Tag Archive | promise

Mama’s Reinforcer

My 3 brothers and I were rambunctious, curious, headstrong kids who were constantly experimenting, trying out new things, building contraptions, getting into scrapes.  Especially when we concocted pretend battles that earned us scrapes and more than one hilarious–if unexpected–outcome. (Tale for another time)

Yet when Mama said jump, we did.  Didn’t ask why.  Or argue.   We just understood that she was Mama, she was in charge, she knew best, and she had a little maple switch to back up her words if we disagreed.

She didn’t use it much.  She didn’t have to.  She knew that our history with her and our aversion to pain had taught us to trust her at her word.  The few times our egos got in the way and that little guy with the horns on my left shoulder prompted me to flip that big toe over the line a bit too far…I had the Truth of what I already knew reinforced.

Don’t get me wrong, I would never dare to complain about this.  It wasn’t excessive; it wasn’t cruel or meant to harm.  It was love in action; love showing us that we had firm boundaries in place for our safety and protection.  We knew that from her perspective, in her many years of wisdom earned the hard way, that she absolutely knew what was the right thing for us to do.  Our doubts were set to rest with a bit of stinging on the legs, a few tender tears, and a much chastened ego.

When I read again John 2: 4 today, (about the wedding in Cana) I had to think about mothers and their children.  As a mother of grown sons today, When I see a need to be filled, I quietly direct my sons in the same way that Mary did.  “Jack, we need more tea,” or “Seth, that box is too heavy for her.”  I know without hesitation that they will acquiesce, and help in whatever way my statement implied.  I know that’s taking huge license with the Saviour and His relationship to his mother, but that’s my personal frame of reference here.

Yet Jesus’ statement in verse 4 was, (as stated in the Hebrew Names Version),

4 Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.”

Jesus wasn’t being disrespectful or refusing to obey; He was simply asking her to consider His own perspective of His mission of salvation versus her more immediate temporal concern.

That is a huge lesson for me right now.  Recovering from an unexpected divorce, I have my own laundry list of immediate wants and needs that I’ve taken to Him, confident that He cares.  But He’s reminding me that His perspective is different from mine.  His purposes in the trials I face today are eternal, not temporal.

That’s quite a lesson for me.  I wanted to pass it along, for what it’s worth.  And to share with you one more bit of serendipity…the verse to encourage me that came to mind from this study was from I Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV).

Now, I have a children’s memory verse pad—it’s a post-it note pad with a different verse printed on every page in large print—I guess it’s used in VBS or children’s classes.  The top one was about children obeying their parents.  I used to stick them on the mirror and around the house, as reminders.

Haven’t used it in a while.  In a pinch, I turned it over and scribbled I Peter 5:7 down on the back of the last well-worn sheet that still had a bit of sticky on it. I folded the sticky edge down and stuck it with the verse I wrote showing on my bookshelf beside my desk.  It was a few moments later when I stood up to leave the desk, that I glanced at the notepad to see what the new memory verse would be.  Here it is: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

 

Memory verse pad

Unfathomable Grace

I’ve been studying, preparing for a quarter’s teaching  on the subject of the Last Days…the days leading up to and following the Rapture of the saints.  We’ll be viewing the series of DVD’s titled “”What in the World is Going On?” created by Dr. David Jeremiah.  And I ended tonight’s personal study preparation by answering the questions in the Study Guide that comes with each lesson.

They’re very simple, four questions only, took me maybe five minutes to complete.  But the impact of these simple questions following the thorough, reasoned teaching of Dr. Jeremiah has made a jaw-dropping impact on my heart.

We all  sin.  Those who are saved understand that they are forgiven; that God’s grace through Jesus’ blood covers it all.  And that’s a given; a fact.  But still, if you’re tender-hearted, or have a tender conscience, at times you tend to wonder how God REALLY feels, if He will truly not stand with his clip board and a foot tapping…and even as I write this, I find I’m embarrassed to admit that, as it proves that I doubt God’s promise and His word that He says He will.  (Maybe I’m calling to mind my own tough-to-forgive nature, you think?)

