Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Love is Not Glamorous

One of my all-time favorite actresses is Audrey Hepburn. She will forever be the heralded icon of glamour, grace, and style. If someone asked me to close my eyes, and imagine someone who captured effortless elegance, she would fit perfectly into the picture frame of my mind.

I think many times, wives have a picture of what marriage should look like. Females innately desire romantic chills, the frills of comfort, and compliments. But what happens when days greet you with endless bills, broke-down cars, and complaints? Is our love a strong, unchanging force, or does it darken inside the inevitable flashes of disappointment?

I am reminded that to be loved when you feel unlovely is indeed the strongest romance. Psalm 40:2 (NIV) says, "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." I don't know about you, but I would hazard to say that a slimy, muddy pit would not be my first choice for a romantic evening out.

We look for security and safety in so many external things, but we have to remember that love itself is our firm place to stand. It is committing to stand beside someone even when it is not easy, and choosing to be there even when it seems messy and impossible.

It is during the times when we choose to hold hands during the seemingly small empty rooms of our romance, that God opens a door to what we desire so that the glamorous events in our lives take on meaning and become memories, and not just moments. Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning "the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment)." The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time in between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens. What the special meaning is depends on who is using the word. Chronos is quantitative, kairos is qualitative in nature.

Many times the enemy will tempt us to look at something only through chronological lenses. Although there may seem to be natural delay, the enemy cannot touch the clock of kairos. Kairos is that special, supernatural thing that God has promised you. Only you and your spouse know just how valuable and special that thing is. The trail of tears, the pathway of prayers, and the heart beats of anticipation replace the ticking second hand on a clock. Chronos may be erased into history, but kairos never fades.

Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What is your dry place?

I woke up this morning and turned on the faucet. The ricocheting sputter of air moved through the pipes but no water. Not a drop. How frustrating!

Can the water company work on the lines unannounced like that?

Thoughts of what I would have to do without quickly filed in one after the other. No will I get ready for the day? No water for coffee (for those who know me, caffeine is a sheer necessity), and if I need to use the toilet, I better plan that carefully, because one flush is all I get. Suddenly, the shape of my day was being formed in my mind, and it was not pretty. The dread of being inconvenienced settled in.

Then, a thought occurred, "just turn it on again." Water gushed out past the air pocket, and all suddenly seemed well with the world once again. Then, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me, "Remember your devotion this morning?" Now this question was slightly humorous to me because it was literally a minute or two ago that I read my devotion on my phone when I first woke up. It talked about looking for signs in the natural to understand and confirm what the Lord is doing spiritually. How soon we forget.

The Lord reminded me that He is Living Water. He is my well-spring of life. John 7:3-8 says, "Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

I thought about the work that God wanted to do in me. He has lately convicted me about negative thoughts and words. Complaining to be more specific. Many of the dry places that I am experiencing are a direct result of my words. We expand the length of the dessert by miles with the utterances from our heart. Each negative word accumulates like grains of sand in our spirit. The result is spiritual barrenness.

Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life."

What always amazes me about my husband is the way he responds when I complain. Adam carries a quiet wisdom and discernment that speaks loudly and powerfully to me. Even when I complain, he simply listens (without criticism) and either says, "What can I do to make you happy?" or simply, "I love you." His compassion displaces my complaint.

If your spouse is struggling with something, do not condemn, simply listen. Chances are, there is a deeper root issue that only God can address. Your role is simply to show mercy and compassion.

Of course, God does have a sense of humor, and will use anything or anybody to get our attention. We were at Publix last night, and Adam asked one of the associates who was stocking groceries how he was doing. He replied, "I can't complain. And even if I did, what good would it do?"

I silently replied, "I think I got the message."

Activate God's blessings in your life and marriage. Turn on the faucet of Living Water that dwells inside of you, and watch your dry places come to life. It is HIM who we thirst for...always.