Over the last month or so, my wife and I have gotten back into the habit of watching a Christian ministry teaching just before we head off to bed. Last night’s presentation was a “classic” teaching from 1989. The minister whom we have supported for many years was teaching about the importance of the Word in you and was encouraging those in the audience who could not watch the program when it is aired to get a VCR (kinda dates the program doesn’t it!), record it and then watch it at a more convenient time.
I was in the kitchen cleaning up a little when the comment was made and I shouted across the open room to my wife who was sitting on the couch, “That’s exactly why we bought our first VCR… Do you remember?” And she actually nodded!
The year was 1980, we had recently moved into my Grandmothers little 2 bedroom bungalow on Will Scarlet Lane in the Montgomery Village neighborhood of our hometown and my wife was finally begin to show the baby bump! She was so tiny back then that she didn’t even look pregnant for quite some time into the pregnancy! (Then again… She's always been tiny! You know… they say that good things come in small packages!!!)
Prior to this time, Piper had worked at Hewlett Packard and had since gone on maternity leave. Our hearts desire was that she be a stay at home Mom, but my photography business and position as Youth Minister at the church was not bringing in enough income to support that dream. So after much prayer, we decided that it would be best for me to look for an outside job to augment our income. The plan was that I would find a job first and then we would submit Piper’s resignation.
But it seemed that Papa God had a different plan! One day during prayer the Lord impressed upon me that we were “putting the cart before the horse” and that we needed to step out in faith before we would see the answer to our prayer. So… in full agreement, my wife called her boss and informed him that she would not be returning at the end of her maternity leave. And… believe it or not (I sure you do believe!) about two weeks after submitting an application to HP, I was hired and within six months received a promotion into supervision! Isn’t God good.
But the point of the story is that I was hired for the swing shift, working from 2:30 in the afternoon until 10:00 at night, which made it hard to get up at 6:00 the next morning to watch the PTL Club, which we had been doing for a few months at that time. That’s when we decided to make the investment and purchase a new VCR, complete with a new fangled remote that was connected by a 20 foot cord! This way we could watch the program when I got home.
What hit me last night after I had made the comment about our first VCR, was that we had been very hungry for and seeking after the Word of God from the beginning of our marriage! It was almost as though the Lord was comforting me with that realization. Sometimes when I am home alone caring for my wife on a 24 hour basis, it becomes a little too easy to buy into the lie that God has forgotten me. Having been on the front line of ministry since the early days of our courtship and then suddenly have to give it all up as priorities change, has at times, been hard to swallow. But yet, I know that I am right where I need to be, caring for the one that I love. I can’t think of a more important position for me at this time!
At the end of Matthew 6:23, the Moffatt translation declares, “And if your very light turns dark, then --- what a darkness it is!” The way that it is put made me think that Jesus was telling us that the decision between going with the light or with the dark is up to us. The Jubilee Bible says “If therefore, the light that is in thee is darkness, how great is that darkness.” To me that says that as Christians we already have the Light in us and we can choose to let it shine or cover it up by following the solutions that the world presents.
Maybe I am just a bit naïve, but that is the one thing that took me completely by surprise when I first shared my wife’s diagnosis with some Christian friends and close relatives of my wife. I was totally blown away as they immediately sided with the hopelessness of the world’s prognosis and their lack of agreement to our fledgling stand of faith in the Word’s answers to our need. Looking back now, with this verse in mind, I can see that in that instant of decision (and their later course of action) they chose to close the door to the light of expectation that is inside them and wander aimlessly in the dark! As I have mentioned before, it finally got to the point that the Lord made it clear that I had to put some separation between them and us as it was having a detrimental effect on my wife’s recovery.
If it wasn’t for the illumination of His light inside of me, I don’t think that I would have the strength (and joy) to do what I do on a daily basis. There are times like yesterday when I have to purposely make the decision to go with the light of His Word that I have stored in me in order to make it through some of the lying thoughts that the enemy of our souls will vividly present to me, especially when I get physically tired.
Have you ever had to fight that kind of battle in your mind? Like I mentioned earlier, I have come to discover through this journey that the decision to choose the way of the Light in me or to walk in darkness is totally mine! I guess you could say it all comes down to how badly you want to succeed! Thinking about the Lord’s comfort last night, I believe He was trying to tell me that if we hadn’t set our hearts and determined to always seek Him and His Word since the early days of our marriage, that we most likely would not be able to do what we are doing today as we face this barrage against our very lives!
And you know… it is never too late to make that type of decision from which you will never turn back. Think about that this weekend and then just remove the door to what’s inside you so that Light will permanently and victoriously shine upon all that you encounter each day of your life! Have a super weekend. Stay in tune to His Word (that you continually put inside) and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting today?”