Friday, February 18, 2005

Weekly Word for February 18 to 25, 2005

Weekly Word - February 18 - 25, 2005

Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father . . . (James 1: 17)

“You look good!” he said - and I looked down at my jeans, t-shirt, and the flannel shirt I wore over it all. It was Ted’s shirt - and I pulled it closer around me - as he got ready to leave. He looked at me - knowing. Knowing that today would be difficult - as it was his first day back to work - after a week of vacation - a week “together”.

He pulled me into his arms - kissing me softly. “I’ll miss you too” he said. And I wanted to stay there - in his arms - but I knew that he had to go. As I waved good-bye, I again pulled his shirt around me - feeling it’s softness - hoping it would help - and knowing that I would miss him . . .

“Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death . . . It’s flashes are flashes of fire, . . . The very flame of the Lord . . .”
(Song of Solomon 8: 6)

As Ted drove away, I thought about the very first time he had ever held me - had ever kissed me! It seemed so long ago - and then again - maybe it was just yesterday . . .

“Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it; . . .”
(Song of Solomon 8:7)

I was a minister - and a divorced minister at that! So when it seemed that God wanted me to work full time ministering - I fully believed that I would stay single the rest of my life. Then Ted came to our bible study. We had formed a friendship - a few years earlier - when he and his wife at that time - helped me and Jen - right after I left my first husband. I liked this man - he was kind and caring - and a good influence on my young teen-age daughter. So when he walked into that bible study - a few years later - - - I couldn’t help but like him - and want to help, to listen, to re-kindle our friendship . . .

The friendship grew - - - so quickly! And soon we were struggling with what to do with the feelings we both had for each other. I was that minister - - - and he was a man who - I knew - would make a wonderful husband and father. He was my best friend - and I had become his . . .

for love is from God; and every one who loves is born of God and knows God.
(1 John 4:7)

We were together on that day - helping some friends - working around the ministry. We had talked and talked - and then - - - we kissed. As we held each other - for the very first time - I didn’t want to let go - - - I wanted to stay in his arms - - - forever!

Love is patient, love is kind . . . Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 4 & 7)

What had we done? We both wondered what we should do . . . We knew we loved each other - - - but was it right? We each wanted what was best for the other - - - and we had no clue what that meant. I found myself praying, begging the Lord to show me just what it was that Ted needed. Did he need a younger wife? One who could give him children?

Ted was also praying - asking the Lord for guidance. He didn’t want to get in the way of my being a minister. And so we both found ourselves talking to our pastor. “Are you willing to be re-baptized?” we both were asked. I have to admit - I had to think about it. Was I willing to give God our relationship? Was I willing to take my whole life - and give it all over to God - - - and know that when I did - I might lose Ted . . . .

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully - just as I also have been fully known.
(1 Corinthians 13: 12)

As I stood there - I prayed that God would wash away - all my sins. I gave to Him - all that I had in my heart - - - all my hopes - everything . . .

I watched as Ted did the same . . . He gave the Lord all that he had - he gave God his life - - - and the tears started as he was brought back up from the water - baptized again . . .

And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and I have all faith, so as to remove mountains - but do not have love - I am nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13: 2)

I didn’t know what to expect - afterwards. We had just given God - all of our beings - and I wondered if I would be lost. As the pastor left, I looked at Ted, and burst into tears. And then he held me - gently rocking me - and I knew - - - our love had not died . . .

But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these - is love.
(1 Corinthians 13: 13)

There is a teaching - that most of us have heard. It is about love. That when we love - we are to hold it - with an open hand. Like holding a butterfly - we are to keep our hands open - knowing that it might fly away - but also knowing that if we squeeze our hand closed - - - it will die. Love was like that butterfly. I then learned about loving and gifts - - - that when we are given a gift - we must give it back to the Lord. I had read about this - and taught about this - - - and then I lived it . . .

Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift . . . Is from above, . . .

Every perfect gift . . . I had given everything in my life - back to the Lord. And He - gave it back to me!!! The love that Ted and I shared - continued to grow! It is a gift from God. On the day we were married - The Lord was there - - - He has been with us - through everything.

I told a person today - that Ted makes me a better person. And he does! In our love - the person that each of us are - is better because we have each other. It is a love - that is forever . . . . . .

“Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm.”

“For love is as strong as death . . . It’s flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.”

“Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it;”

“If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, It would be utterly despised.”
(Song of Solomon 8: 6 & 7)

Love is worth everything - - - and yet it is nothing - without God being a part of it! Are you willing to give God your life - all that is in your heart? He knows exactly what is in it - - - and what you need - - - to bring you fully alive - full of Love and Life! Many search their entire lives - - - for Love. God is waiting - to give you just that . . .

God bless you in the coming week ahead!

In His Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


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