I have a German friend that I met on our way to our mission trip to Spain last year. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned him on my blog, but it is a joy to my heart. My friend’s name is Claus. “Like Santa Claus – without the Santa” is what he told me when we met on the plane. The Lord gave me the sweet privilege of sharing the Gospel with him as we flew to Germany. Though he did not receive Christ, he is very open.
“Where has this blogger been this week?” you may have asked. Well…life happened. Interruptions came. It’s a part of life, isn’t it? We had the joy of having an open house at church for the four home-schooled students that are graduating. That brought our older daughter and my parents to town to be here to help us celebrate – what a joy the whole weekend was!
This morning after company had left, laundry had been started and I got to my quiet place to read the Word I read II Samuel 12 about “life happening” in David’s life. He had a major interruption. He was being punished for his sin with Bathsheba. His baby son was struck by the Lord with an illness. David went to his quiet place to fast and pray for seven days. He wouldn’t eat or get up for anything because he was so given to prayer for his son. As his servants observed him they were sorrowful for their king and when the baby died they were frightened to tell David. They figured that if the child’s illness had caused such a reaction to David, the news of his death would push him over they edge. They were surprised, and I’m sure much relieved to see that after David learned the dreaded news of his son, he:
- Got up
- Washed himself
- anointed himself
- changed his clothes
- went to the house of the Lord and worshipped
- came back to his own house and ate
In other words, he went back to all the things he would normally do. We ask, how could he do this – his son had just died. His servants asked David the same question. His reply was that while the child was alive he knew he could make an appeal to God and pray for him. But now the Lord had made a decision and nothing David could do now would bring the child back. He had the confidence in verse 23 that he would go to the child some day (what a day that will be!). I don’t believe David had an attitude of “Well, it’s over now, so what’s the use?!” I believe that he had a solid understanding of the sovereignty of God. After all, after he learned the news he went to the sanctuary and worshipped – he could only do that with a love for God and acceptance of what the Lord decided for him and his wife.
“Life” happens to all of us. My interruptions were sweet ones, but sometimes those interruptions are things we can’t understand, they’re things that are hurtful. A kidney stone, changed plans, a job loss, the betrayal of a friend, someone else getting married instead of you, someone else having a baby while your arms are empty…all these things interrupt life as you planned it. How should we respond? David’s example is one we should follow. His heart was aching, yet he got up and continued to do the normal things of every day life. He also worshipped his God because he knew he could trust what His plan was for his life. He encouraged those around him by his response. Our biblical response will encourage our family and friends too. David was just like you and me. When “life” happens, read II Samuel 12 and follow David’s example. Life isn’t always easy, but we can trust our sovereign God.
Have you ever looked at a family and wished your family could be like theirs? Perhaps the family in view was a large family with many children and it seems that every time you watch them they have so much fun together! The older siblings look out for the younger ones, they get along with one another, and they seem to have it all together. Another family in your sight seem to have the best parents. They are patient with the children, always have clever ideas for fun ways to spend a day, and they teach their children about the Lord at every turn. Perhaps your pastor’s family is your envy – the time they spend serving the Lord together must bring them special blessings.
This week as I’ve seen Jon and Kate Gosselin (Jon and Kate Plus Eight) in the news, I’ve wondered how many people have seen their life as ideal up to this point. How many have wished themselves into their shoes? I’ve pitied those little ones who have had cameras on them every waking moment of their young lives. But it’s really about more than that. Each of us need to realize that every family deals with the same things. Those families that you’re watching up close and personal at church, or on a blog are real people. Even Christian families have the same issues you have. They are real, sinful people that have to deal with fatigue, tempers, selfishness, disobedience, money issues, rebellion, making time to have devotions, etc. No family is exempt. Of course the extent of each of these issues is different because of personalities and how the problems are dealt with, but my point is that they are there to be dealt with.
There are no perfect children or parents. There are no perfect marriages. We must each guard our hearts every day, ask the Lord for wisdom and His enablement to raise our family for Him, and be the best wife/mother with His help. When we mess up, we can’t give up – we must fess up – admit it and confess it! This is essential to getting back on track.
Behind the walls of the home that you may be envying there is a need for God’s intervention, just as there is in yours. The best news is that it is available for us all!
Here are some pictures from yesterday. We did see the sunshine a few times, which was a blessing and a nice change!
The beach was an unpopular place to be yesterday. Off-shore the temperature was just about sixty when our family walked onto the sand. That means that at the oceanfront it was colder than that. The wind was blowing quite strongly – as you can see in the picture to the right. The waves crashed to the shore spraying water high into the air. The poor lifeguards that were on duty made themselves a little fort in the sand out of the beach umbrellas. They were covered in jackets with hoods, long pants and shoes. They looked more like they were working in the freezer section at Kroger than life guarding at the beach!
As we went to lunch I told the girls, “At least it’s not raining today! You know, it could even be snowing, but it’s not! We can be thankful for that!” Allison looked at me and said, “Mom, you sound like Pollyanna.” Whether she meant it as a compliment or not, I took it as one.
