Monday, August 24, 2015

Rejoice! In Rotten Cucumbers?

I'm trying to think of something good to say about the walk I took yesterday on the Ice Age Trail. Usually I enjoy such outings but yesterday was completely forgettable as far as I am concerned. Why? Let me explain.

First of all it was misting and windy and the temperature was only in the upper 50's. Considering we are in mid-August, traditionally the hottest time of year where we live, it was a little chilly.

Secondly I was walking on one of the "connector links" which is usually just asphalt roads connecting one segment of the trail with another. I don't like walking on roads. My feet get too hot. One good thing about it being cool-ish today I guess. Then . . . I began . . . to smell something.

This smell was unlike any smell I have ever had the displeasure to inhale. I cupped my hand over my mouth and nose. I can STILL smell it. What was it? I heard a tractor. Maybe somebody was fertilizing their crops. Maybe they were spraying pesticide. And then I saw it. A tractor pulling a manure spreader. Only he wasn't spreading manure. He was spreading rotten cucumbers and the wind was blowing the smell of them right at me. Nasty and disgusting. Yuck!

At church yesterday morning the pastor was speaking on the Book of Hebrews. No, there was nothing about rotten cucumbers in the text but there WAS some good information that I should have remembered while walking through that putrid smell. Perseverance.

Hebrews 10, verse 32 - "Remember those earlier days . . . when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering" . . . and smells. That verse reminded me that I need to endure ALL things in my quest to follow Christ.

Why did I walk a quarter of a mile past rotting cucumbers? Well, it was to complete a goal. It was to complete walking a section of the Ice Age Trail. No one said the entire trail was going to be beautiful . . . or SMELL beautiful. The trail is simply there for those who wish to walk on it. The same is true for us as we walk through this world. Not everyone like the journey. Some bail out before the end. But those who endure until the end . . .

"36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls."

There are times when we go through struggles. Everybody has those. What keeps us going though is our faith. Faith in God and His promises are amazingly strong things to hold onto while we are walking through difficult times. Trust in the Lord, always. No matter how dark things get hold tightly to that which we know to be true. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. Cling tightly to ALL of His promises.

I Stand Amazed - Chris Tomlin

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