By Cathy Messecar
He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth: there is nothing false about him.
John 7:18 the words of Jesus
Abimelech and Isaac were two leaders of tribal families meeting to settle squabbles over wells of life-supporting water, a precious commodity. When Abimelech approached Isaac about making a peace treaty between them, one of his comments was, "We clearly saw that the Lord was with you" (Genesis 15:28).
Abimelech and his advisors saw how God blessed Isaac with a large inheritance, a wife, twin sons, many servants, livestock, and great wealth. Abimelech's words remind me of a longtime friend and mentor many lovingly called "Nannie." As newlyweds, my husband and I first met this silver-haired widow while we were looking for a church home. She quickly became my friend who, with her pattern of good works, taught me many things. Two particular life-lessons came from her example.
When she spoke to women's class about the death of her husband, many of us younger women clearly saw that the Lord was with her. "Nannie" and her husband were on vacation in Hawaii when he died in his sleep. Before summoning for help, she knelt by their bed and gave thanks to God for their marriage. Far from home and relatives, prayer came before she reached out to others for comfort.
A second strong impression of her devotedness to God was a phrase she used in praying at a women's luncheon meeting. In her prayer, "Nannie" included a profession of faith. I remember her words, "And, Lord, I confess to you that I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." Her refreshing verbal affirmation of Christ as Lord serves even today as a reminder to revere Christ with words and actions.
Abimelech's words "[w]e clearly saw . . ." also made me think about weather forecasting. When my children were at home and Mama wasn't happy, they sometimes forecasted a warning, an "emergency broadcast" to seek shelter before the storm. Blustery outbursts and stormy households can change, and should. For Christ-followers they need to change to clear and sunny where observers can clearly see lives yielding to the Holy Spirit.
As I grow older, I often wonder what my family and others observe in my life. Do they see me honoring the Lord? Do my friends expect to hear stories of God's intervention in my life? Do they hear whining about what went awry in my schedule?
I am still on the playing field. People are watching my actions, and I'm wondering what the view is from the bleachers.
Lord Jesus, you know that honoring the Father minute by minute is full time work, and you esteemed God perfectly. Aid me in doing the same because many "clearly saw the Lord was with you." Amen.
Excerpt from The Stained Glass Pickup: Glimpses of God's Uncommon Wisdom. Used by permission of Leafwood Publishers. www.LeafwoodPublishers.com
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Author Cathy Messecar speaks at local and national women's retreats, social clubs, and writing guilds. Her inspirational columns ran in Houston Community Newspapers (11 years, 600 columns). She wrote A Still and Quiet Soul: Embracing Contentment (2011) and other gift books www.cathymessecar.com
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