[received on December 26. Mom recently realized she never posted it to the blog. Whoops.]
Not really. Actually we just had a little abendbrot (evening bread – Germans eat very small dinners) and then we cleaned our apartment this morning. And all the members tease Elder P. for acting like a child and talking all the time at the top of his lungs (true American, he is) and they tease me for not wearing coats and being skinny, but I think I get the better end of that deal. 🙂
It was so awesome to be able to see you guys, and to talk as long as we wanted. It was definitely the best part of Christmas. It was great to see the cousins too, even if we couldn’t think of anything to say. 🙂 I feel like I didn’t get to ask enough questions about you guys. Please let me know what’s going on in your lives, especially you, Aspen and Sawyer! Anyway, thanks for the mp3 player and speakers, and Sawyer, thanks for the jaw harp, I’m really excited about it, and of course, thank you mom for the blanket. Although seriously, I do need help to figure out which side is the top side on it.
Of course I’ll buy a coat and camera, now that I’ve waited as long as I wanted to anyways. 🙂
I’ll just share a quick little story from 1 Kings 19. I have more time to talk about spiritual stuff!
Background: Elijah just did his altar miracle, where he gathered the Priests of Baal together and had them build and altar and pray, etc., and then he soaked the altar in water and it still lit on fire. That must have been a high point for him. Surely he thought he had destroyed any opposition, he had won, Baal was finished. He even killed all the priests of Baal. But no.
Actually, a lot of powerful people wanted him dead now.
So he fled into the wilderness, and in despair, he requested for himself that he might die; and said,
It is enough; now, O Lord,take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
(v. 4). And then he laid down to sleep. Then, an angel came and fed him meal and water. The second time, the angel did the same thing, this time saying a little bit more.
7 And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
He still had to flee Jezebel, but Elijah had nothing left to give. He really had used all of his strength, and it still wasn’t good enough. So the Lord sent him something that may have seemed like a slight. The Lord, the all powerful Lord, sent him in his time of hunger and starvation – a meal cake and water. No grand feast, no meat, nothing that would sustain him for very long at all, really.
But, as he ate, I wonder if a flicker of a memory stirred, of a time and place not too far removed. I wonder if he thought of the barrel of meal, how you had to scrape along the bottom for the last spoonful. I wonder if he recalled the cruse of oil, held upside down, the trail of oil long since turning to a slow drip. I wonder if he remembered the widowed, starving woman, who, in great faith, gave him the last meal cake. I wonder if saw in his mind’s eye, those last drops of oil, those final crumbs, roasting over a fire, as a hungry, miserable, passionate, faithful woman cradling her child in her arms, looked on, watching what would have been their last mouthful of sustenance go to a stranger. I wonder if he saw himself in that barrel, with nothing left to scrape from the bottom, or in the oil cruse, having spent his last drops, or in the woman, having put God before himself every step of the way.
And I hope he then recalled the barrel, never empty, the cruse, running over, and the mother, cared for by a loving and knowing and understanding and empathizing God.
And I know he did, because of what happened next.
8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
I know that God loves us, and Christ knows exactly how we feel. After all, He felt it. He suffered for every pain and every hurt, every sin and every trial, down to the last tear. He did it. He did it for me, and he did it for you. Because he loves us.
And I know that when you have no strength left, when you have given everything else to the Lord and can’t imagine going further, the Lord can and will carry you. In whatever means necessary.
I love you guys. Remember the meaning of Christmas, that it means the perfect, precious Son was given for us, so that we would always, always, have a shoulder to lean on.
Have a great week!