The other morning on the way to church, we saw a very common sight for February in Virginia…squashed skunk.

Apparently, these little fellows become amorous this time of year, and during their nocturnal romances, they are so blinded by love that they don’t pay a lick of attention where they are going and wander right out into the road. Poor things! You’re thinking, “Poor us to smell the after effects!”

Um…I have a confession to make. I really enjoy the smell of a dead skunk. My family is scandalized that I would confess such a thing. They think I should be committed. While they are holding their collective breaths until we pass, I am breathing deep, enjoying the odor.

Let me try to explain why I like it. That pungent smell when you stumble upon a skunk is shocking, but to me that is a good thing. I tend to like the shocking, at least when it is shocking me back to my senses…and that one is surely clearing out my sinuses.

Perhaps that is true in my walk with Christ as well.

I am stubborn. (Keith is in Heaven snorting, “Ya think?”) I want to have my own way, and often thwart God’s good gifts and perfect plans by clinging to my own. Oh, I know mine are imperfect. I will be the first to tell you that. But they are familiar, and so at times I stick to them.

I hope I am getting better at this. I really want to be on board with God 100% – 100% of the time.

But I am Balaam in need of a discerning donkey…and an angel in my path. I ignore the planks and the specks, so long as I am going where I think I need to be going.

But, praise Him, God loves me enough to send the holy 2 x 4 to smack me back into place.

The things that cause me to sit up and take notice…are things that I need to take notice of. The pungency seems to be necessary to get it through my thick skull…and maybe my thick nasal passages.

I have learned a lot of lessons in the past 5 1/2 years without Keith. Some of them have been quite painful. Maybe they needed to be that painful…that pungent…for me to get them. Maybe that would be the only way they would make an impression on me.

I don’t feel like this was God picking on me. This was God preparing me…loving me too much to leave me the way I was, following through on His plans for me and my life…and the life of my family.

This is a lesson that I need to remember as each tough situation comes up in the future, be it financial, relational, or spiritual.

How about you?

Praise our God, all peoples,
let the sound of His praise be heard;
He has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.
For You, God, tested us;
You refined us like silver.
You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.
You let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but You brought us to a place of abundance.

Psalm 66:8-12

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