After yesterday’s on and off again storms, I woke up today to mostly sunny skies, moderate temperatures and a dog that was eager to go out and explore his new domain. I have to keep reminding myself that I have absolutely nothing to get or be anxious about here in my new home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. After pushing myself for months getting the house ready for sale, dealing with the showings, the offers, the packing and then the following move out and in again to the new place… All that “gotta get it done” is… well… done!
Now what? Okay let’s see… the first order of business is to take care of the car and driver’s licensing, auto insurance, new health insurance and the other ten or so immediate things that come with moving to a new state. But, it’s not my first rodeo, so I’ll just get it done one step at a time… while learning something called: “RELAXING”
I keep thinking about how Piper’s and my history brought us out here to Oklahoma… twice! And as I sat on the balcony reading from the book of Ephesians, I had more opportunity to consider what the history books will say about the life and times of Jim and Piper Berruto. I like what the God’s Word © translation says about history. I tend to personalize most everything I read when I study the Bible, so Ephesians 1:10 said to me today that “God planned to bring all of Piper’s and my history (as well as all of yours) to its goal in Christ.” The very next verse in The Message paraphrase would tend to agree with that thought as it declares that “It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for…”
While a cool and refreshing breeze blew about Fiver and I on the balcony, I began to laugh as I had the sudden idea that Piper’s and my history must have been pretty decent as it seemed like the devil unknowingly put God’s stamp of approval on it… through all the vicious personal attacks that he (the enemy of our souls) unleased on us during the years of Piper’s illness. Hummm… that’s kind of a cool way to think about it!
Our Pastor was teaching on fear yesterday and spoke on one of Piper’s and my LONG-TIME favorite verses found in 2 Timothy 1:7 where Paul taught his young protégé saying “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (KJV) Pastor Hagin stated that when fear moves in you lose POWER. You lose the ability to LOVE and you lose SOUNDNESS OF MIND, which results in you making decisions that a SOUND MIND would never allow.
Well, that sent a chill through my body because that is exactly what we saw happening around us over the last twelve years. But the chill came not with that realization, but with the realization of how AWFUL it must have been for those caught in the clutches of such debilitating and panic driven fear… With NO strength to overcome it, no ability to walk in giving and grace-filled love, and all the while, continually doing and saying hurtful things that a sound mind would never allow to be spoken and/or acted upon! YIKES! You talk about a SCARY situation to find yourself in!
As I pondered all of this, I realized the goodness of the Lord in preparing us for our future history that He started at the beginnings of our relationship. For as far as I can remember, 2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 4:13 and 19 and Joshua 1:9 were some of the first scriptures that Piper and I took deep into our hearts and made to be active participants in our lives.
So, when the hardest of times came upon us, we already had a history of God’s strength in our lives to fall back on. We quickly identified the various forms that fear tried to take in the attack on Piper’s health and turned our eyes away from what our physical senses were screaming at us and looked to the overwhelming truth of God’s Word and the history of it working in our lives over the 37 years of being together when we received that first negative doctor’s report in July of 2007… right here in Broken Arrow!
So yeah… history has its place throughout our lives! In many respects, our past history saved us when the present troubles became evident in Piper’s and my lives. Have you every thought about your past and present histories? What will it say about you? Will it help or hinder you in troubled times… as well as in the good times! I am looking forward to my history of the past, present and of that which is yet to be written, to carry me joyfully into the next chapter of my life. How about you?
Have a great week, and as you do, continue to say with me… “I am expecting my history to work great things in my life today!”