God of the Oatmeal Days
by Candy Tolbert, National Girls Ministries Director
On cold winter mornings I enjoy a hot bowl of oatmeal smothered in brown sugar topped off with a hint of real cream. Bananas and raisins make it a real taste treat! Maybe it's because a steaming bowl of my concoction brings back fond memories of my childhood, or maybe it's just because it hits the spot and warms me from the inside out. Actually, when you think about it - oatmeal is bland and colorless, a very ordinary food.
Consider this: In our lives it is not always the red-flag crisis days that are the hardest to take. It's the oatmeal days ... the ordinary, zero days of little or no consequence, the ho-hum days filled with nothing of particular interest. Colorless, uninteresting, unspectacular, and unfun days everyone deals with. Days when our "fantastic" has run out.
We cope. We wind our way through the tangle of tedious activity and sandpaper people scattered through our days and get no applause, because coping is expected.
Not so during the red-flag crisis time. People tend to rally behind us with loving support. We're lifted above the crisis and enabled beyond human companionship at times.
On "oatmeal days" after a crisis has peaked, it may seem as if friends have forsaken us, as if God doesn't care. But the reality will be that life has merely pushed us and our friends one step farther in the Christian growth walk.
David tells us repeatedly in Psalms that joy comes from the Lord. But if we seek joy in and of itself we miss the point. Joy is not dependent upon lack of difficulty or adversity in my life. Joy comes in the midst of my days - extraordinary or not - whatever the circumstance. Peace of mind follows as I practice God's presence in my life.
The God of the crisis times is the God of the oatmeal days too. Because He said He is, because He keeps His promises - always. Because we can't get along without Him, and because we wouldn't want to if we could!
"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy" (Psalms 94:19, NIV)