A little elf arrived at our doorstep this morning. Funny, I’ve often thought of elves as Santa’s helpers. Today I realized how very wrong I have been. Elves are God’s angels on earth. Let me explain.
Sometimes it’s easy to wonder why God has forsaken us. I try not to dwell in that sentiment when I feel it but I admit that I feel it often. Feeling forsaken has become a way of life for me. I think anyone who tries to live a faithful life must struggle with feeling resentment from time to time. After all, this life is a test. If it wasn’t hard it wouldn’t be a test.I personally always feel pretty guilty when I feel forgotten. I then try to remind myself that once Christ felt forsaken. If he can feel alone then it must be an o.k. frame of mind for me too. I am a huge advocate in teaching people to not be ashamed of their feelings. Feelings are what they are. For too many years I felt shame for my feelings and it got me nowhere but deeper into the dark and then I learned that I can’t control my feelings. I can only control what I do with my feelings.
So, I’m here to tell you that when a woman tries so very hard to live her life in a way that would be pleasing to God and keeps hitting the same brick wall over and over again she feels forgotten. In the past few weeks I’ve had to keep moving forward to keep myself from succumbing to the depression and discouragement associated with my brick wall. My forgotten place is not pretty.
What is my brick wall? I have many, but the one that gets to me more than any of the others is financial strain. I have never known a life without financial strain. I was born under a roof of financial strain. No matter how hard I work or how hard my hubby works we never seem to break free from financial strain. No matter how much we improve at frugality and income-earning it’s as if God doesn’t want us to ever have a better way of life. It’s hard.
LeGrand and I have discussed this a lot. We don’t understand it. We are good people. We are generous. We serve others. We share what we have. We are not selfish. We are not really worldly. We don’t try to keep up with the Jones-es. We don’t have a desire to impress other people with our worldly goods. We just don’t. We give 10% of our income to God’s purposes. We donate additional amounts in money, goods, and time to various other humanitarian efforts. We are honest in our dealings with our fellow-man. We don’t take advantage of other people. We don’t even like accepting gifts from others. All we want to do is provide our kids with their necessities and bless our fellow man, but so often we are left unable to do so because of our economic status.
I can’t complain because I’ve had it worse. Much much worse. I’ve had it so bad that even if I have nothing leftover but a little food in my pantry just being able to pay bills is a blessing I don’t take for granted. We pay our bills. We always have a little leftover and we never go hungry or without a home. However, moving into a basement apartment at 40-years-old with four impressionable children and a defeated husband still sucks. It’s hard. Everyone is left wondering why God gives to others so abundantly but only takes from us.
And then a little elf knocked at my door. She said she had a gift from one of the other elves that she knows. She couldn’t tell me who.
This afternoon I opened the elves’ package to a large sum of money. I could hardly believe my eyes. How do people always know exactly what we need? I mean EXACT down to the penny. I know how God knows, but how do elves know? How do people know? Oh yeah, because they are God’s angels and they are really good at listening and doing.
As I stood counting and recounting and crying and re-crying I remembered the drill. I’ve had this happen so many times in my life yet I still shake my head in disbelief. How can this keep happening?
I then remembered that God allows me to struggle because He wants to manifest His power in my life. He allows other people to have more because He wants to manifest His power in their life too. He wants us to see how awesome it feels when we understand that we belong to each other . Life is most beautiful when we act accordingly. He also wants us to know the power and love that exists in caring for one another because his power and love is infinitesimally more.
I know these things. I’ve learned them repeatedly. Yet every time a miracle happens I am rendered speechless.
Along with the money, today’s elves gifted this quote along with a beautiful forget-me-not necklace that I don’t think I will ever remove from my neck. (LG said the necklace is for me and the money for him – which is true since he pays the bills.)
I am not forgotten. Ever. And neither are you. Thanks for the poignant and extremely timely reminder angel-elves. Oh, and thank you, too, my loving kind generous Father in Heaven. I’m sorry I always have to be reminded but thanks for your patience.