Tues., Sept. 4, 2018
Psalm 39:1 – I told myself, “I’ll be careful not to sin by what I say, and I’ll muzzle my mouth when evil people are near.”
I was determined to focus on prayer yesterday, which was Labor Day. But, by 10 AM, I was completely distracted.
We’ve had endless rain the last two weeks. Lots and lots of flooding. Not where we immediately live. The hometowns where we used to live and where Rick grew up have sustained considerable damage. So many families and businesses have been affected. It’s really become a tragedy.
And it continues to rain.
There are times when there is a break in the clouds and the sun peaks out for a while. It feels wonderful. But soon, dark, heavy clouds roll in from the west and the sound of rain is all around.
The weatherperson assured us of no rain until Monday afternoon. Just shortly after I heard this, yep, there was the sound of rain. Again.
Finally, about 10 AM, there was a small break. I had not been in the garden for a few days. I knew the beans needed to be picked. We’ve had a ridiculous crop of cucumbers this year. So, I ventured out to our small plot, large basket in hand, ready to gather up the goodies.
As I lifted leaves to pick cucumbers, I was swarmed. By mosquitoes. The next leaf I lifted, it happened again. When I stepped into a new area of the garden, literally hundreds of mosquitoes flew up from under the leaves.
Before long, they were biting me and bothering me. A quick trip into the house for some spray and I felt adequately armed. For about 45 minutes until the mosquitoes won out.
We’ve probably all heard that funny saying. It questions why Noah let two mosquitoes live at the time of the big flood. Maybe only in Wisconsin where mosquitoes hatch seemingly within hours of any amount of water do we question Noah’s sanity in letting the mosquitoes live.
I know they serve some good purpose. It’s just hard to think of it when they are bothering your legs, arms and face all at the same time. The pesky little buggers know how to ruin a happy trip to the garden.
I tried to remain focused on praying throughout the day. My intention was to be thankful for all the food we and so many others have. But every time I was bit, I was adequately distracted.
Maybe the reason the mosquitoes were in the garden was to help me reflect a little deeper. I am confident there have been people who felt irritated by me, what I said or how I treated them. I can quickly think of a few people who would have liked to swat me into the next county and out of their sight.
So how different am I than those irritating mosquitoes?
In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about how prayer is not about changing God. It’s about changing ourselves.
Did I really anticipate that I would be the one who needs to change? And the lesson was brought forth by thousands of mosquitoes swarming our garden? How I really need to be more careful with the words that I use? And sometimes, I really need to put a muzzle over my mouth?
Today’s lesson from the garden wasn’t so much based on how to cultivate beans, tomatoes or peppers. It was about how I need to use encouraging words when I speak. How can I be more helpful than irritating? When do I need to not say anything unless it is positive?
Taught by thousands of mosquitoes.
And who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?
For mosquitoes and the lessons they can teach us, I am grateful.
Lord Jesus – Forgive me for the times that I hurt people’s feelings; when I discouraged people rather than encouraged them; when I should have put a muzzle over my mouth when I didn’t have something positive to say. By your grace, I pray that I can be more encouraging today than an irritant. Amen.
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