Saturday was a typical 90-degree summer day in the South, which meant the heat was accompanied by extreme humidity, so simply walking outside felt like I had been bathed in honey. And I had to mow the lawn… again. Ugh!
Cutting grass is a task I do not particularly enjoy. In fact, I could honestly say I’d rather get a series of rabies shots than have to plow back and forth across the yard for two hours in a miserable sauna, just to repeat the same laborious chore again the next weekend. I try to keep myself motivated by hoping I’ll shed a few pounds in the process, but I usually just grumble.
As I began to push my way up a hill on yet another thick, sweltering day, I began to complain, “Lord, please help me. I’m hot. I’m itchy. I’m trying to rejoice and be thankful in all things but quite honestly I hate this.”
Then, BOOM! The Holy Spirit blindsided me with a very vivid flashback. In my mind I was suddenly transported back to a moment twenty years ago in my life. There I was—24 years old and 6 months pregnant—on a similar hot summer day, as I tried to figure out how to mow my overgrown lawn.
At that time I lived in a tiny, run-down shack of a house. I was not married. I was a rebellious wild child whose life had completely spiraled out of control. God was pursuing me, my parents were praying for me, and I was in the process of breaking, but I had not quite surrendered yet, because I fought to remain self-sufficient.
My empty shell of a home had no refrigerator, no stove, no air-conditioning, and certainly no cable TV. I was made even poorer by the fact my doctor had instructed me not to continue my job cleaning hotel rooms or I would jeopardize the baby. I was alone, totally broke, and scared to death. God wanted my attention but I was strong-willed to boot.
As I stood alone in my yard, looking over my pregnant belly into the thick weeds that surrounded my legs, an angry man approached me. In a firm and condescending tone he said my neighbors were all complaining about my knee-high jungle and if I didn’t mow immediately I would be fined and my landlord would be notified and I’d be asked to move out.
So then I had a real problem. I had no lawnmower, no money to hire someone to help, and I was very pregnant. So, I began a sheepish appeal to God under my breath and said, “Lord, if you really do care about me, then I could use your help.”