We don’t have a snow-blower.

My husband says, “Why would we have a snow-blower, when we have three healthy kids who need to learn to work?” So while other kids are inside sipping hot chocolate to get out of the cold, my husband is sending our kids out.

Once, when Lindsay was about seven, she came in from shoveling snow, with a burst of enthusiasm. She said, “Mom! There’s this snowplow on our street right now, and it’s going to all of the driveways, and shoveling the snow really fast! It went to the Bates, the Peddies, the Tinsleys… I’m pretty sure it’s coming to ours, next!”

I said, “Honey, I’m pretty sure it’s not.”

Poor Lindsay had to trudge back out there in the snow. Sure enough–the snow plow truck went zooming right past our driveway, and she was left with her shovel and a heap of snow.

She couldn’t understand why her Daddy likes the snowplow to skip our driveway. Why would he think it was good for her to shovel?

Many times, we feel like Lindsay, don’t we? It’s like God has skipped over our driveway when he was passing out relief and advantages. Everyone else gets to go on vacation. Everyone else has healthy, happy kids. Everyone else has a husband who provides for them.

But here’s the thing about God. He doesn’t parent us the same way He parents everyone else. There is no standard issue. Sometimes he unloads heaps of blessings; other times He brings difficulties and hardship. He alone knows what is good for us and what will bring give us the advantage He wants us to have. Ease and comfort often don’t build endurance or character; long term challenges do.

Does it feel like everyone else is inside sipping hot chocolate while the snow plow paves away all of their problems? Does it feel like you’re the only one buried under a heap of burdens? Do you wonder why he placed that heap there in the first place?

Dear friend, God intends good for you; not harm. He has not skipped or forgotten you. He loves you and wants to give you the endurance to stand firm, no matter what blows your way.

If you put your faith in Him, He’ll give you the power to move mountains–maybe one shovel-full at a time.

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