's a link to a blog that displays the power and strength that God supplies in the darkest of valleys. You can click to the beginning of the story at the top left corner of the blog.