We had a good day yesterday. In celebration of my wife’s birthday and in order to take advantage of the beautiful weather, we took a walk around our newest discovery, Morrisville Community Park. While the park itself is not that big, it is attached to the Hatcher Creek Greenway which is a paved trail that meanders through thick groves of trees along the namesake creek. For a few moments there it felt like we were transported back into the thick forests of some of our favorite State Parks in California. And needless to say, Mandie our Australian Shepherd had a blast!
As I have mentioned before, my wife turned out to be quite the lover of the great outdoors and has always enjoyed spending time outside playing with the kids, going for walks or when we first returned to California after our stay in Oklahoma, puttering around the garden and flowerbeds in our large patio.
My Mom was always a strong proponent of getting outside and doing something whenever you felt lazy, bored or depressed. On the other hand, my wife’s family has tended to rely on naps to meet that need. Piper shed that tradition from almost the first moment we started dating. It continues to amaze me how a quick jaunt around the neighborhood can revive and totally uplift her, even when she is having a weak day.
I was re-reading Mathew 7:1-7 this morning from the standpoint of a study of KINDNESS and TRUTH that we have been following each night this week on a TV ministry. One of the young minister’s foundational scriptures is Proverbs 3:3-4 where we are instructed to “not let mercy or KINDNESS and TRUTH (ie; our reliance upon Christ) leave you. Fasten them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and a good reputation (or a good report) with God and man.” (God’s Word © and International Standard Version)
This has been one of those foundational scriptures in my life and one that I repeatedly have stood on as I have reached out for assistance, resources and direction as I deal with the attack on my wife’s health. At times I have been overwhelmed with the way complete strangers, people within governmental agencies and medical personnel have responded with such love, comfort and surprising agreement to our stand of faith. I am ashamed to say that I have also been overwhelmed by some family and Christian friends who took an opposite approach and became an additional part of the problem whose actions did nothing to add to the solution!
It is very interesting to me how the scriptures can tell you exactly what was going on in the various experiences of your life. As I read from Matthew 7:6 I threw up my hands and plopped back in my chair when Jesus talked about not giving what is holy to the dogs or tossing pearls before swine, “Otherwise, they will trample them and tear you to pieces.” (God’s Word ©)
I broke into laughter and looked at the dog, who looked up from her comfortable perch on the couch when I slid back in the chair, and said, “Oh… that’s why! That’s exactly what happened to me.” I am not inferring that the family members involved in this event were dogs or swine, but their actions did leave me very confused, and to be honest, quite angry when they seemed to take the heartfelt concerns I shared in confidence with them, turn it around into something negative and throw it back in my face in argumentative conversations with my kids later on.
At the time I felt very alone and vulnerable especially when I believe the Lord instructed me to start being very watchful as to what I share with them. As it stands today, I only share the positive things that Piper is experiencing and stray clear of the potentially negative reports or my personal emotions. I still fight thoughts though, that I am not being honest with them and that since they are her family that I should be totally open with them. But you know, since following the Lord’s directions, peace has prevailed and they seem to be more appreciative and respectful of my care for Piper. They also seemed to be more comfortable in her presence. I guess it comes down to the wisdom of not feeding people’s fears.
I just love the Word of God, don’t you? It’s all there! Within its pages (when studied under the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit, with a humble and open heart) are all the answers, all the explanations and all the directions we need to successfully navigate everything that comes before us in our individual lives on this earth. I also like the thought of keeping His KINDNESS and our reliance upon the TRUTH of Christ as visible medallions hanging as a necklace around our neck everywhere we go. It just sort of sets the stage for His favor to prevail in our daily affairs!
It’s kinda of like the other day when we were leaving the local Buick dealership after having our car inspected so we could get our North Carolina license plate. There was a group of adults conversing a fair distance from the door but one gentleman quickly broke away from the group, ran across the sales floor to the door and held open it open so I could easily push Piper and her chair through. That kind of stuff has been happening quite a bit! I believe it is what Proverbs 3:4 calls the rewards of obeying the previous verse. It is “favor… in the sight of God and man.” (English Standard Version)
Have a great weekend. Wear your necklace of Godly KINDNESS and TRUTH with boldness, honor and love and experience His favor. Keep in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting today?”