This is actually part two of the helpful things people say or do series.
As my family started our weekend celebration of mom’s and dad’s 60th wedding anniversary last night, I realized that all the women in that room have lived with me for periods of time over the past five years.
During my wife’s chemotherapy and radiation treatments for her cancer in 2004 and 2005, one sister spent more than 6 months living with us, and my other sister and mother also spent days or weeks living with us.
The sole reason: my wife and I couldn’t do all that needed doing to care for our four children at that time. We needed help. I could not fulfill the American ideal of doing it all myself, going it alone and triumphing in the end. I couldn’t do it for myself, and I certainly couldn’t do it for my family.
That was very good for me because of the picture of God it demonstrated: kindness and mercy in a situation in which I did not have the ability to repay; giving good gifts I frequently did not even know I needed; encouraging me to lead my family and serve my wife and children, and helping me see how to do so. They made much of God in their service to us.
And because they were all so gracious and kind in the midst of that truly horrible time, giving not just their service but their very hearts, we are all much closer for it. Sinful, finite, weak human beings, knit closer together because of need rather than what we can ‘do’ for each other.
God wants us even more dependent on him than that. He wants to give us the greatest gift – himself! – rather than leave us alone in our sin and puny, selfish existence. He wants us to experience ever increasing joy in and with him forever, because only he can do that! As Pastor John has helpfully taught us, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”
Many people are at least familiar with Psalm 40:17 because of the heartfelt cry of David in a time of great trouble:
As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!
Pause, however, and remember how David set it up in verse 16:
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
Seek the Lord! Rejoice and be glad in that Lord! The Lord takes thought of the poor and needy!
And sometimes that thought is sending an army of women who want to make much of God by serving me, or you. And I am very glad for it!