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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"You gotta be hardy!"

I love old musicals. One of my favorites is Oklahoma.
Young, beautiful Laurie is in love with her cowboy. But the evil Judd says that if he can't have Laurie, then nobody can. Judd tries to kill the two young lovers, but instead falls on his own knife and dies. Later, in a touching scene between Laurie and her Aunt Eller, Laurie asks why things like this have to happen. What Aunt Eller says has always stuck in my mind. She explains that many hard things happen in a woman's life, but you " jes gotta be hardy. You jes gotta."
This musical came out in the fifties, and was written about an era (early 20th century) when it was assumed that most American farm folk shared a common Christian faith and a reliance on community to get them through life's storms.
Implied in Aunt Eller's admonition, "you jes gotta be hardy" was the assumption that God is near.
But if God is not near, then "you jes gotta be hardy" means nothing.
Why be hardy? What will it get me? Why is it important that I be hardy? Will it gain me one more day on earth? What good is struggling to stay alive is there's no reason to be alive?
That's like people who say, "just keep the faith."
Faith in what? Faith in faith?
Without an object in which or in Whom we place our faith, faith is ridiculous. And just being hardy is no better than not being hardy. What does it matter? Without God, nothing matters. There's no reason for my life, your life, and everything that happens is merely chance.

But there is a reason to be hardy. Because there is a God. He exists. He gave you life. He loves you. You matter to Him. He wants to have an everlasting relationship with you.

Psalms 139:15 and 16 says: "My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be."

That's why Aunt Eller's words ring so true for me:
"You jes gotta be hardy. You jes gotta."

1 comment:

  1. A thought-provoking post, Dena. And lovely photos.