Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Eat Grit

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good. 

Genesis 50:20

My husband and I have raised chickens for over 12 years. One thing we have learned is that they need to eat grit for supplying extra calcium and in aiding their digestion of food. Basically, they need to eat grit to be healthy. Recently I learned I do to.

I had a day filled with frustration from the moment I took my first step onto my bedroom floor. After encountering long waits, rude people, professional errors, and parenting conflicts, I was finally going to end my  day with my oldest daughter who had arranged for me to have my first pedicure as her mother's day gift to me. She met me bearing a beautifully decorated carrot cupcake and chocolate covered strawberries. I saw her culinary gifts and decided that perhaps my day would not be a "wash-out" after-all. We waited for over an hour when the business owner flagged a family of three, who had just arrived without an appointment, to begin their treatment before us. After deciding that I had had enough of this arduous day, I kissed my daughter goodbye and left for home with my small remnant of hope that my day would have some pleasure-my carrot cupcake. I pulled up into my driveway and began to walk toward my front door when my hand slipped and my eye-pleasing delicacy fell out of my hands, slipped out of its protective cover, and landed face down onto my driveway full of grit and dirt. Exacerbated, I picked up my soiled "ray of hope" and burst into my home spilling my grief onto my husband. What I decided to do next made the difference between painful defeat and soul nourishing pleasure. I pulled out a fork and began to eat the cupcake grit and all. I had never tasted anything so good.

Life can be full of hardship and pain. In those moments when pain appears to win out for the day, we must choose whether we will "eat" its grit and enjoy the blessing pain has to offer, or fall exacerbated at its feet and cry out in defeat. The story of Joseph, as recounted in Genesis, reminds us that God used the "grit" of life to build a nation that restored hope and life to countless tribes and people groups. The blessings of pain teaches us to extend compassion and mercy, to be thankful for small pleasures, to love more and judge less, and to realize that choosing our response to pain will make the difference between languishing or retaining the meaning of life to the very end. Eating life's grit opens our eyes to what is available instead of what is missing. It teaches us to live responsible with every choice we make. Pain teaches us that the opportunity for a good life rests in the manner in which we bear its burden. Eating grit reminds us that we have a choice; a choice to see how our responses dictates our experience.

Today, "eat grit" and and be restored to health.

Father, thank You for pain. Thank You for creating hope and restoring good in the midst of life's grit. I thank You that I have a choice. Today, I choose to "eat grit" and be spiritually well, amen. 

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