LCN Article
Our Lot In Life

July / August 2016
Woman To Woman

Faye League

King Solomon wrote many fine proverbs, full of true knowledge and wisdom, that are very helpful to all who read and heed them. I study them quite often myself. There is one proverb that I have been deeply reflecting on lately. This proverb has great promise for those of us who find ourselves in certain situations. “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33).

Even though some of us ladies for one reason or another may not be pleased with our current lot in life—perhaps due to past mistakes, unexpected occurrences or circumstances beyond our control—there is great promise and much hope in the scripture just mentioned: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” If we look to Christ as our guide and our stay, He will help us to find a way to make the best and the most of our lot in life.

Making the Best of It

For instance, I knew a lady years ago, a Church member and a stay-at-home mom, who found herself in a very unusual situation. Her husband agreed with most of the Church’s teachings, but chose to start a small “work” of his own—using a good portion of his salary to fund his efforts. This in turn put a financial burden on the family’s budget. The wife, wanting no part in her husband’s endeavors, soon realized that since there was no change in sight, she would have to do something to alleviate this lot, which had been “cast into her lap.” Before marriage and children, she had been employed as an educator in the public school system. Now that her children were older and attending school, she came to the conclusion that her best alternative was to seek employment in her former line of work. Apparently, she had kept her credentials up-to-date. So, after much prayer and counsel, she went for an interview with the Superintendent of Schools in her area, and she was hired on the spot—thus opening up a way for her to make the best and the most of this lot in her life, which she did through her determination and ingenuity.

While serving in one of the Church’s Regional Offices for a time, my husband and I became acquainted with a widow there who was an excellent baker. This lady had a unique natural talent for working with flour and dough—almost as if wielding these products like an artist’s tools into her desired results—producing delicious, delectable and wholesome baked goods. She had even mastered the art of working with whole wheat flour, which can sometimes be a difficult challenge with unpredictable results.

This widow enjoyed sharing the fruits of her labor with others. She was immensely helpful to the ministers’ wives there (three of us), when visiting ministers and wives from Headquarters in Pasadena, California, at that time, would come for regional visits and stay with the ministers and families, or even when others would come for regional activities. She felt that this was one way she could do her part—by serving the ministers.

As any woman knows when planning a menu, it is immensely helpful if a large portion of the menu is prepared ahead of time. As soon as this widow heard that one (or all) of us was expecting company, she would whip out her rolling pin and go to work turning out large batches of delicious breakfast biscuits, muffins, dinner rolls, cookies and desserts. The ministers and families were very appreciative of her exceptional talents and thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of her labor. One of the minister’s wives even exclaimed, “This lady was born to bake!”

There came a time, however, when the widow could no longer partake of her delicious fare herself due to dietary restrictions, which can sometimes happen as one ages. While this was not a huge lot that was cast into her lap, it did put her into a kind of quandary. Should she just stop baking, thus eliminating the possibility of the temptation to partake of her own work, which could certainly arise if she continued to bake? Or should she continue to bake, ignoring the temptations, and use her talents in the service of others? She chose to continue to use her talents as a baker, giving others the pleasure of enjoying the fruits of her labor—remembering the words of the Lord Jesus Christ found in Acts 20:35, that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” By making this unselfish decision, she chose to make the best and the most of this lot in her life.

Coping with Loss as a Widow

Since becoming a widow myself, this scripture, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord,” has taken on new meaning for me. When a woman becomes a widow, she not only loses the love of a mate and a companion, but she also loses the security of his masculine leadership.

As Dr. Roderick Meredith mentioned in one of his sermons, men have always been used as leaders down through the ages—especially in major roles, with very few women fulfilling these roles.

And of course, in the Church God has given men, as leaders of the home, the ability to lead, which—as they yield to His leadership—enables them to be more adept at making the major (and sometimes tough) decisions that are required in families from time to time. This type of leadership, when carried out with love and kindness (which is priceless), tends to give the wife and children a sense of security, comfort and peace of mind. When this leadership is gone, it can be very difficult for a widow to bear and to carry on alone. I now know this to be true from my own personal experience. It leaves a huge void in one’s life. This is why it is so important for a widow to seek God’s will in her life daily and to look to Christ for guidance and direction—as the scripture says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” However, as we widows continue to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness, we can learn valuable lessons along the way that can help us to make the best and the most of this difficult lot in our lives.

The area of caregiving can sometimes be a heavy lot to bear, especially if most of one’s time is consumed with the daily care of a loved one who may be disabled somewhat—due perhaps to an injury, a serious illness or simply old age—and is therefore unable to properly care for himself or herself anymore. This can be very stressful at times for everyone concerned—both the cared-for and the caregiver.

However, positive examples abound in this area as well. For example, while attending the Feast of Tabernacles, Myrtle Beach (2015), I was pleasantly surprised to be able to renew acquaintances with two women, sisters, whom I had not seen in many years. Their health had been declining for some time, so that it had come to the point where it was necessary for both of them to use wheelchairs at the Feast. I sat a few rows behind them at Church services, with a clear view of them and their caregiver (who I believe was another one of their sisters) and I could not help but notice and admire how well the two sisters were being cared for by their kind and compassionate caregiver. They were at every service, well groomed, faces beaming and silver hair shining—rejoicing to be at God’s Feast. Another lady sat nearby to lend a hand when extra help was needed, especially when one of the sisters had to leave the room temporarily for necessary reasons. It was very heartwarming to observe how each one cooperated with the others—the caregiver, the two sisters and the gentle lady nearby—thus avoiding any frustrations that could possibly arise. Looking back on this example at the Feast, I realized that I had witnessed the love of God in action through their fine example.

To Give or Receive?

In order to keep the subject of caregiving in the proper perspective, there is a helpful question a woman may ask herself: “If given a choice, which one would I rather be—the one being cared for or the caregiver?” I think most of us, if not all, would choose to be the caregiver for obvious reasons.

So whether our lot in life is light or heavy, the important thing is to let Christ guide our decisions, as we strive to make the best and the most of our lot in life, remembering the exhortation of the Apostle Paul: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).