May 23, 2005


Life is a conundrum.

Remember our creek? Well every year about this time, the banks of the creek grow full, green, lush, tall grass called Timothy grass. It looks like wheat…it waves in the wind, which is pleasing to the eye as well as to my ears. My husband and I LOVE to sit on our front porch and gaze out at the sky or the creek or the birds and animals. It is such a great place to rebuild your mental and emotional energies after a long day. It is also a wonderful place to visit and talk the day through….you can think and communicate more clearly without all the household noises and distractions. But every year also about this time, my poor husband gets itchy nose and eyes…..his face and eyes turn red from irritation, and his nose becomes a fount of gunk. The creek that we hold so dear all year long becomes a scourge of irritation in May and June. He is so allergic to that Timothy grass, that the doctor gives him a steroid shot (sometimes 2), prescription nasal spray, prescription oral medication and an oral steroid to use…..just because of the grass. And the worst thing is, it drives him in to hiding in the house for 6-8 weeks of the year. He started running an air purifier that someone gave us, put in our window unit air conditioner and shut the house up today because it’s started. The beautiful green creek bank has driven him to be a prisoner in his own house.

Just to make it interesting, when I came home today, there was a foul odor in our house. I went down the hall to see who was using this terrible smelling cleaner or glue or whatever it was. No one knew what I was talking about. Finally I noticed this noise in the living room as I walked by and thought it was my husband’s computer, went to investigate…..and found the source of the icky smell. It’s the air purifier! Ew, it smells! It’s hard to describe….kind of a metallic/cheap bleachish smell. (my spell check doesn’t want me to say ew or bleachish, but I have to, so I’m ignoring it) Here’s the conundrum….the thing that he is hoping will give him the best year yet allergy wise is going to drive me out with it’s weird smell! The person who gave it to us said her husband wouldn’t let her run it due to a smell he didn’t like, but I didn’t realize how irritating it would be til it’s been running in our home for a day. I’ve had this sour look on my face all afternoon smelling it.

Now this is a temporary, silly conundrum, but life is sometimes a more serious unsolvable puzzle that looks like it’s going to absolutely choke us out of existence. I have a friend whose life has been like that for over 3 years now… altering situations that just seem to be going from bad to worse to unbearable. What do you do when life is such a series of unfortunate (or ridiculously insane) events? I don’t know if I could handle it. Yet my friend is holding on….she is smiling and holding her family together by threads. She says that at times she just knows she will fall apart, but she doesn’t. There is something unseen there. Something supernatural and strong is undergirding her, holding up her head and helping her keep it together. She has learned how to let God work and to trust Him with all these tragic events in her life that seem like they will not let up. Everyone who mentions her though says the same thing….she is at peace…has a deep joy and hope that is confounding to us who are looking on with horror as things unfold in that family. It is a hideous, seemingly unsolvable puzzle that bad decisions and poor choices have caused. The Sunday School answer of course, is that God knows their situation….He is going to bring good out of the bad and we can trust Him. I am not sure I could say that if I were in her shoes. She doesn’t know what will happen and if any good will ever come of any of it. But she is holding tightly to God and His Word. And I am seeing, all of us are seeing, how that is affecting her ability to handle and survive this time in her life. If Satan was ever shaking someone’s tree, he is there shaking hers and she is holding on tight and is not being shaken. I don’t understand it…but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Cor. 1:27)

So you go, girl! We are in awe of how God solves the unsolvable….His wisdom and ways are beyond any Sunday School answer we’ve ever heard.

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