Monday, March 6, 2017

Bad Things Job 14:14 (Finale)



Have you been looking within your storm and trying to find some positives or blessings in it? Now, here are the blessings from my house fire, some of which I realized then and others years later.

1.     There was no loss of life in the fire. My babies had been at school and my husband had been at work and I had been in my classroom teaching.
2.     My mother, bless her heart, had been the only one at home at the time of the fire and she had the tip end of one of her plaits burned off and that is all. When I got to my house that day, she was standing across the road from the blazing house along with some of the others neighbors looking dazed as if she could not believe that this had happened. She had not been cooking anything but the fire had already burned her house to the ground and was well on its ways to devouring mine. But she was okay! I got to have my momma for 17 more blessed years. When she did die, I realized what the Lord had not allowed the fire to take from me that April 16th day. (That is a narrative for another day, but suffice it to say that I did not know that anything could hurt that badly.)
3.     I had a cat that I had kept in the house and it got some scorched paws and had to spend a couple of days at the vet but it was okay too. It lived to a ripe old life after the fire.
4.     I vowed to use my china if I ever got any more and not have it sitting up in the china cabinet waiting for some special occasion.
5.     All my kid’s pictures that I had cried so over, were delivered to me by various family members and friends that I had given copies of them to.
6.     We are insurance poor, nowadays.
7.     Have had several riding mowers since then.
8.     The kid's schools supplied them with new bikes and clothes.
9.     My school took care of my clothes, and the kitchen and got me that precious broom that I had cried so over. As a matter of fact, I received three brooms. (tee hee)
10.  Church members, Black and White (a lesson in that for us today), supplied everything else. And I do mean everything else. It was nothing for someone to walk up to me and ask what else I needed or for them to shake my hand and leave it graced with a 100 dollar bill. I still have a mental picture of three church members bringing a brand new couch and arm chair into my house. I never knew that people could care that much. That outpouring of love across racial barriers put a smile on my face. I think that it was God's way of sending me a care package and I have never forgotten the feeling of receiving the gift. I also have never forgotten that people will look at you to see how you handle your adverse situation and that you might just bless somebody for a storm that is headed their way by your reaction to your own storm.
11.  We stayed with Paul’s aunt and uncle for two nights after the fire and then moved to a little yellow house on a hill in the heart of Martin. It even had a washing machine in it, not as nice as the one that I had, but never-the-less, a washing machine.
12.  My mother was given her own apartment, for which she was very thankful.
13.  It taught me that people will look at you to see how you handle a situation in your “stress times.” Remember that I told you about the lady that came to me with a compliment because of how my faith stayed strong during the time of my fire, you know losing so much and no insurance to boot. She thought that it was outstanding that I could have a smile on my face during that time. She told me that she wished that she had a faith that strong. I thanked her and kept moving. Well, about seven to eight months later, this same lady was diagnosed with stage four cancer. She lived less than a year after her diagnosis. But she told me something that I will remember as long as the Lord allows my thought processes to flow, “Alma, come here a minute, I want to talk to you. I just wanted to tell you, Alma, that I admire you. Yes, I know that shocks you, but I do. This is why I admire you. Back in the spring when your house burned, you kept a smile on your face. And now, I can have that same strong faith that you displayed. That is how I am making it through this cancer and the ravages it has put on my life and on my body. So Alma, I just wanted to say, ‘Thank you.’” Folks, I have never forgotten that lesson that she taught me that day even though she did not realize that she taught me one. And that is why you will often hear me say, “Be a blessing to someone else in their storm even though you are going through storms of your own."
14.  Several years after my house fire, one of the teachers at my new school ( out of Special Education and given a regular classroom by now) lost her home to a fire. Since the school where I was moved to was the one that had bought new clothes for my son and his new bike, they knew that I had suffered a fire two years back. Therefore, they came to me with a request that I list some of the things that would be needed in a fire. I listed what I thought was needed, but I reiterated, again and again, the need to go to her when they went to her house with a broom. Most of them scoffed at the idea and would not do it. They took all kinds of things, big and little. When they got to her she was overwhelmed with thanks and burst out crying saying, guess what? You got it, “But I don’t even have a broom straw!” They sent some of the men pronto, to get that broom and a mop and a dustpan, etc. They all said, “She said to get a broom,” meaning me. Now, here is the point that I wanted to make with the broom scenario. If I had never had a house fire, I would not have known the absolute lostness and the sense of floundering that you feel with a house fire and the necessity of bringing a broom to the victim of the fire. That fire taught me how to be empathetic in a way that I would not have been able to be had I not suffered a house fire of my own.
15.  Taught me that “All things work together for good for those that love the Lord” (Rom. 8:28). Though the fire was not comfortable or an enjoyable experience for me, it taught me to lean on the Lord in a way that I never had. I had always been close to the Lord and knew it, or so I thought, but this fire taught me a level of dependence on that I had never known. And it taught me a vulnerability that I had not had since I had become an adult.

In short, my trials, troubles, mountains, hills, and valleys that I have had in my life blessed me to find my Father and to see Him as my God, my Savior, and my Friend, I learned how to lean on Him; trust Him; cherish Him; and praise Him like I never had before. I learned to show the world the love that I have for Him and to show that I am not serving Him because of the things that He has given me; that I serve Somebody bigger than things.

So, in conclusion to this blog, I say stay the course with Him because though you don’t know what the future holds, you know Who holds the future. My Gran Gran had her way of saying that He is faithful by saying, “I declare He will make it alright!”  But I have grown into my own way of talking about His faithfulness and I say, “Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, for the Lord will make a way somehow because He takes care of His own.”

Doing What I Can, While I Can Because I Care,

Alma L. Stepping On Jones

That outpouring of love across racial barriers put a smile on my face. I think that it was God's way of sending me a care package and I have never forgotten the feeling of receiving the gift. I also have never forgotten that people will look at you to see how you handle your adverse situation and that you might just bless somebody for a storm that is headed their way by your reaction to your own storm.   “Be a blessing to someone else in their storm even though you are going through storms of your own."


Mark Your Storm in Green

I have marked the above passage in green
To remind you that as long as grass grows 
Green from season to season 
That God is in control and that there is a reason
For the turmoil in your life because He plans
Things out to, in a simultaneous way
Benefit you and some other woman or man.

Just like a teacher crafts a lesson for her students
With a primary objective in mind
She always remembers other concepts 
That have not been mastered by the kids yet
And builds, within the lesson, supplementary 
Exercises to strengthen any remaining weaknesses 
That the lesson might find.

That being said, you know that the Lord
Is the Master Teacher, for sure
So,  realize that anything that He has you go through
Is according to His masterful plan to
Bless and effect some needed cure.
                     -Alma L. Jones  


Doing What I Can, While I Can Because I Care,
Alma L. Stepping On Jones

Blog P.S. - Remember this, precious one, "God is in control and that there is a reason..."
         
Post a Comment