Wonders of Wonders, Miracles of Miracles!

It is a lie from the pit of hell that God doesn’t do miracles anymore. I’m sure I’ve experience my fair share of them. To my chagrin, I’ve also forgotten most of them. They don’t seem as  exciting as the Biblical supernatural healings, people walking out of their graves or the never ending fish and loaves. But this week I have witnessed two miracles, God forbid I forget them!

Several weeks ago I woke up with terrible knee pain. I don’t know what I did. Suddenly, excruciating pain squealed circles around my knee cap when I walked. Oddly enough, walking hurt worse than squats or going up the stairs. For days I hoped it would simply go away. Then I started desperately praying that it would go away. I admit, my primary motivation for ridding myself of this pain, was so that I could continue my strenuous workouts – long runs, etc.

Every few days my knee would feel a little better, I’d push it a little further and then it would deteriorate to worse than before. Tuesday morning, I thought it was significantly improved and I took off on a 7 mile run. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I was in agony the rest of the day. Fear nibbled at the back of my mind, “You’ve probably screwed it up so badly you’ll never run again. You certainly won’t be able to run the half marathon in March. How stupid and obviously obsessed with exercise can you be to have gone out and run yesterday?”

Wednesday was even worse.

Then, I woke up on Thursday morning and the pain was gone. Completely gone. I hopped up and down, ran up and down the stairs, walked the dog – did everything to try and make it hurt again. I can’t. The pain is gone.

I called my doctor-sister, “Unless you can give me a really good medical explanation, I think I just had a miracle!”

NUMBER 2:

Last Monday, I emailed the property manager of our house in Washington State. I was concerned because the direct deposit from our renters was $500 short. Oops, she had forgotten to tell me that they had applied the “military clause,” allowing them to break their lease early. Overnight, I was back to paying a mortgage and rent. Panic ensued.

By now you probably know that I’m overly dramatic. I quickly reassessed our spending and decided we would live on canned food for the rest of our lives, I would never get my hair cut again, I need to cancel our cell phones, fire the cleaning lady, drop the thermostat and shut off the internet.

I contacted a realtor and asked her to help me look at selling the home. Our prospects were dismal, “You stand to lose about $50,000,” she told me. I was on the verge of tears all day long. I agonized over what to do. If we sold it, I would spend the rest of our lives recouping our loss.

That night I was exhausted and headed home with a glass of Cabernet on my mind. I realized that I’d missed a call from our property manager. Just that day she had processed our renter’s move-out.

“Hi Abby. I know you mentioned trying to sell the house this time, but if you’re willing to rent it again, I have it rented 110%!” Tears sprang to my eyes. I had spent the day wallowing in distrust of God, self-pity and fear. I had wrestled with options and battled with discouragement. The whole time, God had already solved my supposed problem.

When I got home, I fell to my knees on the kitchen floor and begged God to forgive me for thinking I needed to solve my own problems – for thinking I could solve my own problems. How could I doubt Him?

Women are Inferior To Men…

The Bible says women are inferior to men.  

You’re being a doormat to treat him with such respect when he doesn’t return the favor.

You’ve heard it.

Recently, my little sister’s boss asked her the $24,000 question.  As a mom-to-be and a new home owner, her priorities are shifting.  In the midst of an unrelated conversation he asked, “Do you think your husband’s job is more important that yours?”

Wow, feminists, I can hear you roaring!  I smell the bacon frying and you’re on your way back out the door to trample on every man who gets in your way.

Kelsey said, “Yes.”  Now, there are plenty of logical reasons – Kelsey is going to be taking maternity leave at the very least and be unable to work for a while, and Blake makes more money, to name two.  But really, she told me, her heart is committed to the Biblical description of Christian behavior.  She is proud of and loves her home.  She is anxious to fill their new house with baby things, a loving atmosphere and if she’s lucky – puppies!  Kelsey does not plan to sign her life away to a progressive career before her first child is even born.

