A quick blurb from a conversation this afternoon at the nursing home-
Anna: How long were you married?
Jeanette: 169 years
Anna: Do you go to church?
Anna: DO YOU GO TO CHURCH?
Jeanette: Yes, the catholic church.
Anna. Oh the catholic church.
Jeanette: I said catholic not chocolate.
Jeanette: You sure are having a good time.
Anna: Yes I like to laugh. Do you like to laugh?
Jeanette: Only when something is funny.
Anna: What do you think is funny?
Anna: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS FUNNY?
Jeanette: Well, like when people say words wrong.
That is the edited version. I thought it was amusing.
I’d like to take you on a bit of a journey with me today, as once again I share with you a bit of this heart. I was reading one of my favorite authors, Andrew Murray, and there was a quick reference to this scripture. It jumped out at me, so I decided to dig in a bit deeper.
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
1 Peter 5:10
Two of the main words that stood out to me where establish and settle. Perhaps this is a result of having over 10 different bedrooms , 30+ roommates, count-less flights, 7 varying job titles, my current bed (aka an air mattress) and endless transition over the past few years?
I am wondering if it is possible that to be established and settled is something quite deeper. It is possible that it is referring to something much deeper. Could it be something that even Peter and Paul attained even amidst their many travels?
Another thing that I noticed is that it is solely the God of all grace’s role to establish and settle me. It is something no amount of toil can produce. I must endure and then allow Him to be the One to secure me.
So today, I pray that as your read this the God of all grace is strengthening you and laying the foundation, so that no matter what the storms of life may bring, you will be found steady.
Strong’s definitions of establish and settle:
1) to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix
2) to strengthen, make firm
3) to render constant, confirm, one’s mind
1) to lay the foundation, to found
2) to make stable, establish
“You can talk to Hollace,” the retirement center staff told me today. So I settled onto a couch next to an older man in a wheelchair. He reached for my hand so I gladly gave it to him. We began to chat a bit. He asked me how my day was going and commented on my cold hands. Even though he too was cold he wasn’t letting go and I knew that. I didn’t mind and just prayed for peace to be released through the grip. A few minutes later a petite woman rounded the couch and popped down next to me. He told me it was his sister. She promptly corrected that she was indeed his wife. His wife of 65 years, actually. She told me about how they met so many years ago, working at movie theaters in Beverly Hills. Posh, I know. She told me of their house in the snowy mountains of Oregon, and about the difficult transition to their tiny room at the retirement center. They moved there when his alzeihmers became more than she could handle alone. Although she is quite spry, she wants to be with him. I was amazed at her gentle responses and care for her husband. We ended our time with a trip to the front windows to look out through the rainy afternoon at the turning leaves outside. Hollace reached for the door, trying to escape more than just the building I am sure. We talked him into dinner instead, and that concluded my visit for today. In such a short time they taught me much, much about commitment, much about love, much about life. What a privilege. What a precious afternoon with this sweet couple. Life, every stage, it matters, really.
Some days my mind feels like it is swirling with questions. Questions ranging from turmoil in the Middle East, to what does tomorrow hold. I can feel the anxiety rise within me as I search for truth. Recently I felt the Lord say, “abide.” So, I laid down my questions and laid myself on the floor to find the place where I remain in Him. When I feel like my blood pressure start to go up, I try to find that place in Him. This morning I am reading a devotional book by Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ, and this jumped of the page at me.
“There are a thousand questions that at times come up, and the attempt to answer them becomes a weariness and a burden. It is because you have forgotten you are in Christ, who God has made to be your wisdom. Let it be your first care to abide in Him in undivided fervent devotion of heart; when the heart and the life are right, rooted in Christ, knowledge will come in such measure as Christ’s own wisdom sees meet. And without such abiding in Christ the knowledge does not really profit, but is often most hurtful. The soul satisfies itself with thoughts which are but the forms and images of truth, without receiving the truth itself and its power. God’s way is ever first to give us, even though it be but as a seed, the things itself, the life and the power, than the knowledge. Man seeks the knowledge first, and often, alas! never gets beyond it, God gives us Christ, and in Him hid the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Why of course, if I will trust it is He that dwells in me, then I will have the answers and the grace I need in the exact moments I need it! Ah, I can relax now… and you can too…
Be blessed today!