Sunday, January 15, 2012

Working an Oven Is Hard Work

The first house Patrick and I ever bought was in Plano, Texas. We bought it from some friends of ours who was having to relocate with the company. It was a three bedroom, two baths, but the selling point for me was the fireplace in the master bedroom. In this particular neighborhood, the garages and driveways were accessed by alleys behind the homes. Our neighbor directly behind us was Monocom Block. He and his family were Orthodox Jews. I learned a lot about the Jewish religious holidays because I would read about them as our neighbors would celebrate.

One particular evening, Patrick drove up and parked his little, white Mitsubishi pickup truck into the driveway. He exited his vehicle, and our neighbor Mr. Block approached Patrick. This was the only conversation they ever had with us.

Walking up, Mr. Block introduced himself to Patrick and told Patrick his oven was on.

        Confused, Patrick said okay.

            Mr. Block reiterated the fact his oven was on.

                Patrick asked, “Do you want me to turn it off?”

                    Mr. Block turned and walked away, and Patrick followed trying to keep up. This was the only time either of us was invited into their home…not that Patrick was exactly invited.

                   Patrick turned off the oven, and there was no acknowledgement or gratitude. Patrick turned and left.

See, the Jewish Sabbath had started. Their Sabbath starts in the evening, and they are not permitted to do any work. Turning off the oven was considered work in Mr. Block’s eyes…and according to some of the women in my class, they consider it work too!

Genesis 1:5, “And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.” (NIV) Genesis 1:2, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…”

Sometimes our new beginnings are birthed in the darkness.

Sometimes our trials begin without having any form to our knowledge.

But God loves us too much to leave us in the dark. A verse that I have clung to these past five or so years is Isaiah 42:16, “I will lead the blind by the ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” I am no theologian or Biblical scholar, but so far, I’ve never seen an incident where God leads His child from the light into the darkness. He brings his children from the darkness of night into the light of day.

If you are seeking God and His will for your life, has He ever left you in the dark or where you sat?

Philippians 1:6 says, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NASB)

God may have rested on the seventh day, but He didn’t quit. He’s actively participating in our lives if we allow Him. Do you want to see daylight in your problem, your trial, your journey? Seek Him and have confidence that He will never leave you or forsake you where you are and that He will continue to work things out for the good of those who believe in Him (Romans 8:28).

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