Wow there is a lot of sin in my life. I am amazed at where my mind goes when I take my eyes of Christ. I believe that God graciously healed my wife. She should have died on March 13th if not for my God saving her. So why is it that I now need to protect her as if I am in charge now? It’s as if I have said to God, “I’ll take it from here.” I can not take care of Laurie. Only God can. Do I understand this?
Two weeks ago I had nothing to cling to but God. Now I still have nothing to cling to but God, however, I am chosing not to. I am clinging to my perceived control over her life. I have heard so many nurses say that Laurie is such a strong woman, that I am starting to believe it. It’s a lie! Laurie is not a strong woman. Laurie is a weak, weak woman in desperate need of her Savior. What condition her physical body is in is irrelevant. The only control that I have over her is given to me directly from God. He alone is in control of all things, ALL things.
Paul does not give us any other option in Galatians 3 when he says O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?…Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? I understand that God has made me a steward of creation in general (Genesis 2:15) and my wife in specific (1 Peter 3:7) but do I honestly think that this is done by working hard? Meganointa! It is not by works but by faith that ANYTHING happens.
It is not that I sit back and wait for God to work His magic, I work in faith to earn money to live on. I serve her in faith to wash her in the water of the Word. I care for her physical needs not because I can control her needs but because in faith God will meet her needs through me. Do we see this shift in thinking? Do we see the inability to do anything on our own? Many people have wondered why I have been so ‘at peace’ through this time of soul training. My answer is simple. Jesus.
I have written and rewritten the first line of this post 3 times and I can not come up with a sentence that does my thought justice. On Saturday my bride of 8 years almost died. Next thing you know, she’s taking a stroll around the hospital. I am sure that God is doing amazing things both here in Southern Maine and in many other places. There are people recognizing their need for something more. There are people recognizing their need for community. There are people who are taking this opportunity to live their lives to honor our creator God in all that they do.
There are so many people who I have come in contact with this past week that I have never met and I am sure that I never would have met them had this not happened. There are people who have been drawn to the waiting room as if pulled by an unknown force. There are people who have been drawn to contact me who I haven’t seen or talked to in years. This is the work of the Holy Spirit who has been sent to minister not only to me; but to anyone who would humble themselves and realize that there is something bigger than themselves in control of everything.
I can not help but wonder how many people will end up being touched by this one occurence. In truth, I know that it will not be until Heaven that Laurie will fully see the impact that she has had on not only this community but others as well. This is where it gets tricky. We so badly want to lift up Laurie as a wonderful Mother/Wife/Person without recognizing where her help comes from. Milton Vincent says, “Outside of heaven, the power of God in its highest density is found inside the gospel.” The gospel is called the power of God in Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes and in 1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Nothing else is called the power of God except Jesus Christ Himself in 1 Corinthians 1:24.
When we realize that we are not center of the gospel but that God’s glory is, we can truly live in the power that is promised to us. We do not live for our own glory but for the Glory of God. We realize that it is because God first loved us that we even have the opportunity to love others. 1 John 4:19 says it plainly when we read – We love because He first loved us. I want to make it clear that the only thing you’ve seen when I don’t look stressed is God. You may think I’m handling it, that I am being a wonderful husband and father but I assure you that it is because of God’s grace and mercy that I am able to continue day-to-day.
I pray that you would learn about this gospel and seek God in all you do…ALL you do. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says – So, whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. There isn’t anything you can do any day of the week that can substitute for getting involved in Christian community and seeking God in all His glory. There also isn’t anything you can do to disqualify yourself from Christian community. We are all sinners who need a savior. We all need to hear the gospel on a daily basis both preached to our selves and from others in community.
I would love to chat with you sometime about why this is so important to me and why it is the center of my life. Let’s grab a beer sometime.