Friday, May 9, 2008

Getting to Know the Unknowable

"Getting to know you "

There is an old Broadway musical song that begins with the words: "getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, hoping that you like me…"

There is a reason why the phrase is "getting to know you" rather than "got to know you". It seems that knowing someone is more far more complicated that a first look, a few discussions, an appointment or two or even months or years of social interaction.

Many of you know the woman of my dreams and wife, Sheryl. This year we will celebrate our 36th anniversary of our marriage.

One amazing thing about 36 years together is that we still draw apart when we have busy weeks and lack of time together. The advantage of 36 years is that we can more quickly diagnose our troubles and move to remove the gap.

You see, we are two very different people.

By nature or by nurture I have become a night person while she is a morning person. She is organized and efficient and I am casual and priority challenged. She is teamwork; I am independent. Thirty six years together hasn’t changed these differences. Instead of change we have adapted to each other.

This is far more information about us than I feel comfortable sharing but the point I wish to make is this: Our time together in terms of years means little when we have limited time together in terms of minutes and hours. It is only by staying in contact that we manage to stay on the same page and maintain the same priorities.

This brings me to today’s scriptural challenge:

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it that it may bear more fruit…Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine and you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it shall be done for you"
John 15:1-2,4-7

That word, "abide" is a critical one isn’t it? Without "abiding" there is appears to be little hope for good. As a matter of fact, lack of "abiding" brings pretty dire consequences.

So many times we want to read the last part of that scripture that says, "ask whatever you wish and it shall be done for you" and skip over the rest. But it is clear the last part is wholly dependent upon the first part; particularly this concept of "abiding".

We must understand that, as in the need that Sheryl and I have for time together to stay in touch, the differences between Jesus and us are so very great and those differences can only be overcome by time together. It is in "dwelling" with Jesus that we are changed, not in an instant (in these matters), but over a lifetime together.

Purpose to dwell with Jesus and allow His word to dwell in you!

1 comment:

home church said...

Jim- the parallel you draw between marriage and our walk with the Lord is one that has struck me profoundly many times. My lovely wife Kay and I will celebrate our 19th anniversary next month. It is amazing how different two people can be and yet in God's infinite wisdom he calls a man and a woman to live together until death do them part and demonstrate his holy love in a way that really cannot be done in any other setting. James Dobson has said that a weekly date for a married couple is far more important than driving a new car if money must be chosen for one or the other. I agree. There is no substitute for time together as a married couple. I remember you telling me how times with your family sometimes would be as though it were heaven on earth and other times of great challenge and even very difficult. You went on to encourage me that each of these experiences is a part of building a family history and abiding love. Good counsel. As we read the Bible and pray to God in the name of Jesus and obey he reveals himself in unique ways to us. The Gospel of John chapter 14 verse 21 describes this phenomenon. Dan Moriarity