Friday, May 05, 2006

Weekly Word for May 5 - 12, 2006

Weekly Word - May 5, 2006

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
(1 John 4: 7)

The tunnel was in front of me, dark - and waiting for me to enter it. I knew that I had no choice, that this was the way I needed to go. But I also wondered how I was going to get through it. It was so dark, and it got smaller and smaller as you went into it. It felt as if it would squeeze the life out of me, and I really wondered if I was ever going to get to the end of it. Just as I was finally able to see a small sliver of light - - - the alarm went off - and I woke up. As I did, I wondered about the dream. I knew that times were tough, in so many ways. “Lord, what do I do?” I wondered silently. And then I looked over at my sleeping husband . . .

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; . . .
(1 John 3: 11)

My car was on it’s last legs, and I really wasn’t sure what to do. I had taken it for estimates, tried to find parts to have Ted and Mike fix it, done all I could think of to keep it running. But it wasn’t looking good. The car was old, and so a lot of things were rusted and didn’t work right. When it rained outside - it rained on me inside as well! There was duck tape on the steering wheel, and my broken antennae was now inside of the trunk. The car was in bad shape - and I really didn’t know what to do. It had been my very first car - that was just mine. And now . . . I was going to have to say good-bye to it. But I wasn’t so sure I wanted to do that.

Then, a friend called me last week. I had shared some of my troubles with her, telling her about my little car, and my worries. So on this day, when she called, I could hear the excitement in her voice. “We found you a vehicle - it is really nice” she said. “It is perfect for you” she continued on. As I listened to her words, I didn’t know what to say to her. I wasn’t even sure “what” I felt at that moment. I hesitated, and then I told her I would talk to Ted. I’m sure she could hear the uncertainty in my voice, but she just accepted what I said, and told me she would call me later on. “Lord, what do I do?” I wondered out loud. I wasn’t very good at accepting help from others, and I knew that Ted had an even harder time with it . . .

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, . . .
(Proverbs 3: 5 & 6)

He was the little boy who had no momma, always trying to help his grandma with the little ones. He helped her with the dishes, and picking up around the house. And he was the one who helped her each Christmas - choosing what toys to give to his siblings. And then, he was the young man - trying his best to please everyone. He had a new step-mother, and she never seemed happy with anything he did. He knew he wasn’t doing anything wrong by going to youth groups at church, and seeing his friends. But it didn’t matter what he said, or how hard he tried - he was soon kicked out of his house. He moved in with his grandparents, and got a job after school - still working hard to do what was right.

At 17, this young man headed off to college. It was here that he fell in love with a pretty blonde girl. She seemed everything that he wanted, and so he gave his heart to her. And then - - - she gave it back to him. She told him that her life had too many troubles in it, and so she got rid of the one thing - she thought she could do without.

Ted learned early on - to trust in himself - and no one else. His mother had left him, and being the oldest, he took on the job of taking care of everyone else. Even when he finally married that pretty blonde girl, his trust was still in himself. She had hurt him before, and so a part of his heart - was kept far, far away from ever being hurt again. And then - - - I came into his life.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body, And refreshment to your bones.
(Proverbs 3: 7 & 8)

She was the little girl, who hid in her room - hiding a secret that was too big to tell anyone else. There was no one to turn to, no one to trust, and so she hid - waiting for the day she could escape. Then she became the young teen-ager - taking care of her brothers and the house. She could never quite do things good enough - or make her brothers mind enough - to make her mother happy. And so even though she tried her best - nothing she did was right!

She got married, and had babies - and did her best to survive. She loved her husband and she loved her children - but still she was being hurt. She had married a man who she believed loved her. And she hoped he would protect her and keep her safe. But instead, she found someone who was hurting her - and abusing her - - - and again, she hoped to escape.

The righteous cry and the Lord hears,
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
(Psalm 34: 17)

Both Ted and I went through very difficult times in our lives. Through the years, we had both learned not to trust others. We did our best to take care of everything - all by ourselves. And then - - - our lives fell apart . . .

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
(Psalm 34: 18)

Ted’s wife had left him, and he didn’t know what to do. And that’s when he turned to the Lord for help. He came to the ministry for counseling, and soon he was a part of our bible study. It was here, that our friendship began. As the weeks went by, our friendship grew. It was only a few months later, when he became an even bigger part of the ministry. It seemed that God was asking him to work on the property - rebuilding an apartment for me to move in to.

