Friday, August 3, 2012

Bittersweet

"But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good..."
Genesis 50:20 (KJV)

I recently got my favorite magazine in the mail.
Although I am not one to spend a lot of time looking at magazines,
this is my exception to the rule.
This is one that I put aside in a safe place
until I can really have some uninterrupted time
to cherish and savor every page, every article, every picture.

I just really enjoy Country Sampler that much.

I always look forward to the fall issues the most.
It is my favorite season, and I love seeing how the
country and primitive decorators use all of the natural, free,
God-given foliage and elements to create such beautiful fall scenes
in their homes and yards.

Bittersweet seems to be a decoration of choice.

   


It is a woody vine that has small, round,
yellow-orange fruits that eventually expose red seeds.
The colors blend nicely with the shades of autumn.
It is amazing to see how creatively they can be blended
with gourds, pumpkins, and other fall decor.


  

The thing about bittersweet is that its berries are decorative and pretty to look at,
but they are very bitter to the taste.
Hence, its name.

Have you ever noticed how sometimes sweet comes out of bitter?
How some of the hardest moments in life bring about the sweetest memories?

It was a miserable moment for all of us.
We sat on the side of the road,
at the corner of Dean Street and W. Main Street,
hot, sweaty, and frustrated,
as smoke billowed out from under the hood of our car.
We had driven far, and we were a long way from home.
With about 40 miles more to go to reach our destination,
we were in quite a quandary as to our next step.

The car had repeatedly ran hot for the last several miles on the interstate.
Each time we stopped, Kevin would add water,
and do all he knew to do to keep it going.
Soon, it was running hot, and we were pulling off the road again.
This time, it had really broken down.
It had made some strange noises, then had completely stopped
and would not start again, no matter how hard we tried.

We called roadside assistance and were told they would be
happy to come tow the car for us, but unfortunately,
there wasn't enough room for all three of us to ride along.
The Firestone to which we were having it towed
was several miles from where we were broken down
and several more miles from our reserved motel room.
Even if we got a ride to Firestone, how would we get from there to the motel?

Of course, we could always call a cab.
But, that would rack up another big cost,
and it was looking like our car repair may be quite extensive....
and expensive.

Several kindhearted people stopped to try to help,
but there was really nothing any of them could do
to solve our dilemma.

So, we did what has brought us safe thus far....throughout life.

We bowed our heads, and we prayed.
We asked God to help us.
Only He could.
Only He had the solution and the answer.

After Kevin tried a few more things under the hood,
he told me to try to start the car one more time.
By faith in God and the prayer we had just prayed,
I did.

It started.
Right away, with no hesitation.
Like it had never had a problem.

Coincidence?
I don't think so.

We rejoiced, praised God, called and cancelled the tow truck,
and we started out driving very slowly.
Each time the temperature gauge began to creep towards the red,
we did what works.

We prayed.

We begged God to get us safe to our motel,
and to keep us going.

He did.

We made it that 40 miles and pulled in to the motel parking lot, safe and sound.
I went in to confirm our reservation and get our room keys,
and after a few moments, Kevin opened the lobby door and asked what our room number would be.
He told me the car was getting really hot,
and he needed to pull it closer to our room.
Imagine that....
God brought us all those miles and didn't let it run dangerously hot....
until we got there....
and we were safe.

God is amazing...
and faithful....
and means more to me than life.

After we checked in, Kevin said,
"I think the first thing we need to do is hit our knees,
and thank God for getting us here."

We did.

The next morning, we prayed again,
got in the car, it started on the first try,
and made it all the way to Firestone
without breaking down.

It took several hours and was quite costly, but they fixed the car.
They assured us it would get us safely back home.
We were able to enjoy the rest of our time,
and at the appointed time, we drove back home without one problem.

On our way home, Kevin and Zach were asleep,
and I happened to be the one driving when.we came across the exit to the town
where we had broken down.
I thought of the time we had spent there....
by the side of the road a few days before,
and do you know I didn't dwell on the misery?

Oh, I could recall the breakdown and all that had happened,
but it wasn't the miserable, hot, frustrated plight we had found ourselves in that day
that caused blinding tears to fill my eyes
making it hard to see as I drove down the interstate.
I cried because the memories of our time there...
were precious to me.

No matter how many trips we make through that area in future years,
I will never pass that exit without thinking of that day.
And I won't remember the breakdown near as much as I will
remember that I was together with the two who mean more to
me than anyone else on earth.

I will remember how patiently Kevin handled the crisis.
I will remember Zachary's sweet attitude even though he was red-faced and stifling hot in the back seat.
I will remember watching Kevin and Zach in the rear view mirror
walking side by side, down the road to find some shade.
I will remember seeing them stop to play with some of Zach's action figures....
making the best of a bad situation by making their own fun.
I will remember calling my dear friend
 and hearing her kind voice offering to drive a long distance to help us get back home.

There is always some sweet hidden in the bitter...
some good nestled among the bad.
There are always blessings mingled with our trials....
smiles to be found midst the tears.

Even though satan's intentions are evil and cruel,
God always has our best interests at heart.
He never allows our trials to be more than we can bear.
(I Corinthians 10:13 KJV)

Bittersweet moments of life....
the bitter meant to make us stronger,
the sweet meant to make us smile.




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