Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paying off

10:15 a.m. Today's project was to teach II Samuel Chapter 9 to my ladies' Bible study. After a week off for my trip to Dallas for the Mary Kay Seminar, it was gratifying to pull up and see the vehicles of our steady, faithful group parked, and to know that these women were taking time out of their week to delve into God's word! They remind me of the Bereans of Acts 17:11:

These were more fair that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to see if those things were so. They keep me challenged!

In today's chapter, King David keeps his covenant promise to his friend Jonathan, who was killed with his father King Saul in battle many years before. I Samuel 20:14-16 recounts their covenant, in Jonathan's words, with God as witness:

And you shall not only show me the kindness of the LORD while I live, that I may not die;but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the LORD has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth."  So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "Let the LORD require it at the hand of David's enemies."

We learned last week in Chapter 8, that David had subdued all of the enemies of the nation, and reclaimed territory for God's people.  So it was the time to keep his promise!

In a famous episode of mercy that pictures God's mercy toward us, David invites Mephibosheth, Jonathan's crippled son, to live in Jerusalem and eat at the king's table daily. He grants him all of his grandfather Saul's land, with a large family of servants to tend and harvest it for him. At the time of Saul and Jonathan's deaths (Samuel 31:6), 5-year-old Mephibosheth had been carried away by his nurse, then dropped while they fled, which caused him to be a lifelong cripple, "lame in his feet" (II Samuel 9:4).

The question I posed to my ladies was, "Even though grave sins may have been committed by your family members, even before you were born, you, like Mephibosheth, have suffered the consequences. But more importantly, now that you are in Christ, how has God restored what people, the devil, and this fallen world have ripped off from you through no fault of your own?"

A few courageous gals told their testimonies, but most nodded solemnly, from gratitude to the Lord. In Joel 2:25, God promises His people,

I will restore the years that the locust has eaten...

Steve's dementia has robbed our family of a huge chunk of our financial stability and any truy peaceful, normal family time for the last 4-1/2 years, as my journals describe in the excruciating detail that will form the basis for my next book, A Christian Family Deals with Mental Illness. In a practical sense, we don't enjoy the occasional weekends away with our kids that others do, and barely make it through holiday meals without incident.But God is using our experience for a testimony to His glory!

Most of us are in ministry. We speak the word of God with boldness, assurance, and a heart for the lost and the lame among the flock Jesus has given each of us, whether we teach, mentor, uplift, pray with or encourage others. What is happening to Steve has given us courage, and amazingly, more hope for our futures in Jesus, not less!

This evening, I opened a note from our son Steven that I hadn't had time for earlier, when my husband was on the floor and I was unable to help him up. As always, God's timing was perfect. How I needed what Jesus described in Matthew 10:24 as a "cup of cold water!" It reads,

"Mom: Because of you, I am who I am today in my faith, my boldness, my work ethic, my outspokenness, and my attitude, thank you for all you have done for me in the past. It is paying now and in the future." Steven K.

To God be the glory, great things He has done!

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