Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Even in the Abnormal

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, NASB95)

Today there was a lot of focus on and remembrance of those who lost and even surrendered their lives at the hands of evil twelve years ago, along with remembering and honoring all of those who have served and even sacrificed their lives in the battles that ensued.  But even in the midst of this focus people had to go on with their days and deal with their normal (or maybe even abnormal) things, knowing that in both the big and the small that our God is the one who gives us both the strength to face trials of all sizes and to find peace in all circumstances.

Today, my abnormal was repairing a kitchen faucet, where the retractable hose had broken and needed to be replaced. Replacing a retractable hose on a kitchen faucet would normally be an easy thing for me to do, except that I could no longer find the right hose and the ‘universal’ one is not universal in this universe. So I bought what should have been the right adaptor and it didn’t accurately adapt. I’m generally pretty patient with repairs, but today was not one of them. So I took a break to sit down and write, thinking that at worst the faucet would get replaced rather than repaired.

(tick, tick, tick—time passing) Further efforts proved unsuccessful, and yes, the faucet got replaced, at least for the most part. The new valve lines are smaller than the old ones, so tomorrow morning I’ll pick up a reducer. I guess the dishes can wait. This is not a normal course of events for me when I fix things, and having so many ‘trials’ on such a simple task was quite challenging.

I wish I could say that I did well with all of this and that I heeded the admonition to rejoice in God always, no matter what was going on. But I had to purpose to stop and to pray, and then lying under the sink I did some more. And then something would go other than expected, and I had to work on praying and rejoicing all over again. My grade for the day would not have been too good in my estimation.

But God, He is faithful even when I am frustrated, and I am fully accepted even when I get a bit irritable. I am fully forgiven before I ever stop and confess to him my frustrations. And I am very thankful that both God and Robin love me even when I am not at my ‘loviest’ (old word I just made up).

The words of James come back again as I sit in a much quieter evening. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2–4, NASB95)

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (9/11)

Rejoice in Me always! No matter what is going on, you can rejoice in your Love-relationship with Me. This is the secret of being content in all circumstances. So many people dream of the day when they will finally be happy: when they are out of debt, when their children are out of trouble, when they have more leisure time, and so on. While they daydream, their moments are trickling into the ground like precious balm spilling wastefully from overturned bottles.

Fantasizing about future happiness will never bring fulfillment, because fantasy is unreality. Even though I am invisible, I am far more Real than the world you see around you. My reality is eternal and unchanging. Bring your moments to Me, and I will fill them with vibrant Joy. Now is the time to rejoice in My Presence!

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4, NASB95)

“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” (Philippians 4:12, NASB95)

“But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.” (Psalm 102:27, NASB95)

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