Joni's Corner

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O The Deep Deep Love

12079696_10153392944178813_8171054273210166952_nIt is a beautiful and holy thing to see the Lord’s deep work in the heart of an individual. And to see how ALL things are for our sake and how they work, not only to our good, but to the precious good of others in our lives.

Here I am laid up for six weeks with my ankle. I am sleeping in the far bedroom until my ankle is stable enough that I can join my husband again without fear of kicks and thumps in the night. So I call it the “West Wing” as it is the most western bedroom.  Each night my dear husband asks if I am ready for bed and then asks what I need. I usually tell him I could use my water bottle filled, my Tylenol, and maybe a tissue. He procures said items, then comes and gets me after I change, wash my face and brush my teeth. He walks me down the hall. Without fail as I enter the room, the lamp by the bed is on, there is my water bottle, pills, and a tissue. And without fail the bed is always pulled down- like they do in hotels. He helps me into bed, covers me up, and asks if I need anything else. “No thank you- I am good.” Then he lays his hands on my ankle and leg- ever so carefully and prays for my healing. He also prays for our children, future grand-children (should we be blessed with them J ), a friend with cancer, a family in grief, and current needs. He never forgets to thank the Lord for me and for His watching over us. Then he leans over kisses me good-night and tells me he’ll see me in the morning. This particular night as he walks out of the room- I am reduced to tears. Beautiful tears expressing how grateful I am for this man. Tears that express how deeply I love him… and am loved by him.

Being in love is a wonderful thing and we see it played out beautifully in our newly married children’s lives. However, loving someone over a lifetime- that is something altogether different and deep. And there is only one way for that “in love” to become the love that comes from that deep place; it must be tested and tried. To find the true strength of anything or anyone- there must be a time of testing. You see- the absolute only way a lump of coal can ever become the diamond is with time – pressure – and heat.  I love this man. I am safe with this man. He loves me. He knows me. He has seen the worst and loves me the best. We’ve got history!- The good, the bad, and the ugly. We are better together than apart and we make a complete person. Already in this season of injury and recovery I have seen such incredible blessings and it overwhelms me.

And this brings me to the mystery of God’s economy. How very different it is from man’s. We long for uninterrupted plans, we kick against unscheduled detours, we want things to go along with a modest helping of comfort and predictability. And yet… it seems to be the interrupted, unscheduled, uncomfortable, and unwelcomed events that truly reveal who we are and what we are made of. Not only that but the testing of our very character seems to place a greater quality of substance into our souls. You see, I have experienced firsthand the most caring and nurturing side of my husband that I may have never known even existed outside of this unfortunate accident. Which leads me to question whether it is really unfortunate or even accidental. I have seen God bring the most beautiful out of what might seem labeled misfortune.

As mere mortals we long for life to go according to plan. We always pray over, hope for and take caution against accidents and mishaps. And rightly so- as what parent prays for hardship for their child?

YET! GOD!

In His infinite wisdom and gracious sovereignty continues to bless me abundantly inside this ankle break, surgery, and recovery. THIS! This is why I have learned in my prayer life to always conclude with the same plea- even to mine own or others apparent hurt… don’t get me wrong- I will still pray for safety- I cannot help that- it is my mortality BUT I will always and forever attach this prayer, “Never the less Father, not my will but Thine be done!”  Why? Because He is the Almighty who always give beauty for ashes!

Well, it is late. Soon, my husband will come into the room and ask me if I’m ready for bed and if I need anything. Truthfully, tonight, I’m not even sleepy- but he won’t know that because when he asks I will say, “Sure Honey. Do I get to be tucked in again?” And he will follow his same routine that he has done for me for the last several weeks. And even if I’m not sleepy- even if I lay in bed with my eyes wide open after the lights have been turned out- I will smile- with a tear in my eye and I’ll think about how much I am loved… deeply deeply loved.