The questions I answered were the following, if I can paraphrase them for you to lend a bit of the weight  of the message that I discovered in this first lesson:  Who did God choose for his covenant, Abraham or the Jews?  (IF you read Genesis 12:1-3, it’s crystal clear that he chose the man).  One man.  Abram, who lived in a city called Ur of the Chaldees.  God promised he would make Abram a great nation–the man, not the race of people.  He said he would make Abram’s name GREAT.  That –get this–I never saw this before:  THE FATE OF ALL OTHER NATIONS WOULD DEPEND ON HOW THEY TREAT ABRAM (Genesis 12:3)…can  you imagine?

All the nations that mistreated the Israelites, from the Canaanites, Hittites, and all the other tribes who no longer exist, to all the ones you’ve just heard about on the six o’clock news…all have been destroyed.  It’s history; not just a prophecy that the eternal God made, but FACT.  NEWS.  HISTORY.

He promised to Abram as many descendants as the stars in the skies and the sands of the oceans…and he promised that simply…that’s just too tiny a word to get across the import–BECAUSE HE LOVED THEM, BECAUSE HE’S FAITHFUL AND KEEPS HIS PROMISES, he promised that they will be his people, his treasured possession forevermore.  He enumerates how they were faithless, stiff-necked, and rebellious against him over and over and over.  But on the simple basis of his faithful nature; his amazing love; and his covenant with one man a long time ago, he will never ever break his promise.  In Jeremiah 31:35-37 He states it plainly:  The only way his covenant will ever be broken is if the heavens can finally be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched.  Sure.  Right.  I’ll get right on that.

As if you ever needed a rock solid concrete statement of just how unshakable, unfathomable and amazing that God’s love and Grace truly is…there it is.

Wow.

You Make My Heart Smile

Brittanys-Eyes_edited-1I’m learning things from an intelligent and candid young woman.  She is amazingly beautiful to look at, untarnished, unconscious of how truly stunning she is.  Yet what I continue to observe is how radiant she is—how exquisite she is on the inside.  And she’s so young!!  Not yet battered by what the world will send her way, she is already so wise and so caring.

What I have learned from her most recently is the vision she has.  The discernment.  She looks at a large, lumbering, sometimes silly young man and sees so much promise, so much capability—and truly her knight in shining armor.  He is a brilliantly independent thinker, ready with his opinions, outspoken, yet wise beyond his years—so she’s not mistaken.  Just very young to have spotted this ambitious young soul and know without a shadow of a doubt that he’s the man for her.   I’ve loved seeing how her growing love for him has completely grounded him.  What an impact—and I don’t believe she knows that her love for him is the catalyst.

Let me share with you a few comments she has made about him:

They met a couple of years ago, during high school.  And only a few months into their relationship, she listed this poem beside his photo:  “Say farewell to the dark night, I see the coming of the sun. I feel like a little child whose life has just begun, you came and breathed new life into this lonely heart of mine” (Back at One, by Brian McKnight)

Then a few months later: “When a girl is in love you can see it in her smile.  When a guy is in love you can see it in his eyes.”  If you could see the photo she posted with this comment, you would totally understand.

She has been through all sorts of escapades with him, some adventurous, some calamitous and yet she comes up with this statement that’s way beyond her years:  “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Her continual gratitude for him and what he means to her is a gift in itself:  “You make my heart smile.”

What a sweet, sweet spirit to see him as a gift for her:  “I must have done something right, to have you in my life.”

Beside a photo of the two of them relaxed, laid back and laughing themselves silly is the wise-beyond-her-years admission:  “Thank God I’ve finally found someone I can be my completely stupid self with and we still enjoy every second of it.”

And when he was trying to help her in an awkward private moment:  “Every girl deserves a guy who looks at her everyday like it’s the first time he saw her.”

This young woman will never have to fear her man being miles away and tempted by anyone:  “It’s not every day that you find someone who can put up with your bullshit. Hold on to them with all you have.”

And ultimately a worldly wise woman who knows how to tempt, how to entice, how to endear and “keep” (for lack of a better word) a man’s interest:  “A legal kiss is never as good as a stolen one.”

I wanted to share this portrait of a shrewd and truly perceptive woman’s approach to her relationship and her future in hopes that it will inspire you to do the same.  This world has sometimes fostered a lack of integrity; it encourages lassitude and an almost anarchist attitude toward life.  Yet I’ve learned that she is living proof that somewhere out there is another person who is meant to complete you; who will improve you just by being aware that you exist.