"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Disguised Blessings...

... are the best blessings.
        I must confess; Only this morning, while my mind wasn't occupied with dressing for the day(which idling condition was my mental state while getting dressed), I realized one of the great blessings in my life. My bride Nancy had just bruised my feelings by expressing a relatively innocuous sentiment with excessive vehemence. So there I was, donning my socks and shoes while licking my wounded pride, when a surprising thought donned upon me as well: Through her chronic impatience, my Father refines the love He has given me for her. My prayer, in fact, has for the past ten years been for His love to flow through me to Nancy, and that I might express that pure love through demonstrating the fruit of His Spirit in greater portions.         Now don't judge Nancy at all harshly for her occasional harshness toward me. With all the issues heaped on her plate, it's a wonder she can be civil at all. Losing her sight, her hearing and her mobility, all at about the same rate, her life is filled with frustration. And my occasional, extreme maleness(translated, thoughtless, self-centered) exacerbates that not a little. The truth is, she is a most delightful person to be around.
"Thanks, God, I needed that."
        My natural temperament makes me overly sensitive to perceived sleights and confrontations. When I say "overly," I mean positively phobic. That weakness has cost me a number of jobs that could have become careers, and a marriage that should have been for life. My typical reaction to any perceived confrontational threat is to retreat into my comfortable, passive-aggressive mode. Passive-aggression is a nuclear torpedo, destined to not explode, not sink, but to vaporize relationships—whether professional, personal, or otherwise.
        By God's providential act of mating me with women who tend to be confrontational, He has demonstrated to me the degree of His love, and his desire that I should be conformed to the image of His Son. Yeshua was, after all, anything but passive-aggressive.
        To paraphrase a Scripture verse, "Greater love hath no man than this; that he lay down his temperamental glitches for his wife." The first time I failed miserably, to change for a lovely woman who just happened to rub me the wrong way(that is, God's right way). Now I hope and pray to do better, by allowing God to use another lovely woman to make me more like His Son.
        So, God has ripped the disguise from my greatest blessings and shown them for what they are; His infinite love, and His work in my life to make me better ... infinitely better ... eventually.

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