Expiration Dates

This winter has been unpredictable to say the least. On Christmas day, the temperature reached 70 degrees. Two weeks ago we experienced Snowmageddon 2016 — a blizzard that dumped three feet of snow as it stalled over the nation’s capital. This past week, we experienced a few clippers that lightly blanketed our streets with snow. Although I appreciate the occasional day off thanks to Mother Nature, I also know that this, too, shall pass.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1

I should be accustomed to winter weather and the seasonal doldrums that sometimes accompany it. I always get a little homesick during winter, but I typically cope by calling home, taking a quick trip to visit family, or cooking some of my favorites.  Since I couldn’t get a flight out to visit, I made a gumbo which is one of my favorite winter time comfort foods. It was delicious and the perfect antidote to cure my homesickness. Now that my belly was full and my emotions regulated, I couldn’t help but think about the perfect complement to that gumbo. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Not that I had room for anything more, but I could’ve saved a little space for some homemade potato salad. That night after dinner, I was determined to pull out all of the ingredients that night so that I could make it in the morning.  For me, there’s nothing better than leftover gumbo with a side of potato salad.

As I rummaged through the fridge, I found a small bottle of miracle whip.That was a miracle indeed since I really dislike mayonnaise and rarely buy it unless I’m making potato salad or tuna. It hadn’t been opened. Score! Then I noticed the label, and it had already expired. I tossed it into the trash and found another small bottle of the creamy condiment toward the back of the fridge. This, too, had also expired just last month.  For a split second, I wondered if it were still safe to eat. Thankfully, it was a fleeting thought. My next thought was a query. When exactly was the last time I cleaned my fridge? The answer to that is Top Secret. Suffice it to say that it’s clean now.

All that rummaging led me to a lesson I feel that I’ve learned again and again at different stages of my life.

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. ~Psalm 27:14

I’m sharing it today not so much for myself but for others who may be experiencing a tough time or seasonal doldrums. My message is simple: It won’t last. Everything has an expiration day — not just long-forgotten mayo in the back of your fridge. Learn to grow where you’re planted, and whenever the Lord chooses to plant you elsewhere, you will appreciate the growth that you see.

I’m in a comfy place in my life right now, and typically when that happens, God shows me all the things that annoy me, causing me to become uncomfortable. When I get uncomfortable or go through a tough time, I know now that I just have to go through it — whatever it is. Whether it’s grief, a failed relationship, a bad choice, or an inexplicable diagnosis.  We must go through it; it’s the only way to get past it.


10 Thoughts

  1. I sometime write about the eventual passing of storms …when we are in them, we can lose that perspective . I like your thoughts on appreciation. Thank you for sharing your writing.

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