There are many things that I do in the daily care of my wife that a few years ago were very difficult and frustrating to perform. Even a simple thing like putting a coat on her without twisting her arms into awkward positions that only a contortionist could accomplish! You may think that this is funny, but have you tried it? It is not as easy as you would think.
Over time – with lots of practice – things like putting on a coat, helping her in and out of the car without hurting her or my back, opening a door to a building while maneuvering her chair and the dog through it without catastrophe, washing her hair without flooding the bathroom floor and even helping her to drink her morning hot mocha nutritional drink without getting more on her shirt than in her… I’m still working on that one… have become somewhat second nature to me. In fact it is kind of funny to me now as I watch others when they try to help her as it is many times very awkward to them!
And even though I have been caring for Piper for a few years now, I am still open to and am learning new techniques that make the process easier for both of us. Often times I will offer up a quick prayer asking the Lord to help make the task I am about to perform to be easy for me as well as for her! Last Friday we went to our local Great Clips and actually had a blast as the three ladies working in the shop had me in stitches as they joked and laughed over various subjects. It felt like we were family as they remembered us from the last time we were there and fawned over Piper with the gal who had cut her hair last time making sure that the different hairdresser knew exactly “what Piper wanted!”
As it happens, the gal who cut Piper’s hair on Friday had previously been trained in the health care business and showed me an easier way to take off Piper’s coat without having to get her out of the chair. She made it look so easy that I watched with great admiration! (Coincidence? Again, I don’t think so!) Papa God just keeps confirming His directions and His love toward us everywhere we go!
On Saturday we were walking around our neighborhood when I heard a familiar voice calling out my name. As we passed by one of the residence buildings, a lady we have talked to on numerous occasions called out from her patio and asked me to wait for two minutes. She quickly returned with a white knit hat and a matching scarf that she had hand made just for, as she stated, “my new best friend Piper!” I have to tell you, I was simply overwhelmed! I couldn’t thank her enough and I couldn’t stop thanking and praising Papa God for His goodness demonstrated toward us through the people around us here in North Carolina.
Psalm 37:3 in the God’s Word © translation tells us to “Trust in the Lord, and do good things. Live in the land, and practice being faithful.” This may sound a little funny but I honestly believe that our continual practice of seeking, listening to and following the Lord’s directions for us is much of the reason for the favor we have been experiencing just about everywhere we go. The Lord showed me over the weekend that the key word here is “practice.” In order to improve at just about anything, you have to practice it over and over again.
I am a firm believer in the old adage that “Practice makes perfect.” Over the years we have sought to follow whatever or wherever we strongly felt that the Lord was telling us to do or to go. Sometimes the results were not as successful as we would have desired, but more times than not, we were eventually blessed beyond measure. This isn’t always the most popular thing to do and we have had our share of those who disagreed with our choices, but it has always served us best to follow His leadings rather than those who don’t agree with it.
The point is that we have been knocked down a few times, but we have always gotten up (to the chagrin of the naysayers), brushed ourselves off and practiced it again… with the results of each succeeding time usually better than the previous one. I can kick myself now as I think back at the piano lessons that my Mom attempted to give me when I was but a lad. At that time I did not have much interest in learning the art. Now I wish I had been diligent to listen to her and take the time to practice, practice, practice.
Maybe that is one reason I have always been so captivated in watching my wife sit down at the keys of her piano and make beautiful music unto the Lord! She was classically trained and diligently continued her piano lessons into her college years. And those years of practice definitely paid off as she used her acquired skills and love for music in church, in secular performances and to teach each of our four kids.
The Psalmist encourages us to practice being faithful to God and unto the things that He has led and/or called us to do and say in our daily lives. Practice, practice, practice! When we do this, the things and blessings of God become second nature to us – not that we should ever take Him for granted, but continue to walk in joyful and faithful awe of His goodness, faithfulness and loving-kindness for us and those around us.
So… keep at it this week, remember “Practice makes perfect!” Practice seeking, listening to and then obeying what He is telling you to do and say. Have a great week, stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or for Whom am I expecting to PRACTICE today?”