He worked so hard, gutting the place and rebuilding the walls and floors - making the place a brand new apartment. Every day he would go to the apartment - after putting in a full day at his work. He was literally putting all of his being - into this job. And then one day - I found him sitting in the middle of the floor. He looked so tired and worn - and the discouragement was all over him. I sat down next to him, and asked him what was wrong. He told me how tired he was - and how upset the leader of the ministry had made him. And then he looked at me. “Why am I doing this?” “for who?” he asked me. All of his strength was gone - and I could see that he had nothing left to give . . .

As I sat there on the floor with him, I wondered what to say. Looking around me, the walls were only half finished, and the bathroom had nothing inside of it. And then I looked back at him. At that moment, nothing else seemed to matter - not where I was going to live, or what the ministry might need - all that mattered was this amazing man’s heartache and pain. As I looked at him - I told him that he could walk away from the job - and I would still care about him. As I said it, I could feel the Lord’s presence all around us. I moved closer to him and carefully took him in my arms - and then the words just started to come: “Don’t do the job for me, or for the head of the ministry - or anyone else for that matter.” “Do the work for the Lord - and just for Him” “When you do, He will give you the strength to go on . . .” When I finished speaking, I just held him - and let the tears come. We both cried that day - realizing that each of our lives were in the hands of the Lord . . .

The righteous cry and the Lord hears, . . .

It seems like forever ago - since that day up in the apartment. Ted did finish the apartment, making a beautiful home for the two of us. He didn’t know it at the time, but as he worked - giving it all to the Lord - - - the Lord gave it all back to him!

O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Thy praise.
(Psalm 51: 15)

It is never easy to let go, especially during the times when we know our lives are out of control - and we want to fix it.

About 9 years ago, I finally thought I had my own life just the way it was supposed to be. I had left my husband - and started out on a brand new life. I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping others - and so I set out to make that happen. I thought I was going to work full time in Christian counseling. And then a friend asked me to watch her new little baby girl. As she did, I knew I didn’t want to do it. As I held that little girl in my arms, I looked up at her momma and told her that I didn’t think that’s what I should be doing. As I said it, she looked at me and shook her head. “Every time I pray and ask the Lord who should watch her - I see your face” she told me. As she said this, I could feel God’s presence filling the room. I knew He was there - but I still told her “no”.

It always seems to happen that way. I seem to say “no” when I want something different than what God is offering me. And the funny part about that is - He lets me do that! He lets me say “no”. And then He asks me again . . .

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity . . .”
(Jeremiah 29: 11a)

I finally said “yes” to my friend, and I started watching her little one. I wanted to be angry about it, but somehow - I fell in love with Kerri Joy. That was her name. And to me - she was a “joy”. She fussed and she cried - and gave me a terrible time when I put her down for a nap. But it didn’t matter, I loved her with all my heart. Our household was now Jenny, me, and Kerri Joy. When I look back at the pictures of that period of time in my life, there she is - part of our family and our life. And then - - - I got very sick . . . .

I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I was always tired and my chest hurt to move or breath. I went back and forth to the doctors, having tests and getting new medicines. They really weren’t sure what was wrong with me, but they knew I was terribly sick. Each day, it took all I could do to get up and get dressed - and take care of the baby. And that is all I did - for months.

It was during this time, that I learned what it meant to need help from others. I needed help with the simple things - like grocery shopping and cleaning the house. I needed help going back and forth to the doctors. I slept a lot, and I tried to do my best. But I couldn’t have made it without the help of my friends. It was during this time, that I learned to let go - and take the hand of another . . .

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
(Jeremiah 29: 12 & 13)

It hasn’t been easy, throughout our lives, to let go of control and ask for help from others. But for Ted and I, we’ve learned that God’s gifts - sometimes come from the hands of friends.

That dark tunnel, is really how things have felt lately. We had been praying and asking the Lord what to do about our troubles. And then - - - my friend called the other day. She called again - and again - never giving up. “You need this,” she told me. And finally, I knew she was right. She was willing to be the hands of God - - - when we had asked for His help . . .

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29: 11)

Through the tough times - when things seem their darkest - those are the times when we need the help of others. It is my hope and prayer that you will give God your troubles - and hold out your hand - to His gifts of Love . . .

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
(John 16: 33)

God bless you and keep you in the coming week ahead!

In His Amazing Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


Post a Comment

<< Home