My friend cried out from across the country, "Help! I'm sinking!" Life had brought a sea of challenges and waves of trouble - particularly issues with adolescent children.
"You can't sink!" I reminded her. "You have God on your side." Applauding my friend's strength and courage in the face of disaster, I said, "You may not always feel your valor, but it's right there inside of you; and when you think it waning in the face of the big problems, remember that God is bigger!"
I told my friend that I had been praying for her one afternoon while sifting rocks, with my kitchen colander, from our 14 by 18 little garden plot (which doesn't seem so little when you are sifting rocks ...). I expressed that Arizona high desert soil is not soil at all, and only the most talented grow luscious vegetable gardens. I have no skills in that area; nevertheless, I shall try my best. The rocks are unending, and it's so easy to want to give up. But I hold onto the vision of wonderfully green rows of foliage that will soon yield scrumptious vegetables, as well as a time of triumph over the stingy desert "dirt."
"You are still cultivating your children garden," I said. "Someday they will be completely on their own, and your efforts will have borne fruit. We must keep clearing the rocks, however, and your wisely grounded tough love, along with your willingness to be there for them emotionally, will pay off. God bless you. I don't envy the task before you, but I know you'll come through."
"Well, you made me chuckle," replied my friend. "The idea of you sifting rocks with your colander: what a perfect picture of never giving up hope!"
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of hope. May I remember, always, that I cannot sink, because I have a life preserver: You!
Adapted from "Finding the Flowers in a Prickly World" by Dianne Finnegan Wilson. You may e-mail Ms. Wilson by visiting www.pensepublishing.com.