February 10, 2014
Have you ever been shut in with icy weather, the cupboards getting more and more bare? Have you ever looked again at the want list and thought, is it worth getting on icy roads for more envelopes? And your desire to not wreck your car outweighs your desire to get everything on your grocery list? (And your Mother is coming to stay overnight if weather permits?)
Have you ever enjoyed a new author and felt so blessed that God is answering questions you have had with these books? Have you ever wanted to buy a dozen more and share them with your pastor, close friends and relatives?
Have you ever marveled how God used your love of Veggie Tales to make you curious about Phil Vischer to listen to his podcasts, read his book, and meet other fascinating authors?
And have you ever needed to get to a very special wedding shower for your youngest son’s bride where you are nervous about being a mother-in-law, let alone meeting new people, and wondering who all will show up, and yet getting to see relatives you have not seen in years…promising to come if weather permits, and you don’t know what to wear or what present to take, and the shower is like a family reunion, a glimpse of heaven, where we get to eat good food, sit around and chat and catch up on everyone’s news---see pictures of grandbabies, and watch the Bride open presents??? And your own Mother steals the show presenting a blanket it took her a year to knit, and you are so happy for her, and everyone claps, and you wish you had a picture of her smiling---because she is not even a widow for a year now…
Have you ever??
And then, have you ever finished the books, and know you need to re-read them because you were in a hurry the first time, and want to put into practice…and you sing in your car repenting the ways you have lived above/under/for/from God instead of WITH God, and you notice at Sunday School, when your husband is teaching the story of Peter saying “where are You, Jesus going?” and how he would die for Jesus, and Jesus says the rooster is going to crow (and you go to Red Robin for lunch which looks like a rooster) and you wonder if Peter’s problem is living FOR God instead of WITH God…
And with your new glasses of seeing how different Bible characters were guilty of above/under/for/from God instead of WITH God, you remember John 1:1---(‘cause your husband is teaching that book in Sunday School, so it is still fresh in your mind) but where else does it say “with God” in the Bible, so you do a word search in Biblegateway dot com, but forget to put the quote marks and discover there are 797 instances of the words with and God appearing in the same verses---but not always linked, but you look down the list and Genesis 1:11 God said let the earth sprout vegetation…fruit trees…with seed (is the concept for the first use) and Genesis 4:5 Adam had relations WITH his wife again…God has appointed…
And so you remember to put the quote marks in so that the word search grabs only verses where “with God” appears and you are astounded that only 32 results start looking like the heroes list of Hebrews 12. And you get goosebumps, and read down through the list:
Genesis 5:22,24 Enoch (uh-oh…should I warn Skye Jethani? You think, and resist the urge to go onto facebook and talk to Phil and Skye because you are suppose to be doing a personal Bible Study in the early morning and learning what it means to be WITH GOD not with Phil and Skye.
Back to our list:
Genesis 5:22, 24 Enoch
Genesis 6:9 Noah
Genesis 32:28 Jacob
Exodus 24:1 in the wilderness, the people affirm their covenant with God
Numbers 23:27 Balak says to Balaam: perhaps it will be agreeable with God that you curse them from here. (and we know how that story goes!)
I Samuel 14:45 the people are protesting Saul: must Jonathan die …as the Lord lives…for he has worked with God this day.
2 Samuel 23:5 in David’s last song: my house so with God
2 Chronicles 32:21 Neco king of Egypt tells Josiah to stop interfering with God…and it says, Neco spoke words from the mouth of God! Yikes.
Ezra 10:1 reconciliation with God—confess marrying foreign wives and put away… while Ezra is praying and weeping
Job 13:3 But I would speak to the Almighty and I desire to argue with God. (Job is speaking to his friends, and I think friends needs quotation marks)
Job 16:21 O that a man might plead with God as a man with his neighbor! (the chapter where Job says friends are sorry comforters)
Job 25:4 How then can a man be just with God or how can he be clean who is born of woman? (Bildad)
Job 34:9 (Elihu is speaking—best read the whole chapter yourself to get the jest)
Psalm 7:10 my shield is with God who saves the upright in heart
Hosea 12:3 In the womb he took his brother by the heel and in his maturity he contended with God. (so Jacob gets a double mention)
Matthew 19:26 Jesus said to them, looking at them, with people this is impossible but with God all things are possible
Mark 10:27 ditto
Luke 1:30 Gabriel said to Mary for you have found favor with God
Luke 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.
Luke 2:52 Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men
Luke 18:27 ditto of Matthew and Mark
John 1:1 The Word was with God
John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God
John 5:18 making Himself equal with God (is why they murdered Him)
And you can’t wait to share them with your husband, your best friend.
And post this on your blog.
And tell Suzanne. And Mary. And Nancy.
And Laura K---as you remember a question she had about some verses that Skye Jethani answers…
And Dear Heavenly Father,
I tremble---as I write this. You have been so patient and gracious to me. Thank you for the books, thank you for answering my recent questions, and thank you for answers to some problem verses. I have wasted so much of my life in fear and anger. Thank you for listening to me sing in the car, and cry, and as I sit here now--- You have given me a life of luxury, a warm house, a computer to type upon, a faithful husband who goes to work and is so generous with his money, his time, his person, to pray with me, and love me, and help me in so many intimate and personal ways, thank you for my husband. Thank you for my Mother. Please give her wisdom, insight, courage to do the next thing You would have her do in Your perfect timing. Please help her grieve, and help us know what to say, how to help without being mean or irritating or condescending. We overwhelm her with too much advice. There are too many of us with big mouths. Thank you for all you are giving her with these new stories and victories—like buying her car. Wow. Thank You for going ahead of her. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. And thank you for Ben installing the new light fixture in the bathroom and outing me for not being very careful with the checklist. And thank you for the upcoming wedding---please help us all behave and not ruin it for Tiffany with our big mouths. I pray that it all goes smoothly so that they will be blessed with a good memory to look back on their whole married lives… Thank you for all the Mrs. Williamsons that came to the shower, and cousins, and Ozzie, and Suzanne. Please heal the grandbabies of their ear infections, coughs, fevers, and Andy’s leg, and Amber’s cough.
Please help me live WITH You, not above/under/for/from nor mad at You. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Have you ever? I have. With God. God and me. Not so fast, remember I am journaling selfishly here to help jog my memory, and look back to see the answered prayers. I have an ulterior motive. And It is not living with God to write about it and list stuff. Please go read Skye Jethani’s books: WITH and FUTUREVILLE.
Have you ever? What are the odds? God is so Good.