Linda Beck column A tough nut to crack
Several months ago, I started to write a story about walnuts.
My brother had picked up a 3-gallon bucket out back by the fence. He was afraid my scooter might turn over if I ran across one by accident. I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to crack them so I started a story, hoping someone would enjoy having some free walnuts.
Then I got sidetracked with two more important stories and the holidays so I never finished that story. After awhile, I began to notice shells on my porch, ramp and driveway. The walnut supply seemed to be dwindling, and I happened to notice a squirrel eating one on my porch.
I first thought about bringing the nuts inside but decided if I was generous enough to allow the squirrels to eat them, then they might stay away from my birdfeeder. Within two weeks, the walnuts were all gone. Could only one little squirrel have devoured all those nuts in that short amount of time? I guess this is the reason I never realized I had a walnut tree, as they must have been “good to the last nut.”
This story started as a “piece of fluff” about squirrels and walnuts, but God reminded me I’m a little of both, and it went from there. Some folks might say that I am a “hard nut to crack.” Just like walnuts, I do have a hard outer shell that has developed over time and shielded me as the “armour of God” (Eph. 6:l0-l8) shields Christians from the Evil One.
I’m told the inner shell of a walnut is also difficult to crack. As I glanced through the scripture hoping to find a good correlation, I came across 2 Cor. 4:l6-l8: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
At times, the outer shell of my body has seemed to be “wasting away” as I suffered the effects of multiple sclerosis. Though the inner shell has suffered also, it has “not lost heart.” The “meat” of the walnut is like my inner being, my soul, my relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That meat is “being renewed day by day” through prayer, the reading of scripture and listening to God’s Word preached by those far more knowledgeable than I am. Mainly the best part of this hard nut (me) has been learning to see God at work in my life as he laid out his plans for me.
Like a squirrel, I have at times scampered here and fro, strayed from the path he has laid out and erred in my ways, but God is always there like the beacon in the song, “The Lighthouse.” He has guided me through many long lonely winter days and I am reminded to “Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you (me).” (PS.116:7). In the absence of space, I encourage you to read all of Psalm ll6.
As I was searching the scriptures, I came across a note I had written to myself after the loss of loved ones and all that the multiple sclerosis attack took from me: “This Psalm is a good example of how I felt in l976, l990, l992-93 and 2002.”
I praise the Lord for being the “light” during those dark times.
Praise our Father God for the “unseen which is eternal.”