“Living by faith is not easy, but it is essential. It is the only weapon for adversity that cannot fail.” Dorothy Kelley Patterson
One of Jim’s and my favorite country songs is Phil Vassar‘s ‘Just Another Day in Paradise.’ In this song, Phil talks about all the things that go wrong at home but to just smile, laugh, love one another and keep moving forward. This summer has been ‘another day in paradise’ for the Hawkins’ home. Our summer began with saying good-bye to a loved one, then a couple of trips out-of-town as we shared with my dad closing one chapter in his life to begin a new one. Dad retired from 47 years of ministry. Along with saying good-bye to a friend, retirement events, Jim and I are also planning our son’s wedding that will take place in a few weeks out-of-town.
In the midst of all that is going on, Jim and I took our annual Fourth of July trip to Lake Junaluska to spend time with the family. Yet, before we were to head out, we discover we needed a new roof and the ice machine in the fridge had quit working. As Jim comes in from talking with the roofing people and I show him the non-existence of ice in the bucket, we simply smiled at one another and closed the door. Onward and forward was our motto. “Let’s just get out-of-town, rest and take care of this when we get home.” We both agreed worse things could happen and have happened. Jim and I were determined not to get upset.
As we were relaxing in the mountains with family, my dad receives a call that his brother is in critical condition. Again, “‘another day in paradise‘ just took place. My dad began to try to figure out how to get to Michigan, get Mom home, us back to Kentucky and be at our place for a bridal shower this weekend. Again, we all smile. Mom and Dad pack up go home to Georgia to regroup, pack and head for Michigan. Unfortunately, my uncle does not make it through the weekend. He had left his earthly home for the eternal paradise that we are promised.
Jim and I pack up the car, close the cottage and head for home. We arrive home safe and sound only to be greeted by extreme heat and humidity! Again, we smile, go inside the house turn on the air, and without thinking go to make a cold drink. Then, we open the freezer only to remember we had no ice and a broken ice machine. It was just ‘another day in paradise.’
Yesterday, Jim and I begin our week with a smile and with wonder of what will happen next. Our score pad of Murphy’s Law was on a roll. We asked God to protect us, provide for our needs and to bless our home. Then, today ‘just another day in paradise’ happens again!
It is the hottest day of the summer. Jim and I acknowledge that we needed to get a couple of oscillating fans for the house to help take some of the strain off the air conditioner. Along with fans, there were a couple of other items I needed to get for the home front. So, early this morning to avoid the heat of the day, I am off to Wal-Mart to get what is needed. Successfully, in an amazing short amount of time I have my items, checked out, loaded in the car and headed for home. As I leave the drive of Wal-Mart, there are utility trucks working in the area and positioned just so that I had to go around them. “No problem!” I say to myself as I went around them and over to the turn lane I needed to be in. The traffic light was red. As I waited for the light to turn green, I hear a crunch! Yep! The utility truck decided to move. When moving the truck, the driver did not see me and backed right into me.
“Great!” I say to myself as I get my registration, insurance and license out for the police. I get out of the car and ask if they knew they had hit me. I wanted to get angry but I knew that becoming angry and irate would not accomplish a thing. As we waited for a half hour for police and Jim to show up, the workmen and myself began to melt from the heat. Realizing that a voice within had told me to pick up some popsicles before leaving the store, I got out the purchased popsicles and began to share. There wasn’t anything else to do while waiting but I knew I could smile, offering a popsicle and realize again it is ‘just another day in paradise.’
Yes, I now have to take my car in for estimates. Then, find a rental as my car is repaired. Frustrating as it all is and how much I just want to sit down and cry “why God?!”, I know that I must smile, move forward and know I am being molded more into my Father’s image. This afternoon, I open my bible to Romans 5:3-4. As I read this scripture, I was once again reminded that it is through tribulations that I must persevere. It is through perseverance that one day I will be victorious and will be with my Heavenly Father. It will be not ‘just another day in paradise’but it will be forever paradise!
‘And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ Romans 5:3-4
Have you had days where you want to throw your hands up and give up?! Or, you just want to yell at God? When faced with tribulation, smile and know it is ‘just another day in paradise’ getting you ready for the ultimate paradise!