Heirs together

"...husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers...And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear..." ~I Peter 3:7-15 (exc. KJV)

We have an old green van. Whatever our personal preferences in vehicles were, this van became necessary when we added a third child (and carseat) to our lives. For those of you unfamiliar with carseats, they are wider than an adult behind. This necessitates a lot of interior space in the vehicle. We bought the van with cash three years ago, and it was such a blessing! A sliding door, built-in car seats, and room for the dogs. Ahhhhh! Our blessing slowly was returning to dust before our very eyes as the doors rusted out, the frame started to bend in the middle, and various parts stopped working. The malfunction of the van reached critical mass this summer. It has never had AC, but now one of the window hinges is broken, so we are down to three small windows in the back, putting our children and dogs in danger of heatstroke on hot summer days! The driver's door quit working, so we were crawling in and out of the passenger side (there is nothing to further your sense of humility like backing your rather commodious rear end out of the passenger door while the yuppies at Target stare unabashedly, trying to determine what in the world you could possibly be doing!). Soon the passenger door started to stick, requiring that you "bump" it with your commodious rear end in order to get it open. Hmmm. We started a search for a new van.

Aaron is the methodical type. Thank God, because I am rather impulsive. How one becomes both impulsive and pessimistic, I am not sure...probably the product of my parents 'mixed marriage' (my dad is a confirmed and sarcastic 'realist' and my mother the proverbial perennial optimist). The van search stretched out for over a month of test driving and reading the classifieds religiously. There were some moments during the search when I was definitely tempted to insist that we buy something now - but I didn't. I love these verses in I Peter, which so clearly tell me what to do: tell my husband my desires and thoughts, and then submit! My husband also has a list of instructions - namely to care for me. And care for me he does! God provided us a beautiful van for well under Blue Book value. I picked it up yesterday and I am just reveling in worshiping God for His prodigious grace this morning. Two sliding doors, working doors all around, easy to clean leather seats, working A/C, a CD player (!!!), even a towing package! "Good things come to those who wait". For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers...

I write this today because it is just a tiny glimpse into my "answer" - why do I have faith? Why do I praise God instead of cursing Him in the face of suffering? Because He is prodigiously good to me - beyond what I could imagine, certainly beyond what I deserve. I didn't even 'deserve' to live - the very DNA of my being is by His design and for His purpose. How could I possibly respond, besides lifting my life back to Him with open arms?

It's all Yours, God
My life is Yours, my heart is Yours
My hands and my feet are Yours
Every song that I sing
It's all Yours, all is Yours
All belongs to You
Our gifts are Yours, God
All our dreams are Yours, God
All our plans are Yours, God

The whole earth is Yours, God
Everything is Yours

~ Steven Curtis Chapman, Yours