That You May Perceive
They certainly didn’t expect THIS. They had just completed the last of the harvest. It felt as though they had barely gotten the final bounty of potatoes and rutabagas carefully tucked into the fruit cellar and now THIS? So soon? Both parents had been pushed to their physical limits to keep up with the weight of gathering all that was needed to endure the winter – the bitter cold, the wind and the deep snow – and they were anticipating a brief respite to recoup and then prepare for the “season of snuggling”, as they called it.
Instead, this morning, they awoke to the sound of ancient creaking, as the trees that surrounded their property moaned their displeasure at being forced to endure the brash and forceful wind so early in the season. The ground was covered in white – there was not a piece of ground, as far as the eye could see, that was not white. This storm certainly had come up quickly and seemingly out of nowhere.
As everyone knows, the first snow of the season is empowered with a special elixir, known to cause extreme excitability in children. Their children were definitely no exception. They were in and out, running through the yard, tracking the snow in, letting the frigid air blow through the cozy little home and now, at the end of the day, while mother was trying to complete her work and get her rambunctious crew tucked in for the night – for she had promised herself 15 minutes of peace and quiet, a hot cup of tea and a few minutes with The Good Book as her reward for enduring this day of frenzy and mania.
“Mama, can I sleep with a snowball?” “Mama, can I go back outside?” “Mama, can I sleep with my window open so the snow comes in?” “Mama, I’m still hungry, can I have some more soup?” “Mama, when will Daddy be in from the barn?” “Mama, I think I should go out and see if Daddy wants some help!” Questions were coming faster than the snowflakes outside were falling. Her mind was spent, her body was weary and her grace was thinning. “Children,” she called out loudly (and with not just a bit of frustration) “let’s recite the Word! It will help me get my work done faster.”
She chose the Scripture wisely, knowing it would help her attitude and minister to her soul, as she completed her nightly tasks. “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for He grants sleep to those He loves.” (“Oh Lord, I’m COUNTING on you for that. I know You love my children, grant them sleep – and SOON!” was the prayer that emanated from her heart, as they recited.)
” Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” (“Remind me Lord, that we are BLESSED with our full quiver in our tiny house, won’t You?”) The pent up energy of the day coming forth in the volume of their reciting – their words drifted outside the humble home….
Outside, standing in the snow, face up to the sky was the old man. His youth spent in passion for his king – his wisdom etched about his eyes. “Oh Lord, Your glory is revealed in Your creation! Thank You for eyes to see and ears to hear Your glory made manifest.” He turned and shouted back toward the barn, “Oh “blessed man”, I believe the wife of your youth is feeling a bit undone by your “heritage”. I think I shall go inside and see if I can’t help keep your young arrows from flying all about.” The man in the barn chuckled. He knew Moira would appreciate the help and it freed him to complete his work without distraction. He was thankful for his father.
While the recitation of the Word was soothing to her soul, the loud speaking only seemed to wind the children up more, rather than help slow things down. How would she endure until bedtime….
Suddenly, the back door flew open with a bang, as a gust of wind caught it and sent is slamming into the wall behind it. “Brrr! That wind is strong!” declared Grandfather as he came bursting onto the scene. The children ran to gather about him, “Do you know what I just saw?” They shook their heads with solemnity. “I saw lazy Mr McGooken’s ENTIRE garden blow by – one vegetable at a time! That man didn’t put a thing up this year! It’s a very good thing your mother loves you enough to keep you inside tonight. You might have been hit by flying turnips, potatoes – or WORSE – a PUMPKIN!”
The children dissolved into laughter knowing that their grandfather was teasing them, but being filled with the wonder of the first snow -well, it just felt good to laugh. “Children, I have a wonderful idea. Let’s have your mother make us some hot chocolate,” he glanced at Moira, she smiled and nodded.
“Then we can begin our season of snuggling, by gathering around the fire and I will tell you a story. It’s a story of a good and mighty king who loved his people very much and paid a great price to keep them safe and free. It’s a story of a woman who was separated from all she knew and those who loved her, because she loved her king so much. It’s the story of war and battle. It’s a story of a man who thought the cost of obedience would kill him. It’s a story of victory, despite an evil opponent. It’s a story of a promise with an ending. What says you? Shall we do that?”
Dear Friends & Family, this year, because the Lord is moving us to a place where our lives are becoming more and more “high-tech” our Christmas card to you will be interactive.
Each day we will be adding a bit more to this story. In addition to the story, we will be providing a short devotional, that will go along with the story – in some measure, anyway. 🙂 For those of you that prefer to honor Advent, just gather the pieces from week and read them all on Sunday, it should work just as well. If you would like to follow this story, we will be posting it here.
We pray that this will bless and minister to your family during this holy season.
Our greatest desire is that the Lord would be glorified, as we give this – a part of ourselves – to Him, our Prophet, Lord and King. It is for His glory that we are – and it is our desire to lift Him up with the words of our fingers. It is in Him that we live, breathe and have our being.
To God be the glory, great things He has done!