Having just finished a lesson study on Discipleship, I find it interesting that friends of mine are expressing frustration with the burdens they carry – especially at church. Maybe you got asked to serve as a deacon one too many times. Perhaps you got stuck with the (fill in the blank) program that no one else wants.
Take some time to count the cost during this struggle. Deep down we all know that anything worth having is worth sacrificing for. Look at Jesus. For Him the salvation of the human race was worth having, so He sacrificed Himself for it.
Don’t get angry at yourself for struggling. Consider it a time to count the cost. Everybody has the freedom to choose. God doesn’t force. Perhaps serving in some capacity at your local church isn’t a part of God’s plan for your life right now. But count the cost of choosing to follow Jesus – wholeheartedly. Take your time. This is a matter of great consequence. Jesus likened it to taking up a cross. You just have to ask yourself – is it worth it?
Life forever with no more sin, sorrow and pain. The ability to enjoy this Earth that way it was originally created to be enjoyed – forever! Is that worth a few struggles and hiccups over the course of a few years now? Forever. A few years now. Go ahead, count the cost.
For the past 13 months, pain has been a way of life for me. During that same time period, picking up the slack and taking care of me has been the way of life for my husband. But it’s nothing new. I picked a winner.
Karl and I attended a small Christian college in central Texas where the cafeteria hours were unmovable – even if it conflicted with a class. Seeking a bachelor of arts degree, I had to take foreign language and I chose French. It just so happened that French class got out five minutes before the cafeteria closed – and it was on the opposite end of the campus. Enter the hero – my boyfriend who became my husband.
Karl would eat supper then go back through line and get a tray for me, he arranged it with one of the cafeteria workers he had befriended. The entrance door would be locked, but I could knock on the exit door and Karl would let me in and I got to eat supper. For someone with digestive problems caused by Crohn’s Disease who has to eat three regular meals a day – no snacking – this was a lifesaver.
My husband continues to be my hero. I am grateful.
One of the fascinating sequels in the Bible is the book of Jeremiah, followed by the book of Lamentations. The first book is all about Jeremiah’s pleadings, on God’s behalf, for God’s people to come back to Him. The book is full of recollections of God’s many attempts to get their attention and remind them that they had a covenant. He would be their God, provide all for them, and they would be His people, faithful to Him only. But they didn’t listen. To put it delicately, they pretty much decided to flaunt their unfaithfulness in God’s face. So then comes the book of Lamentations. All God’s warnings ignored, the desolation came. Now begins Jeremiah’s laments over how none of this would have happened, if God’s people had just been faithful.
Tucked in the first chapter of Lamentations is an interesting concept in verse nine. God’s people didn’t consider their destiny.
Think about that for a moment. They were so wrapped up in the here and now, instant gratification that they forgot about their ultimate destiny as God’s people. Remember that ultimate destiny? They were never to lord it over others. God simply chose them to be the ones to share His love with all the rest of the world. They lost sight of that destiny and became an exclusive club for snobs instead. God’s original plan was to save every single person on Earth. The people He blessed to share that good news with others – they failed, because they didn’t consider their destiny.
What is your destiny? Are you so caught up in the here and now, hand to mouth, daily grind and all of that – have you lost sight of your destiny? Is your marriage something you’re just surviving today, or does it have a destiny to be great? Can you hardly wait until the kids are of legal age and out of the house, or does your parenting have a destiny?
Life isn’t just about today. God created you for greatness. You have a destiny – don’t lose sight of that. Today’s decisions affect tomorrow. A score of tomorrows becomes your destiny. Have you considered your destiny today?
Karl and I find ourselves on road trips often, so we take advantage of the time on the road and talk, listen to music, share dreams or listen to a podcast. We’ve started investing in various marriage ministry materials to peruse and share on our marriage website. Check it out at http://www.unashamedmarriage.com.
Dr. Kevin Leman’s “Sex Begins in the Kitchen,” is our latest audio book we are enjoying. I like the way they start it, with a snippet of one of his live presentations so you can see what a dynamic and humorous speaker he is. It helps to set the tone as he reads through the chapters of this book. He covers personalities, birth orders and just the most logical thing ever: timing. He’s right, sex often does begin in the kitchen, if it doesn’t die there.
Karl and I could laugh as we remembered going through the stage where we often killed sex in the kitchen. If we had it to do all over again, there are many times he would have walked in the door, seen what I’d been through that day and said that’s it – we’re going out to eat. You need to get out of the house!
If you are looking for good books for your marriage – regardless of whether you are desperate to save it or wisely investing in your marriage – please consider Dr. Leman’s book. You’ll be glad you did.
I saw this meme on Facebook about this being National Hug an Engineer Week. Hilarious! I can laugh because my oldest son plans to study engineering in college this fall. The grimace on the engineer’s face in the picture says it all. You are in my space!
Thankfully, Michael gives and receives hugs from most members of the family. His little sister is still questionable as she is way too “fun country” for him and her hugs end up being a total invasion of his personal space. I recently learned more about how much Michael protects his personal space when I confronted him about his apparent fear of rain. “It’s only water,” I would often say. “You take a shower after all.”
Michael’s response? “But I know where the shower is aiming and I can control it. Aha! Breakthrough in understanding my son. It’s not the water itself that bothers him, but that he’s not controlling where it’s going and he can’t control it getting into his very defined personal space.
I do plan on hugging my future engineer, but I also accept him for who he is and what he needs – personal space.