Published: August 26, 2023
Updated: November 4, 2023
We all like surprises! Well, I like some surprises! Other surprises are not liked, not wanted. They are a surprise in a bad way. This week was liberally sprinkled with surprises and many of them made me happy. They made me think of the special ways God surprises us. Yes, I saw God this week, evidences that He was near----
Last Sabbath, if you attended church in Hawkeye, a surprise was waiting for you. You were invited to share Ken's bountiful garden harvest. Melons, tomatoes, zucchini, grapes---so many good things! What a nice surprise! He had a bountiful harvest and wanted to share--thank you Ken! We have enjoyed eating all week. By sharing, I am sure that he was thanking God for the wonderful Harvest. This week, we received other gifts from different gardens. Even more thank yous to those that shared with us. We are so thankful! One of the gifts was a bag of tiny tomatoes. They had been put where no tomato is supposed to be! They had been refrigerated! Oh No! But what enjoyment they gave us. They came to us on one of the hottest days! And how refreshing they were! To put a juicy tiny cold tomato in your mouth and savor the refreshing coolness! There was nothing better in that moment! God offers refreshing small moments, we just need to reach out and take one! You will not regret it.
God is about to harvest His garden that is ripe, His fields with heads of grain to be plucked. There is an old song that says:
Far and near the fields are teeming with the waves of ripened grain; far and near their gold is gleaming o’er the sunny slope and plain. Send them forth with morn’s first beaming, send them in the noontide’s glare;
when the sun’s last rays are gleaming, bid them gather everywhere. Thou whom Christ the Lord is sending, gather now the sheaves of gold; heavenward then at evening wending, thou shalt come with joy untold.
Lord of harvest, send forth reapers; hear us, Lord, to thee we cry; send them now the sheaves to gather, ere the harvest-time pass by.
God is inviting me to help Him with His harvest. He is inviting me gather in the golden produce before harvest time is past and it is too late. The harvest that is ripe soon spoils if it isn't harvested at the proper time.
This week had a bad surprise, too. This week has been hot--too hot! Too humid! Too dry! Too little rain. Too much to endure it has seemed! I have to admit, it was too hot for me. We don't have air-conditioning and until now, we thought we did not want it. This week has almost been hot enough to make us change our mind. I wasted three days doing almost nothing because it was too hot for me to try to do anything. I did not practice good stewardship of time. Yes, it has been hot before and it will be hot again but I thought this week was one of the worst ever. But maybe my memory is getting bad. Other weather type things also made the news—several terrible wild fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, droughts, lives lost, homes destroyed, blame given. This year has been a year of weather news. At any rate, it has made me remember that when I was growing up, I heard that disasters of these natures would accelerate in the "last days". They would escalate until there would be call for an improvement in morality here in America and around the world. A call for coming back to God, a call to enforce a day of worship. Hearing the reports of how terrible the disasters have been and hearing reports of the evil being done to people around the world, make me surprised that the universal call to "come back to God" hasn't already happened. The question I have been asking myself--am I ready for the last days? Am I prepared for what lies ahead? Yes, it was a week of bad surprises!
Because it was so hot--too hot--I thought that maybe I could sit under my ceiling fan and accomplish something! There is always email to catch-up on and delete. Some of it is from so long ago that I should just give up and delete all. Along with email duty, I decided I could "enjoy" the circulating hot air and begin work on the weekly bulletin information and newsletter. I was attempting to use my time wisely! Beginning with the emails first, I noticed one that I wanted to answer. My answer was going to be short but before I could finish a very short answer, my computer screen went black!!!! And my heart took a dive into distress. If you haven't experienced the helpless feeling of a black screen of death, then I hope you never do. Briefly my mind wondered if I hadn't charged the battery, but I was positive I had checked that before I started. I tried rebooting since I have heard in the past that is something to try. Problem was, the screen was black and how was I supposed to know if I was clicking on the right things? Next, I woke up my husband from his nap to get his opinion on what to do next. He did not have anything better to offer. Next step, I texted my brother to find out if he was working since he has helped with many of my computer problems in the past. He has this handy thing where he can control my computer from his own no matter where I am. God, too, can help me, no matter where I am. But he was working and promised to try to help later in the evening when he was off work. Sadly, he couldn't do anything that evening. He wondered as I did if it had been too hot and too humid in our home for my sick computer. He took it to a "nicer" place for the night. But the next day things were no better. He then called the master technician with tools that are supposed to help detect where problems are. The tools helped, knowledge helped even more but skill was even more important. The short story is I didn't loose files, and for that I am so happy. I have my computer back but it looks different. It has a new power button, it has a separate keyboard and while it still is my old well loved computer, it still isn't my old computer in many ways. But it is resurrected! I can use it again for now. All is good, but not perfect. Reminds me of the resurrection yet to happen when Jesus comes the 2nd time. He will resurrect his loved ones, our very own loved ones. They will be the same loved ones but different! We will love having them back. We will thank the Master Technician with His goodness, knowledge and ability to repair and make new our old worn out bodies and make them work again. I am so looking forward to a body without pain, a body that can walk and run and kneel again. One that I don't stop and wonder "Is it worth it"? I want that renewed body for my loved ones too. I want their previous suffering to be no more. I want to see them resurrected into new bodies—perfect again.
I have had several weeks of physical therapy! It has been good. But surprise! Now my PT is coming to an end. I am told that I have all the tools I need to continue to make progress from knee surgery. I just need to follow the plan mapped out for me. How like the plan God has for us. He has made a plan just for me. I need to ask Him what is next, how to do what He has mapped out for me. He has a plan for you, too! Let's ask Him to help us make progress and move forward getting to be more like Him each day. How to get on with the life that He wants for us.
Today we had a little bit of rain--the first rain in nearly a month! I wanted to sing for joy. But the joyful happening was so short! And so futile for our gardens and fields. I fear that our harvest will not be bountiful. Let's pray that the showers of blessing we are promised to give the world will adequate for God's harvest.