Monday, October 22, 2007
They said, "The Master is coming to honor the town today,
And none can tell us at whose house or home
The Master would choose to stay,"
And I thought while my heart beat wildly,
What if he should come to mine?
How would I strive to entertain
And honor the guest divine?
And straight I turned to toiling
To make my house more neat;
I swept and polished and garnished,
And decked it with blossoms sweet;
I was troubled for fear the
Master Might come ere my task was done,
And hastened and worked the faster,
And watched the hurrying sun.
But right in the midst of my duties
A woman came to my door;
She had come to tell me her sorrows,
And my comfort and aid to implore,
And I said; "I cannot listen, Nor help you any today;
I have greater things to attend to."
And the pleader turned away.
But soon there came another
A cripple, thin, pale and gray
And said, "O, let me stop and rest
Awhile in your home, I pray
I have traveled far since morning,
I am hungry and faint and weak,
My heart is full of misery,
And comfort and help I seek."
And I said, "I am grieved and sorry,
But I cannot help you today;
I look for a great and noble guest,"
And the cripple went away.
And the day wore onward swiftly,
And my task was nearly done.
And ever a prayer was in my heart
That the Master to me might come.
And I thought I would spring to meet him,
And serve him with utmost care,
When a little child stood by me
With a face so sweet and fair
Sweet, but with marks of teardrops,
And his clothes were tattered and old.
A finger was bruised and bleeding
And his little bare feet were cold.
And I said, "I'm sorry for you,
You are sorely in need of care;
But I cannot stop to give it,
You must hasten on else where."
And at the words a shadow
Swept over the blue-veined brow;
"Someone will feed and clothe you, dear,
But I am too busy now."
At last the day was ended
And my toil was over and done,
My house was swept and garnished,
And I watched in the dusk alone;
Watched, but no foot-fall sounded,
No one even paused at my gate
No one entered my cottage door,
I could only pray and wait.
I waited until night had deepened,
And the Master had not come;
"He has entered some other door," I cried,
And gladdened some other home!"
My labor had been for nothing
And I bowed my head and wept,
My heart was sore with longing,
Yet in spite of all I slept.
Then the Master stood before me,
And his face was grave and fair;
"Three times today I came to your door
And craved your pity and care;
Three times you sent me onward,
Unhelped and uncomforted,
And the blessing you might have had was lost,
And your chance to serve has fled."
"Oh, Lord, dear Lord, forgive me!
How could I know it was Thee?"
My soul was very shamed and bowed,
In the depth of humility.
And he said: "The sin is pardoned,
But the blessing is lost to Thee;
For in comforting not the least of mine,
Ye have failed to comfort me.
I tell you, when you make your own plans for the day, always be ready for the Lord to throw something else in there. We are called to be instant in season and out of season (to be ready for God's leading when it's convenient and when it's not!)
My motto: "OK Lord, whatever you have for me, I'm game!" I live a life of surprise, and God is alright with that-He'll use it-you know? God knows I am always open to anything. I consider myself easy going-most of the time. And the Father uses this to His advantage. Now, I won't pretend I always like having "my" plans thwarted...but God knows if He has an opportunity and can use me, I'm willing.
So, today is Monday. The first day after 4 days of busy-ness and business, I am home and ready to accomplish some things! My plans!!! I planned on getting some housework done, some winterizing done, and some cleaning taken care of in my barn. I got as far as winterizing my kitchen window and moving a couple of things in the barn.
It has become obvious to me, over the years, that God wants to use me to help people sort out things in their lives. I suppose I am a good listener...though at times I have a horrible habit (I think) of interrupting. Still, I tend to have more than my share of people needing advice. If I was a cartoon character, my name would be Lucy and I'd be in a box-turned-office with a sign out front that stated, "The Doctor is In"! I'm not complaining-it's my joy to help others sort out their problems according to the Word and help them get on track. My phone rings endlessly some days.
Back to my plans: they didn't happen the way I planned them!
I got an early call from a very sad sister who needed advice. She came over and we talked and she cried and I talked and she smiled and I encouraged and she helped me in the barn and we talked and prayed and she went home. God love her, I pray she'll obey God and it will be alright. As long as we follow His path, we cannot fail. As soon as we begin on any way but the narrow way-we are lost! She was persuaded somehow to take her eyes off the Lord and she quickly made a mess of things! But God is so wonderfully there for us! The poor, dear sister had herself convinced that she needed to beat herself up with her mistake and I had the joy of seeing her face when God's light shone on it in revelation that she most certainly did not need to beat herself up with her mistake. Repent and turn and be saved. There is no beating up necessary. Praise our most merciful Father!
