Keep Playing.

“This game is hard,” declared my four-year-old.

“It is,” I replied as he put more cherries back on his tree.

One off. One back on. Only one left and then your bucket gets knocked over. It’s not easy filling your bucket in the game Hi-Ho-Cherry-O.

Sometimes life is hard. Lately my “bucket” keeps getting knocked over.

We have had several unexpected healthcare expenses. Sick visits. An ER visit. Four required well-visits. We are part of a health share, and it is a HUGE gift, but shared medical expenses must meet certain criteria. Even with medical shares, we sometimes carry expenses until the need is refunded. We had to pull out savings, but at least we had it.

It seemed we were just on the other side, the bucket was back on the ground upright. We had a plan to fill it back up. Then one of the kids put something in his ear. The pediatrician referred us to the ENT. It will be at least $300. More if they must vacuum it out instead of use forceps. Can you say empty bucket?

We have a gravel driveway, but right now it is more like a mud-pit with some gravel. I thought we might fix that this winter. Instead we are saving for a new oven because after only four years of use ours has begun to die a slow death.

My young son’s words ring in my ears, “This game is hard.”

The way he said it encouraged me. He didn’t throw a fit. He didn’t quit in anger or disgust. He simply stated the fact and kept playing the game. Even when he lost, he just shrugged his shoulders, “Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. That’s how it works, right, momma?”

It’s been a winter when our bucket keeps getting emptied. But, in life, a hard winter is nothing compared to a great year. I’ve had hard years – anxiety, struggling kids, the loss of a parent, marital strife, and postpartum depression to name a few. Even those years do not make-up the fullness of life.

In the kingdom of God, all of us, who have put on Christ, win in the end. Keep playing. Throw a fit if you must. Life is hard, but one day our buckets will be overflowing.