February 3

                After the blizzard ended last month and the 29 inches of snow had surpassed the record books, a friend of mine prepared to go out and shovel out his car.  It was a job he never liked and this one almost overwhelmed him.  He’d never seen cars parked helplessly in that much snow.  And he had to tackle  the job of digging it away so he could even get into his car let alone drive it anywhere.

                With weariness he dressed for the job and went out to start.  But he was only going through the door to get out there when he caught a breath of fresh air and saw the world sparkle in the bright sunlight;  his heart lifted. He dug for a time and looked at his watch in preparation for his first break; he was surprised at how much snow he’d already moved.  He wasn’t prepared for that; he thought he’d only be more depressed, only to think negatively on how little he’d accomplished, and how soon he’d have to start again.  Then as he rested, some folks who were doing the same job with their cars rested and came over and talked with him, and the chat- time proved wonderfully refreshing. He was surprised at how good he really felt as he returned to the job at hand; he returned to it with a smile, not a grumble. And so it went.  This chore he’d taken on with so much reluctance  and that he felt would end in utter exhaustion of both body and good sense ended with his feeling satisfied and alive with the sense of a job well done.

                My friend is a person of faith, and he said he did a lot of praying before he started, asking God to be patient and understanding of his depressed  mood and negative attitude.  But when it was over that was not how he felt at all.  He pondered a moment and then went and read a passage from Isaiah that he was particularly fond of but hadn’t been thinking about as he started.  It goes like this: “…those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,  they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Is. 40:11) 

                God breaks into our weary days with contacts from sun and nature and friends, renewing us in spite of our depressed moods and low expectations.  Thanks be to God!

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