God, our loving Father is not a mean Father waiting to pummel his children into submission. He looks for a humble and contrite spirit and heart to mold with His Potter's hands to conform to His image and will. This can be painful, as we submit to the process, but it's also a time of growth and trust.
She left with a prayer and although she was not looking forward to the sadness her mistake would cause her, she knew God stopped her before she strayed too far from Him. Thank God for His Word that keeps us...that it's a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! Because she had brethren who love her, she was pulled back to the narrow path before the wide one consumed her and caused her years of pain. He will never leave us nor forsake us! He is so good!
My next unplanned activity was a spur-of-the-moment Bible study (which I love!) with the friend who is studying the wives of the Bible with me. We decided to begin with Proverbs 31 and use it as a guideline for the wives and for our own lives. As we study, I plan to put what we feel the Holy Spirit shares with us here on my little corner of the web. I love to study the Word with several translations of the Bible and Strong's Concordance and a dictionary.
This topic we are studying comes from a very God-born desire to repent, revamp and reconstruct the life I've formed, mostly and sadly from what I thought was The Way, but which in reality, was my way.
As I recall this morning's talk with the first sister/friend I realized that what I spoke was most absolutely what I needed to hear, once again. I don't have to beat myself up for not being the wife I should have been. I am reaping the benefits of trying to "wife" (can that even be a verb?) in the flesh and it's not pretty.
Dear Ones, I have some advice for you...if you are trying to be the Proverbs 31 wife in the flesh...stop it! In the long run, it won't work-you'll become weary of it and become bitter and angry and start resenting it and all those negative emotions will rub off on your beloved husband. BUT...if you are determined to become the wife God desires you to be and commit your plans to the Lord-His Word says they will succeed! It's His will for us to be good wives, it's His desire to reveal the "Great Mystery" through us! What a calling! To show how much Christ loves His Bride and how much the Bride loves her Husband, Christ! I would do anything for my Savior...wouldn't you?
Likewise, we are to treat our husbands with the same respect as we have for the Lord, to show a lost and dying world how blessed we are. Yes, husbands also have a role to play in the Great Mystery, but we are not husbands-are we? Therefore, we must learn what God would have us do to glorify Him in our marriage. Our flesh wants to mind our husband's business...but one of our callings is to mind our own business...which means to have our minds full of our business in the Lord-and our business in the Lord is to reverence our husbands. This is only ever possible as we walk in the Spirit of God on a daily basis. He calls us and He supplies what we need to do His will. It's all for His glory!
So, my word to you today would be, Dear Sisters, do not waste time beating yourselves up. Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee. God has your very best interests at heart and as you submit to Him, He will enable you through His Spirit to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. He who calls us is faithful. Whatever God is calling you to do, He will equip you to fulfill. Love your husbands, love your children, love your neighbor as yourself. And really, don't beat yourselves up-when God forgives, He throws all He forgives into the sea of forgetfulness, as far as the east is from the west...never to be remembered again. Let it go and move with the cloud!!!
I promised you a chicken casserole recipe...and here it is:
1 box stuffing mix
1 stick butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 tray of chicken thighs (8 thighs)
Boil chicken until meat comes off bones. Save broth. When chicken is cool to the touch, pick the meat off the bones and place in the bottom of 9" x 13" baking dish. Put your soups in a pan and 2 cups of broth and heat them up. Pour over chicken. Pour stuffing, dry, over chicken. Lightly push stuffing into soup, not too much, but to make sure when the soup boils, it will saturate the stuffing. Melt butter and drizzle over stuffing mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until heated through.
I serve this with cranberry sauce and vegs. It tastes like Thanksgiving dinner. I brought it to a covered dish at church and quite a few women asked for the recipe, so it should be a hit when you make it! YUM!!
Lord, I pray you help us to understand your vast power to forgive, your unfathomable love toward us who deserve it not. Help us to believe Your Word when you say we are forgiven and that you choose not to remember it at all. Help us to walk in the Spirit so we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Help us to commit all our plans to You, in accordance with Your will, so that they will succeed. Thank You Lord that your love covers a multitude of sins and that You equip us for whatever you desire us to do for Your glory! Amen
May God bless you richly, as you reveal His Great Mystery to a lost and dying world-and as your heart revels in the Spirit and reveals the Home-sweet things as a shining light in the kingdom of darkness. Good Night. x0