Our New Home

Our New Home
Fall is in the air!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Empty Vessels

Boy, did we have a thumper blow through last night.  Well actually…it didn’t just blow through, it stuck around for most of the night!  The weather forecast had predicted the potential of thundershowers in the afternoon, but that scenario did not play out.  My wife and I had gone over to spend the afternoon at our daughters and the weather stayed warm with mostly clear skies.  On the way home though, that picture began to change as we could see dark skies ahead, directly in line with the path that we were heading.
I was planning on filling up the tank in the Buick but made a quick change in that idea and decided that it was best that we get home pronto!  We had gotten soaked in a downpour earlier in the week in between the time it took for us to get out of the car and walk to our apartment and I didn’t want a repeat of that adventure!  It so happened that the traffic on that stretch of NC Highway 54 was moving at a snail’s pace due to the commuter traffic and it took a while before we drove into our parking space in front of our apartment.
Once there I hustled Piper out of the car and into her chair and zipped her across the walkway into our apartment.  And without any embellishment, we just made it!  Praise the Lord!  By the time we came through the door and greeted the wiggly dog, I noticed out the living room windows that it had begun to rain in earnest!  The downpour was followed immediately by an almost constant backlight of lightning behind the first layer of clouds and the continual rumble of thunder.  It was different than any thunderstorms that I’ve ever witnessed in California or Oklahoma.  It sounded like a train was rumbling down the nearby tracks.  (& NO… it wasn’t a twister!)
It was actually very intriguing and beautiful to watch as I repeatedly stepped out on the patio to observe the event.  It was like the clouds were talking to us!  The lighting would flash and backlight the clouds and then be answered a moment later by the roll of thunder.  There was a mysterious but yet beautiful serendipity about it all!  Both actions seemed to be perfectly synced together!
I thought on that harmony of sound and corresponding action this morning as I went on another rabbit trail in my personal Bible Study time that began with Luke 24:5 where the angel asks the question to the inquisitive women at the tomb, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (MKJV) and eventually ended with James 2:18-20 where the author is discussing the reality of how our faith without works is dead.” (KJV)
The whole study was premised on a statement that I had written down yesterday in my notebook that I intended to stir on my study the next day.  The statement concerned the idea that “our actions tend to prove the source of our words.”
Is the source of our words alive and thriving with Godly life, or is it a stale and stagnant pool of negativity and hopelessness?  Mark 16:20 tells us that God confirms His Word with signs that will follow or accompany them.  To me, Jeremiah 1:12 pictures Papa God as a thoroughbred race horse whinnying in the starting gate, ready to go and excitedly anticipating the gate to open so that He can leap forward to perform His Word that we have spoken in faith.
In James 2:18-20 the Pastor of the church at Jerusalem is describing how the one who says that they have faith but fail to follow it up without actions is in in denial, for faith is proved by its corresponding actions.  We believe the Word, we speak it out, act on it and God confirms or performs it.  James’ complete statement to this type of individual from verse twenty is “But will you know O vain man, that faith without works is dead.”  The Greek definition of the word “vain” answered a lot of under-lying questions for me.  Strong’s says that it simply means “empty.”  Thayer’s paints the picture of “vessels that contain nothing!”
That to me demonstrated why some of the folks back home went the direction they did when it came to dealing with my wife’s battle for her health.  When push came to shove, they had nothing to give for they were but empty vessels!  That would explain why we would almost always feel tired and drained when we got together with them. It was like they couldn’t give so they took.  Piper was totally wasted the day following our departing visit with them before we moved. 
These revelations also got me to thinking about how many of us will give above and beyond at work but then find the needle on empty (like my Buick is right now!) when it comes to their family’s needs.  Believe me, I understand that as I’ve been there on many occasions!  One thing I have come to learn through my role as my wife’s caregiver is that I have to be filled up with the Word and fairly rested so that I can properly meet her needs. 
Last night was actually the first time in I don’t know how long that I didn’t have to get up to minister to Piper’s needs!  It is not that I don’t want to assist her, but a solid night’s sleep was absolutely WONDERFUL!!!  On the other hand, whether I feel like it or not, I always make a point to get up an hour before her so that I can fill up my tank on the life giving, thriving Word of God, so that there is something inside for Him to work with throughout the sometimes long days.
And that brings up another thing that I contemplated this morning.  Whose words are you speaking and thereby giving permission to work those words in and for your life?  Are you seeking the living among the dead or from among the living Word of God?  Hummm… take a personal inventory and dwell on that this weekend!  Who would you rather have in back of your words?  (Check out John chapter eight, especially verses 38-44)
Lots to consider here!  Have a great weekend.  Stay in tune to God’s Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to be the source of my words today?”



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