I’ve been getting pretty excited about all the things that I want to do with our expansive backyard. As I stand on our deck and gaze across the yard I picture fruit trees, a vegetable garden, a rose garden right next to the deck and I have even been considering a cactus garden! When we were driving home from my doctor’s appointment the other day I suddenly got an inspiration to build raised beds for our vegetable garden.
It seems that we have some rabbit friends that like to stroll around our yard at night and as I understand it, they can wipe out a garden in one night! I spoke with one of my cousins and she gave me some good suggestions. Then I spent some time online looking at various solutions for this problem. The idea of building the raised bed’s that popped into my head as we drove down the highway seemed like the simplest way to go. I can easily line the bottom of the bed with chicken wire as well as attaching sections to the wooden sides that extend a couple of feet above them. That would keep the little buggers out!
The one thing that I have noticed as I have dreamed about our yard is the importance of keeping my sights on God’s limitless resources and not on my bank accounts! My ability to dream gets squashed if I begin to depend on me and not on Him. That idea seemed to be confirmed as I read from the beginning of the book of Philippians yesterday and again today. In verses four through five in chapter one, Paul talks about how “every time I pray for all of you I do it with joy. I can do this BECAUSE of the partnership we’ve had with you in the Good News.” (God’s Word ©) He directly relates his ability to be joyful and most likely be in faith for the success of his readers because he is assured of the partnership they have enjoyed in the Word of God.
He knew that their continued personal growth, church growth and the spread of the message of the Good News was dependent on their combined and singular focus on God and His ways. I believe he understood that their unity made them virtually unstoppable in completing the various callings and/or missions that Papa God gave to them. I’m sure it was also the key to helping them through the tough times that came their way as well.
In Piper’s and my journey of faith with her health over these last six or seven years, I have come to realize that we have been involved with two kinds of people. Those who have partnered with us in our walk of faith and those who haven’t. The latter seem like they were unwilling to partner with us because we choose to not go the way they strongly proposed. To me it was like they were more interested in methodology than in the man… Jesus Christ. It was their way or the highway… and there was not much mention of the love of God and His unlimited resources, ways and abilities.
And even though we may differ in some of the specifics of what we believe from the Word, those who have partnered with us continue to give to Piper and I constant hope, companionship, support, and a sensitive and loving ear with lots of needed encouragement. For together we are focused on one thing and one thing alone… How much Papa God loves us!
My daily increasingly intimate experiential knowledge of His love has been the ONLY thing that keeps me going. Even though there are times when Piper’s symptoms look like they are getting worse instead of better, like nothing is happening and I am nearing the end of my physical and emotional capacity, the daily experience of His love gives me additional strength and resolve to keep going, to keep developing my faith, and to see past what my eyes see and look at my lovely wife with the vision of health that ONLY HE AND HIS WORD CAN PROVIDE!
You know… it is really strange… I can take a picture of Piper and then look at the little screen on the back of my DSLR and shake my head at what I see, because it differs quite radically from what my eyes saw through the front of the lens when I pressed the shutter button. It seems that I continue to see her through the eyes of faith. Now if I can only get the computer in my camera to process the pixels the same way!
But I also noticed this morning that I am still trying to follow a self-imposed methodology in standing for Piper’s health as I did many years ago when we were going through some difficult times making mortgage payments. So… as I walked into our bedroom to get my bride of forty years up and ready for the day, I recommitted myself to solely focus my attention and my faith on the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost and not on other things that tend to pull my attention away from what matters most in my Christian faith!
I’ve decided that the best thing I can do for Piper is to concentrate on my personal relationship and partnership with HIM and HIS love… and let everything else fall into line. What do you think about that? Have a great weekend. Take some time and discover where your real focus is… and if it’s not on Him, then maybe it is time to make some changes! And as you do, keep asking yourself… “What or Whom I am expecting to PARTNER with today?”