Excitement on the mountain!
Almost two feet of snow!
Millions come to play!
Traffic is a madhouse!
And oh yeah, a giant 18-foot boulder falls on the highway, completely blocking traffic both ways.
Highway reopening – undetermined!
Yes, a week ago Sunday – (thankfully in the middle of the night) – a giant rock tumbled down the hillside onto the highway.
And everything stopped…
Fortunately, our way into and out of town was not affected.
But many people in a smaller town up the road are completely blocked off.
Which is a very big inconvenience.
You see, there are only three ways in and out of our little mountain town.
And this *rockin' roadblock* has temporarily eliminated one. People have had to drive long distances to go up and down the hill, and this adds major amounts of time to their work commutes, school bus routes, and access to grocery stores, etc.
Mountain living does have its challenges.
Like fallen trees, flooded roads, and frozen pipes. (Or 60-hour power outages that DID affect us!)
All of it makes me feel like a bit of a pioneer.
Chopping down trees for firewood, shoeing horses, raising cattle, churning butter?!
(Which "The Hub" would love!! Me, not so much...)
But, truthfully, I still find myself complaining when inconvenience lands on my doorstep.
It's funny how we human creatures get so used to things a certain way. Our little routines get so ingrained. And we get accustomed to having things work.
Reliability is something we really take for granted.
I think we get even more entrenched in our comfort zones the older we get.
(I'll let you know when I get older…!)
We depend on being able to depend on things.
But, alas, into life some boulders must fall – and then what happens?
Seems to me like we either panic, get discouraged, or rise to the occasion.
Nervous Nellie panics.
Negative Nora gets discouraged.
Learning-How-To-Be-Grateful Sharon wants to rise to the occasion.
Life is an interesting journey – full of ups and downs.
Sometimes our road is smooth going, straight and predictable. Sometimes it's littered with gravel and pebbles, and we need to maneuver a little more carefully.
But sometimes God allows big 'ol boulders to crash into the road.
And we are stopped in our tracks.
Oh, the challenges of that!
One of my favorite characters in the Bible is Job.
I relate to him in so many ways, don't you?
Job had a wonderful life – this is how the Bible describes it:
"There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job…Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. He also possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke (pairs) of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very great number of servants, so that this man was the greatest [and wealthiest and most respected] of all the men of the east (northern Arabia)." (From Job 1, AMP)
Job's life was wonderful on many fronts.
He had a sterling reputation, a large and close family, and he was financially well-off!
Job possessed four things that bring security – fame, family, financial freedom, and physical fitness.
His road was smooth and straight.
Then the story continues:
"Now there was a day…"
Isn't that how life happens?
Things are going along just fine, thank you, and then…a day comes along.
A *one-of-those-kinds-of-days* day.
Like a boulder in the middle of the night.
Job lost everything.
I know this story is familiar to all of us. But have you ever stopped and personalized it? Actually imagined losing all your possessions, all your children, all your money?
In one fell swoop?
And then, as God continues to allow Job's testing, he also loses his health.
He was struck down with "loathsome boils and agonizingly painful sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head."
We all know how good physical health can be jeopardized, compromised, or stolen suddenly and without warning.
Finally, Job loses his reputation.
His friends accuse him, wrongfully, of sin.
And their "helpful" advice does nothing to encourage Job or lift his spirits.
Even his wife throws him under the bus.
She tells him to curse God and die.
(Honestly, with friends and a spouse like that, who needs enemies??)
By the end of Chapter Two, we find Job sitting among the ashes, in a rubbish heap, scratching himself with a discarded piece of broken pottery.
Talk about a boulder in the road…
But Job remains true to God, and God remains true to him.
It's a good lesson for me, for all of us, to ponder.
Last week, I read this in my daily devotional:
"I will make You the basis of my trust, Lord. I will accept Your demolition of my security, even though it is painful." (Daily Walk with the King, by W. Glyn Evans, c. 1979, Moody Publishers)
I just can't stop thinking about that phrase:
"…demolition of my security…"
The systematic dismantling of all that I find security in – fame, family, financial freedom, or physical fitness – a purposeful laying aside of anything else but Him.
Yes, Lord, I will accept the gravel and pebbles, the twisting and turning of the straight road.
I will even learn, with Your strength and grace, to rise to the occasion when a boulder falls in my path.
I will look past the obstruction toward the construction of Your work in my life.
For the end result is this, in the words of Job:
"I know that you can do anything,
and no one can stop you.
You asked, 'Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?'
It is I – and I was talking about things I knew nothing about,
things far too wonderful for me…
I had only heard about you before,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes."
Yes, Lord, I would see You.
Sticks and stones
may break my bones,
may try to hurt me...
But standing firm
upon The Rock,
All is just
as it should be.
***REMEMBER to check out DAILY GRATEFUL THOUGHTS here***
(Updated DAILY GRATEFUL WORDS, A WORD FROM THE WORD, A "MESSAGE" FROM GOD, and FOOD FOR THOUGHT can be found on the sidebar. Thank you!)
"Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more." (Psalm 16:4, NIV)
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever." (1 John 2:15-17, Berean Bible)
"Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away." (1 Corinthians 7:31, NLT)
"Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone." (Proverbs 23:4-5, NASB)
"As for the rich in this present world, instruct them not to be conceited and arrogant, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share [with others]. In this way storing up for themselves the enduring riches of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life." (1 Timothy 6:17-19, AMP)
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
(Matthew 6:21, KJV)
"'No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more...? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?...Why do you have so little faith?...So don't worry about these things…These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.'" (Matthew 6:24-25, 28, 30, 31-35, NLT)
"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT)
"And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:20, NLT)
"I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1, ESV)
"We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone." (Psalm 33:20-22, NLT)
"[For] we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28, NLT)
"Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced – beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35, 37-39, AMP)
When the boulders of life fall onto your path, what are you depending on?
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