Monday, December 11, 2006

Rough Weekend

Thursday, John felt very constipated. By 8:00, he was in an ambulance, heading toward the emergency room. His cousin drove me in. I'll leave out all the details, but after 11 hours they determined that the blockage was way up level with his kidney. They couldn't do surgery because of his breathing problems, so they would need to keep him for a day or two. Ha! It's now Monday, and he's just now on his way home.

My purpose in writing here is to muse randomly on some of the things the Lord did with me during this whole ordeal. Primarily, He let me see that I'm not quite as dependent on John as I thought I was. I'm not as independent as I was back in California, but I did much better than I expected myself to do. He provided people to help me, and I got very good care. I pray that I can build a stronger network of friends here, in case anything even more serious ever happens to John. But watching the Lord provide for me has strengthened my faith regarding the future.

Prayer has been very interesting throught this journey, too. Often, I catch myself using prayer as a means of manipulating circumstances, rather than simply making my requests known to Him and trusting Him to respond according to His will. All my studies on predestination and His sovereignty last month have really helped me trust His wisdom, even when (especially when?) things don't go as I think they should. The peace in me surprised me. The Lord had His purposes in this situation, and I rested in that knowledge.

Also, He gave me grace to pray for other people. As I left the emergency room Friday morning, I saw a woman in the waiting room who had come in seven hours earlier. (Most of that time, I was able to be with John, rather than in the waiting room.) When she first came in, she was relaxed enough to sleep in her seat. But seven hours later, she sat wide awake, her face riddled with worry, sadness and emotional pain. How could I not pray for her? All weekend, I've had times of praying for situations other than the one with John, ranging from the kids' Christmas play at church to the war in Iraq. It's been encouraging to see God lift me out of self-centeredness!

I'm not eager for John to go through anything like this again, but I'm so blessed by the fellowship I had with the Lord. Psalm 56:3 was my anchor Scripture:

Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Divine Romance

Today's email from ChristianityToday.com featured a column that addresses one of my pet peeves.If you'll click this link to http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/december/17.56.html, you'll read about the teaching that Jesus is Husband to single Christian women.

During my long years of being unmarried, I often received counsel to let Jesus be my Husband. On occassion, I sincerely tried to implement that counsel, only to feel like a spiritual failure when my desires for an earthly husband returned. The truth is that Jesus indeed wanted me to long for a husband, because He had John waiting for me! He never meant for me to diminish the image of Him as Bridegroom of the Church into a means of soothing my emotional turmoil. Rather, He simply wanted me to trust Him. He knew what He would do once I got connected to the Internet.

Of course, John can't meet all my needs. I do need to trust Jesus as my ultimate Provider. But He meets my needs for a husband through John, not through quasi-spiritual experiences between Him and me! Scripture teaches that He is the Church's Bridegroom, and that human marriage reflects His union with the Church. To misapply Scripture in an effort to ease the pain of singleness is at best misguided.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Wonder of Christmas

I decided to break from studying election, predestination and God's sovereignity (at least for now) to study aspects of Christmas. I'm completely amazed by the Incarnation. Have you noticed how many people talk about "the wonder of Christmas" without understanding that the real wonder is God made flesh? And yet, the more you think about it, the more amazing it gets, don't you think? I just love thinking about Almighty God needing to be breastfed. What awe Mary must have felt!

The resource I'm currently using comes from http://www.bible.org. Bob Deffinbaugh of Dallas Theological Seminary wrote a series examining the Incarnation, in which he observes the link between the Incarnation and the Atonement. Those who deny that Jesus is God in the flesh also generally deny that His death on the cross provides sufficient atonement for sin.
Studying Scripture only deepens my awe of Who Jesus is and what He did for us! What a wonderful demonstration of love!

Monday, December 4, 2006

First Snow of the Winter


On general principle, I hate snow. Even when our town shovels the sidewalks, the snow gets piled up at the curb-cuts, so wheelchair users can't cross the streets. That makes for very long winters, especially after doing as much as we did this past summer and fall.
And as you'll remember (the photo upper-left may jog memories), New England had a glorious autumn! My mother-in-law has lived in the Greater Boston Area all her life, and she says she can't remember a fall as spectacular as this!
So I wasn't too eager to see "the evil white stuff" this morning. But, you know?--it wasn't bad. John had to rush to snap the picture below because it started to melt so quickly. I could get to like snow like we had today!



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