Archive | September 2013

Beginning at the Beginning

It was about twenty years ago as I sat at my small kitchen table, with red pencil in hand and papers spread out across the table.  I had some questions that  continually reeled through my mind.  I knew that through prayer and study of God’s Word, the answers could be found.

I could recall the time that I had questioned who Jesus really was, and it was in the Bible that I had found the answers.  I could recall the time that I was plagued with questions and doubts, when I uttered the simple prayer, “Lord, increase my faith!” and The Lord brought a new Bible study into the church that I attended.  I could remember how, through that study, I was forever changed by the Word of God.

So here I sat with scattered piles of papers.  This occasion was before the days when everyone had a home computer, so I had asked a friend, who did have a computer, to do me a favor – to print out the major passages of Scripture that were written directly to women or specifically about women and send them to me.  And here they were.  I knew that if I could lay the Scriptures side by side and compare scripture with scripture, The Lord could answer my questions.

I had learned, in my Christian life, that you could find multitudes of books about multitudes of topics, and you could listen to many different opinions and voices, but you would not find a consistency and continuity among them. So for me, the solution had become to put aside those things and just see what the Bible says.

And now, with verses before me and a prayer for The Lord to show me truth, I started my search.  With my red pencil, I would mark similar words, similar thoughts, and similar passages.  The search continued for quite some time.  What I discovered was amazing! There was really no confusion at all!  The Scripture was amazingly consistent!  Growing up in the days of “women’s lib”, the world had successfully clouded and confused the issues regarding women.  But sitting here at my kitchen table, there was no confusion.  No confusion at all, just a calm sense of rejoicing over truth!

The first important truth that I discovered was to begin at the beginning.  As Jesus taught about marriage in Matthew 19 and in Mark 10, He referred His listeners back to the beginning – all the way back to the Creation account in Genesis.

Then as the Apostle Paul taught in the book of 1 Corinthians 11, he referred those saints back to the beginning – all the way back to the Creation account in Genesis.

Next, in the wonderful exposition on marriage in Ephesians 5, the Apostle Paul again takes us back to the beginning – all the way back to the Creation account in Genesis.

And again, as the Apostle Paul writes to young Timothy in 1 Timothy 2, here the same truth is found. He takes Timothy back to the beginning – all the way back to the Creation account in Genesis.

I could see the problem clearly.  As women, we often begin with our selves, our situations or circumstances, and our feelings and emotions.  But the place that I would have to begin was at the beginning.  That is where the word of God began, and that is where the writers of the New Testament returned to explain and expound truths about marriage and about women. That is where I, too, would begin – at the beginning.

Another exciting discovery that I made was that these truths regarding marriage were true at Creation – and that before the Fall.  That meant this was God’s perfect design!  I felt a freedom, as a woman, that I had never felt before – a freedom to be what God intended me to be!

I bowed my head and thanked The Lord. I picked up my papers and put them in my manila envelope.  Time to put them away – for today, anyway. Time to cook supper.  But this one thing I was sure of, I would be returning to this little stack of papers. And I would begin at the beginning – with a study of the Creation account in Genesis!  I knew marvelous and freeing truth would be found there!  And I couldn’t wait!

Coming Home

I boarded the plane at Heathrow Airport, fastened the seatbelt, leaned back in my seat and thought, “I’m coming home!”  I had spent the last couple of months with my son and his wife, helping them and their children get settled into their new home abroad. It had been a blessed trip, and I felt a deep inner satisfaction that I had fulfilled the purpose for which The Lord sent me to them.  But now, the day had come for me to return home.

“Coming home!”  I felt a wonderful anticipation about coming home.  But what exactly was I coming home to? Certainly, first and foremost, I was coming home to my steadfast husband – my  husband of 35 years. I was coming home to our physical home –  a home which has literally withstood the storms of life, and of course, I was coming home to family and friends, as I left one part of my family to return to another.

But underlying those thoughts, I was coming home to much more. I was coming home to many truths that the Lord has taught me through the years. It is so easy to slowly and subtly slip away from truths you know and ways that you desire to live your life.  But God in His marvelous love and mercy allows us to come home. Indeed, I had a great desire to come home.

i wanted to come home to the Lord Himself.  Certainly, I knew that The Lord is always with me, but there are times in my life that I have been closer to The Lord than other times. The busyness of life has a way of pulling one away from the things that matter the most. I wanted to return to those sweet times in His Word and in prayer when I have felt so close to Him. Lord, I need to come home.

I wanted to come home to my wonderful husband.  Not only had I been away, but I had had the time to ponder many things in my life.  There seemed to be such a parallel in my relationship with The Lord and my relationship with my husband. Same culprit!  Busyness!  The Lord has, through the years, worked amazing truths into our marriage, and many years ago actually saved and healed our broken marriage. But it seemed that lately I had been too busy to spend that true friendship time with my husband that I used to have.  Oh, how I wanted to come home!

Next, I reflected on the blessing of the home in which we live.  I have known times when I was a stay-at-home mom, that I had plenty of time to tend to housekeeping duties and delighted in making our house a home. But, oh my, the same culprit, once again!  Busyness!  Now it seems that I struggle just to keep up with it all! I was thinking with excitement about some simple little things that I wanted to do when I got home. I wanted to return to making our house a home!

And then, there were others. I used to be known as such an encourager.  But that, too had slipped away! Now there were times that I didn’t even want to hear the phone ring or see someone arrive at the front door.  All of the busyness had simply made me too tired for others – too empty to even have an encouraging thought, much less an encouraging word!

A fuller picture began to unfold!  What I was longing to come home to were the very things that God had created me for and called me to!  My life was busy indeed and busy with many things that I considered good things, but were those things the best things? Were they the things that God had designed for my life? I had to stop and ponder. I had to stop and listen. And then a prayer emerged from somewhere in the depths of my heart, “Lord, help me come home! Help me come home to all that you have called me to be!”

It wasn’t long before the flight attendant came on the intercom. Time to prepare for landing.  My faithful husband would be eagerly awaiting my arrival.  As I stepped off of that plane, I thought, “I have completed one journey.  Time to begin another.”

This new journey would be made step by step, day by day. It would be a journey of coming home!