The Lord planted a seed in my mind weeks ago. It's been something that has sustained me over the past month. It has encouraged me and given me joy. That thought: Life Stinks!
Confused yet, dear reader? It seems incongruous to say that "Life Stinks" could be an encouraging word. It doesn't make any sense at all unless you factor in the secret ingredient. . . God.
I had been caught in this downward spiral of discouragement and doubt. I kept thinking over and over that life really does stink. Our mountain of debt compared with our part-time income was overwhelming to say the least. I kept saying, "Why me?" I wasn't even saying these things to God anymore. I was just saying them.
Fortunately for me, God was listening anyway. He reminded me of something I learned as a teenager. You see, my mom is fanatical about growing things. We had a huge garden when I was a kid. My dad still kids her today about her affinity for all things green.
One thing she used to do was keep a compost pile. Yep, we had a huge pile of rotting, stinky, aromatic grossness in our backyard. It was basically garbage - all the things "normal" people throw in the trash. We saved anything that might make a plant grow - coffee grounds, egg shells, etc. I prefer not to think too hard about it even now.
I have to give credit where credit is due though. My mom has grown some amazing fruits and vegetables in her time. . . with the help of the compost, of course. We had no end of fresh corn, okra, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, peppers, etc. It makes me hungry just thinking about it.
What does all that have to do with "Life Stinks"? Everything! Papa reminded me that when that garden was first planted it looked like a bunch of dirt, and it smelled worse thanks to the compost. As time went on we started seeing some growth, but the stench was still there. However, when we picked those homegrown tomatoes and squash, and started partaking of the fruits of mom's labor, we kind of forgot about how horrible the smell was when we started.
I said all of that to say this. Life stinks!! But that putrid stench that we can barely endure at times is the compost of our lives. The situations that we encounter and call nauseating, fetid, rancid and decaying are in all actuality the fertilizer that our Father will use to grow us spiritually.
I am in no way saying that all of our circumstances are from God. I certainly can't blame the messes I've caused on Him. And I'm not saying it is at all pleasant. At times, it is barely tolerable to deal with, but in the end, the benefits far outweigh the cost.
If you think I'm spouting gibberish, let me refer you to Romans 8:28. He never promises us that this walk will be easy. We're not guaranteed a struggle-free life. However, He does say that all of the things we endure will "work together" for our good.
I'm still staring our mountain of debt full in the face without any clue how this is all going to work out. My husband is still praying for a full-time job with insurance and benefits so we can see a dentist or a doctor when we need to. In the meantime, he's working two jobs to try to keep a roof over our heads and food on our table. Let's face it, in many ways, right now as I sit writing this missive, Life Stinks! All I can say is. . . wait till you taste the fruit He's growing in us!!