We are not certain precisely when my husband became a believer. We know that it occurred sometime during our first year of marriage. We also know that it was very hard for him to surrender himself into God's loving care, because of anxieties that my husband had acquired while a child.
During most of his childhood, my husband was poor. He told me that they liked to believe that they were lower middle class, but now he knows that they were just plain poor. He never was sure when he'd have enough clothes, or shoes that fit, or food on the table. As a result of this past, my husband didn't want to live his adult life in want.
Also, now as an adult, my husband was hearing Christians say: Trust in God...He wants to save you from your sins and have a relationship with you. My husband kept on holding back from God for months because he wasn't sure if he could trust this Jesus to truly take care of him....all his needs,.., spiritual as well as physical. Finally, the scripture Matthew 6:25-34 broke through the wall of his fears and my husband surrendered himself completely into the Lord's care. And he was excited; excited about living the Christian life. He wanted to follow Jesus' leading in life. He had sold out to Jesus completely.
During our first year of marriage, my husband was learning his profession. And as "the new kid" he was assigned to run the work and deliver it when it was done. Quite often these deliveries took place in the late night hours. And he usually had many stops each night. In order for me to even have time to talk with him, I often chose to ride in the car with him while he made his deliveries. It was during one of these evening delivery trips that an interesting event occurred.
We were downtown and finishing up to go home. It was cold that night and the sky looked like some snow flurries could be expected. Since we hadn't had snow yet that winter, the sidewalks were clear, but everything was so cold and gray. Our car had just turned the corner when my husband saw a man walking on the sidewalk toward a wide doorway and my husband pointed this man out to me. The man was dressed poorly; very inadequately for the weather. And his shoes, if you could call them that, were split in so many places that they could not possibly keep out the elements.
Almost as quickly as we drove past this man, my husband pulled over to the curb, put on his flashing lights, and announced that he was giving that man his shoes! I really had no time to protest because my husband was already out of the car. I watched as they talked and after some discussion, the man accepted the shoes. My husband came back to the car in his socks and we talked as we drove toward home.
I was concerned because my husband had only two pairs of shoes that were decent enough for work and here he'd just given one pair away! But my husband said that the scriptures said that if you have more than enough and someone was in need, then the Lord wants us to share. He also explained that he could only wear one pair of shoes at a time anyway, so now this simplified things. We closed the conversation with the thought that when my husband needed another pair of shoes, the Lord would provide them.
Time passed, and we could have used that extra pair of shoes, but we got along. Occasionally we talked about the incident and wondered if the Lord had ever intended to give my husband that second pair of shoes.
Approximately 18 months after my husband gave away his shoes, we were visiting at a friend's apartment. Midway through the evening, our host got up and told my husband that he had something for him. He brought back a pair of brown loafers. They fit perfectly. He went on to explain that for more than a year the Lord had been prompting him to give these shoes to my husband, be he just hadn't gotten around to it. We mentioned that my husband had wanted another pair of shoes, but didn't go into any details. We looked at each other and we couldn't wait to talk about it on the way home.
We decided that the most important issue in the "shoe incident" was the way in which the Lord used people to convey his blessings. But the people were always "allowed" to function within their own free-will. My husband was a vehicle for blessing for the man with no shoes because my husband was so willing to obey without question. Our friend withheld a blessing that the Lord intended for us because he was unwilling to obey without question. And the Lord never made our friend obey, he only prompted and let our friend choose to obey. This was an exciting revelation to us because we were able to see both sides of a blessing and how a man can choose to be a part of it.
10 types of people...
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
(New International Version)
5:1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
"Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
15 Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(New International Version)