April 17, 2014

Hope!

Today, in our house, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone resembling a Christian.

Rising early to a grey, cold and drizzly day, we drove in heavy traffic, the windshield wipers only a minimal help for my vision. The famous bumper sticker rang true: Everyone driving slower than me was an idiot and anyone driving faster was surely a maniac. Children bickered and complained. "Are we there yet? It never took this long before."

Still, God's grace was with us. We arrived safely.

Braces were adjusted, retainers tightened, teeth were cleaned. I read several recipes as I paced the office waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally, Dr. Dentist with his kind green eyes gave me the news that Noah had four million cavities to fill and Sophia had one. With a gentle and authoritative smile, he said "We must get this done, but not to worry, we will do it next month. Go home and take it easy." How deceiving those eyes and that smile!

At the counter, the secretary blushed crimson when I repeated (a little too loudly) "Four HUNDRED and forty seven dollars?! Just for today? What about next month?"

"Well, ma'am that will be...." I felt sick to my stomach, as my entire body tightened with stress. To write the check would mean my plan, my budget, my SECURITY was chucked out the window.

I took a deep breath and humbly asked for a discount. They gave it to me, likely considering the four million cavities to be filled next month. Silently, I prayed. I was immediately reminded of the old Sunday school song "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God."

I walked out to the car where the children waited. More bickering. Where was the love? Where were the Christians? I had no kind words or smiles to offer, only threats and the evil eye.

Someone sat on the sandwiches brought for the long ride home. Apparently, that made them inedible, until growling stomachs made them acceptable again.

Home at last, we couldn't get the fire started. Complaining ensued. I confess, my neck and shoulders were stiff with the cold also, but I was determined not to turn on the furnace. I preached to my children, "There is a solution for every problem, kiddos. Don't talk to me about being cold until I see a scarf around your neck and socks on your feet!"

A pot of tea. Three cups of hot chocolate. This day may be redeemed, yet!

Nope.

Laundry to be folded, dishes to be washed, violins to be practiced, all of this brought more "murmuring and disputing." Didn't we memorize a verse about this? Didn't we even write a song about it? Are there any Christians living in this house?

So what DO you do when everyone seems to be living for themselves, for their own comfort and pleasure? What DO you do when the entire family is walking after the flesh rather than the Spirit?

Don't go to doctrine and principles. Don't go to your list of "how-to's." If being a Christian was contingent upon my lifestyle then I would be a constant failure.

Go to The Man. Go to The One who Loves, who Forgives, who Provides. Go to the Savior of your soul. To live is Christ!

Dear Father,

Thank you, that I can come to you in my time of need. Thank you that you have Grace and Peace and Wisdom to give and that you give so lavishly. I love to be lavished upon by You. You are so good!

Help us to see, Lord. You made our eyes and our ears. Father, help us to see the good things you do and give. Help us to hear the ugliness in our complaining that we would turn from it. We will sing praises to you, songs of love, let the sound of them be pleasing to You AND to us. Thank you for keeping us safe today, for the fire that is finally roaring in strength. Thank you for providing all that we need to live, and MORE.

Without You we are tossed to and fro, but You say "Peace, be still" and the storm obeys. Our hearts are calmed and we are left in awe of You. Thank You, Jesus, for paying the price for me, that I can share in your inheritance, be your friend, your sister. I can't wait until Sunday, when I get to sit with the other believers and rejoice in all that You accomplished for us, for me.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:3




10 comments:

  1. I love the fact that the Lord is not a taskmaster but longs for us to understand that this world is not our home truly and that everything here is for our learning and even now can add to our joy when we see Him in it. None of us is perfect however thankfully Jesus is. <3 :-)

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    1. Yes. That is such a good word. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

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  2. Thank goodness each day begins fresh and new!

    Have a delightfully lovely Easter.

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    1. Yes! His mercies are new every morning! Happy Easter to you too, Laura.

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  3. Late last year I set up a really good (amazing!) budget. We were going to save so much and it would be wonderful. No, God had other plans and my budget plans are in the bin and its all up-side-down. God has a way of doing this. I had not anticipated my son getting unwell with depression and that I would have to find $1000's of dollars to help him and just as I see an end in sight, it disappears. It can be very difficult (and incredibly stressful) at times but I know God is both watching over me and teaching me a lesson in not planning ahead!!

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    1. Jo~ He has a way of keeping us dependent on Him and not ourselves...for our own good. The more dependent I am on Him, the more I learn to trust Him.

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  4. I think I am way too often surprised by our/my sinful bent. And forgetful of His grace and mercy. {sigh} So glad our hope doesn't depend on ME! :-)
    {meanwhile you have my sincere sympathies for the dentist bills -- btdt -- with six kiddos! You can guess why I don't schedule appointments for my own teeth! And you wouldn't believe the price of extractions... But we are not starving or homeless, so somehow God provides for even that!}

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    1. Melanie~Yep, God provides. I don't have any needs, just my own plans. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want...unless it's something my shepherd doesn't want me to have. That's where it's at, isn't it?

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  5. This post touched my heart so much! Thank you so much for sharing it!!!

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    1. I'm so glad...and you are welcome, friend. Happy to see your visit today!

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Thank you for your kind comments. I love visiting with you and I hope you come again.