Rain, Rain & Hay Bales

I found myself laughing out loud as I took pictures of the sights around our house this weekend. With approximately 12" of rain in just a week, it seems we live in more of a lake than on an acreage. Roads have been blocked, basements, fields and gardens flooded, yards and garages looking like marshes, and ditches loaded to the brim, which in some cases has even created waterfalls into deeper valleys. This has definitely been a wet year for us!

But back to why I was laughing. Sad, soaked and sorry looking bales sat uncomfortably in feet of water... they looked hilarious. Tilting to one side, some of them sat as if all it would take is a nudge to submerge them completely under. I couldn't help but thinking, "I wonder how often we look like this." Do you ever feel up to your neck in responsibilities, expectations... deadlines? I do sometimes. We can feel like we're nearly drowning in our "To Do" list, straining to keep our head over the water without looking ridiculous. But we're not alone. There wasn't just one bale gasping for fresh air out there... there were rows and rows of them. Some were sitting in less or more water, but they all had their share  - not that they noticed. It's easy to become shortsighted and ignorantly pity ourselves for our current lot, when, if we took a moment to look around we'd see our troubles are really quite common!

In fact it's not so much the trial that's important. Although trials can take all sorts of shapes and sizes - a difficult child, a financial crisis, political catastrophe - there are only so many categories of problems, and they in themselves are not what really what matters. What will draw us out of the muddy, watery ditch of common problems and set us on solid, dry ground will be the way in which we handle our situation. Unlike hay bales, we don't have to just sit there and rot. God has given us eyes to perceive, ears to hear, hands to work, feet to run, a mouth to teach. . . teach what? Do we own these abilities vainly? What should we see? What should we listen to? Where should we run? What should we learn?
Psalms 32:6-8, 10-11 say,

6For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.

7Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

11Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

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