Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to Do Everything

You may remember my Congolese friend, Joy, that I meet with regularly to study English. When she came to America three years ago, she spoke multiple languages, but no English. Our wonderful God arranged for their family to be taken in by Tom, who works with Wycliffe Bible Translators, and his wife. Two years ago Joy's family moved from Florida to Iowa and started attending our church. When we began meeting together she was still learning the names of basic objects. We added verb tenses and prepositions along with practical helps like running a dishwasher, following directions on a boxed mix and cooking a turkey in a roaster.
Last Fall she held up her English Bible and said, "This is what I need more." She understands most of the Sunday sermons, even spoken through our West Virginian pastor! But she wanted to spend  time learning and studying God's Word.
We used the same Bible study as the other women at church, "Developing Genuine Friendships" and continue to use it as our guide. Each week we read the verse printed in the book, look it up in our Bibles, and discuss any unknown words before sharing the friendship quality and application. Sharing and writing our answers in English has led to some beautiful and precious insights.
This time, we read with Philippians 2:14, "Do everything without grumbling or arguing." After reading and discussing it, I admitted to complaining about someone who makes a big to-do about being a Christian, but is unkind, short-tempered and rude. "I don't know if I should say something or not," I mused.
Joy, hands crossed on the table, pointed her index finger at me, leaned forward and said, "You--do everything without grumbling or complaining. Let Jesus talk to her."
Oh, how I love Joy! Her love for Christ and wisdom speak to my heart. By simplifying the words of Scripture and sharing from her own life, she displays Jesus in so many ways. Her schedule and demands are more rigorous than most, but she never complains. She is thankful!
And as David and I read the Psalms this morning, I was reminded of her and how we are able to do everything: without complaining. We can--if, and when--we praise God and give thanks.
To quote Joy, "I am healthy and my family is good. Everything God gives me is good.  Ehhh! Why would I complain?"

"I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
And on Your wondrous works.
Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts,
And I will declare Your greatness.
They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,
And shall sing of Your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.
The Lord is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.
10 All Your works shall praise You, O Lord,
And Your saints shall bless You.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
And talk of Your power,
12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh shall bless His holy name
Forever and ever."
Psalm 145 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you! Please share your experiences, thoughts, questions or comments. Thanks for stopping by.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.