Confidence or Skunks?

In Coffee and in Life.

Sunday 26 February 2023

One of the Good Things About Winter,

Is That There Are

No Skunk Smells About.

Proverbs 3:26

for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

John 17:15

I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.

Words of Grace For Today

I’m not sure if the Devil is like a skunk, but lately I’m sure the Devil uses skunks and skunk smells to invade otherwise good living, to break down our confidence in God’s goodness carrying the day, carrying us through what ever comes our way. See lately I’ve had to ask what is it about that skunk smell anyway? It keeps invading life, even parts that I thought were wonderful, essentials and extras, necessities and luxuries … and safe.

It goes like this:

I got a bag of coffee from the food bank the other week that smelled like skunk. The can I was dipping my morning coffee from finally ran out. I’ve cut back to one scoop per 3/4 of a one litre coffee press. Yeah, I know, others call them French Presses, but they press coffee, so that’s how I think of them. The coffee presses don’t need electricity, just boiling hot water and the wood stove, ‘the monster’ (because it eats so much wood to keep the shelter inside those insulated tarps warm), and the presses only cost $10 from Ikea. Well they used to anyway before inflation. I bought one to start with 8 years ago, and when I broke my first one, I bought two more. When I broke the first one of those I bought a replacement, and a spare replacement. Then I broke another and could not find but one replacement, since I had to borrow a sea-can 12 km away to store stuff in. That was before I bought a junk camper for $150, and a second for $150 and spent about that much to get an old truck camper all to store stuff in. The first one I fixed up to usable for 3 season camping, and I store stuff in it besides use it now for it seems the once a year trip to the mountains.

But I’m getting away from the skunk smell just a tad. Where was I? Yes, the coffee can of Costco dark roast that I’ve gotten so used to, and my cutting back to save money on coffee, and to help me sleep better. Cutting my coffee intake in half, all for breakfast, actually cut my waking up at night in half as well. Makes one wonder if I cut our all coffee, just gave up coffee all together, if I’d sleep through the night. But then I’d not wake up to notice it getting cold and be ready (sometimes not so ready, but mindful that I must get up anyway) to stoke the fire when it burns down to a few coals. That stoking process takes a half hour or so: poking the ashes around so they fall through the grates into the ash tray, sometimes emptying them outside in the cold onto a pile that I’ll use to preserve wood and other things in the summer rebuild. Then there’s taking the warmed up, ice and snow melted off of, wood that’s been stacked pretty much beside the monster and feeding the monster a full mug full, as many whole logs as possible so it burns longer, some more green for a longer burn, some way dry so that it burns at all. Then topping up the monster with thin pieces of wood or logs that are split into narrow pieces, until that monster has a full maw of wood to chew on. After refilling the wood inside from the wood stacked on the step outside (stacking wood there each day from the piles of wood 10 or 200 feet away, makes for less cold feet at night since sometimes I forego the boots and just have my sandals on) I sweep and sweep so the place is clean for the next time I come in and put one knee down on the 8”x3” pieces of floor foam so I can feed the monster without wrecking my back. Instead my knee pays for it.

So I stick with enjoying what is about 2 cups of coffee in the morning.

After all, I get to enjoy this world, too, don’t I? Jesus does not ask God to take us out of the world, but to protect us in this world from the Evil one. So here I am in the world, enjoying coffee, and hoping that I can keep it up, because for years as a teen I could not stand coffee. It was more than an acquired taste. Then in my late university years as I stayed up all night or more often stayed up too late (past my 22:00 bedtime to get up at 6:00 on the dot) I used coffee to stay awake to study and I fell for it. But then in my forties I had to give it up because of GERDS. Then in my fifties I could drink it again, as a replacement for a medicine that nearly killed me, as long as I cut it’s acid with milk. So now, it is a pleasure, and a sign for me that God protects me from the Evil one, like that medicine and the abuse that nearly killed me. Life is good when God walks with us.

There’s more about that skunk smell, but that’s for another day. For now I try to be confident that God will keep me from getting my ‘foot stuck in it all.’

And maybe that’s the best one can hope for this day or any day.