It's been a good long while since a post has gone up on this blog. We have good reasons. Like having various roles in the end of the school/college year, an awesome wedding, and then a missions trip to Spain. :-) But today, something happened for me spiritually that I really want to write down to commemorate for myself but also to shed a teensy bit of light on just how wonderful our God really is, how He really is in the details and cares for us as we strive to live for Him.
For a couple of years, I seemed to have a weird knack for checking the time at 1:19. It was not intentional. It was annoying. Why always 1:19? Aside from the fact that it was so random to look at the clock at a consistent time, I was also annoyed that 1/19 is my birthday. Two years I kept seeing the clock at 1:19! It was one of those, "I don't believe in superstition, but come on! What's the deal?" I eventually started wondering if God was trying to either just amuse me or trying to tell me something.
Then my pastor started a sermon series (that no one knows how long it will take!) in James - one of my most favorite books of the Bible. I've always known about the verse, "Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger." Of course I've always known about it. I have struggled with anger for a long time, in varying levels, as I journey through life as a wife and mother. It's flat out silly how long I've known and convictingly-loved that verse........and never realized it is CHAPTER 1 VERSE 19. As in 1:19. As in 1/19.
BAM. Ok, God. That is really cool. How wonderful that You would BURN that reference and verse into my head. It worked! I've never been great at remembering references. I won't ever forget this one now. Ever.
So about the time I connected those dots, I started looking at the clock less at 1:19 and more at 10:42, both morning and evening. I was in disbelief. It was like making that realization and having that reference in James tatooed on my brain meant that I no longer had to keep looking at the clock at 1:19. And now it was time to move on to a different annoying time. Because it happened SO often. And because, well, I was born at 10:42 pm. What. on. EARTH?
It's been almost a year I've looked at the clock at 10:42, and I've been wondering this whole year if God was preparing to emblazon yet another verse in my memory. I wanted to wait and see if it would connect on its own. To see if I would have another "Aha, God!" moment. Well, when I saw 10:42 today, I decided the wait was over. My middle son came in about that time, and I said we were going to go on an adventure through the Bible.
We sat there and looked at every book, from Genesis to Revelation, that has 10 chapters. And each 10th chapter we checked for the 42nd verse. There aren't many! But there were two that made my jaw drop. Just like the James 1:19 incident.
But before I share the first one, here is a Back Story: For several years, I have been convicted about choosing selfishness above serving my kids. Kids constantly ask for things - whether needs or wants. There's a lot of times I would LOVE to change my name to something other than Mommy. Mommy, mommy, mommy!!! It dives me nuts sometimes - because I'm selfish (and perhaps because they need a touch of training in that area). So the Lord started bringing to mind that one verse (remember, I'm not good at references) about when He told His disciples that giving even a cup of cold water to a child can be done in His name and is an honorable thing. He has helped me over the last few years to focus more on the fact that children are DEPENDENTS. They truly need us moms to DO for them what they flat out can't do or can't do well for themselves. They need us to DO for them so that they can LEARN for themselves. And my reactive bad attitude to their questions and requests showed selfishness - focus on doing what I wanted, whether a necessary task or a total time waster, INSTEAD of just SERVING the very children God ENTRUSTED to me to raise, protect, train, help, shape, teach, and send off flying from my nest (rather than being dumped out only to hit the ground). Just serve. My thought process looks something like this... "Your child is thirsty, Dawn. Stop and give your child a cup of water! You get thirsty, and you can easily get yourself a drink. Love your child, and get him/her a cup of water." I know. It sounds terrible that I even have to think that way. It sounds simple. But mothering is hard. Mothering through chronic health issues is hard. Mothering while homeschooling is hard. Mothering is hard when you are a Martha in charge of a household (we'll get to the Mary in a moment...). It's easy to self-implode when things are tremendously busy, and you just wanna do what you wanna do...which is sometimes nothing. But that's not a luxury - it's a temptation towards selfishness. Sure, we need good rest and to take care of our bodies. But you know the line I'm talking about when it crosses over into selfishness. Ok, ok. Enough back story.
So we were talking about how I can't seem to avoid seeing 10:42 on the clock. Guess what I discovered is written in Matthew 10:42 today. "And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward." NO WAY. Reference forever remembered. For an entire year, at the same time I kept looking at the clock at 10:42, God was also bringing to mind that verse as I struggled to grow in my mothering. Unbelievable. If you don't believe in a sovereign God, that is. :-)
BUT.......there is another 10:42 I found. I'm a Martha, as mentioned already. I've known for years that I need to be more of a Mary, to be more disciplined in deep devotion and prayer. Sitting at Jesus' feet drinking in all I can of who He is, what is in His Word, and communing with Him. I get convicted EVERY time I hear a message on Martha and Mary. Being a Mary is hard for me to do consistently and deeply all the time because my brain is the one that will get distracted by To Do's (or anything else for that matter), whether in thought or action. Guess what Luke 10:42 is. "but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." That's just awesome. A third verse the Lord has been using for years to grow me that "just so happens" to be a reference with the same numbers of a time I kept seeing on the clock which "just so happens" to be the time of day I was born.
I don't believe in superstition. I never have. But I have ALWAYS believed in God's sovereignty, even over the tiny details of life (like what flower is on a particular table...just ask my hubby about that story!). I truly believe it is no coincidence that these times are my birth day and time, that I couldn't seem to NOT see those times of day, and that the numbers matched up with references to verses that directly correlate to what God has been teaching me the last several years. Such a precious, unexpected gift from Him. He knows I have a bad memory, so He has compensated and given me a way to remember references AND lessons. :-)
Now, if I start seeing a new time on the clock................Ha!