First I would like to say thanks to Deals for her sweet post today. Deals, I was actually thinking of inviting myself over to watch Newsies.
JLR is taking the bar exam this week, and my parents just happen to be out of town on business during the same three days. I’m staying with JLR in her hotel room (across the street from the testing center, so that she can’t possibly get stuck in traffic and be late for the exam), but our kitties still need daily attention, so my schedule this is week is as follows. Get up in time to make sure that JLR gets up in time for her exam, leave the hotel at approximately 7:30/8:00 and drive the 23 miles to my apartment to feed our cats, empty their litter boxes, and give Wally (the needy cat) some petting time. (Also, I will be packing up our belongings for about an hour each day, as we plan to move next month, and we have almost nothing packed.) Then drive the 23 miles to my parents’ house to let their dog out and water their plants. Then drive the 9 miles to the hotel to check on JLR. My brother was supposed to take care of my parents’ dog in the afternoon, but now he has to work on Thursday, and tonight he is going to a baseball game and won’t get back to our parents’ house until late. So would I mind going back to our parents’ house in the evenings, sitting around for a while, and then driving back to the hotel (an extra 18 miles of driving each day)?
As I was driving around this morning, I was grumbling to myself about the burdens that were being heaped upon me, one right after the other. I might even have muttered a comment or two about how hard it is to have faith when things keep getting worse. Then, gently, the Lord reminded me about the much greater burdens resting on the backs of those He is asking me to serve. And I remember how faithful He has always been to me, rescuing me from illness, financial problems, and I-don’t-know-how-many painful situations, giving me hope at times when things seemed rather hopeless.
My parents have elderly parents who need care and siblings who won’t help with caring for them. They have jobs at companies that have made large pay cuts for their employees in efforts to stay afloat financially, which means my parents have found their financial situation somewhat worse than they had planned. They have to go out of town for work, and they have all these plants that they’ve worked hard to raise, and they really need someone to take care of them. And by golly, they love that dog, and so do I. They really, really want to make sure she’s well cared for, so shouldn’t they ask me—as a favor—to check on her? They don’t think she’d do well at a kennel, and let’s face it, it would be better if they didn’t spend the money on boarding her, so they have to ask for help.
My brother has had one emotional setback after another for the past, oh, I don’t know, twelve years, and he’s had many a financial problem, too. Now he had to work longer hours than expected on Thursday, so shouldn’t I help him with the dog to make sure that he doesn’t lose his job? And yes, he should have made other arrangements for the baseball game tonight, but he’s under so much stress, it’s not too much to ask that he get a night off.
As for JLR, well, taking the bar is so much more burdensome than taking care of someone who’s taking the bar. I can only imagine how exhausting it must be, especially knowing that if she doesn’t pass, she’ll have trouble finding a job, and if she can’t find a job, she won’t be able to pay off her mortgage-sized student loans.
When I thought about it, I realized that this is simply an opportunity to strengthen my faith, to exercise my faith muscles, if you’ll pardon the analogy (is that an analogy?). After all, if only good things ever happened to us, why would we ever need faith? How could we ever learn to trust Jesus?
So I thank you, Lord, for giving me this gift. And, um, would you mind doing something about the insect buzzing in the window near my head?