Pollyanna was a little girl in a movie that played “The Glad Game.” In any difficult or undesirable circumstance she would try to think of something for which she could be glad. When she found crutches in a box that was sent to her she was glad she didn’t need to use them! She was always searching for something for which she could be thankful.
People that love the Lord should be Pollyanna’s! In every thing give thanks…” is the command in I Thessalonians 5:18. Give thanks in all things. In other words, I am not necessarily thankful for the cold weather, but I need to have a thankful attitude in the midst of it. It’s an attitude that says, “Thank you, Lord, that I am away on vacation enjoying doing things different from my normal routine. Thank you that we are able to have lunch out today. Thank you for health and strength to be here…”
It’s so easy to complain…not so easy to be thankful when things don’t go the way we imagine they should. I’m preaching to my own heart today – my dream about warm sand on my toes and sitting by the pool reading is being traded for a warm jacket and bracing myself against the gusty winds. The forecast is looking not so much like beach vacation weather for the rest of the time we’re here. But I’m thankful the weather’s given me time to work on the new face for my blog! We played a new game as a family last night. I’m reading a library book at night before I fall asleep. All the pictures I’ve taken this week are safely in my computer and put on a scrap blog…all because the weather allowed me the time! This Pollyanna is determined not to whine, but be thankful!
“Our God is in the heavens and he does what He pleases” – Psalm 115:3. Today it pleased God to send rain to HHI, along with cooler temperatures. I don’t believe it ever hit 60 degrees. I read the opening verse in my Bible reading today and said, “Lord, you are in control and you know what we need today and I know we can trust you.” I wondered what would take place today that we would later say, “If it hadn’t rained we would have missed out on…” So I entered the day not especially thankful for the rain, but knowing that my good God sent it and it was okay!
We took the opportunity to do what we wouldn’t want to do if it turns pretty this week, like going shopping! I found some good bargains for my home at my favorite store – TJ Maxx. The girls found Hilton Head t-shirts and other fun things. After several hours of shopping we ended up at Starbucks where hot beverages were ordered to ward off the chill of the 50-something temperatures. As we sat in the coffee shop there were two girls, probably college age, sitting very nearby. You couldn’t help but hear their conversation; they were discussing Catholicism. One was asking questions, the other was trying to answer. I saw her take out her Blackberry and it appeared she was looking for the answer to her friends’ questions.
The other girl, an Asian, mentioned Buddha and said, “He is powerless.” It appeared that the Asian girl was really searching and the catholic girl didn’t have answers…it was obvious. “HHI” came to my mind…”I’m here for Him. These girls need the Truth!” I got out two “Bridge tracts” http://www.cometocalvary.org/thebridge/ As we were leaving I stopped at their table.
“Excuse me, but I couldn’t help but hear your conversation. Can I leave you each with something to read that will answer your questions?”
Immediately the Catholic girl put up her hand in protest. “No! I’m already a Catholic.”
“This isn’t about religion; this will tell you how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.” I answered.
“That says, ‘The Bridge to Eternal Life’ and we don’t need that” she retorted.
“This will tell you how you can know you have eternal life in heaven when you die.” I turned to the Asian girl, “Won’t you read this?”
“She’s Buddhist and doesn’t want that” the Catholic girl said.
I turned to the Asian girl questioning her with my eyes. “Well, no, but thank you” she answered.
“I respect you for what you’re doing,” the Catholic girl said, “but we don’t want that.”
I turned and left, my heart breaking for those girls that have been blinded by religion – man’s attempt to get to God. They weren’t rejecting me; they were rejecting Christ. Satan loves it; it’s one of his best hindrances to people being saved.
What are you trusting in for your salvation? Anything apart from receiving Christ’s sacrifice for your sins is not enough. Nothing we could do will ever save us. Christ did all that was necessary when He died on the cross. Being a good person, giving money to a needy organization, or joining a church are all man’s attempt to cross the bridge to eternal life, but they’re not enough. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31 Please click on The Bridge link above, then see each of the seven points to understand clearer how to know you have eternal life.
If it hadn’t rained today I wouldn’t have met those two dear girls at Starbucks. Now I can add them to my prayer list and pray for them to see the Truth and receive Christ. “Thank you, Lord for a rainy day, and thank you for the precious gift of eternal life.”
I’m on vacation this week. We’re at Hilton Head Island (HHI). I stood at the beach entrance Saturday afternoon looking out through the sea oats at the sand, beach umbrellas and the ocean and said, “Lord, You are so good to me. Thank you for allowing me to be here at my favorite place again.” I’ve sighed so many times since Saturday. It’s a sigh of contentment, rest, and pure happiness. Here I am for nearly a week at the most beautiful beach with my family and our daughter’s friend who is also celebrating her graduation. Our condo is perfect, we’re next to the pool, school’s over and a summer of special events is before me. God is so good and I acknowledge Him for His grace gifts that He pours out on His undeserving child.