Lessons From My Least Favorite Vermin
By Carlos Santiago
We have a squirrel feeder. At least that is what we have come to call our apple tree. Each year we watch in anticipation as hundreds of beautiful flowers bloom, each representing an apple that we never get to taste.
Without fail, the tree is stripped bare by an army of squirrels before the apples ever fully ripen. So even though I have my very own highly productive apple tree, each year I find myself picking apples from the local farm.
I’m annoyed that I have to pay for something I should be able to get for free, but I can’t help but be a little awestruck by God’s design. To my knowledge, the squirrels have never (yet?) hacked into my wireless network in order to access the latest forecast, nor do they have a calendar hanging somewhere on a tree.
The sun is bright. The trees are green. The air is sweltering.
Yet they know that summer won’t last forever. They know their survival rests on how well they prepare for the long dark nights of winter.
I can learn a thing or two from these sworn enemies: They prep for hard times during the good times.
In our nearly two decades of marriage, my wife and I have learned that life is made up of seasons, and seasons change. We’ve experienced it all—sickness and health, richer and poorer, better and worse.
And there is a direct correlation between how well we manage the hard times and how many preparations we made during the good.
So how do I prepare?
I start by loving my wife the way Christ loves me—extravagantly. By serving her, dating her, and giving her my full attention, I can store up a deep well of goodwill.
And hopefully, like a squirrel’s nut hoard, it will sustain us the next time the seasons change.
The good stuff: Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)
Action points: Think back to when you first started dating. Make a list of the creative ways that you have shown love to your spouse. Pick one way each day for the next week.
Visit the FamilyLife® Website