As a cool wind blows and a bit of rain falls, some seeding had taken place in our area of Manitoba. We are in a season at the moment , that I would call “the reluctant spring”. We
have had some warm days as well as a string of cooler days including several nights of frost. It is a crucial time of year, this time of seeding. Conditions need to be right for the germination of all those seeds and those lingering frosts can mean a whole field might need to be reseeded.
A couple of nights ago, I gathered with a group of people for a meeting. Coffee, tea and dessert were served. I was reminded of a saying that a friend of mine was often heard to say, “Life is uncertain; eat dessert first . . .”
We have no control over those late frosts or anything else about the weather or much about our lives in general. In regards to dealing with the loss of a loved one, the following words that have been sent to me in a message, have stuck in my mind: “There are good days and bad days and it isn’t getting any easier”.
These words were sent to me in a Facebook message, regarding the loss of my brother, one year ago.Something that
has helped me during the past year are the words - “Focusing on finding a way forward”.
Another thing about this time of year is the opening of fishing season. It is the source of much discussion among those who have already gotten out fishing or at least plan to.Some days are good fishing, some days just aren’t. Sometimes you can’t even go out on the lake because the wind is too high and the waves are too rough. Sometimes, though, you find yourself on the far side of the lake and you need to negotiate them to get back across the lake to the marina or dock where you left from. I have a picture in my mind of driving a boat through the series of waves that often gets up on the lake we fish at, Oak Lake, a relatively shallow prairie lake that is home to amazing numbers of Pickerel and Jack fish (Northern Pike). The image I have is a very strong one of piloting a boat through very large waves.The waves are actually larger than the boat but by careful negotiation, a way is found forward through them.
The focus must always be to find a way forward,no matter how little progress there is because there is always great danger that the waves are going to swamp the boat.Sometimes
you have to travel sideways along the wave and over top of the next one. Itis a long journey, though it is only a few miles and our life experiences seem to parallel this. The way is tough but a way forward can be found. Sometimes you have to stay on the other side of the lake for a while and wait for the wind and the waves to go down.
Then there is that Scripture from Matthew 8 where the disciples and Jesus are in the boat. Jesus is sleeping and the winds andwaves come and eventually he calms the waters and they realize his sovereignty and power . . .and begin to really wonder who this is. Knowing the one who has the power to calm the wind and waves is a powerful thought for me.
No it doesn’t get any easier. Still the wind gets up and the waves must be negotiated. But we can learn to find our way forward through them.In the process we become better at piloting the boatand learn to rely more fully on “the Master of the waves”. We do not negotiate them alone.
I agree, life does not get easier, after we have lost our loved ones, it just changes and is never the same again.Still, there are those large waves to negotiate but the task is not impossible. There is hope that we can all find a way forward through our own individual waves by focusing on moving forward, on being better and more knowledgeable pilots of our boats and relying on the One whose power is over all waves and storms that we will ever go through.
I raise a prayer, for all on your journey forward, whatever you may be dealing with in your life at the moment, whether the waves are caused by losses in your life or a battle with sickness, those waves can be negotiated, one at a time, and that we are not alone in this journey. We are accompanied by the Master of the waves!
“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.A windstorm arose on the sea,so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”And he said to them,“Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a dead calm.They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, thateven the winds and the sea obey him?” Matthew 8: 23-27 NRSV
Grief and sickness and early frosts are going to come but so are the blessings, and no matter how difficult - there is always a way forward - and don’t forget, “Life is uncertain; eat dessert first”.