A Hard Lesson Learned

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My hubby and I went for the first beach trip of the season. I know, the beach season is just starting for us and it’s September. Welcome to Florida people.

The Lord has really been teaching me much about my words and especially, my words as a wife. Jordan and I have had many conversations about words and comments that I think are “helpful,” when really they are not at all.

Hm…God, teach me this lesson please.

Anyway, yesterday we were driving back from the beach and decided to stop at a thrift store to check out its book potential. It was a “poor” part of town and while we were stopped at the light there was a homeless man who was either drinking or else mentally ill. I immediately noticed the cigarette in his mouth, thinking, “Well if he can afford cigarettes he can afford food.” At that moment Jordan pulled a twenty out of his wallet and before he said anything I commented, “I don’t think it is a good idea to give that man money.” He looked at me, surprised that thought would enter my mind, seeing as how we were blessed beyond our need, and this man was homeless, poor, and seemed to be in recovery from some injury that left a huge scar on his scalp.

I was humbled.

Frustrated, I quickly tried to recover and urged him to give the man the money. Too late, the light turned green and traffic was moving. As we drove forward, another man was broken down a few cars in front of us. In situations like these Jordan always stops. Just a few days before we stopped to help some ladies broken down in the rain trying to push their car to a gas station. That is how my husband thinks, he sees a need and wants to meet it if he can.  Jordan, still shaken and a bit frustrated from my previous remark moved into the other lane about the same time I questioned, “Should we help him?” My husband wanted to stop but again was too busy trying to listen, it was too late.

The Lord began to convict me of what had happened. You see, the majority of the day I was leading, wanting to be in control rather than relinquishing that duty to my wonderful hubby.  I was running my mouth, commanding direction to my husband, short tempered, frustrated and altogether contentious.

Yes, contentious…that word the Bible warns about.

Yup, the one that would cause a man to move to the roof top or the desert…the woman who is compared to a faucet…drip…drip…drip…

Well, I was dripping all day long…

And then the Master plumber came to Jordan’s rescue.

Two of “the least of these” were at a loss because I did not trust in my husband’s decision-making, and more importantly I did not trust in God’s sovereign control of my money….my mouth was running instead of my brain.

“But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath…”James 1:19

Later that night I saw a homeless man at the gas station…picking used cigs out of the ash tray…”hm,” I thought, “maybe that other man didn’t buy cigarettes after all.”

It was a hard lesson learned, but one that will be profit both my marriage and other relationships as well. I pray that my husband would be a man who gives money to the poor and stops to help people stranded on the street. I pray that he would have a heart of compassion like His savior and desire to serve each and every person he comes into contact with. I pray that he would teach me these same things and guide me in decisions that will bring glory to our Savior.

So what sense does it make that when he pursues the things I pray for, I question the Lord’s leading in his life and his leading as my husband? It is always easy to shift blame, but it is much more profitable to take the plank out of my own eye, giving me clear vision to see and follow.

“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisper, contention quiets down.” Proverbs 26:20

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One thought on “A Hard Lesson Learned

  1. I always feel bad for homeless people (here in st augustine there are a ton) but i get cynical about giving them money that they “might” waste on drugs or alcohol or cigarettes. But emmanuel always wants to give them a few dollars or buy them a meal and it really is humbling and such a good reminder that God will take care of us and it is our responsibility and our joy as Christians to care for others that are in need. Thanks for the reminder sara:)

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