Thursday, 25 August 2011

‘Can I marry your daughter?’

‘Please can I marry your daughter?’
It is a simple question, but it is difficult to ask. I remember when Steve and I decided to get married. My Mum was away so I had to wait until she returned before he could ask the question.
She returned, but Steve’s courage departed. Day after day. Under great pressure from me, he finally asked Mum the BIG question one night after she had gone to bed.
She glared at us and responded, ‘That’s right, get a woman while she is down!’
Many years later we were met by the same question on Saturday afternoon. On this occasion the young man was more confident.
Steve was stunned. I had been forewarned by the girl, and I mean girl, in question. She was years below legal marrying age.
After a protracted silence, I said to Steve, ‘You should say something!’
‘Yes,’ he agreed, ‘but what?’
Some years later we were having a barbeque with a young couple. After the meal, I rose to clear the table.
‘Don’t do that, Mum. We’d like to talk.’
After the ‘talk’ had gone in circles for about two hours, the penny dropped. He’s supposed to be asking us THE question but he’s too shy. I started to enjoy the game. She’d poke him. He’d clear his throat and open his mouth shut it again and we’d sit in silence for another prolonged period of time.
In the end she laid out the facts before us.
Why is it so difficult to ask this simple question? It is fear of rejection. What if they don’t like me, what if they say ‘No!’ What if they run me out of town?
It is the same fear that stops so many coming to Father God. What if He says no? He won’t want me; I’m hopeless, wrong, not nice… The list is endless.
The Good News is he always says ‘YES!’ He never rejects. He wants you and me to be a bride for His Son! Now that’s exciting!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

‘Ma, you’re looking like a lady!’

‘Ma, you’re looking like a lady!’ Miss Three was not impressed. Her little nose curled up in confusion.
‘Aren’t I a lady?’ I thought it was a reasonable question. Was my gender being questioned? What had I done to cause this rebuke, except to apply a dash of face powder?
‘No! You’re a Ma!’
‘Is Mummy a lady?’
‘No! She’s a mummy!’ She walked away, disgusted with the conversation.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

God, Where Were You?

‘God where were you? How can this happen to my grandchildren? Were you sitting on your hands?’ I paced up and down, taking my frustration out on God.
In 2001 we were blessed with two baby granddaughters. The first, born in March was rushed back to hospital when only six days old with a very high temperature. The hospital did tests including a spinal tap in case it was meningitis. For eight days the doctors treated her with intravenous drugs. Have you ever tried to comfort a tiny baby as they insert needles in those little veins?

 It broke my heart, but to our relief she recovered and we bought her home.
I was thankful she was well and felt blessed to have so many healthy grandchildren.
In the October, the second beautiful granddaughter was born. She was about seven weeks old when her mother heard a little noise in the middle of the night and found the baby burning up with fever.
Once again, there was a frantic rush to a hospital, a spinal tap and intravenous drugs. It was then I stormed heaven in my frustration. How could two babies be so ill in one year? What was going on? I let God know how disappointed I was. Where were His angels?
After my outburst I sat in silence, not really expecting a reply.
But His still small voice spoke, a voice that sounded hurt, nearly rejected.
‘But, Jo I saved them both for you!’
I was broken. I had seen two sick babies. God had seen two babies that had been saved from aggressive illnesses. I had seen the suffering. God had seen the healing. I then realised both of these precious girls could have been ‘cot deaths’.
Deeply humbled, I now ask God to show me His perspective before I dare stand in judgement of Him. What arrogance on my part! What incredible grace He extends toward me. No wonder I love my God so much!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

You buy a house for her

‘You buy a house for her.’
‘Lord! Have you seen our bank balance! You know we can’t buy another house.’
‘Have you tried?’
I started washing dishes, trying to silence the silent voice that planted such crazy ideas in my head. I had asked God to find a house for a single mum who couldn’t find anywhere to live. I hadn’t asked to be the answer to my own prayer.
‘God don’t you know the rules? I ask. You answer.’