Sister to Sister: Still Using a Little Dixie Cup?


Looking at all of this water as I sit here watching the waves roll in on this beautiful Alabama Gulf shoreline brings to mind my two-year-old grandson, Ezra. It was a painstaking task for such a little one who  loves splashing in a puddle even more than I love putting my toes in this deep and expansive one.  But he was determined to make his own puddle for splashing in my bathroom floor with a dixie cup and a tiny stream of water running in my bathroom sink. I saw him pour the meager ounce of water on the hardwood and I asked him “Ezra, why on earth are you pouring water in Mammy’s floor?” 

“I make a puddle. I can spwash.”

“Well, you may NOT make a puddle in the floor, but you are welcome to make one in the bathtub, if you like.”

He smiled broadly. That was even better! He would get to carry the water in his little Dixie cup, that with each fill held a little less of its shape and got a little more crumpled. Tirelessly, he went back and forth from the sink to the tub, pouring his little purple and yellow cup half-full of water into the big garden tub, barely even making a wet spot for jumping. In truth, he was spilling more on the floor en route than he was collecting in the tub. 

It occurred to me that we, finite little creatures in the workings of an awesome God, are a lot like Ezra. We keep doing the same futile things over and over again, trying to make our own “puddles”. We painstakingly try to collect the things that will make for happiness in the end. We often spill and make messes in the process and what we ultimately accomplish is  small and temporal. We fail to realize that we have a Helper, who could give us unbelievably effective and permanent results if only we would come to know His ways for our lives.

See, Ezra didn’t think about the fact that there was a big and powerful source of water in the spout of that tub. What would come out of that waterspout, if I but turned a lever for him, would fill up his tiny Dixie cup hundreds of times without the trip he was making back and forth. In fact, he would not even need the crumpling cup. There would never be a mess on the floor and the danger of him slipping in that mess would never threaten. Not only that, but there’s a stopper in the bottom of that tub. With the turn of a big knob, I could plug that reservoir up, so that none of the water would be wasted. None of that big stream of water would go down the drain where his little trickle of a puddle of water had been slowly disappearing. All of the resources were there for Ezra to not only jump in a “puddle” and have a splashing good time, but there was enough ingenuity there for his little Scuffy tugboat to sail or even for him to have a heated sauna swim, had he preferred, as I would have if I were his two-year-old size. 

Sometimes the blessings and opportunities are all around us, but we keep carrying the Dixie cup, spilling the contents along the way and processing through the same futile routines over and over again. We think we can work our way to desired goals only to find out in the end that our dreams are disappearing down the huge drain that only our God can plug. He has every resource we need to achieve what really will make us happy and fulfilled, but we fail to investigate His Will. We fail to ask for His wisdom. We fail to understand fully His resourcefulness. He controls all the levers and knobs and he freely offers His limitless capability for our ultimate progress and benefit. But often, like Ezra, we just go on about our vain tasks with impotent precision, expending life’s time and energy in fruitless pursuits. (In this case, it was profitable for me to allow Ezra to be “entertained” for a while before I showed him the “puddle” I could so easily make for him. See, I needed to dry my hair and put on my make-up. But God is never too busy to turn on the living water for those who are seeking it [John4:10].)

I know many people who have thrown away the Dixie cup and turned on the waterspout. Can I help you know His will for your life? You can stop living small and messy and start basking in His spiritual abundance!

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. (Ecc. 2:11)

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecc. 12:13)

Sister to Sister: When My Godly Husband Falls (Part One)

Just this week, I’ve been asked the question of a godly woman….””What do I do? My husband was a good leader. He was involved in the family and a great example in the church. But he has been consumed by temptation. Our lives are becoming distant from one another. Our home is suffering and I am becoming bitter.”

While most problems in our homes could have been avoided by having taken a good, hard look at the man before the marriage took place, there are some cases in which women marry good, honorable Christian men—who change.  Perhaps, as was the case with Saul, position or prestige changes a man. Perhaps disappointment in others or financial loss may alter a man’s devotion to God. Perhaps it is sexual temptation or involvement in addictive behavior. It is simply the case, that while there is no temptation so great that a man cannot resist it.(I Cor. 10:13), the devil is trying to get your husband to fall prey to his devices.

It is worth my time to consider ahead of time just what my “plan” would be if my godly husband falls. What if he is tempted by the devil and begins a downward spiritual spiral that causes him to sink deeper and deeper into sin? How will I react?

I must not fall with my husband. Notice here, we are not speaking of a good and faithful man who make mistakes. We are speaking of a husband who is living in sin. His conscience has been seared (I Tim. 4:2).                                                                                                            

In talking with women who suddenly find themselves married to sinful men, I often quickly realize that, although the sins of the wife may not be exactly the same ones as those of the husband, she is embittered and is quickly becoming less committed to doing right and more vulnerable to the devil, herself. A wife is tempted to lie to cover up the sinful behavior of her husband. A woman begins to date non-Christian men after having put away her husband for adultery. A woman begins missing worship services because she is embarrassed by her husband’s behavior. A woman stops praying because she feels as if God is not listening. A mother becomes overwhelmed by trying to be the only godly parent and begins to make compromises in the way she is raising her children. We could make a long list of various ways the devil is successful in weakening wives whose husbands become involved in sin. Let’s predetermine the course we will take if ever placed in such a sad position. May I remember that I am spiritually married to Jesus and that my bond with Him is even stronger than the one I have with my husband.

(Much of this post taken from Women Of Scandal: http://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Women-of-Scandal/p/65464960/category=3290197)

Thursday: Look for the practical part two. I surely do not have all the answers. But God does. Next up is my best shot at getting a grip on His will in this kind of difficult and challenging marriage.