Monday, August 24, 2015

My grandmother's little secret that was no secret at all

No matter where we lived or where we moved when I was a child, a bedroom was carved out on the first floor for my grandmother. She lived with our family from before I was born, in spaces that had been designed for other purposes, in rooms that should have been used for something else.  She could not readily maneuver stairs, although that didn't seem to slow her down a bit.  She had rheumatoid arthritis since she was a young woman.  And her knees were the size of cauliflowers in a time before knee replacement surgery was invented.

She did not just do with what she had.  She abounded in it.

Her room was not just tucked in the available space.  Her life was  She demanded nothing, but creatively pursued whatever was placed before her.  She did not just keep our large family going -- cooking, laundry, cleaning, abiding over the general mayhem -- she brought joy to it.

By all appearances, her life was physically restricted and largely invisible.  But God redeemed her hidden efforts in immeasurable ways.  God wove His purposes seamlessly even through those things few ever acknowledged.  She never questioned what God had placed before her, no matter how difficult.  "Let's see what we can do with that," she would say about a scrap of material, some leftover chicken, or an impossible situation.

She derived great delight in those challenges as if playing an exciting game, discovering not if God could use it, but HOW God would use it.  "Nothing is for naught," she would say.  Nothing seemed to throw her.  And even in pain and deep mystery, she would say, "And sometimes, you just have to trust the Lord in it."

She was not a "look on the bright side" kind of person, but "look at the reality of God" pragmatist. She had seen too much,  She knew what God can do.

And so, she never faced a day burdened down with tiresome tasks or mundane chores, but with an excitement of what God would bring through it.  My grandmother's little secret was no secret to anyone around her.  She did not endure hardship; she found the Lord in it.  She did not drag herself through difficulty; she danced through it and invited everyone around to join her.

She did not just believe in the LORD.
She knew Him.

The word "abound "in the original Greek of the New Testament more accurately is translated "to exceed the ordinary."

Live that way. 

Because God always brings something unexpected to the table, something beyond measure, nothing ordinary here.

What's on your plate today?

Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be steadfast,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord
     your labor is not in vain.

                    1 Corinthians 15. 58

No matter what you do today,
                            abound in it.
God is using you
      for His great purposes.
Even in what appears
most insignificant of all,
      God brings His glory to it.
Nothing is wasted in God's economy,
no effort for naught.

(This picture was taken Christmas 1955, four years before my youngest brother was born.  And yes, there was always that twinkle in her eye as if she knew something more.)

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