A Dose of Cabin Fever

“It’s snowing!” my teenage son exclaimed as he helped my husband carry the seven-foot Douglas Fir to our truck. Snowflakes and the scent of pine needles bolstered our “Christmas spirit.”

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Next morning, our rural property was a winter wonderland. I watched my husband drive away on business, leaving tire tracks down the steep driveway.  

Son and I huddled indoors and enjoyed a leisure weekend. But with frigid temperatures, and no road salt or sun rays to melt our icy driveway, my “Christmas spirit” morphed into “Cabin Fever.”

Monday afternoon, I stood at the window as though I was a prisoner in solitary confinement.

With the exception of my son, who is a young man of few words, I hadn’t spoken to a soul for three days. Even Facebook friends were quiet as a mouse.

I wasn’t bored. I’d been productive. But even as an introvert, I needed me some people.

God created us for relationship. He pursues us.

Even so, God looked at Adam and said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” So He made a helpmate, a woman.

Family and Tribe are vital in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the emphasis shifts to the adoption of believers into the Body of Christ, but there remains the need for corporate worship.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another….”(Hebrews 10:24,25)

  

However, I don’t think the Lord intends for me to commune on Sabbath morning while “we’re assembled” and then go my separate way for six days.

I can be isolated and still read my Bible, pray, and worship the Lord.

But it’s difficult to give and receive love, comfort, encouragement, accountability, and prayer when I’m alone.    

A dose of Cabin Fever reminded me of two Facebook acquaintances in desperate need of the above.

One has been in the hospital since September, and the other is confined at home. God sustains, but without community, their spirits wither like grapes on a vine.

Weary, heartsick Caregivers beg for people to reach out with cards, phone calls, or visits to show their loved one is not alone.

Perhaps it takes being alone to understand, and moved to action.

Tuesday brought warmer temperatures, and the arrival of my stalwart husband, to rescue me. Free at last, I drove to the grocery store, thankful to rub elbows with the human race.

People are flawed creatures, but I’m convinced we need one another for better or worse, in sickness and health….

What better time than the Christmas season to find a lonely person and SHOW them the love of Christ? 

 

   

 

          

What Would Jesus Do?

DSCN2544Alone, I go to a secluded area. I want to talk with the Lord. There are so many people in my life who ask for prayer, who have deep needs.

How do I pray for them? Does my perceived needs for them line up with God’s will for their lives?

I think of my own prayer requests, wisdom needed so decisions can be made.

What would Jesus do?

Those words have become a catch phrase on bracelets and T-shirts, but this truly is my desire “to do the right thing” so I pray,

What would Jesus do?

A thought stirs my heart like the wind blowing through the pine trees on the hill.

Jesus would pray.

“But He would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” (Luke 5:16)

He made communion with God, the Father, a daily priority.

o   Before he chose the twelve men who would be his apostles,

o   Before Jesus spoke to the multitude, and afterwards,

o   Before he healed the leper and the blind man,

o   Before he was arrested,

 Jesus would pray.

American culture has programmed me to be productive rather than be still.

Consequently, my Christian walk also gets caught up in a blur of activity:

Follow Christ, serve Him, live a life that is worthy, please Him, bring Him honor.…

I forget to be still….

And do what Jesus did every day of his life on earth…PRAY!

The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4) are the words Jesus shared when the disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. John Chapter 17 also shows what Jesus prayed for when He knew His hour had come.

He prayed:

Ø  His name would be glorified, and that believers would see His glory.

Ø  God would keep believers safe from the evil one, and care for them.

Ø  Believers would be filled with His joy.

Ø  Believers would be sanctified in the truth; God’s Word is truth.

Ø  Believers would be unified so the world would know that He was sent by God who loves them even as He loves the Son.

Ø  God’s love would dwell in His people’s hearts, and He in them.

Alone in the wilderness, I know what to do.

I pray likewise knowing these are the best things I can pray for myself and others because

This is what Jesus would do.

So This is Love?

Flu : A fellow sits on a bed with a very high temperature. Vectorial illustration.My smile was short-lived last week.

Flu invaded my body. Out of nowhere, brutal, microscopic creatures brought me to my knees, had me cry, “Uncle!”

Three days disappeared while I slept, smothered beneath blankets. Trust me. I did NOT look like Sleeping Beauty and nobody dared wake me with a kiss.

By the fifth day, the novelty of being sick was over.  I longed to enter the sunny world outside my bedroom window, but Flu turned into Bronchitis. Life was in a holding pattern while I waited for good health.

But nothing’s wasted.

While I lay comatose watching a steady dose of classic TV Land reruns, there was a jewelry commercial that told men: “Show your love by giving her a diamond.”

I shook my feverish head.

What does a diamond have to do with LOVE?

Does a bigger diamond mean I love you MORE?

Ridiculous!

After thirty three years of marriage, I know how Husband shows love and it doesn’t come in a jewelry box.

Love is action.

Husband shows love when flu makes me look like Road Kill, and yet he brings me a cup of tea, and runs a hot bath to soak my achy body.

Husband shows love when I’m coughing up phlegm and he asks me what I need from the store even though he just worked all day.

Husband shows love when I’m worried about my family and household duties, but he says, “Rest, everything is under control.”

Husband shows love when he gives me 18 pink roses even though I can’t smell them, and I know he’s tired of being Mr. Mom.

Love is revealed in a hundred small acts of service, in sickness and health, multiplied through the years.

“Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained” C. S. Lewis    

“Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,

It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinth 13:4-8)

 

Funny, that a jewelry commercial should spark my ire.

But last week, I was shown love, and it did NOT look like a diamond.

Do I Only Have Eyes for You?

IMG_6091Holding hands, my daughter and her fiancé stood on the church altar, gazing into each other’s eyes. Their radiant smiles and misty eyes were contagious. As the mother of the bride, I counted the poinsettias that alternated with the tea lights to keep from sobbing with joy.

Clinging to my husband’s hand, I listened as they exchanged wedding vows and made a covenant before God “to have and to hold from this day forth, in sickness and in health…”

I watched as they each took a candle, the same ones the groom’s mother and I had lit earlier, and allowed the two flames to become one on their own candle to signify the unity of their lives.

When the pastor pronounced them “husband and wife” not only were they legally married, they entered into a new relationship that redefined them.

Suddenly, I also had new relationships, a new identity. The groom was now my son-in-law which made me a~~mother-in-love! And two separate genealogies were grafted into one family tree.

Since the wedding, my daughter legally, eagerly, changed her last name to be the same as her Beloved. As the two of them resolve to become one, and identify with each other’s needs, there has been a merging of bank accounts, power of attorney, and dreams. There’s no demand for entitlement, no fear, only love as they travel the same path, together, into tomorrow.

That love and commitment exists between my husband of 33 years and me. Can I say the same for my relationship with God?

Andrew Murray wrote, “The three Persons in the Godhead are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—each one is different from the others. God desires to reveal Himself as a person…and we are called to enter into fellowship with Him.

 God greatly desires this relationship with us, but sin has come between us and our God. Even in Christians who know God, there is often great ignorance and even indifference to this personal relationship of love to God.

People believe that at conversion their sins are forgiven, that God accepts them so that they may go to heaven. They do not realize that, even as a father and his child on earth enjoy being together, so they must have this intimate fellowship with God each day.”    

No demands, no fear.

Enjoying His presence, and resting on His deep, tender love to us even in this moment.