Two nights ago, a loud clap of thunder woke me up to the sound of a gentle rain. An hour later, it was all over. The ground is just as dry and hard as it was before. It's been over two months since we've had any significant rain. The forecast keeps telling us there's a fifty or sixty percent chance every so often, but the day passes, and we are still without that life-giving rain. Our creek which never runs dry is getting pretty close to it, and there's no forecast of any change for the foreseeable future.
That brief teaser of a storm did leave us a calling card; wherever the lightening hit that caused the thunder, it was close enough to knock out our washing machine. Linda woke up the next morning to the sounds of the washer growling through a cycle with no water. We poked the various buttons, pulled and reset the plug, but no matter what we did, the machine had a mind of its own. It refused to spin things dry. The door wouldn't catch, then it would completely lock up, it would start without our pushing the start button. Electronic stuff is nice until a circuit gets fried; then all bets are off. I miss the old style machines with a dial that mechanically set the cycle, the amount of water, and whether the water was to be hot or cold or somewhere in between.
Today we went washer shopping. If you haven't done that in awhile, prepare yourself for sticker shock! And did you know the big box stores have all those machines on display, but you can't buy one? They have to be ordered, which doesn't help much when your machine is out of commission right now. Maybe if I threatened to just hang around the store in the same clothes for the two weeks before a machine is available they'd sell me one off the floor. They might even pay me for it!
Tonight, reading from Matthew 13 about the Sower and the Seed, I am again drawn to the seed sown among thorns. Satan wasn't quick enough to snatch the seed of God's Word from my heart at the beginning, and I've not experienced the persecution associated with the seed sown on rocky ground, but I do know what it's like to have the thorns and weeds of worry crowd out the work of God in me. We look around at our world and see plenty to worry over, but according to Scripture, we dare not let that stuff choke out the seed of God's Word sown in our hearts. The only way to do that is to keep weeding the garden, removing the sources of worry. It's simple, but by no means easy. It means tending the garden of our hearts on a daily basis.
My grandfather who was quite the horticulturalist, once gave me a bit of gardening ... and life ... advice. "Quarter inch, quarter hour; half inch, half hour; one inch, all day." Weeds and worry are like that - the longer they're left, the harder they are to dislodge. So when I'm tempted to fret about having to spend money on a washing machine, I immediately begin thanking God that we have the money to do so. There was a time when we couldn't have replaced it. When I get to thinking about the upcoming elections and the abysmal choices we have been given, I immediately soak my soul in God's Word which reminds me of his sovereignty and his promise to care for his people. Our life doesn't consist in the pleasant surroundings I have been given, nor in the stuff that makes life easier; it consists in daily abiding in the presence of God through his Word and prayer. Isaiah said it 2500 years ago, and even with the antiquated language of the King James I learned as a boy, it is still true today: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee." (Isa. 26:3).