Monday, May 17, 2010

I should first say that this morning started with two blessings:  a phone call with Papa Dore with much Gospel despite my many protestations and a creative and more economical approach to replacing my air-conditioning by the plumbing company that resulted in a bill that is $1,100 less than the previous estimate given (I suspect it was also discounted because I need air-conditioning because of having MS).

Until writing to Papa Dore afterward to give him the news, I had not really thought of how God has shown me mercy over the past five years through the care this company has given me:  Marty in air-conditioning and Bill in heat.  They are the only two men who come to my house, so I am familiar with them, comfortable with them, and trust them.  They are always honest, always seek to not spend my money, and, when it comes to air-conditioning problems, will ask other customers to let me cut in line for service.  Every time they have asked, permission has always been given.  I suspect it is because those customers, too, know what a blessing it is to have a plumbing company such as this one.

They usually come first call, so that I do not have to miss work.  Since mornings are difficult for me, on service call days, I usually sleep on the couch and get up to answer the door in my sweatshirt and lounge pants, blinders pushed up on my forehead and Breathright strip still on my nose.  [They don't care how I look.]  I then make my way back to the couch and sleep until they are finished, unless my alarm clock sounds before then.  One time, I was so tired that Bill merely covered me back up with the blanket that had fallen off and quietly let himself out the door.  He told me later after trying to wake me three times, he realized that I needed to sleep more than he needed to tell me the service was completed.

Truly I have been utterly remiss in praising God for His good care of me!

I wish I could say starting my day with Papa Dore made for a great day, but alas this day was a trial.  I had to fetch my boss to and from work.  I did so with the promise we would have a short day.  We left the office at 8:30 PM.  We left the office having literally argued since 4:15 PM.  I loathe who I have become lately with her.  When she becomes unkind, I find myself pushing back at her, snapping at her, losing my patience.  I am struggling so much, so very much, with this.

And then the whole day was racing from one task to another.  We simply are not ready for this festival.  And I cannot stop worrying about the fallout that will come when I cannot work that day due to the heat and length of time we are slated to be at the farm.

I must admit part of my frustration was that I broached the subject of taking three weeks vacation at the end of June to go see Papa Dore and his family.  She immediately said no, maybe two weeks, but not three.  People in our company regularly take leave three and four weeks at a time.  Traveling will be hard, painfully so.  I want time to recover on that end and yet still have time to visit and then time to be completely rested before making the journey back home.  Plus, I should admit that would give me four Lord's Suppers!

Still, I tried to set aside how I felt to concentrate on the 1,001 things that still need to be done.  I honestly do not know how I can keep up this pace, but I also am not sure my heart can survive all the arguing.

I thought I would remind myself what I read this morning from Giertz...

Romans 8:18-27.

We have the firstfruits of the Spirit.  Romans 8:23

We live in a fallen world.  The power that fights against God has broken into God's creation and gotten a foothold there.  Therefore, creation has been corrupted.  It's scared with suffering, cruelty, ruin, and disintegration.

But in the midst of this world marked by death is the beginning of a new world where nothing more will be destroyed or broken; where nothing will perish.  Christ is the firstfruits, the beginning of this new world.  He gives the life and immortality of this new world to those who belong to Him through faith, and we receive the Holy Spirit as a gift from the firstfruits.

By firstfruits and the gift of firstfruits, the Jews mean the first of the year's harvest, the first fruits or grain that were usually brought as an offering to God.  This offering was the very first harvest of the crop, a small, insignificant beginning, but it was proof that the new harvest was on the way.  It was the symbol, the pledge, the proof of something that would come later.

We have received the Holy Spirit in this way.  God's Spirit, who opened out eyes to see Christ, who led us into a relationship with Him, caused us to be born again and gave us a part in the life of the Resurrected One.  he is the beginning of our new lives and someday He will completely transform us on the day of the resurrection.  This life, salvation's new life, is still a secret.  In hope we are saved, Paul says.  We live in faith and not in a point of view.  The Spirit is really there, but it goes wherever it wants to.  No one can capture it, grasp it, or prove that it's there.  It can rule over us, but we can never rule over it.  It's not something we own or have at our disposal.  But we can open ourselves to it and let it work in us.  We can experience the Spirit's work and learn from it, but only to a certain degree.  We want so badly to feel filled with the Spirit.  We want the Spirit to help us in all our prayers so we can pray eloquently, inspiringly, and with a prophetic glow and avoid feeling the inferiority from which we so often suffer.  But Paul says the Spirit come to help our weakness in a completely different manner.  It's very possible that we can't find the words and don't know what we ought to pray about, "but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" (Romans 8:26).

There is great comfort in this.  This new life is something that can exist inside us even when our intellect and understanding can't fathom it. Christ's life in us is not dependent on our logic, comprehension, or rational thinking.  It's like the trust a child has for his mother.  It's there without having to be formulated into words.  It is reality, not a point of view or an idea. (359-361)

Ah, the comfort of that last bit!  Papa Dore has said this to me from time to time of late...that the things he is telling me are true for me even when I cannot yet grasp them.  Praise be to God my faith does not depend on me...even when I fail again to shed that works-righteousness do deeply ingrained in my heart.  Oh, would this were not so!  Would that my eyes saw Gospel as easily as they do Law!

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!

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