One day last week I looked for my purse for over an hour. It wasn’t that I needed to go out somewhere – a trip that would require car keys and a driver’s license that permanently reside in the purse. I was merely looking for something else that I was sure I had placed there. After looking everywhere in the house and the car, every place I thought it could be, I gave up and resolved that I didn’t truly need whatever I had been looking for inside the purse after all. Oh well.
As the day went on, I occasionally thought about my lost purse but somehow was able dismiss the mystery. I knew it was somewhere and it was just a matter of time before I remembered where I had put it.
That evening, however, I really needed it. I was going out and, though I could have borrowed Dennis’ keys to crank the car, I would need my driver’s license for sure. Making the rounds one more time, I finally plopped down on the sofa in the den in frustration. As I did that, something gently gouged me in the side. There it was! My burgundy leather purse was sitting on my burgundy leather couch, hiding in plain sight, surreptitiously waiting until I truly needed it. Mystery solved. But lesson learned?
This week has been tough. The house we left behind in Nashville has refused to sell. That, in itself, is a source of discouragement and frustration. But during the extremely cold temperatures that have invaded the South, including Nashville, something almost surreal happened. Pipes froze and then burst and since no one is living in the house, the leaks went unnoticed for a while. Fortunately, our sweet friend, Cindy, stopped by and found the first leak before it had gotten too bad. Then a worker who was fixing the damage of the first leak found the second leak. This one was far worse and much more destructive. Imagine our shock, discouragement, and dismay at the news! And being 200 miles away has made the matter even more taxing.
But there it is. The introduction to the lesson we needed to learn.
The weaknesses in the pipes in the house had problems all along, we guess. It just took extreme pressure for them to reveal themselves. And if we had been there, we might have found them before the water had destroyed so much. But that’s not the point. Now I see it. The purse dilemma was not enough to make this lesson plain, but the damage to much of our house was.
Sometimes the strength that sustains us everyday isn’t as visible until we truly need it, under pressure. Yes, God’s strength and peace was there all the time (like my purse), but often it only comes to light in the midst of a storm.
We read from our Jesus Calling devotional book this morning words that were not only applicable, but eerily prophetic.
Here is the scripture reference the short devotional was drawn from.
Psalm 46: 1-3
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
The lifeboats are there all the time, but they only come into focus when the ship starts to sink.
We ask for your prayers during this time, but we have assurance that we have a Refuge and Help in our troubles.