Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Expected/Unexpected Struggle

Good morning as we prepare for a banging celebration! This place I am in now has a whole lot less of the fireworks thing going on, and I am glad. Anyway, I set up my tent last night. No, not to live in, but to see if the thing is actually a tent. The story goes, I purchased the tent at a sale some seventeen years ago or so, and I had never set it up. Tales abound of the old tents and the difficulty in getting them set up. You will be glad to know that this was the expected, yet unexpected struggle. Two hours, countless readings of the instructions, (Which, I believe are specifically written to confuse and irritate the first and probably second-time tent installer.) head scratching, insect bite scratching, accidentally bonking the cat once, colorful language, and a whole bunch of new aches and pains later the tent stands proudly in my south forty (feet that is). It was too late and too dark to set up the cot and drag a bag out there, so I slept inside in my comfortable bed. Of course, I have to wonder what kind of 'deal' seemed so good at the time that I have hauled this tent around through several moves for seventeen years before finally setting it up mostly as an exercise in patience and forbearance.

We join in these sorts of struggles throughout our lives. We don't have to, but we manage to cause all manner of pain and stress just the same. We look back and wonder how much money we spent on this particular monument to uselessness. Of course that question is useless too, for the money, time, effort, and other things are gone into the past and we can't grab them back. However, there is a pretty tent standing outside today, complete with rain fly and vestibule! If you need to remember old times, the tent is available for use. Mostly you would remember why it is that a house with a bed is preferable to a tent most of the time, but feel free if you feel the need.

Sometimes, the expected/unexpected struggle is that we endure an unexpected wait for many years to engage in the expected struggle. However, the reward comes, late though you or I may think it is, and it is well worth it. God's timing is not our timing. We tend to live thinking of past or future while demanding that God act in the now. (As in, I want it now.) Something wonderful may wait for a decade or more, then you or I may have to struggle to get to the wonderful, but we must trust God's timing. You may in fact be wondering if this devotional is ever going to end this morning. Good news, only six more paragraphs to go! Just kidding. Some of you will be going on a long weekend trip today. I'll not hold you any longer.

God's grace and blessing to you on this day!

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