The Office of Stewardship
Christian Stewards Are Grateful
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thess. 5:16-18
A wise co-worker noted once that St. Paul, in the passage above, does not ask us to give thanks for all circumstances, merely to give thanks in all circumstances. I don’t know that I can bring myself to be thankful for the blizzard brewing; but I certainly am thankful in the midst of it.
We have spent the better part of the last two days preparing for the onslaught, queued up in some of the longest lines at Wal Mart I have ever seen, so that we have adequate drinking water in case we lose power and moving hay, snow and cattle in an attempt to keep all of the livestock alive if things get nasty. I am sure many of you have done more and worked much harder than we have in preparing for the storm. There’s not a lot of fun involved either before or during.
However, whenever we experience bad winter weather, I am always reminded of reading “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder many years ago to my children. In it, Laura recounts her family’s harrowing experiences living through a very hard winter in DeSmet, South Dakota. She remembers one day complaining to her Ma about having to wear her heavy long underwear to school under her dress and stockings. “It’s too hot for my red flannels, Mama!” she complains. By early afternoon, there was no sunshine and the “wind crashed against the schoolhouse.” After some time had passed, one of the men from the town knocked on the schoolhouse door and led the teacher and children home in the blinding blizzard. Even though the schoolhouse was just outside “town” (a two-block stretch of street), they nearly lost their way in the wind and snow. Having experienced prairie blizzards before, Laura knows their lives are in danger. Later, sitting by the fire, feeling confused and unable to get warm, Laura wipes her eyes and realizes her eyelids are bleeding from the driving snow and ice. I remember her also speaking about the fears they had when Pa would head out to do chores on their “claim” on a bright, sunny morning. They didn’t know if a storm would come up and prevent his getting home before the day was out. After reading of their experiences, I realized how my whole life I had taken weather forecasting for granted. For the first time I had an idea of what life would be like without it.
So in the midst of the frantic preparations for the storm, despite the fact that I am weary of winter and ready for spring, I can thank God for the gift of the weather forecast which allows us to know ahead of time when a dangerous storm is coming and gives us the opportunity to prepare for it. And what if it turns out they were mistaken and the worst of the storm misses us? Then I can be thankful for two things and not just one!
Christian stewards are grateful.
photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash
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