Tuesday, December 13, 2011
One Week, Three Passages
We invited a friend to move in with us. She was having to commute 2 hrs. to get to work each day because she lived at home so she could afford to finish her schooling. We talked about it as a family and felt the extra room in our home would be the perfect place for her. We invited her and she accepted.
She's only been with us for a week, but for whatever reason these past few weeks have been crazy busy and I get through each day by making a list and checking it twice! Only my list is a “to do” list. I have felt bad because I have been run-down, tired and a bit cranky of a hostess.
In my study of Esther last week, Beth Moore pointed out that when Mordecai told Esther to talk to the king on behalf of the Jewish nation, Esther pointed out that she was in the midst of her own crisis. The king had not summoned her for 30 days. “...in the times of greatest struggle when you make the Godward decision over convenience, earthly comfort, or carnal pleasure, you too have come to a critical moment in the fulfillment of your destiny...” The timing of our friend moving in wasn't the most convenient for me, but we had no doubt in our mind that this was the direction God wanted us to move.
Week one passed in a blur. We had some fun conversations, a bit of hang-out time, but mostly we just passed on the way to work and meetings. Sunday morning came and I knew I should make some effort to provide a decent breakfast, but exhaustion just simply took over. The passage in church was I Peter 4. I have no idea what the message was about because not only was it in Spanish, but after one reading of the chapter I didn't hear anything other than my own soul crying out to God for strength.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”
I Peter 4:8-11
Wow, could any words be more personal to me than “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling”? Just as these verses say, I have been given a gift of a large apartment. It's a gift that I have been in awe at and feel honored to help another person with this gift. I read this over and over during the service, stuck on the thought that God gave me a gift that I could share with others. I finally read on feeling a burden lift as I read the promise of the strength God promises to provide. I know there is extra work, extra effort in having another person live with you. It can be so easy to grumble, but I don't have to focus on the work because I know God will give me everything I need to be a wonderful hostess.
This morning I was on my morning jog listening to Erwin McManus. I was totally surprised when he said “You do not mature as a follower of Christ by sitting in a chair. You mature as a follower of Christ when you get up and live it out.... You are not only supposed to live in the presence of God, but you are supposed to live in concert with the action and activity of God. And God in his Spirit is always moving forward. You mature as a follower of Christ when you get up and go live it out.” He was speaking about
“we are to 'live in the Spirit and walk in step with the Spirit' this is how we are most fully alive.”
One week, 3 passages in scripture and 3 divine moments when God spoke to me specifically to encourage me to follow Him, trust Him and move forward in faith.