Our TODAY is important...our right here, right now. Why? Because it is the place where we encounter God...right here, right now, in our Today! And none of us is promised another Today...
...if we are, by God's grace, given other Todays, our Today may be a preparation for another Today...and another...and another...
And they may form the back-story of some of our most difficult days, weeks, months, even years.
Let me illustrate...
After 1998, the infamous year of crises with our children's health -- Jeremy's cancer and Beth's cancer scare -- I started to realize that the Lord had taken me through some experiences with Him that were lessons I would need, not just for my Today, but for the days of trial that, unbeknownst to me (but of course known to HIM), were up ahead. One such experience I call my Supper Story, or better, my Breakfast Story, and you'll see why.
Back in spring 1997, I was teaching through the Gospel of John in a Precept study. One particular week, I was preparing a lesson in the familiar passage in John, chapter 13, the story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet.
That week I also happened to have a breakfast date with a dear friend of mine who lives out on a farm in New Carlisle, OH. Our usual breakfast place was a fun, local-color place called Sam & Ethels up in Tipp City.
So that lovely spring morning, as I was driving north through the country roads to pick up her up, I was meditating on John 13 (and perhaps listening to it on CD in my car-- I can't remember). But as I reflected on the story, I began to notice, as if for the first time, Christ's interaction with the apostle Peter...how I love that brother! He is so out there...in this passage, even refusing to let Jesus wash his feet, yow! What is that about?
Well, just see for yourself..
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.”
Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean...
So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them,
“Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them...
Now here was the clincher for me...
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
Wait a minute...if I don't wash you, you have no part with Me...whomever I send receives Me...and Him who sent Me!
The Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart,
Jan, you need to not only wash your bothers' and sisters' feet, but you also need to graciously let them wash YOUR feet. Otherwise, you may be missing what I want to do for you through your brother or sister.
Oh my! That was a lesson I needed, because I had a tendency to always be doing the giving...maybe it was having been in leadership, maybe it's my type A personality, maybe it's pride. But the Lord was telling me to let my feet be washed and graciously receive it as HIM!
So I continued driving, picked up my friend and arrived at Sam & Ethel's. As we sat in that quaint little restaurant and opened our menus, my friend said to me,
Today, I'm paying the bill!
Now I have to tell you that this precious sister does not have much extra cash. And so when she said that, I began to think of how she was probably using some birthday money or such at great sacrifice to herself. I was ready to protest, when the Lord said to me,
Don't be like Peter...receive this as a gift from Me! Let her wash your feet!
And so I did!
And this wonderful experience of the Serving Christ, that spring day in 1997, prepared me to receive in multitudinous ways from brothers and sisters in our time of suffering, just 9 months later. I was able to receive Christ's washing in the form of meals, notes, scriptures, advice (yes, even unsolicited advice), house cleaning, the presence of "strangers," and of course, prayer, prayer, and more prayer!
And so, dear brothers and sisters, siblings in the family of God, could you too be missing out on Christ meeting you and ministering to you in your specific need in your today by not being willing to let your feet be washed? Think about it!
On other side, has the Lord been moving you to wash someone's feet in a specific way, but you've been holding back thinking it's not a big deal? It IS a big deal...Jesus wants to serve your brother or sister through YOU! Yield to Him and just do it!
We are His Hands
We are His hands We are His feet We are His people Children of the Lord We share the hope We share the dream Believers in Jesus Children of the King His Spirit lives within us Flowing like a river Filling us with strength So that we can reach out for our brother Help one another Some of us build, some are teachers Some can sing like angels But all of us can love Like He loved, pure and simple So warm and gentle
You might also like to look at the "one another" verses
And the fun back-story at Am I my Brothers' Keeper? Stories about the crazy boys at right, my darling grandsons...