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The Daly Planet

Whispers from Heaven

A Lesson Learned in the Shade
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By Carol Einarsson | 06/13/2009
Category: Whispers from Heaven

Why do I worry? I think I've written this same column with a different example at least a hundred times. First I talk about some amount of worry, then I talk about how it was resolved, and then I cite a Scripture reference that I should have remembered in the first place, and try to share my experience of having worried for nothing, in order to help others avoid the same pitfall.
So this time, I'd been stressing lately about an awning. I know that may seem like a silly thing to stress over, but when you get a notice from the city that you're in violation and they've enclosed an informational pamphlet educating you about how illegal it is to enter a home that's been stickered by the city, it can kinda make you nervous. Add to that my misunderstanding that I'd need a building permit at the cost of $500, and I was just a wee bit over the top in the anxiety department.
This awning that I had been stressing about was apparently not up to code.  How it became "out" of code, I don't know, presuming it was ever "in" code at the time it was built. Evidently the difference was between a 2x4 and a 2x6. Thankfully they didn't slap me with a $200,000 fine for those two inches or kick me out of my house for 12 weekends, so I consider myself quite fortunate.
But for the better part of two months, I've been stressing over this awning and the scary letter from the city. I'd tried calling the code man, but he was on vacation. Today I finally reached him and while I was expecting someone with as much mercy as the Soup Nazi, it turned out that my worry had been for naught (yet again).
My new friend the code man gave me an extension, and like one of those bulky guys in the strongest man competitions dropping a quarter-ton weight, I felt immediate relief. At that moment when my first words were "Praise God!" I realized that here I was thanking the Lord for having delivered me from the curse of the bad-awning, but again I had failed to trust Him with my awning woes two months ago when I allowed the stress to begin. What is wrong with me that this lesson smacks me upside the head and frees my heart of worry to this extent, and yet I'm still able to forget that lesson when the next trial comes my way?
Matthew 6:25 and onward is what I read over and again when this lesson revisits me, but this time I wondered what the Bible had to say about my awning, and as you might expect, I found nary a mention of any Biblical-era awnings. How about "shade"? Nope. But then I found it... I found the Scripture that spoke of my awning and the stress I've had about it, and it was in a most familiar place, Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me." Yes, the valley of the shadow of death has been covered in my life the last two months by an aluminum awning with too-small beams supporting it. But all the while, God was with me. I didn't need to feel alone in the shadow. Now instead of feeling the fear, I'm looking forward to the day we'll have the awning removed and the light from above will bathe the valley in sunshine.
Maybe He'll even recycle the beams to build a table before me in the presence of my enemies.



06/14/2009 1:20 am (1)
Glad this worked out for ya.

Also glad that we have a God that reminds us of things and gives us the freedom to learn them- even if we do need more than a few times to learn them. :)
06/14/2009 2:47 am (2)

@Carol and eddo:
God gave me you two, much heartfelt thanks!

And we are like snails in the sand, or ants in the hillside, just doing our God-sent purpose :) Realizing those signs that God gives to us, and bless his mighty Father Heart!
I thought of you the other day Dear Carol, when the DH and the youngest grandson and I visited the annual eco nature walk in our area.
You are so pure and so natural.

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