Monday, August 3, 2015

A Servant to Obedience

Grand Rapids, Michigan
July 27-31
I carefully weave my fingers through the coarse carpet feeling for shards of glass. Ouch! A protruding piece slices my finger and blood begins to flow. Stopping my search, I quickly get some first aid supplies from my carefully prepared diaper bag. A few moments later, with my finger bandaged, I'm back to work, carefully removing tiny pieces of glass from the carpet; I feel tears forming.

We had arrived in Grand Rapids, Monday night, tired from the drive and mentally and physically exhausted from our travels.

Since we made plans as we went along, the next day we scheduled a break.

After Jason finished running some errands, we took the kids to the park.

While the two oldest raced around on the playground, and Alexander slept in his carseat,

We found a soft spot on the grass and soaked in the beauty of the surrounding forest.

By that afternoon we felt somewhat refreshed and began getting together with family, friends and supporters in the area.

The next night we had our presentation at the seminary.

Jason and I were excited about arriving early for a change, only to find that the presentation time had been announced as 7:00 instead of 7:30 and many people were already there waiting for us! Once again we rushed to set up, only to run into technical difficulties, as the IT guy that normally ran the audio/visual equipment was unable to attend. Praying that we could get something working, we finally hooked up a travel size projector and started the presentation shortly before 7:30 p.m. This ended up working out well as there were quite a few people who came in around that time as that was the time we he had advertised on our newsletter and blog.

After the presentation we got a tour of the recent seminary expansion and admired the old books carefully preserved in a climate controlled room. 

The days in Grand Rapids passed quickly with meetings and visits. We did manage to work in an afternoon of fun in the sun when we had to meet another missionary, who also worked in Haiti, in Grand Haven, a pretty area on Lake Michigan with a sandy beach.

There we walked the pier, ate popcorn,

admired the coast guard boats,

and the tall red lighthouse.

Then we played on the beach,

listened to the call of the gulls and admired the vastness of the great lake.

Now out time in Grand Rapids is coming to an end and I'm picking up broken pieces of glass; again.  The first casualty of Alexander's explorations was a doll with a porcelain head that cracked open when he dropped it on the carpet and this time it's the glass part of a candle holder. 

Feeling fatigued and near tears, I wish I could simply turn back time and put the item high on a shelf out of his reach, but of course that's impossible. How am I  going to tell our hosts that he broke something again? An idea begins to form. Is there a way I can replace the candle holder without them knowing? I really don't want to have to go apologize for the second time! Maybe we could shop around for a replacement? 

As ideas begin whirling around in my mind, I'm reminded of the scriptures I read earlier this morning in the book of Romans on how we used to be servants to sin, but now we are servants to obedience and righteousness.I know how God wants me to respond, yet I struggle. Obedience is hard sometimes. 

As I pick up the remaining pieces I come with all kinds of excuses on how it wasn't my fault and if I just replace the item that will be enough. Still I know it's not true and that's not what God wants. 

Finally, resolutely, I march up the stairs and apologize to our hosts and offer to replace the broken item. They are most gracious and kind, and tell me not to worry. As I respond in obedience, a weight is lifted from my heart and I thank God for His direction and guidance. Although obedience may be hard it is always the best choice!  Feeling the joy of communion with my heavenly Father I'm reminded of Psalter 203:1-5 a song based on Psalm 73.

In sweet communion, Lord, with thee

I constantly abide;
My hand thou oldest in thine own
To keep me  near they side.

Thy counsel through my earthly way

Shall guide me and control,
And then to glory afterward
Thou wilt receive my soul.

Whom have I, Lord, in heaven but thee,

To whom my thoughts aspire?
And, having thee, on earth is nought
That I can yet desire.

Though flesh and heart should faint and fail,

The Lord will ever be
The strength and portion of my heart,
My God eternally.

To live apart from God is death,

'Tis good his face to seek;
My refuge is the living God,
His praise I long to speak.

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