From November to January, I am the older woman. Ninety-four days to be exact, but who’s counting? Thankfully, yesterday my husband’s age caught up with mine. We’ve been married thirty-five years, so that’s 3,290 days worth of “old” jokes. That’s a passel of smiles he’s brought to my face.
Ron is a combination of many of the men who’ve helped shape my life. I guess that’s why God sent him my way. He’s been a hardworking road builder like both of our fathers. His dad taught him to be firm, fair, and a man of his word. If he says he’ll do something, he will. Working with his dad taught him to be generous to those who needed a job, or merely needed a little help to get through hard times. He’s also a lot like my mother’s dad who loved his grandchildren, and would do whatever it took to make sure we were well taken care of. Another side of Ron shares the dry wit of my grandfather, PaPa, who made everyone laugh at the dinner table with his solemnly told corny jokes. But, the thing I admire most about each one of these men is their love for Jesus. In their own way, they exhibit unique characteristics of Jesus. None of them have all of Jesus’ traits down pat, but they all have something. Their lives, woven together, covers me with a sturdy, yet tender reminder of how completely God loves me.
Wouldn’t it be a great thing if everyone who completely surrendered their will to Jesus became woven into one sturdy fabric of love that completely enveloped nonbelievers? That would mean different colors, stripes, and textures could be intertwined around one common gospel thread. Holes of discord would be stitched together quickly. Threads of jealousy, self-righteousness, and prejudice would disintegrate, fall away, and be replaced with admiration, godliness, and equality . I am convinced the only way the non-believing world can warm up to Jesus is by us throwing a solid blanket of unified love around them. Until we allow ourselves to be woven together in love, we will have a hard time convincing the world of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. Who wants to be wrapped in a threadbare blanket? Paul said it this way; “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.” (Gal. 5:13)
What kind of legacy are you leaving for your children and grandchildren? What characteristic of Jesus could you humbly bring to be woven into God’s blanket of love? Are you ready to be patient with other believers and celebrate their strengths? That’s what Jesus wanted and prayed for:
“The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind – just as you, Father, are in me and I in you. So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you in fact sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are – I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you’ve sent me and loved them in the same way you’ve loved me.” (John 17:21-23, The Message)
Ladies, you have an opportunity to strengthen the tapestry of God’s love by joining Lean Into Jesus Ministry’s conference on the Saturday, the 31st at Guntersville Town Hall. Yes, I’ll be speaking, but please come anyway. I’ve heard the hearts of those putting this event together and been touched by the common love they share for Jesus. They have a wonderful day planned. Even if I weren’t speaking, I’d be there! What an amazing way to celebrate all we have in common! For more information, click here.
May God keep us all a bit warmer!