I have difficulty posting to this blog section on a regular basis because I often don’t feel that anything “big enough” has happened in our lives to merit posting. But the Lord has reminded me that some of the most important things in life are not “big”; rather, they are often found in the daily “little” victories and insights that the Lord gives us, the ongoing subjection of our will to His. So, I wanted to share one of the ways that the Lord has been ministering Scripture to my life in a practical way these past few days.
First, this last weekend Giampaolo and I had a couple of days away together for our birthdays (mine is Feb. 17th, Giampaolo’s is Feb 22nd). We had a couple of “free reward nights” that we used for a hotel in Holland, MI, complete with an in-room hot tub. We also had hopes of going cross-country skiing at a nearby county park, of walking together along the frozen Lake, and of shopping at a few of the discount/second-hand stores in the area. Giampaolo had prayed the day before we went, however, that we would not get our hearts set on “our weekend together”, or how we thought it should go. Sure enough, the Lord in His goodness allowed me to be tested in this area. Our first evening, my tooth started aching something fierce, and we ended up having to come back into GR for a dentist visit the next day. Driving alone took an hour-and-a-half, plus the time in the dentist office, and it was right in the middle of the day when they were able to fit us in, so needless to say, our “plans” for the day were a bit messed up. I was very tempted to be upset, angry and frustrated about the whole situation. But the Lord brought to mind our recent reading of Ephesians 4-6, where it says to “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as Christ forgave you.” Of course, the flesh can always give some “reason” for why we are “justified to be angry.” I mean, this just wasn’t “fair” for this to be happening to “our time” together! And I had, after all, just been to the dentist for the same problem the day before our trip. But the question comes down to, “Do I believe the Scriptures for what they say? And am I going to be obedient to them?”
I am rejoicing and thankful to say that, by God’s grace–Who sets our feet on the high places and makes our way perfect (Psalm 18)–I was able to put to death my feelings of anger and frustration, and to be content with the way God had chosen for our day to go. The dentist was able to find the problem with my tooth (a lodged piece of cement on the temporary crown), and as we traveled back toward Holland, Giampaolo and I were reminded of an elderly neighbor who is temporarily in a retirement home (due to a fall a couple of months ago) that we have been meaning to visit for a couple of weeks. The retirement community where he is staying was on our route, and so we were able to stop and see him. Also, while we were trying to find his room, I noticed that one of the names on the doors was a name that I heard my grandmother mention often when she was alive (one of her close friends). I had actually never met the woman, but the name is not a common one, and I felt certain that this was probably the same woman. So we stopped at her room also … and found that it was, indeed, my grandmother’s old friend, and she was very glad for our visit. As we left the retirement home, my heart was rejoicing, knowing that we were spending “our time” doing the will of God, and not just seeking our own plans. After all, as children of God, all of “our time” should really be “God’s time” and subject to His will. “The world and its desires pass away [even as we just got a year older], but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:16-17).
“A man plans his way, but the Lord determines His steps” (Proverbs 16:9). The question is: will we choose to submit our plans and way to His direction? Only then are we truly “Christians.”