There is always . . . a mountain to move, a conundrum to solve, something to overcome, an unforeseen storm.
One day while we were living in Brooklyn, NY I was walking with our daughter, Rebecca, in the park. Out of the blue, she asked “Do tornadoes ever happen in Brooklyn?” I told her not to worry, tornadoes do not EVER happen in Brooklyn. While watching the evening news recently, we saw footage of a tornado hitting the area near where we were walking that day. “Mom,” Rebecca said, “tornadoes do happen there.” Funkification of the weather patterns.
One evening in Brooklyn that year I was resting with a virus. Rebecca, who was eight at the time, likes to be helpful so she brought me a snack on a tray along with two books for my reading pleasure: Dante’s “Inferno” and Charlie Brown. Tragedy and comedy. I thanked her for her thoughtfulness and had a long laugh that evening.
Life can take difficult turns and storms can hit in unexpected places or at unforeseen times. As long as we are alive and pursuing God’s purpose, we will meet with difficulty. But there is no storm that can keep us from the joy, life and adventure that comes with being fully alive through knowing God. As Hudson Taylor, missionary to China, said: “I have found there are three stages to every great work of God: first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” That applies to going into a new city or country as a missionary, but a “work of God” can be in progress right in your office, living room or wherever you may be. When the storms hit, we can have peace, joy and even a sense of humor as we trust Him.
Here are a few ways we can do this:
1. Be decisive – If you are in that stage when your senses are telling you it is impossible, make a decision to persevere and see it through. It can help to write down what you have decided to accomplish and why before the trials hit.
2. Maintain margin – A few years ago I read Margin by Richard Swenson. I recommended it to my husband and it really helped. It is about restoring emotional, physical, financial, and time reserves to overloaded lives.
3. Keep passion alive– The heart and reason behind what we do should be kept at the forefront. From start to finish and everywhere in between, it is about love – love for God and people.
4. Laugh, and then laugh some more. Laugh hilariously and frequently.