Looking for God’s Edelweiss

Life at the Dotten house is pretty crazy right now. Not only did we have to pack up and move with about month’s notice, we found that our tenant ruined most of the flooring in our new house, so we’re in the major demolition and remodeling faze now. In the middle of it all, I’m trying to process a lot of change in my life … some good, some hard.

Then, last night I discovered this passage out of Isobel Kuhn’s little book, Nests Above the Abyss, a record of her work among the Lisu tribe in China. It was unmistakably God’s message for me:

“Heat Mists come unannounced, veil all the lovely familiar mountain forms and take the colour out of life, and they are a parable, for there are times in human days when happiness seems to depart and just the drab and commonplace are left. … I have been through Heat Mists before, and I know that there are three things I must do.

“First, remember that this has come only to pass. How often have I thanked Dr. Page for that story of his; there will be some of you who have not heard it, so here it is. An idiot boy was seeking for guidance in the old magic way of shutting your eyes, opening the Bible, and diving your finger on to a spot at random. He had done it three times in different places and each time the book and finger came to ‘and it came to pass that …’ He pondered anxiously, then the light broke. ‘Why, of course,’ he said to himself, ‘this trouble came to pass not to stay.” So the first thing is to remember that Heat Mist days are not eternal—they have just come to pass, that is all.

“Secondly, be sure that they are an opportunity for more abundant fruitfulness. That is always their purpose. It was the ugly confinement of prison which brought Luke’s Gospel, Paul’s prison Epistles, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and Rutherford’s undying letters into being.

“Thirdly, tears or no tears, just go on and open your eyes to see God’s edelweiss. That is what Miss Carmichael calls the little happy things sent to cheer the mountain-climber at a bleak, hard place. ‘The bright flowers of the edelweiss waiting to be gathered among the rough rocks of difficult circumstances—and they always find, I think, that far more than the toils of the climb, they remember the places where they gathered the edelweiss of God'” (281–82).

What a lovely thing it has been to look for God’s edelweisses in the middle of exhausting days of remodeling work! The support and encouragement of my prayer team. Discovering new composers on the piano that has been such a welcome break. Good friends who come alongside us in our work. The signs of Spring slowly blooming around me.

God is good.


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