You did it again today… You pulled another “WOW-ie” on me!
Even in the last few days, I quoted once again that favorite analogy You planted deep in my spirit long, long ago. Shortly after the turn of the millennium — around the year 2002? It was spoken by my former pastor, and its words ring as profoundly true today as they did when I first heard them:
“Our life is like a sponge. When Life squeezes us — which it will — what comes out shows what we have been soaking in.”
Today, by Your amazing orchestration, I RAN INTO THE VERY PASTOR WHO SPOKE THOSE WORDS… seeing him for the first time in thirteen years!!!
It took only a moment for us to look at each other before we knew… and embraced! As brother and sister, separated by both time and geography, but still united by Your Spirit! What a cup-overflowing BLESSING, Lord!!!
“I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your name for ever and ever! Every day I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever!” (Psalm 145:1-2)
We didn’t have long to catch up, but I know the time for catching up will come. He and his wife still live in Arlington, two hours north of here. He still pastors the same church I had attended when we lived in Northern Virginia. Oh, Lord…I can hardly wait to hear about how You have been moving in and through his life and the life of the flock You have entrusted to his care!
I couldn’t help but chuckle, though, because of the place we encountered each other today. We were both attending the 50th Anniversary celebration of a dear couple we both love. They had been members of this pastor’s church before they moved here twelve years ago. As I recall, it was this pastor who (at Your leading) first connected me with the wife of this couple. By Your grace, we ministered to many women there… helping them find Your hope and healing in the wake of their painful choice of abortion.
But today was all about 50 years of Life and Love and Faithfulness. Marriage as You intended it to be, Lord. Two servants who have loved long and well, thanks to You. A godly man of integrity. A Proverbs 31 woman. Not perfect people, but people bound together by their perfect Lord.
I chuckled because of how appropriate that “sponge” analogy was to today’s proceedings. After fifty years of marriage, they still sounded and looked like newlyweds. Life has certainly squeezed them, often, in the last fifty years. And what came out — even today — shows what (Who) they have been soaking in.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters… let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16,18)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
I want to love like that, Lord. Thank You for reminding me today that, by Your grace and with Your help, I can.
Thanks also, Lord, for the opportunity to tell this dear pastor that I still quote him. I think he had all but forgotten that sponge analogy. I guess You wanted him to be reminded. Maybe You will have him speak it again, to another generation. So they, too, can be changed by its power… and pass it on!
Like I said, Lord… WOW!!!