Sunday, September 4, 2011

Those busy little ants...

With bleary eyes each morning, I've poured my coffee and raised the lid to my sugar bowl to get a teaspoon of sugar. You'd think after all these years of living in Uganda, I'd remember and get over the shock of seeing all those creepy little black ants, scurrying around in my sugar. Actually, they're not so little. Those are big black ants that share my sugar. Those little guys are quite faithful. Over the years, I have attempted to discourage them by moving the sugar bowl to different places in the kitchen. But after my sugar bowl has rested in its new home for a few days, I have discovered one or two ants. And one or two ants turn into five, and then ten after a few more days. Keith has even tried to remember to put my sugar bowl into a ziplock bag at night. It worked for a few mornings... Then one day I took the bowl out of the bag and found a few ants still faithfully gathering sugar. I laughed as I asked Keith if he had checked the bowl before putting it in the ziplock! They are persistent, and little do they know there is a sugar crisis in Uganda right now. Do they know that the sugar is precious?
I have asked God to show me what I can learn from these creatures, rather then just be annoyed at their presence in my kitchen. I think the big thing is that I can learn from God in any situation, if I'm willing to ask. It's so easy for me to grow weary, annoyed, frustrated, and loose patience with my present circumstances, which can be MUCH greater then just ants in my sugar bowl! Faithfulness, thankfulness, persistence, and seeking after that which is precious, just like my sugar is, is worthy of my time and energy. Thankfulness has been my biggest lesson these days, and this isn't a lesson easily pounded into my heart. When I am looking for things to lift my thanks to God, His joy fills my heart. Wow, what a concept! This has been a missing piece of the puzzle within me for so long! How many things have my eyes actually passed over because I didn't see, couldn't see what there was to be thankful for? How many opportunities have I missed to engage with people or my precious children, because I was too focused on my circumstances rather then rejoice in the simple things around me? Oh, the sheer joy that comes from our Daddy God after having my eyes opened to all the good gifts He's given me! Like my daughter's soft face, kissably sweet, a friend's warm embrace, a bird's song, sung just for his Creator, lightening on a morning horizon, Elisha's heart, the popping of roasting peanuts, and God's peace in a tumultuous situation. This simple things can be missed each day, or they can be noticed, my heart turned in warm thankfulness to God. He is so good.
Then those black ants, their faithfulness and enjoyment of a few grains of my sugar, become something I sit back and think about rather then gripe about. His Word is precious and contains truths that transforms!!
" So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7