Following the delivery of our new couch last week, I moved the old loveseat into the room we’ve been setting up to be our new Study. On the following morning I officially moved my morning Bible Study time into that room… and it’s been pretty sweet! The room just has a comfortable, peaceful and inviting feel about it.
This morning as I meditated on the Word I was studying in Philippians 4:12-13, I leaned back in my desk chair and stared out the window for a while. As I observed the quiet morning scene before me, I just seemed to soak in the tranquility of it all. The tall trees, the green fields surrounding the distant houses and the meandering roads and long driveways leading up to our neighbor’s homes and I found myself greatly appreciating the idyllic nature of what my eyes were perceiving through the rectangular squares in our window pane.
The reality that “we really live here now” sort of floated into my being and I had a hard time resisting the smile that formed on my lips! With that thought I also began to wonder what the future holds for my wife and I in this locale some 3000 miles from where we had lived the previous 50 plus years of our lives. And you know… it wasn’t a scary thought but one that brought excitement to my spirit and a growing expectation of God’s best for us in the New Year ahead.
In Philippians 4:12, the Apostle Paul encourages us to forget the difficulties and problems of our past and to reach forth toward the things, the activities, the goals, the plans and the dreams that your future holds for you. For many of us, that process can be very difficult. For others it is like an enjoyable walk in the park!
I had to make a decision very early in this journey for my wife’s health that we’ve been on for the last six years. I had to make up my mind that I was not going to dwell on how great things were BEFORE the onset of Alzheimer’s, but on how great our God is, and how great the FUTURE is that He still has planned for us to complete on this earth. That is why I stay focused on the promises of healing in His Word. That is why I have been following His command to me and have been inundating my wife with His Word on healing for over four years now.
I also keep mementoes of her in various locations around our home. I have pictures taken at various times over the 45 plus years of our relationship on the walls, notes that she had written, a few articles of her clothing that she wore on special occasions, and I endeavor to keep up our relationship just like it has always been. In fact, I received a really special complement yesterday from my younger son’s wife in a long phone conversation with her. She mentioned that when she first met Piper’s family this last summer that they stated that she reminded them of my wife and took it as a complement. But then she told me that the greatest complement she had received was from a good friend of hers as they were looking at Jeremy and her wedding pictures.
At one point she and her friend were talking about a particular pose where she was looking at Jeremy and they commented on what a special moment of unity it captured. Then her friend said that it was even more special because Aubrey had the same look in her eyes that Jeremy’s Dad has when he looks at his wife, for you could really tell that he still very much loves her! I freely admit that comment got me a bit choked up…
But I believe the point is that I love her for who she IS, not for who she WAS. The things around the house that remind me of her continue to show me who she really is apart from the lying symptoms of the disease that has been attacking her. It is who she is that keeps me going and expectantly trusting in the truth of God’s Word for her!
It is the Word of God that defines our future together and the things that Papa God still plans for us to complete as a team. So with my focus on the Word, I don’t dwell on the wonderful times of the past, but I reach out to the good things in the future we are to do for Him. As I peered out the window of the study this morning I could not but get excited about what is ahead for us. I may not know what it is yet, but I do know that the best is yet to come!
What are your thoughts about the New Year to come? Are you wallowing in the victories or problems of the past, or expectantly reaching out to what Papa God has in the future for you? Are you basing your hopes on your memories or on what you see around you that may not look too great… or are you choosing to focus on what God’s Word says about your future? Have a great last week of 2015 and keep asking yourself… What am I expecting from God and His Word for 2016?”