I love the Old Testament, I have told you guys that before.. I love it!
(Like the dog on the Beggin’ Strips commercials… “I want bacon!” )
In the New Testament, Jesus comes- I mean really that’s incredible, and He promises to come back too… even better.
I’m an old soul, most who know me would agree with that, I say most, because you have to know me pretty well for me to have expressed my desire for an 18th Century wardrobe. Gingham, taffeta, girdles, and corsets made with BONES to suck you in, in a way no Spanx ever could! I mean really, who cares if you can’t breathe if you are being auctioned off to the highest dowry paying, family aligning eligible bachelor out there, right? Not so much. That would be awful, but that is what we see a lot of in the Bible. Not the money part as much as the parents advising and guiding you toward a spouse of their choosing.
In the telling of the story of Isaac and Rebekah, I giggled in girlish delight as Abraham sent his servant to find a girl, and one appeared who did more than was asked of her and in confirmation through prayer was selected to be his wife. I was sucked in to this story where it seemed to be love at first sight, the thing we believe can’t exist because most of us, didn’t wait for God’s timing. He sees her coming in the field, and she sees him, and prepares herself, after barely more than a greeting, I was blushing as I read of him taking her to the tent and consummating their covenant.
My favorite part- the Bible confirms that he loved her. It’s the first of any of the marriages I saw in the Bible that added to the fact that they were married; love.
We just came off of, in my opinion, the craziest holiday our Nation celebrates. Valentine’s isn’t love. Easter is Love, Christmas is Love. They are times that we rejoice in a Savior who chose to come and be born to this sinful world and then to die on our behalf, while we were/are sinners. Since our children were out of school over the Valentine Holiday, we didn’t think anything of it; until they went back to school on Monday gave their cards, and came home with so many Valentine’s cards.
Cash- our more affectionate child, said, “Mom, you and dad didn’t get us Valentine’s?” My brother hears him through the phone on my ear, and says, “You didn’t get them anything? You’re a jerk!” (Don’t worry- it’s an affectionate term he uses on me…really!) I was instantly shamed. I took the time to explain to my little buddy that Mommy and Daddy don’t do Valentine’s Day, because we love and give to each other all year, so I hadn’t even thought about buying Valentine’s. His sweet little face tilted, and he said, “but I got you something Mom.”… and he did. On Valentine’s Day in between snow sessions, he wrote me a Valentine’s message and taped it to my bedroom door, “so I could see it everyday”. My brother listened to the exchange and then prompted me to find their love languages. He reminded me that each person feels, gives and received love differently and I needed to find out what their love languages were.
It’s my job to know how they receive love.- Ouch.
If I am supposed to be Jesus with skin, and He is love, I have to love them the way they relate to love, so they can feel HIS love. Touchdown for the younger brother.
So grateful for my brother… He is my dearest friend. He in a joking or straightforward way always encourages me. He builds me, shows me how I can be more than I am. He is Jesus with skin on, and dirty feet. 🙂 Thanks Bub.
The Old Testament is full of stories like this. Stories before the hope of the world came to bring redemption. Stories that took people as they were, changed their hearts, their paths, guided them to the Lord. He walked among them in the Old Testament, as flame, as wind, as storm clouds, as whirlwinds. He was there. God. Incredible presence, to the point of blindness, to stone commandments carried down from a mountain, to the Ark of the covenant that literally carried His presence and dared you to touch it, or defile it. He is power, and might, the wind, the rain, the strong right hand, the stone in the sling, the sword, the trumpet, the war cry and the victory. He is love, the Father to the Fatherless, the fount of living water…. I mean, Jesus brought the fulfillment of the promise, but God is the promise.
If He made you a promise, prepare yourself, get to a place with Him, and ask what junk has to go for you to make your home here? What people have assisted me in abandoning my promise? Then do it, get rid of it, of them, start anew. Nothing of value comes for free. There is pain, and suffering in the cutting of dead things- because as new cells are brought to life it is uncomfortable. What depths are you willing to go to to see the lost found? To see your dreams become reality? To watch the broken become whole?
He is love, He is the same Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, He does not base His promises on our worth, but on His. Take Comfort in that. You can do it. You can let that friendship that does nothing but take from you go. You can! You can stop watching that show that defiles the name of the Lord, you can make a home for Him, in your home.