Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: PICNIC - deadline 7-12-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/05/12)
TITLE: As Long As We Have the Son
By Gail Burks
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Over the years, our city has endured extreme cold, -30 degrees F, minus wind chill, as well as extreme heat, like yesterday. The reality of living in the Midwest. At least, we haven't had any earthquakes, hurricanes, or wildfires, all of which appear to grace our beautiful United States of America.
Did I mention that yesterday was Independence Day? What an opportunity to express, as a Christian, a love for our country and have fun at the same time.
We packed the following in two small coolers: Leftover fried chicken, grapes, watermelon pieces, cole slaw, chips, and bottles of water. Our son was in charge of one cooler; my husband the other. Our daughter found a red plaid cloth to lay out on the grass, while I had all the miscellaneous items in my tote bag (i.e. sunscreen, lotion, plastic cutlery, napkins, sanitizer, gum, cell phone, etc.). Stuff that mothers tend to never leave home without.
As we rode the Metra Train downtown we noticed how many people were actually on the train with us. Probably, not that surprising since the train was definitely air-conditioned, feeling great in the sweltering heat.
“Wow, it's pretty crowded, considering how hot it is outside,” our 17-year old son remarked, as he and his 15-year old sister took the seat in front of my husband and me.
“I guess other people had the same idea, too,” my husband nodded, in agreement.
My husband and I sat silently reading the daily newspaper, as the train moved briskly down the tracks. I began to think of how blessed we are as a family. Surely things had not been the greatest since my husband was laid off two years ago, but we decided early on not to let the enemy discourage us.
The word of God tells us that we have the Holy Spirit living inside us; and that He will teach us and guide us into all truth. Therefore, the truth is that we are prosperous and in good health, and our soul prospers. The truth is, we are the head only and not the tail, above and never beneath.
What a comfort to know that we may not have everything, but we definitely have something special. And, that something is God's word to stand on.
As we made it to Millenium Station, located in the downtown area, we disembarked from the train, and immediately felt the stifling heat.
“Are you guys okay?” asked my husband as we slowly walked toward the park.
“Yes, we're fine....I hope we find a good spot,” said my daughter excitedly, briskly walking ahead with her brother.
“That's why we pray in all that we do. Believe me, God will make a way,” as I wiped the perspiration from my forehead.
Almost immediately, my husband exclaimed, “Oh, look! The grassy area by the tree, close to the fountain. And you can feel some of the spray in the air.”
The kids raced over to the spot to claim it as their own. We set up camp....and began unpacking. We had so much fun. Taking pictures, praying, eating, watching the scenery, telling jokes and stories. What memories. Our children would remember this day for a long time.
Even though we couldn't go 'out of town' on vacation, this truly felt like we were tourists in our own land.
It is amazing how God has a way of encouraging us in small and unique ways. As we left the park, we felt lighter, freer. Of course, all the food and water was gone, however, the spiritual nourishment strengthened us for the return journey.
I thought, surely we can endure the sun, as long as we have the Son.
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