While I am enjoying every bit of our daughter’s wedding season, and refusing to let anything “rain on this special time,” I am also enjoying having dear friends walk the same path in either being a MOB or a MOG. Just this weekend I was honored to be a guest at the rehearsal dinner of a dear, dear friend’s son. The room was spectacular with candles flickering, the smell of fresh cut flowers and the buzz of excitement and anticipation. Made the blood in my veins run a little faster and a warmth came over me as I walked into the pre-wedding celebration.
I looked around and took many mental notes. The thing that stood out to me the most was the absolute joy and happiness everyone was sharing, even strangers to strangers. After a time of fellowship we were directed to our assigned tables and little did I know that “table 3” was set especially for me. You see, there was a board filled with place cards. We all walked up to the board to find the place card with our name and then looked on the back to see what table we were assigned to. A dear friend brought me my card and I walked over to table “3” and placed my card in front of a plate.
Later I returned to see that a dear friend, whom I rarely see but go to church with, was seated to my right but a complete stranger was seated to my left. So fun now to look back and see how God orchestrated the whole night. As usual, words were not absent from my tongue. I started to engage to my left and to my right. The stranger to my left was an aunt of the bride. I love strangers. It is always an opportunity to learn, to ask and to get to know others. Her story was compelling and one that God orchestrated for me to hear so that I could share it. It’s one we can all learn from and be encouraged by!
First, she was an attorney and so was her husband. They both went to USC Law School, but now live in Indiana. She is the mother of six children. Identical twins sandwiched in that group of 6, ages 22 to 10 (I think). As she began to unpack her life and point out her children in the room, I asked what kind of law she and her husband practiced. Her face “darkened” just a bit with that question!
She began to tell me of her husband’s sudden heart problems that required not only a pace maker, but caused his cognitive abilities to be significantly lowered. Today he is 50 and cannot drive or practice law. Their lives, in a matter of hours, changed forever!
As she shared her story, she told me they were Catholic but had found a non-denominational church that really encouraged them. I always look for ways to get to know someone’s faith. She mentioned the title of a sermon that ministered to her and her husband in the very difficult season in life. The title was “Dig Your Well in the Desert!” and that, my friends, is what they have done!
She vividly shared with me the turn of events in her husband’s life and his debilitation and how he “dug his well in his desert.” Today she drops him off at a nearby elementary school where he reads to children. He has even asked to lead a Bible study for a group of kids. That is his full time job with “NO pay”! Wow! just wow!
He went from being a very successful attorney to a volunteer with “no earthly pay” in an elementary school. As I sat mesmerized by her story and life, I noticed she was happy….she was joyful. Little did she know…she nourished my soul at the same time. I immediately thought of several scriptures that they were living, especially her husband. One is Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper, whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.“ A second is Romans 8:28, “And we know in all things, God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”
One thing I know at almost 54 years of age…WE cannot predict nor know the future…only God does.
As we live life, there will always be deserts…times of drought…in our lives.
No one goes through life without them. We can either dehydrate and die in the desert or we can GET BUSY and DIG a WELL! WE get to choose!
If we look to God, as this family did, He will provide a “shovel.” It may not be what we would have chosen but if we choose to “pick up the shovel and dig,” God’s Word promises water!
If you find yourself on dry, parched land in this season of life, first of all, count your blessings. As this stranger shared, “In all things give thanks.” Then, look to your Heavenly Father and pick up your shovel and start digging…the “water is there”……
Let me end today with a few encouraging words from the Psalms.
“You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance” (Psalm 68:9).
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:8-9).
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” (Psalm 63:1-3).