A Wife and a Mother

 

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How many times have we thought, “I am only one, what can I do?”  If we truly are one than yes, what can we do?  If we are one with God on our side, than we are mightier than the best trained military.

 

Deborah (Judges 4, 5) was a judge in Israel.  She has two chapters in the Bible dedicated to her story, just enough words to get a glimpse into her life. The Israelites had a pattern of sin, servitude, supplication, and salvation that went on for about 400 years.  During this time God appointed various judges to save them from their servitude. They enjoyed peace in the land and then the attraction of the foreign gods and practices became like the fruit in the midst of the Garden of Eden, that one piece of fruit they were not supposed to eat.  The Israelites knew what God expected of them.  They also knew what the consequences were for their disobedience, and yet the allure of sin was so great a temptation.

 

During one of these times of servitude following their sinful indulgence, God brought Deborah onto the scene.  She does not enter the scene with brute force like Samson did, but rather she becomes well known because of her wisdom. “She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.” (Judges 4:5).  This level of wisdom does not come through the service of worshipping idols, but rather through a close intimate relationship with God, the Creator of the world.  In order to be wise, we must spend time with the Creator of wisdom.

 

Deborah summoned Barak and asked him to lead the Israelites against their enemies, yet Barak was unwilling to go unless Deborah went with him.  As a general rule, a man asking a woman to go into battle with him might be considered a sign of weakness and be grounds for ridicule from other men.  Yet, Deborah’s influence was so great, that Barak felt sure that going into battle without Deborah would be met with defeat.

 

Deborah willingly went with Barak into battle, though she did not fight, she provided encouragement to Barak and the soldiers. “And Deborah said to Barak, ‘Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand.  Does not the Lord go out before you?’” (Judges 4:14).  That day Sisera and his army fell.

 

Deborah did not have anything special about her.  She was a wife and a mother.  Yet, she took what she had, a close walk with God, and allowed Him to use her in whatever way He saw fit.  In Deborah and Barak’s song of praise to God for their victory over the Canaanites, Deborah called herself  “a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7).  A mother is a bond in a family, and for Deborah as the mother in Israel she became the bond of the people.

 

Our first priority as women should be to spend time with God daily in His word and in prayer.  As we seek His face and seek His wisdom, and as we willingly serve God the possibilities are endless.  Deborah was a wife and a mother.  Yet, she allowed God to use her to save His people out of servitude.  What could you do, wife and mother?

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Enjoy the Journey

 

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I was talking with a friend the other day and she was sharing what was going on in her life.  When she was done sharing, I told her, “Enjoy the journey.”  Enjoy the extra time spent talking with your husband about this and enjoy the extra time in prayer with God regarding this part of your journey of life.

 

We are in the process of selling our house, and have had multiple showings.  We have had our house on the market for twelve days now and have had about 36 showings.  I know that God is a part of this move and has a plan for us as we pack up the lives that we have here in Rochester Hills and move to Grand Rapids.

 

But 36 showings in 12 days!  The traffic is good, but cleaning the house and picking it up multiple times a day gets old.  Since we home school, having our school day interrupted by cleanings and showings does not bode well for a good school atmosphere.

 

As I was washing yesterday, God reminded me about my previous conversation last week.  God also brought to mind Abraham and his wait for 100 years for a son.  “Enjoy the journey.”  Enjoy the extra time in prayer over something that God will answer in His time.  Enjoy the countless hours spent cleaning the house and picking it up.  Enjoy the memories being made with my daughters.  Enjoy the time spent with neighbors and friends that let us barge in unexpectedly.  As Charles Swindoll says, “Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we respond.”  Complaining about everything brings us down and the others around us.  Our response to situations is an indicator of what is in our hearts.

 

We (including me) get so caught up in our own worlds that we forget about the situations others are in.  We forget to pray for others that are struggling with health needs, financial needs, relationship needs, direction needs…

 

As I write this, I am challenged.  God has reminded me of Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  We do not honor God when we question Him and do not thank Him.  By questioning God, our thinking becomes futile, self-centered, and worthless.  Just as the trash heap piles up at the garbage dump, so our hearts grow darker the more futile and foolish the thoughts we let pile up in our lives.  God is Sovereign.

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

 

We may never understand the “why” of a situation, but we must not forget the “Who.”  “Let them praise your great and awesome name!  He is holy!” (Psalm 99:3).  We have all had things happen in our lives, but do we try to share these stories with others by giving God the glory and the praise?

 

The words from Chris Tomlin’s song “How Can I Keep from Singing Your Praise” remind me of my responsibility.

There is an endless song, echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring
And though the storms may come, I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough, how amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King and it makes my heart want to sing

As we are on this journey, don’t stop singing.  Enjoy the journey.  Make the most of the interruptions.  In each situation, we have a choice.  Are we going to sing and dance on the path before us, or are we going to yell and scream and kick at the pebbles in our path?