I can’t recall how old I was, but the memory is vivid.
My parents were taking us to a party at a home we’d never been before.
The people hosting were known to my parents, but not to me or my younger sister.
I had secret hopes of playing outdoors with other children, but my thoughts were diverted away from these plans after we got out of the car.
“What is that smell?”
The odor grew stronger we walked down the sidewalk.
We turned into the path to the door and I was puzzled by the stuff which covered the lawn.
Where every other house had green turf, this had a lumpy brown stuff.
My parents cautioned us not to mention the smell, hold our noses, or to make faces as we waited for someone to respond to the doorbell.
The nice lady who answered immediately apologized for the smell with an explanation.
“Well, I don’t know how we managed it, but somehow my husband and I miscommunicated and he ordered a truck load of cow manure to cover the yard today. I’d sent out the invitations for this weeks ago and couldn’t change it.”
She laughed and ushered us inside.
My parents assured her they didn’t mind at all.
The party wasn’t ruined, it was lovely and we left having enjoyed our time.
(And although I didn’t get to play outside nor were there other children our ages, the grownups included us in their game.)
Funny how perspective changes one’s outlook, even upon a childhood memory.
I can imagine, now, how trying that must have been for the hostess.
(Talk about a stinky situation!)
But I’m thankful she didn’t allow the manure in their yard to hinder her from opening her home to others and celebrating.
I’m also impressed that she didn’t, as far as I was aware, hold a grudge against her husband for ordering a load of manure the day of her party.
Which has brought me to a Biblical truth.
In life we can and will experience moments where someone has dumped a load of manure on us.
I’ve found my faith often grows best when I’m wading through some stinky situations.
Times I’m working hard to follow Christ’s example are actually exactly what draws me closer to my Heavenly Father.
Times God uses, because He knows what will grow my faith, strengthen my walk, and cause blooms of praise to burst forth.
Not unlike how a plant grows and produces more after being fertilized.
Although manure isn’t pleasant, God can and will use it.
My responsibility is to be humble.
Not hold a grudge.
And continue to open my heart and life to those the Lord brings.
Romans 8:28 NKJV — And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word and the reminder that You work all things together for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purposes. Lord, thank You for reminding me of this moment in my childhood which I haven’t thought of in many years. Thank You for the blessings I can see in my garden when I apply manure and the encouragement I can have knowing that the stinky stuff of life is an opportunity to grow my faith and blossom in praise and thanksgiving. Lord, my life is Yours. I am Your servant and I trust You with whatever the future holds, for I know You are with me and that is enough. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.