Facing the Unexpected

by Chris Ahlemann

A couple of weeks ago, I stepped outside just as the sun was coming up. The warmth beckoned me and I walked around to the side yard where my bearded irises are. And there, to my amazement, were small humps between those speared leaves.  Upon closer inspection I saw that these were the tops of my giant hyacinths. “But, it’s too early for these!” I exclaimed out loud. “Winter isn’t over yet.”

Later on I got to thinking about life in general, and how often things which we have no control over come about sooner than expected. That baby we so longed for is born after only eight months; that loved one who leaves this life at much too young an age. The job we had been hoping for has become available before our preparations are complete. A best friend finds she must move six weeks earlier than the time the two of us had counted on. Suddenly, the future holds such a chill that we shiver just thinking on it. What do we do now?

We draw from that inner strength.  Just as the hyacinths will. Oh sure, there may be a bit of shriveling about the edges from late winter winds. But the core of that plant, that bulb which sends up green shoots, is rooted deeply in the haven of Mother Earth. Thus secured, it will continue to produce flowers both later this season and in the years to come.

We too, have a mainstay where our hearts can rest. A mother draws hope as she nurses her premature newborn. A family is nurtured through a time of grief. Another finds strength to step up training for that important career. And that one whose friend is moving is assured that distance cannot separate true confidants.

Ah, yes, below the surface of life lies a mooring maintained by God.  God, whose word secures us when we are smacked broadside by the unexpected.  What a well-grounded idea.  What a soul-anchoring thought.  >

Chris Ahleman lives in Iowa.
Reprinted from the Sweet Spring Herald
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