I stood there, crushing cloves of garlic, my hand heavy on the cloves in order to crush through their outer layer.
The outer layers crunched and cracked under the weight of my hand.
In those places where the dried layers cracked, I was able to take my fingers and begin to peel away the layers hiding the choice part of the garlic which I desired.
The smell of garlic is undeniable.
It permeated the air as the layers cracked away and reminded me of another, different, smell from earlier in the day.
It was the smell of frustration.
It was cracked open by the hands of a two year-old, who meticulously pulled off, yet again, the keys from our laptop computer.
It was picked and pulled apart all the more when those same hands dumped an entire container of fish food in our fish tank.
It was smelt strong when the baby threw up on the carpet moments after the tank was cleaned.
It was pressed upon hard at the kitchen table during our arithmetic lesson as five papers, from five separate lessons, were being waved in my view while the baby grunted for another bite of food.
Slowly, but surely, frustration,
Permeated the air today.
And my hope for order,
And for being the calm mother that goes with the flow,
Any hope based on me,
And only hope in God remained.
That was my day.
And now it was night.
The children were fast asleep,
And late in the evening I stood,
Could it be, that when we feel we are being crushed, we are not actually being crushed at all? Could it be that God is simply seeking, and allowing life to reveal, the part of us that matters most?”
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
New Living Translation (NLT)
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.