I’ve always wanted to live in Colorado. The majesty of the mountains, the luxury of the many lakes, the glorious sun that shines more than in the Sunshine State.
Granted, I haven’t lived there during the winter months. I’ve walked in the drifts there that last forever, but I haven’t had to live in it. There’s been no need to get up early to allow the car to heat up before I get in it. I’ve not shoveled a driveway in years. I don’t own winter clothes of any kind.
My daughter Courtney called to share what she was experiencing in Denver.
I’ve never been more grateful to not be somewhere.
Sunday had been warm and sunny. 75 degrees, perfect weather for taking long walks and playing on the playgrounds that dot the city. Shorts were unearthed, sandals found, and it felt like early spring.
Monday the temperature dropped to 19 degrees, and five inches of snow fell. Shorts were put away, and the sandals went back into hiding.
In Denver, winter often lasts until May; major snowstorms are no respecters of calendars.
It was the hint of hope, however, that was Courtney’s undoing. The teasing warmth of a single day, the invitation to believe that cold and snow were over for this year. It was a taunt by a wacky weather system.
How many times in life have I been pleasantly surprised by something I hadn’t anticipated only to be discouraged with what came of it.
When we were little, Dad surprised us one Christmas by bringing home a beagle puppy. We named her Holly and fell in love with her on the spot. We had wanted a dog for so long; begging had become a daily affair. But Mom had been insistent; there would be no dog.
Dad had other ideas. He’d had dogs growing up and had wanted to get us one for a long time. Mom had had dogs as well but clearly remembered it was her mother who took care of them. We promised we’d be responsible; the first night my twin sister and I slept down by Holly’s crate and took her out the moment she woke at 5 a.m.
We were faithful about walking, feeding, and cleaning up after her. We wanted this dog more than we’d wanted anything.
Our undoing was Holly’s chewing.
She began by chewing up the legs of a small table in the den. Mom was furious, so Holly spent much of her time out back, tethered to a rope that allowed her to roam the back yard.
She chewed through the rope and ran away.
And got hit by a car.
Dad eventually took her to a friend’s farm, for her health and Mom’s sanity.
Pleasant surprises are often followed by unpleasant realities. Life is not neat, orderly, or controlled.
That’s what we yearn for. To plan and have those plans realized.
God alone knows the bigger picture. Only He can walk us through the challenge of the unexpected, the hazards of disappointments.
If we let Him.
Can you let go of what you think you deserve to receive from Him His gifts of hope and life?
All it takes is faith.