Here is the second entry from my good friend and Christian brother, Joe Widick. I should add former boss as well! Thanks for all the prayers while I am in Vietnam!
It was interesting to note that one of the things I was not allowed to do after my surgery was load the dishwasher. No kidding, the direction I was sent home with was not to load the dishwasher. For years Elaine and I try to work together around the house. One of the things I normally do is load the dishwasher. This task now fell upon Elaine to accomplish. For all of her wonderful skills and talents, she just could not load the dishwasher like I know it is supposed to be loaded. Coffee cups one place, tea glasses another. You put all the spoons in one place the forks in another. All of this makes perfect sense to me. For a week the dish washer was loaded by Elaine. Guess what? The dishes were still washed and just as clean as they would have been when I loaded it.
Most of us remember the words of Isaiah 55:8 where the prophet of God speaks about God saying; “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.” It seems that Isaiah knew that God often needs to divert us in order to make more of our lives than we would have if we had stuck to our original plans or had grown set in our ways. Travel back in your mind to the life of a young man named Joseph. Life was good, he was the favored child of his father Jacob yet God diverted him to Egypt to prepare him to rescue God’s chosen people from starvation. The change didn’t happen overnight as it took time for Joseph to become the man that God was going to use. Moses enjoyed a luxurious life in Egypt. He had the best of everything. Once again life was good. Moses was diverted to meet God in the wilderness in preparation to lead God’s people toward the Promised Land. Think of a young couple in the Roman Empire. Marriage and eventually a family, life would be good in a carpenter’s shop in Nazareth. An angel of the Lord told Mary that she would be with child and this child would be called, “Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Joseph believed in the bigger purpose that God had for him. Joseph and Mary surrendered to the diversion, and obediently “called His name Jesus” (vs.25). The rest becomes the most remarkable story in all of history. Matters come into our life and our routine is changed and we do things differently. Are we able to trust God’s greater plan as He does His far better work in the history of our lives? There is obviously more than one way to load a dishwasher. I hope that I don’t become so set in my ways that I think there is only one way to reach the lost. The truth will always be the truth and will not be compromised. Whether it is verbally, or by example, or by a random act of kindness, we need to share the great story of love and compassion that Christ expects from each of us.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org