Another chance

My mom went for chemo at the National Hospital in Bloemfontein in 2013. On the first day, they would do all the bloodwork and once satisfied, she would then receive her treatment on the second day. If all went well, she then got to rest for a few weeks after.

It was on one of these first days that I am tricked and her handbag with three rings in it, gets stolen. Her engagement ring, her wedding band, and a ring my father gave her many years later.

The guilt eats at me, and for years I tried not to think about it.

She was so sad, and to be honest – I didn’t really understand.

I missed it.

Until I lost my own three rings at the end of last year.

It is earthly gains and those of you that know me personally also know that I have a permanent wedding band on my ring finger.

And yet … I was so sad.

On Friday afternoon when the week’s rush had slowed down a bit, I finally get around to sorting out my office for a change (oh, the embarrassment when our pastor wanted to have a quick look in there the previous night!).

In my office I keep a box with things of my mom and things of my dad. In between decluttering, I pull the box close and read through the notes and look at the things that make me miss them more.

My mom’s simple jewellery box is also in there and for the first time I lifted the top velvet layer to see what was underneath …

A golden wedding band, and the ring my father gave her many years later.

In the end, it was only the engagement ring that was stolen.

For nine years I had missed that.

This year I’ve decided to take my quiet time at a slower pace too, scared that I would miss something.

And now I’m so glad I did …

I’m in Matthew and in chapter 4 of The Message translation it says:

“Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the test. The Devil was ready to give it.  Jesus prepared for the test by fasting forty days and forty nights.”

For the longest time I thought that His time of hunger and thirst in the wild was part of the test.

It wasn’t.

It was merely the preparation for the test that was to come.

I missed that.

The Spirit did not send Him to the test, the Spirit took Him there.

He was not alone.

I missed that.

The enemy was ready with the test, but the timing of the test was not his to decide.

Only when the preparation was completed could he commence his test.

I missed that.

I now spend more time with less verses and this one I did not miss:

“The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels!

Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.”

Matt 4:11 The Message

The worst seasons in our lives are simply preparation for that moment that we would be asked to choose.

(These times of trial reappear often since the Lord probably knows His students are slow learners.)

Another trying season means that another chance to choose awaits.

May I never miss it again.

Your inspiration for the week: Unconditional

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