“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”
That storm that blew in? It left something behind.
Lots of it.
Hubby is still out there, pushing and blowing and clearing all that snow so that we can get around the yard without getting stuck in a snowbanks. And the drifts in the ditch on the way home from work were incredible! Swoopy and swirly, carved by winds into the most fantastic shapes imaginable.
For those of us who are new to the whole experience, it can be very exciting! [Cue the clapping of hands and enthusiastic bouncing, and grab the crazy carpets.]
For those of us who have lived here for enough years to understand how it works, not so much.
See, it means scraping ice off windshields. Wet socks. Shovelling sidewalks. Digging out the warm winter gear. Starting your vehicles before you need to leave, in order to let the engine heat up first. Allowing extra travel time. Cold fingers. That damp boot smell.
And making tough decisions.
Like – should I venture out on those roads today or will I be risking spending time in the ditch? Should I really gun it to get through that snowbank – or will I get stuck?? How slow should I drive on that ice? How gently should I take this corner? Will this wind blow me into oncoming traffic?
When the snow piles up, in practical terms, no matter how beautiful it is, or how much fun it is to play in (and it is), it means – inconvenience. Extra work added to an already tight schedule. Stress.
And downright danger, at times.
So why am I bouncing up and down?
At least, inside.
Because I’m a gardener.
Please don’t look at me in that tone of voice. I do have a point.
This past growing season was super dry. The reserves in the subsoil are gone. The additional water in our holding reservoir (we call them dugouts in these parts) is almost completely gone. In order to achieve a healthy growing season next year, we will need water.
Lots of it.
So, after scraping ice off my windshield, using an alternate route home to avoid snowdrifts, and running the gauntlet of terrible road conditions to get to work during a storm, I’m grateful.
Yes, you heard that right. Grateful.
I know that the inconvenience of this snow right now will be outweighed by long term benefits. All that lovely snow will eventually melt – and sink into the soil, and water the roses.
Which brings me to the spiritual principle behind this story. This verse in Genesis is such a great illustration of how this concept works.
Joseph was a favourite son of this guy named Jacob back in the day. His brothers were jealous – and they conspired to sell him. Sell him. As in, take money from slave traders, who hauled the teenager down into Egypt.
You can’t make this stuff up.
So after landing in a foreign prison, through a series of super amazing events (you gotta read the whole story! It’s epic!) Joseph ends up being second in command to the Pharaoh of that day, and is in a position to save his entire family from a majorly catastrophic famine.
You may think his family didn’t deserve the effort.
And really, they didn’t.
But – and here’s the kicker – through this family, came what would become the nation of Israel. And through the nation of Israel, the Saviour of the world.
Plot twists galore.
And God used what those brothers intended for evil, for good.
Now, I’m pretty sure Joseph cried in his soup and had lots of moments of wanting revenge. It can’t have been easy. Or pleasant.
Talk about a blizzard.
But God used the short term abandonment, betrayal, and false accusations to grow Joseph’s faith. And with that character and faith came the opportunity to extend forgiveness.
And preserve an entire future nation from extinction.
Talk about an epic long term benefit.
So friend – are you snowed in? Dealing with some majorly inconvenient and painful snowstorms?
Just like this snow will eventually water my gardens, the troubles facing you right now may be laying the groundwork for growing something amazing in your life.
See, God is in the business of growing great things.
And He has a knack for taking the tough things we face, and turning them into glory.
Don’t give up!
When the snow piles up, start bouncing.
Something good is in the making!
Look past the discomfort to the potential for beauty with me?
Father, we don’t like shoveling snow. It’s inconvenient. It takes up valuable time. Yet it can be used to grow future food – and flowers! Remind us that You can take the hardships that are irritating and seem harmful, and turn them into a sweet drink of water that can help us to grow. Amen.