I am sure you have had one of those days when just one more thing has to happen and it feels like the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe you want to sit down and have a good long cry, or curl up in bed and ask God, “Why!?” Today, I spilled the soup when I opened the refrigerator door. It is not the first time I spilled the soup as by chance, the handle of the soup pan just allows one of the door shelves to sneak up under it, so when the door is opened it pulls the handle out, and presto! Soup goes flying all over the fridge and the floor. I just stood there and stared at the mess for about two minutes with really no emotion whatsoever. It might have been fun to have a video of it all as it seemed all too surreal, and were I a curser or a screamer I might have let loose with some pretty fleshly behavior. But no, I just stood there and stared.
To understand the real meaning of this story you have to get the background information. I don’t often go to the freezer in the garage and come back with chicken bones and make broth; then drive twenty minutes away to get organic vegetables, return home and chop them all up for soup. That’s usually Lori’s job, as she needs her soup, especially in times when her stomach hurts so badly she feels she can’t eat anything else, but bland vegie soup.
As some of you probably guessed, Lori has gone down for the count again in horrible neck and stomach pain. We don’t know how she must have tweaked her neck, but she felt it coming on a week ago with burning feet all night long, then burning all over the next few days, then the pain seems to concentrate in her neck. When her neck flares up it takes her stomach with it and now the pain battle is on two fronts instead of one.
So when Lori goes from a very capable helpmeet to an almost invalid, I have to step my game a bit and make the soup, and do about everything else too. She still gets around to get her frozen corn packs in and out of the freezer, and to serve herself her soup, but basically, her time is spent in bed or on the couch with frozen veggies up against the back of her neck to try to beat down the inflammation. No drugs will work as they seem to only make matters worse with heart palpitations, anxiety and an incredibly worse stomach. So, icing and time, usually 2-3 weeks of time, and she should pull through this one more of many pain cycles.
For the blog, Lori has some 2-3 months of posts all ready to go, which she switches in and out if she writes something from scratch that day. So my job on the blog monitoring is pretty easy, and she reads your comments, so please keep them coming as they help her feel useful, even if she cannot contribute as she normally does. Certainly we covet your prayers, but there is not much we need as I make a pretty good helpmeet myself when life needs me to be. Lots of prayers for healing is what we need most, and we appreciate them very much. The True Woman’s Series will be put on hold unto she is doing much better.
Now back to the spilt soup. We are not the only family with difficulties. Actually, our difficulties are far milder than many in this world suffer from. Of course that may be easy for me to say as I am not the one in pain! But I do have to shake my head in bewilderment over all the artificial pain that some couples cause their marriage every day, wanting to take from the marriage without appropriately nurturing it and giving back to it was is their due. They might even run a ledger trying to make sure that they get enough help from their husband, or enough affection from a wife, then start the pain cycle of their own imagination because he, or she, is not giving enough to this marriage!
My question to these couples is what is going to happen in your life when the soup really spills. I mean not some artificial need that you feel slighted over, but a real disaster where all the organic vegies hit the floor and you have to clean up the mess and start all over again as your spouse sits helplessly by knowing that she can do nothing to help?
I stood there and stared at the soup sprayed all over, everywhere. Not only was a major clean neessary, but the precious commodity was gone. No dinner, breakfast and lunch of soup for Lori for tonight and tomorrow. Those two minutes of time I stared I had to remind myself that times have been worse, and I have so much for which to be thankful. Besides, had I not just told a Belgium client, “Never lose hope!?” Whatever lies ahead of you, you know God is in it. Hope says, “Tomorrow will be better than today,” so all we have to do is hang on and get to tomorrow. We know how the story ends, and we win! We will soon be on the New Earth where there will be no pain or tears. My guess is we will never spill the soup, or if we do, we will laugh about it, remembering what that meant to us in our previous finite lives.
So, when your soup spills, take a few minutes to pause, stare and reflect. Then remember that love cleans up the soup on the floor, then runs upstairs to finish your work project, then runs back downstairs to clean out the fridge. Best of all, love starts again and chops up the organic vegies and places them into the left over broth, then cleans up the kitchen, makes the salad, and sits down and watches the game. All thankful that I don’t have the pain, I just have the extra work, and work is nothing hard to one who thrives on it.
May I add, that to those of you who think that wifely submission just let’s a husband off the hook, I wish you a healthy dose of necessary love to understand that love is the greatest of responsibilities that belongs to husband and wife. When Jesus found that all the soup was spilled he picked up his cross and stumbled all the way to Calvary, to die, so that you and I could have a fresh spotless life of new soup. He cleaned up all our mess and made us whole again. Does not his love propel us to do the same for our spouse? The person we say we love the most in this whole world? You bet it does, so let's get started today.
But we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:3-8