The storm ended hours ago. The sun has actually come out the past two days and melted some snow (not much, however, since the temperatures have remained relatively low).
I still make treks out to the driveway to do my due diligence. Three feet of snow does not disappear easily. My next-door neighbor figured out that each of us had over 2000 cubic feet of snow on our drives. I reminded him that those figures do not include any drifting. If I were a mathematician, I would calculate the remainder. Alas, I have neither the skill nor the energy to do so.
“I shoveled for a couple more hours this morning.”
Suffice it to say, we’ve moved a lot of snow around here the past few days (and I’m not finished yet). On top of all that, the snowplows have not made a foray into our neighborhood since the storm subsided. At last report, everyone had run out of gasoline. As soon as they roll by, I’ll have a lot of heavy lifting to do at the end of my driveway. You know the drill.
I shoveled for a couple more hours this morning. I continued to do so until my body cried out against any more manual labor. I was literally getting sick.
I came into the house and drew a hot bath (haven’t taken one of those in years). I poured in some Epsom salts, turned on the jets, and soaked for a long time. Much to my surprise, I actually felt better when I was done. Still, it was a major project trying to crawl out of that tub.
Because of the pain, soreness, hard work, and weariness, I’ve felt sorry for myself a lot the past few days. But as I laid in that spa, I began to think about people who have it a lot worse than me—people who don’t get the relief I felt in the tub today.
For some reason, I thought of the people Saddam Hussein tortured and killed. I remembered the ones he had fed into a plastic chipper—feet first. What an awful way to die. Then I realized how good I have it…snowy driveway and all.
Sometimes it’s hard to count our blessings.
When things are tough, it can become hard to count our blessings. We can’t get past our immediate circumstances far enough to see our good fortune.
Once, the apostle Paul listed a whole slew of things he had to face. He mentioned being flogged, imprisoned, shipwrecked, hungry and thirsty, as well as various other dangers. At the end of the long list, he gave thanks for his weaknesses and trials because they made him strong in the Lord.
I have to admit, I never thought about becoming strong in the Lord while I was out shoveling all that snow. Having gotten away from it for a few hours, though, I have to agree with Paul. Somehow, the Lord is going to strengthen me in my difficulties and weaknesses. At least, that’s what I’m counting on.