Friday, January 21, 2011
Oil and oil don't mix
4:07 p.m. Today's project was to spend more time in prayer, especially praying with Steve throughout the day, and as a result, obey God's quietly insistent voice immediately in matters large and small.
There were various tasks to do as the morning unfolded. The Lord told me to send an encouraging text message to my daughter, complete with Spirit-created wording, and when I hesitated, making sure it was Him and not my own flesh, He said twice, "Do it now." (Of course it was the exact time she could use her phone before work.) He showed me the solution to help Steve be more comfortable and not mixed up as he gets into bed with his C-pap machine, by simply going to the linen closet, selecting a different sheet set, and rearranging the covers. The odd thing was, that I remembered using that set on a queen bed, not the California King we use. Despite my hesitation, and hurry to get ready to go out, I got the sheets and they fit perfectly. Seems I forgot that they were too big for the bed we used them on before. But God hadn't forgotten. I am hoping--no, fully expecting-- that the problem will be solved this evening at bedtime.
On K-Wave radio today, Chuck Smith defined "hope" as "desire+ expectation," exemplified by believers who have our eternal hope in Christ. We desire to be with Him, and we expect to be with Him in Heaven one day! And listening to Pastor Chuck at that exact time was God's direction as well. I've been driving my son-in-law's car, bless his heart, because the Jeep is in the Moss Bros. body shop. In the morning, I generally listen to talk radio, then to KSGN for Christian music later in the day or evening. On my way to work before I retired, I used to catch Chuck Smith on K-Wave, or listen to an evangelical pastor on a Spanish station; on the way home, it was Pastors' Perspective and then Jack Hibbs, both my daughter's and my favorite, depending on the time I left work.
As a later-rising retiree, I'm not finished with my own devotions in time for morning programs, and the rest of the day can be very random. But today in Nick's car, I noticed that it only played FM, and let's just say that there is a generation gap between my ears and the station he had it on! So I tried to move it to 90.1 Christian rock, or KSGN, a little more mellow, but God directed me to turn to K-Wave 107.9. On the way to my appointment, I heard David Rosales on restoration after being away from the Lord, citing the example of Mark in II Timothy 4:11, whom Paul commended, saying (NLT), "he will be helpful to me in my ministry." I had read that passage during my own study time this morning. So beautiful the way a young man that Paul had had no use for back in Acts 13, had become a requested helper at the end of Paul's life, to minister to him in prison!
When Pastor Chuck's program came on, he spoke from I Corinthians 13:13,
And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The NLT puts it,
Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.
Love, whether between family, friends, or in marriage, is a funny thing! It seems that if two people are extremely alike, they just butt heads. Yet, if they are opposites, they attract, and perfectly complement each other, especially as spouses. I know that I get along well with the ones of my kids who are quite a bit like me, but with career or style differences, but you should see the head-butting with the ones who are almost identical in gifts, ministry and career choices!
You've heard it said, "Oil and water don't mix," and my past students have had fun doing science fair projects to prove or disprove it. But when personalities are concerned, I've found that "oil and oil don't mix!" See above illustration of my attempt to blend two kinds of liquid soap. It's been 3 weeks and they have not yet blended! They're alike, but somehow in conflict...
I am relieved to say that my husband and I are wildly different--he's quiet, technical and mechanical, I'm an academic and a bookworm and quite able to take a loud public stand on issues I believe in! I was forced to become practical because I have to live every day, darn it, and was called to raise a family. "Get your head out of the clouds," my mom would tell me daily. I did!
God brought Steve and me together because of our love for the Lord and Bible study, our similar upbringing, beliefs and standards, and admiration for the others' positive aspects. We've spent nearly 30 years being amazed by what the other can do, and have seen how things neither of us would have considered individually made a glorious, prosperous outcome for us as a couple and family when blended together.
Whether we just naturally flow with some people, never exchanging a cross word, or whether we experience periodic fireworks, those incidents will pass away. What remains forever is faith--that God will do what is best for me, and for all mankind; hope, heaven-based and heaven-bound; and love, "which has a most vehement flame" (Song of 8:6). Love must be my calling, and my privilege to extend to all whom God has placed in my life.
"As He is, so are we in this world" I John 4:17 says. And if i want to be like my Lord, I will love!