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!
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!
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