One of the thoughts / worries / doubts (not sure what to call it really) that has dogged me nearly continually since we arrived in France is ‘We don’t have the right tools to get the job done.’
I was trying to do some clean-up in the church yard yesterday and after having had the chain saw tuned up & the blade changed, the guy tested it out & it ran well. Yesterday however, I spent the better part of two hours or more, priming, choking & pulling the cord, but do you think that foolish thing would start? Nuh-huh.
“Yet again,” I thought, “we either don’t have the right tools or what we do have doesn’t work.”
I’ll come back to my chain-saw-not-working-in-the-yard saga, but first, let me bring you up to speed on the rest of the week or two since we last chatted.
We’ve been in a bit of a deep freeze of late – not in North American terms, but it’s been unusually cold here for the past several weeks.
This picture is one that Emmanuel Macron shared on his Instagram account this week. What you’re seeing are fire-pots dispersed throughout vineyards of the Chablis region.
When temps get down to -1 or -2˚C, this can be enough to raise the temperature just enough, near ground level, to avoid the fruiting buds freezing. When temps get down to -4, -5 or -6 however, even this is not enough. Such was the case this week and it’s estimated that upwards of 80% of the 2021 production was decimated.
On its own, that would’ve been a big thing for France. Given its concurrence with the pandemic and resulting economic hardships it’s extra difficult.
Bible School Weekend
In some areas, the cold was enough to also affect the fields of brilliant yellow Oil Seed Rape (known as Canola back home), although this wasn’t the case in several fields in our area or the ones south of Greater Paris.
Despite the ongoing travel restrictions between regions, since I was going for work-related teaching, I was still able to go up to the Bible School last weekend. It’s a quick up & back but as tiring as it is, there is a refreshing as well.
In church on Sunday, the visitor who came for the first time a few weeks ago was back with her eldest son who, despite being typically rather shy and reserved, hit it off well with our young people following the service and his mom had to pull him away after about a 1/2-hour of visiting & chatting. Very cool.
A Project with Timo
Schools are on a 2-week Easter break (even though they fell after Easter) and since, for me the post-secondary classes are all but ended, it means that aside from marking, I have a lot more free time for the moment.
One of the things we’d been waiting for, was free-time to build a desk for Timo (he asked about it after we made a desk & bed for Dominic last year).
We’d picked up the wood & hardware a couple of weeks ago and spent two days this week building the various pieces. We spent Thursday and Friday afternoons stain-waxing it (see below) and, with a little luck, we’ll set it up this afternoon (it was just sitting together in the picture, it wasn’t affixed).
stain-waxing: there’s a lovely product here called antique wax. You paint it on like a coat of stain, let it set for several hours, then you wipe it down with a micro-fibre cloth and you’re done. It’s like an old beeswax finish.
It felt good to get this done together.
A New Dynamic Duo
It was kind of funny, last night, to walk into Soph’s room and see she & Timo watching something together on his laptop. It’s a bit of a rarity.
I suppose, though, they’re getting used to the idea that in a couple of weeks, it’ll be just the two of them at home as Dominic will be off to Spain, Lord willing, for his 2-month work internship.
The Lord provided a place to stay for him and he’ll be welcomed by a young couple from the church in Madrid. They barely speak any English so the pastor (missionaries Ken & Kay Burgess) said that he’ll be sure to improve his Spanish. He’ll be living not far from either his work place or the church. What a comfort, knowing that he’ll be surrounded by a Christian family there.
Dominic had other good news yesterday. He passed his driver’s permit… the theoretical test that will allow him to begin taking drivers’ training. So proud of him as he’s taken all of the initiative himself – talking to friends, finding out how that all works here (of course we have no idea… given that Liz did her driver’s training in Belgium and me in Canada).
The boy is thrilled!
Back to the Chain Saw
So of course I wasn’t just sitting beside the chain saw for 2+ hours… I did other things as well, but each time I came back to that foolish thing, it wouldn’t start.
I generally chalk it up to “me & all things mechanical just don’t get along”. So, assuming that I’d simply flooded the motor, I’d pick up my manual saw & loppers and go to work on other, smaller things that needed trimming and cleaning up. The advantage of loppers and a handsaw is that you don’t have to worry about having improperly mixed the gas and oil (is it 2-stroke or 4 stroke), did I flood the motor, am I putting on the choke the right way (when something doesn’t work, you second guess EVERY-thing, even after having done it numerous other times).
In my frustration and impatience that old discouragement from the enemy came swiftly back to mind: you don’t have what it takes to get the job done. It comes on a natural level, but the enemy’s no slouch… he makes you think that it’s true on the spiritual level as well.
In the moment it’s tough to think otherwise (I can’t tell you how many times something similar has happened), but then, when cooler heads prevail, I remind myself that, at least spiritually, my inabilities become a chance for his glory to be revealed. I will never be able to take any amount of credit if, when and as something substantial develops here in Châtellerault… it will only be attributable to the Lord.
The Lord provides.
The Lord will provide.
I say it as much as a declaration, despite feelings or the doubts that the enemy may sow.
I’ll go back at it another day. I’ll start from scratch. Mix some new gas & eliminate all the potential reasons for yesterday’s non-start, and, if all else fails, I’ll go back to my loppers and handsaw. It may go slower, but it’ll get the job done.
Either way… the Lord provides, and I’m so glad I can rest in that knowledge.
Thanks for visiting.
Whatever you’re being challenged with lately, remember,
The Lord Provides.