So, Christian, is a woman inferior to a man?   Can she achieve less?  Is she doomed to servanthood all her days?

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”  1 Peter 3:1,2

I can hear you protesting.  Did you only look at those two verses?  Step back, take in the full view.  Start in 1 Peter 2:13-25.  I’ll excerpt some of it for you.

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” (v.13) …jump…

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His footsteps.” (v. 21)  Jesus was abused, ignored, reviled and slandered.  Even in the worst of circumstances, Jesus submitted himself without retaliation or indignation.  He entrusted himself to God, who judges justly.

If Jesus Christ submitted Himself to the Father’s will in order to ransom me, then, can I not submit myself to any authority figure, knowing that ultimately (whether they realize it or not) I am subjected to and judged justly by God?

And men, don’t think you’re off the hook!  Just a few verses down, there’s another “Likewise.”

The command to submit is not limited to women any more than salvation is limited to men.  Christ-like behavior is to, “Honor everyone.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:17

“Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 13:10

Beloved Entertainer

Granddad was a natural entertainer.  He didn’t burst into “Singing in the Rain,” or any other musical themes.  He didn’t quote lines from famous movies.  I never saw him dance a step – except at my sisters’ weddings.

Granddad refused to let anyone be bored.  If there wasn’t something fun to be doing, he could find a chore for you.  I will never forget the afternoon my sisters and I spent on our dirty, kid knees scrubbing the grout in my mother’s kitchen with a toothbrush.  When we finished it was almost white and all along I had thought it was a dingy mauve.

Granddad had a knack for making work fun.  However, “work shed” is a misnomer from a child’s perspective.  When I was young, every trip to Grandma’s house involved a trip to the work shed.  There Granddad had screaming saws, tubes and buckets of paint, yard tools and dangerously sticky substances that we were not allowed to touch.

A few years before, the work shed’s space had been a carport for Granddad and Grandma’s RV.  What a fantastic invention – traveling in your home!  I vowed once that I would never marry, but grow up, get a German shepherd and travel the country in my RV finding work when necessary.  When Granddad and Grandma parted with their RV, I somehow forgot about its magic, and that dream faded.

One specific project of mine that emerged from the work shed was a little wooden dog.  It was so thin that it was almost two dimensional.  It had long, floppy ears.  Granddad carved it for me on the circular saw, turning the fine piece of wood with great dexterity following lines that only an artist like Granddad could draw freehand.  Afterwards, he set me up on a bar stool, close to his workbench.  With a palette of acrylic paints before be, I got busy adding the puppy’s eyes and paws and selecting his spots.  In the meantime, the master creator began to work on my sisters’ projects.

I never saw Granddad read anything except the newspaper.  But he loved a good story.  Grandma had a library of heart-warming novels that she packed on every road trip or read a few lines before bedtime.  She also read their daily devotional out loud.  One of the mysteries of my grandparents is that I never saw one without the other.  They thought the same, loved the same – the definition of persons completing each other.

Granddad and Grandma had an array of movies.  To this day, I don’t know how many DVDs they have.  We always watched “Winnie the Pooh” and “Mary Poppins” and “Meet Me in St. Louis,” on an old-fashioned VCR.  For regular shows, Granddad followed Star Trek with some regularity.  I fancied myself a fan, though I never saw an episode in between visits to my grandparents’ house.

One Christmas, Uncle Richard gave Granddad a book of Calvin and Hobbs comic strips.  Somehow, someone decided that Granddad loved it and wanted to collect all of the commemorative editions.  I don’t know that Granddad ever read one, but for at least two years, I read and re-read them every time we visited.  I loved to sit in the glider rocker, in the sunroom and ignore my suddenly “immature” siblings.

The quintessential way to pass time with Granddad always involved a deck of cards.  At their house, we learned to play Cribbage and Rummy and Spades and a game with a bad-word name that we re-named “Oh P-shaw!”  Otherwise, we could pull out the dominoes or poker chips or dice.  Picking a long game was a sure way to stay up late at Granddad’s house.