Sunday, March 09, 2008

Happy with My Affliction

My good blogging friend Selah V blogged here about being content with one's affliction. After the week I had last week, I found the asking of the question, Are you happy with your affliction? almost insulting.

If I had a worst enemy, I would not wish an ear infection upon whomever that may be. It has been a nightmarish week, but a week that has reminded me of some things that I needed to be reminded of. I have been reminded of the love of the people of God.

Had I not come down with an ear infection, we would not have been the recipients of such unbelievable displays of God's tenderness and grace through His people. Two men hogtied me and took me to the ER last Sunday afternoon; many of the saints from the new church I serve called to check on us (one dear lady has called daily); one gentleman took me to the doctor on Wednesday so we would not have to get all the children out in the cold; and some have prepared meals to make it easier on my sweet wife, who has been unfalteringly sweet to me.

Honestly, we feel part of the new church. We feel like we belong. We feel like part of the family. In this way, God has moved in my heart and showed me how the people of God are supposed to care for one another. This has been a pleasant experience, though bitterly painful physically.

I also have been reminded of the unfailing goodness of God. Even in the midst of a nasty ear infection, glimpses of God's goodness shined through. When my three year old crawled in the bed with a stack of books content to lay beside me and look at them, knowing there was no way on this planet I could read them. Honeybunny Funnybunny was going to have to wait and she knew it. Or waking up and finding a picture on the nightstand, drawn lovingly by a five year old so daddy would feel better. And the get well cards--all drawn on yellow legal paper. They could have been drawn on the back of a brown grocery bag and I wouldn't have cared.

And this may sound cheesy and if so, so be it. As I lay in my bed, I could look out the window and see the steeple of the church. It was a constant source of encouragement and a reminder of God's love and the love of the people of God. It also reminded me that God's church is much more--so much more--than just a red brick building (with a white steeple).

Yes, God is good. Plus, the response and movement of the Spirit in my own soul as I preached both services today was overwhelming . I love to preach--I cannot lie. I believe God has called me and put a passion in my heart to teach and preach His word and being out of the pulpit caused a gnawing in my bones. Right now, the folks are getting Acts on Sunday morning and Genesis on Sunday evening. God has blessed and I believe He will continue. I am thankful for a responsive congregation and folks that enjoy talking about the Word.

Also, I am reminded of the unfailing love of a woman. My sweet wife has put up with a lot this past week. Second to God, I owe her an enormous debt of gratitude. Thanks, honey!

Occasionally, it takes something serious to be reminded of some key things about God. Perhaps next time I won't have to stare at the inside of my bedroom (in pain) for a week to figure those things out.

4 comments:

selahV said...

Tony, the "church steeple" and meditating upon its symbolism is NOT cheesy. It's poetic and touching. I am so grateful you are feeling better. What sweet children you have. And I am extremely happy that your church family are proving to be a true caring family. How blessed you are.

Thanks for the link. You are a building you know. selahV

Tony said...

I am grateful that I am feeling better, too. Thanks for your kind and gracious words.

If I have not told you in the last twenty-four hours or so, I think you are a real blessing.

Earl said...

Tony,

Thanks for this post. I need to constant reminding of God's grace in all circumstances, which this post gives. Thanks, I enjoyed this and was edified much by this.

Thanks!

Tony said...

Earl,

You are certainly welcome. This ear infection, though terribly painful, was a "gentle" reminder of the goodness and the severity of God.

Blessings!