Back in the Thirties, times were tight. The economy tanked. We traveled to the heart of a flat farming area in southwest Oklahoma to visit my Dad's brother – Dietrich Siemens. We greeted Uncle Dick, Aunt Selma and their five children, my cousins. After a time, we left, we learned from Dad that he had asked his brother how he was doing. Dietrich revealed that they had very little to eat, but they had one egg in the icebox. Dad asked why they don't you use that egg. Uncle Dick said, “If we use that egg, we won't have any.”
Trust is a complicated concept. The song that we often sang was “Trust and Obey”. How do you tell someone to trust? Trust in what? Does obey have something to do with trust? What or Who do you obey? At 8 years old, I didn't understand the dept of TRUST.
Couldn't their chickens lay another egg or two? My Dad raised chickens when we lived in Clinton. Dad brought home a brooder full of fluffy handfuls of 'cheeps'. We were entranced. Dad housed the little creatures in a brooder in the hayloft/attic of our garage. One night, just before I went to bed, I climbed the stairs to the hayloft-attic and watch Dad as he sat by the brooder and tapped on the feed trough with his pencil. He explained that the baby chicks would eat more. We were never without eggs. When my brothers were older, upper elementary, they 'candled' eggs, packed them to sell. On Saturday morning, Jim and Gene pulled their coaster wagon up and down the streets to their egg patrons, selling eggs. They learned accounting and responsibility.
Such delight and a hoop often came from Mom in the kitchen when she cracked an egg and it had a double yolk! And there were many. She always celebrated. We wondered how two yolks could get into one egg. Once when Mom cut up a hen to cook, she showed us the soft leathery container of the egg inside the hen. How did the shell form? Did it hurt to lay an egg? We knew the Mother Hen always cackled long and loud when she announced she had 'birthed' another egg.
Even when we had plenty, there was no need to trust. Giving thanks was perfunctory. It is what we did. Then we moved to Watonga. The routine of plenty was suddenly erased by a flower garden of thistles and weeds and a budget eaten up by car costs. Christmas that year was sparse. As teenagers, we children were not aware of the heart ache our parents felt at not providing what they wanted for their children. We thanked Mom for the mittens she knitted for us - our only gift (when she did that I don't know), and were distracted by making candy and peppernuts, playing games and singing Christmas Carols.
At the beginning of life, the path of life is a valley of flowers. The wonder in the innocent eyes of children as they survey their world are blinded to the hurt and pain that exists. As we grow older, life's path grows more narrow and filled with pitfalls. Specter of want, disease and disaster threatens to crowd out the abundance of sunshine. And the innocence.
It is then that the need for comfort and peace comes. Many search all their lives for the treasures of peace. Blessed is the person who realizes the existence of God and His gift of Jesus.
Looking to the sky and giving Thanks to God brings Peace and Joy. Giving thanks binds and heals the hurts of this world. We are taught from an early age to send thank you notes...to givers of gifts. Why not thank God? Indeed, why not?
There is no end to the gifts for the very air we breathe is created by God. The sunshine each day, the life-giving rain, the minds that we think with, the talents that we possess, all come from God. My children and I used to play a game...a no name game. We would choose and object and determine its genesis – step by step. We always traced everything back to God.
The more stormy the clouds in our lives that we encounter the more we need to stay focused on praising God and giving Him thanks!
Recently I finished reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. My daughter Anna told me about the book – we both began journals – listing our thanks for various things – gifts from God. Among my gifts are family and technology to keep up with them, my husband's laughter, the trip to the mailbox to watch the Jonquil almost ready to burst into Spring, my piano students and watching them learn, dear church family-more than friends, the blessedness of sleep, sunsets, the ever-changing vista of God's canvas in the sky, the brilliant moon and Venus in the velvet night sky, and our daily bread with snacks.
The gift that brings life and life more abundantly – the gift of God's Son who died on the cross for me....for all of us. And the hope of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ.
Choosing hope, trust, love and peace is the antithesis of stress of 21st century living. Ann Voskamp says, “Choosing stress is an act of disbelief...atheism. Anything less than gratitude and trust is practical atheism.”
Even as the father says in Mark 9:24, Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
† Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,,, Proverbs 3:5
† I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. I Timothy 1:12
† Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands. Psalm 119:66
† For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Ephesians 1:4
† May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. I Thessalonians 3:13
† There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
There would be no sense in saying you trusted Jesus if you would not take his advice-C.S.Lewis
How can I trust / With no thank you?
How can I trust, In fear, through and through?
Trust is like a tree / Planted deep in my heart
With many branches/ That grow with love in part.
Each branch holds a gift / From our Lord and Savior
When we trust Him /Every day is in our favor.