How fitting for the doorknocker to reverberate and my dog to go wild with barking as I sit down to write this post. Over the past two weeks, we have had continual workmen coming in and out of the house due to water damage from the recent ice storm here in middle Tennessee. The first day, a strip of the hardwood floor was pulled up in our den; the second day, more was removed; the third day the kitchen bar and counter top was disassembled; the next and the next day, the kitchen hardwood and the baseboards disappeared. Today it’s part of a wall.
Early on in this venture, I kindly asked a workman where my bread/toaster drawer might be located so that I could make my daughter a quick sandwich. He said, “Oh, I took that drawer down to your basement. It’s sitting on the floor behind the couch.” At this moment, I decided that I had one of two options in handling this whole ordeal: either laugh or cry. I looked at the workman and smiled; down the stairs I went… hahahahahaha.
Meanwhile, as the workman are ripping apart the kitchen and den, I am trying to write a devotional book. Hahahahahaha. And I’m a stickler for uninterrupted silence when I write. Hahahahaha.
This morning, as I was getting ready for the unfolding of the day, the words persevere with pleasure kept rolling through my mind. I am already learning to live this phrase out through the daily “sweet and happy chaos” that involves the diverse people who currently reside here: Mac and me, our grad-student daughter, our high school daughter, our French exchange student, a PA graduate student, and a an amazing budding artist. (We also have an inside-dog that always wants out, and an outside-cat that always wants in.) This variety is all good, and I love it. However, it’s these additional bodies showing up ALL THE TIME with hammers and drills and electric saws who are testing my tolerance level. Right now, I never really know who I’m going to meet in my hallway. Hahahahaha.
So, can I persevere with pleasure, as I feel the Lord is asking me to do? Yes, but only with Him. Only He can give me a joyful attitude. And only He can change my perspective. Through all of this, He is refining me. Crazily, I am actually learning how to “pretend I am alone”, drowning out all noice and choas as I write this assigned 365 day devotional book–241 devotional prayers down, 124 to go. Persevere with pleasure. Yes, Lord, I will.
Reader, I am very aware that my current ordeal may be nothing compared to what you may be facing in your world right now. The things happening in my den may accurately represent the turmoil inside your own heart. Life is hard, and deep suffering is not laughable. Your situtation may be worthy of many long blubbering cries. Please weep, but weep with the Lord. He cares for you. Ask Him to come into your midst. Allow Him to fill You with His peace, and yes, even His joy, as you slowly rise up and press on. Know that He is with you right now and that He will see you through to the end. Only He can change your life’s perspective, bringing beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3). Hear His words:
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Phil. 2:13
Persevere with pleasure, my friend. Jesus is faithful to walk with you every step.
Now I have to go….the roofers are here (what?????)….the dog just got out, and the cat just got in….hahahaha.