She may not look it, but this little furball can be 11 lbs 3 oz. of frustration! Oh sure she is adorable, but that is just to ensure her survival. Inside, outside, back inside, bark bark bark… Oh, wait one of the other dogs looks like they are enjoying themselves with a toy, brb… grrrrrr…snarl, bark, bark grrrrrr… give me that… there you peasant, know your place… Oh, look a defenseless napkin on a table I am not to jump up on.. my favorite… poof, shreadsville…bark bark bark bark bark bark…snort…
Yes she snorts.
I could go on…. but I don’t want to frustrate you, dear reader.
Today’s reading from Ezra actually frustrates me a little even as their efforts at rebuilding the temple were frustrated. It is not clear what was going on here, other than the fact that those from Judah and Benjamin wanted not part of the help that was offered. Maybe because of what ended up happening, they could see the writing on the wall.
So those who once offered to help, now bribe others to frustrate the plan. It doesn’t mean that construction stopped, but it was hindered and maybe that is the most disturbing thing of all.
But there is that little glimmer of hope in the reading today, that foreshadows what will come. Very little comes in life without some resistance, and sometimes outright and intentional efforts to frustrate us.
Time and time again from leaders of technology and industry, to artists, they find that their way is often threatened by those who would frustrate them for whatever reason. King Darius, that name gives the story forward momentum that frustration will not win the day.
Looking through the lens of the Promises of Advent, even when we are frustrated, we can be restored, we can struggle, we can hope for darkness does not win, evil doesn’t carry the day and grace and mercy will come to us as a child in a manger.