Friday, January 15, 2016

The Big Picture

       The other day, the automatic horse-waterer froze in the pony pasture. I had this terrible feeling that it might be frozen; I had not checked it for a day. Horses need great amounts of water in the winter. Ponies, too. I fought a feeling of dread.

       I was about to take the kids to school and drove over to the fence by the waterer to check it. It was frozen solid, meaning it had probably been 24 hours. I felt awful for the ponies. But then I looked over and saw that somehow, someone had left the water spigot outside of the pasture on full-blast. Though we will pay significantly more on our water bill this month--all I could do was smile! Each of the family members denied having left it on.

        Because it had been, a frozen river, with just enough liquid for the ponies to drink, coursed through the pasture.

       The kids jumped out of the van, so enchanted by the strange ice formations from the spraying and splashing of the water. Icicles and mushroom-like mounds covered the fence and ground around the spigot.

       It was beautiful. Any other time I would have been angry at whomever left the water on all through the frigid night. But this was a blessing.

       I worry too much, it is true.

       God tells us that we shouldn't worry, that we should think on good things, and that there is always hope. I'm not sure how, when martyrs were confronted with the end, they managed  not to worry, that they had good thoughts or had hope.

       This is difficult to ponder. God assures us He will be there, that He will save us, and that there is hope. Either this is absolutely true, it is only true sometimes, or it is false. If either of  the latter two are true, then, we can't really rely on God as Christianity describes Him. 

       My late husband's mother, Grammy, modeled to me that we can always have hope in God, that we can hand Him our worries, and that we really can trust Him with the future--to see the "big picture." If we are truly His instruments, here to "know and to love and to serve Him in this life and in the next," then the thing that brings fear most--death--truly has lost its sting. She remained inspirational throughout her suffering and death. "I have to focus on all the blessings God has given me," she told me.

       Recently, I was describing to a salesperson, as we were getting to know each other, how as a hospice nurse I am not depressed. There is a hallowed feeling of witnessing something so very profound. The salesperson tried to understand; she said, "Well, I guess there is some kind of thankfulness because the person is no longer suffering."

       "It's more than that, though," I explained. "As Christians we believe that this world is only temporary, but that our life with God is forever. Heaven is what we were made for. It's as if this life is like being in the womb. When we are born, it is joyful." I tried to explain another way,  "The caterpilar has to spend time in the cocoon before it can break free and emerge as the beautiful butterfly it was meant to be."

       It is fine if she did not agree or understand. I don't pretend to have it all figured out. 

       But I will try to avoid worry, to think on good things, to always hope in God, because I trust that He sees the "big picture."

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