Things have got so bad that we actually out of pasta. Since we buy pasta at least 4kg at a time, and eat pasta-with-quick-home-made-
While I'm here, can I say thanks very much to those of you who have said nice and supportive things to me over the last difficult week or so? I don't like to exaggerate, but I feel like the last few weeks have been the most difficult in the entire history of the world. (Errr... joke. I seem to have forgotten how to make them). I have this book sitting on top of a pile, waiting to be shelved, and I've had to turn it face down because I keep feeling like it's mocking me: Cos this is how I keep on feeling. (It's not that great a book, by the way. Don't all rush to buy it. I liked the first two in the series an awful lot more). I keep being tempted by two of the devil's worst lies - either God is good, but has no power over the world and my life, or he has power but isn't good. I need to keep remembering that the entire history of the world is not, actually, about me, and maybe God has other purposes in mind other than making sure I'm happy all the time, or that I always get what I want, even when what I want seems to be a good thing. I could list the last month or so and outline what has gone wrong each day, but I'm sure you've all had similar periods in your lives and I doubt you want to live vicariously through mine too. Last night I read these verses and they hit me harder than they ever have before, maybe because we're also reading books on discipline:
(HEBREWS 12) 7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? .............11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.
And you know? I think all this ... this mess that my life feels like definitely does count as hardship. God is a good, powerful God. He could make our way easy, if that was what He thought best. Obviously, he doesn't - not right now, anyway. He made the stars - he could easily coordinate work schedules so there wasn't so much pressure there. But He hasn't, not now. And so on.
There are two imperatives in that bunch of verses - endure and strengthen. And I don't want to endure. I want a quick, easy way out. And I don't really want to strengthen, because growing in strength means training, and struggling, and exercising. (Apparently. I can hardly lift a can of beans, either physically or in any more metaphorical way at the moment). This feels like more than I can do at the moment. I'm so glad it's not all up to me. I'm so glad I believe that Philippians 1:6 is true.