Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What in the "Dickens" is Going On?

The Carpenter worked for two partners, Scrooge and Grinch, Inc. for the last eighteen  years or so. It seems their names were not always as descriptive of a particular character trait as now, but as the country goes...so goes the business, (or is it the other way around?)  For months now,  it seemed that Scrooge and Grinch were not seeing eye to eye on the nuances of running a business in a bad economy. The usual things began to take place like other businesses across the country.  Layoffs happened, benefits disappeared.  Gas prices went up but gas allowances were nullified.   Jobs were farther and farther away.   Business phones were now personal phones as well.  Health Insurance also became a necessary personal expense burdened by only the employee.  The carpenter remained loyal and thankful he was working at all. Without a raise in ten years, he watched as his pay dropped $2.00hr. His "sacrifice" was noted as hopefully temporary.  The Carpenter and His family relied on God to provide for their needs.  Although the struggle was always there, they knew they were learning and waiting and receiving grace upon grace at every turn.  Scrooge and Grinch though,  continued their bickering.  It seemed they needed a Mediator as well, someone who would bring a greater wisdom. Bah! Humbug...things continued to escalate. 

The carpenter continued his hard work despite  the loss of his Apprentice son to layoff.  He holds  the memory of his oldest son Tiny Tim, in his damaged heart. He  listens to praise music as he labors and travels the long and busy roads back to his humble home. The carpenter's wife waits,  after her day of student assisting at school. The carpenter's  arthritic knees carry him up and down stairs.  Favoring his knees, he feels the ache in his hips when he is at home.  He smiles as he prepares his latest recipes, relaxing and enjoying his hobby of cooking.  

The carpenter finally gets an opportunity to make some extra money.  He is placed on an important job.  The month of Thanks rolls around and the holidays will soon be here.  The temperature dips far below what should be at this time of year.  The house grows cold as the furnace will not kick on.  Payday has arrived on Friday as usual, yet there is a funny feeling floating around.  "No paycheck today",  the word finally came down. Be patient, maybe by Monday..."

Monday came and went, and so did the following Friday.  Two weeks now without payroll being met.  

Seems Scrooge and Grinch are not communicating at all.  Scrooge seems to be in charge, the check signer...Scrooge even shows up at the job to make sure everyone is working...

The carpenter is working, believing, hoping. The carpenter's wife is praying yet feeling discouraged and sad.  
                                          God begins to send angels. 

                                           The gas tank is filled
                                           The phone is back on. 
                                           The electric bill is paid.

The carpenter's wife finally breaks down and cries a heartfelt cry to God to bring her out of her doubt  and give her peace through this trial.  She knows this is not something they caused.  She knows God will walk them through this.  Her anxiety is given over.  She waits for delivery.  She goes about her business.

While tutoring her student in their home, the carpenter's wife and her student  begin to go over the DMV test he had previously failed.  The first question was about traffic. A sign was given with a drawing and a choice about what the sign meant.  The student had missed this question, so the carpenter's wife described and drew her own picture of a car waiting to yield.         

 Later that evening, God had blessed her with an invitation to hear a well-known speaker and author at a local church.  While listening to Elizabeth George speak, she heard a word; a word she had used just a few hours earlier.  The word was YIELD.  

The "Spirit from Trials Past" had visited her, right there at her dining room table while tutoring her student, yet she did not recognize it.  Yield.  Let the enemy and his schemes go by, wait until it's safe.  Do not merge into danger and let your Joy be rear ended.  Wait patiently on God. She had experienced this exact thing so many other,  even harder times in her life.  Here again, the speaker was reiterating this same idea; "Yield to God, Consent to His will, Get into the Center of His Joy." "The Spirit of Trials Present" was making His appearance and Joy began to rise in the Carpenter's wife's soul  as she listened and heard her Lord begin to give her that Peace she had prayed for. She is  reminded of a verse from the book of James:  

James 5:7  Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.

Arriving home that evening and meditating on what God had confirmed to her, she opened her e-mail to find a message from a friend.  He had said that he had sent her something and was concerned if it had arrived.  Although it was quite late, she went to her mailbox to retrieve the mail.  Sitting down, she opened the card he had sent along with a generous gift.  God was providing.  She looked at the card and had to laugh until tears of joy came streaming out.  Her favorite character, Snoopy, rides in a car through traffic.  The "Spirit of Trials Future" visits her in the quiet chair in front of her computer.                                                 

Jeremiah 17:7-8 

 7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
   whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
   that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
   its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
   and never fails to bear fruit.”

Once again...Hang on, wait,  Yield...

Scrooge and Grinch may be tearing apart and savaging the leftovers of the turkey carcass, but we will choose to make soup.  For now, we will wait and pray and hope in the Lord that honesty and integrity will win out and many will enjoy the fruits of their labor for the Christmas Holidays.  We pray for Scrooge and Grinch, that they too will find a miracle this Christmas and yield their hearts to the Great Mediator.  

For now my friends, May the Spirit of Trials past give you a remembrance of God's loving care, may the Spirit of Trials present bring much encouragement to you and may the Spirit of Trials Future fill you with Wisdom from all three. 

1 comment: