Christian Man, Christian Love
My wife is away for a few days, having taken the younger three with her to spend some special time with grandparents in Michigan. Funny how the older I get, the more I miss her companionship when it’s not immediately present. Yesterday morning, when the hummingbird hovered by the hanging basket of petunias on our front porch that she’s always tending, I noticed a pang when I was not able to show her. I feel a bit like I’m riding a tandem bike by myself. Yeah, I might be able to get around, but I’m pedaling hard and not nearly enjoying the ride as much.
This hit home when I pulled a book off my shelf and had a note card she had written many years ago, serving as a now forgotten bookmark, fall out. She had written the following quote to me when I was going through a struggle in the ministry. Though again I felt that pang of her absence, reading it again encouraged me and made me thankful for the little sermons she preaches in her quiet way that no one else but me gets to hear. Yet I will share this one with you. Yes, it is from the mouth of another, but you can understand how passing through her heart and lips into mine sweetens its message.
The Christian man ought to be of a courageous spirit, in order that he may glorify the Lord by enduring trials in an heroic manner. If he be fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonor his God. Besides, what a bad example it is…Moreover, unless your courage is kept up Satan will be too much for you. Let your spirit be joyful in God your Savior, for the joy of the Lord shall be your strength…Moreover, labor is light to a man of cheerful spirit; and success waits upon cheerfulness. The man who toils, rejoicing in his God, believing with all his heart, has success guaranteed. He who sows in hope will reap in joy; therefore, “beloved,” be thou strong and very courageous. -Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, May 11th.
By the way, she also put the “beloved” in quotes just like that for me. Hard to be down for long with love and exhortation like that.
How I hope you have Christian love – be it a spouse, a parent, a mentor or a friend – exhorting you on like this in your life.
And please hurry home, Miriam.