Hand written August 13, 2008: I know what it feels like to be unequally yoked, for when I press on, he wants to, is content to, sit (within the yoke). And once again I am pulling one sided, having to endure chafing on my neck because we need to go forward as a team, and he is offended again because I didn’t do or say something just right. Lord God, I don’t ask that You release me from this yoke and leave him sitting in the dirt. I ask that You slap him silly as You did Paul when on his way to Damascus and was then blinded for three days till he understood You and was saved. My husband fights You, ignores You, and is content, not listening to teaching You give. That is a great and grievous sin, to be content with where you are spiritually, and not realize you are sitting motionless. I cry out like David, “How long, O Lord??” When will You do something dramatic to him? He obviously doesn’t take Your still, small voice seriously, and he will not seek You as he would seek silver or gold, giving excuses. Where there is a will, there is a way. I see there is no fire. I see a few tears, but no repentance and that’s why there is not enough fruit on his tree to convict him of being a Christian. There is so much to write as my heart pours out. The “Love Chapter.” Yes. It is a definition of how we are to live if we are to exhibit love. If we are to show love, we need to change; people aren’t supposed to change toward us. ….. O Lord, what did I just write? ….. Why did I write that? It has hit me in the face and I wish I had not written it. ….. Now, because I love You, I am compelled to go to 1Cor.13. Darn. Why is it always me? Why are You always talking to me? When I want You to shake him? Why? It is because I listen; therefore, I hear You. Therefore, I have to do something different when You teach me. I can’t not. But I fight it…why? Because it doesn’t feel fair to me. I will plunge into Chapter 13: Study of the Love Chapter (Something that puts Christians in awe) If I pray in tongues for four hours a day, and pray in English on my knees for four hours at night (wow), but have not love—I am wasting my time because You don’t hear me, just like You didn’t listen to the Pharisee’s braggadocios prayer in the temple. If I could really tell the future for anyone in any country, and if I could solve all mysteries of man, real or imagined (Loch Ness monster, the space alien question, UFO’s, the Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot, or how the pyramids were really built), and if I was so intelligent that every university in the world gave me an honorary doctorate, and they hung on every word I said, and flocked to me from everywhere, and (I know this is a run-on, but bear with me) if I had such great faith that I could make mountains dislodge themselves from the ground, float up, and fly through the air, landing somewhere else—and it follows, does it not, that if I had that kind of faith, I’d also be able to heal by touch (or word), make things appear and disappear, call rain down from heaven on drought-stricken areas, and stop all hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes, and multiply food in the wildernesses of Africa and other impoverished areas (and certainly if I did all this, I would be world famous)—but if I didn’t have love, I’d be worthless to You. If I gave away everything I owned to the poor (house, car, clothes, money, job), and even if I were burned at the stake, causing millions to weep for me—but had not love, I would still be worthless to You. (wow)(Here we go.) LOVE IS PATIENT, even when dealing with someone who should know better or is older than me, or is slower than me (physically and spiritually), or when I am misunderstood or even when people don’t listen to me and close their ears to God’s Word that You are telling them, or even when they don’t mind their own business, even when they are clueless that everyone feels the need to walk on eggshells around them, and even when they preach to all about specks in their eyes but have huge boards in their own…I must be patient with them because I love You, precious Lord, my Holy Doctor. LOVE IS KIND, even when people are not kind to me, or take me for granted and treat me as a maid or waitress or dishwasher, or when they take advantage of me and heap more work on me when my schedule is already full, or even when they make people I love cry…I must be kind to them because I love You so much and want to be like You more than I want to do my own thing. For Your sake, Father (though my flesh is screaming for me to stop right now). LOVE DOES NOT ENVY, even when other people’s spouses show me more sweetness and sacrifice than my own husband, even when other Christians seem to be having more great things happening in their lives even though I’ve been a Christian longer, and especially when hard working non-Christians seem to get everything they want…I must not envy—because, really, what do I need besides Your unconditional love, Your beautiful arms wrapped so securely around me? LOVE DOES NOT BOAST, even if I think I’m just illustrating a point, even if I want to supposedly show someone God’s favor on me for my obedience, and especially because I want to show those I grew up with that I really am somebody and not the bum they thought I would be…I must not boast because that is displeasing to You, and it is not a humble spirit, which You desire. LOVE IS NOT PROUD, even when all my children excel in school, even when I get great recognition at work, even when people pat me on the back after my award-winning achievements or inventions (and my head swells), or even because I’m an American…I must not be proud because it was Your hand that caused me to be born in this place and time, Your hand that guided my children through all their decisions, Your voice that whispered that neat idea into my head, and Your will that keeps me drawing every breath. LOVE IS NOT RUDE, even when people are rude to me, or sassy, or manipulative, even when they barely miss me in traffic, even when I am nice to them and they treat me like I’m an annoyance…I must not be rude in actions or in thoughts, being a hypocrite. If I begin to boil inside, though I don’t show it right away, if I let it fester, I am rude, and that is inconsistent with what You want me to be. Help me, Lord and Master, to be looking at You all the time in my heart, so as to not behave any other way than how Jesus would behave in similar situations. Teach me all His responses so that they come naturally to me. LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING, wanting that promotion so badly because I know I deserve it, wanting to be left alone to work on my project because nobody can do it right anyway (besides, the boss will see me slaving away and that’s good for me), wanting my needs to be met first for whatever reason (I have just cause, I was there first, I’ve been here longer—seniority, I have more rank, I’m older, I’m better than that other person, or for some outer spacial reason I think God favors me more than that other person)…I must not be self-seeking because You are the only one who has that right, and when I do that, I am trying to exalt my position to Yours, seeking first my kingdom. Then nothing will be added to me. Self-seeking is walking in my own understanding and not listening to You. Oh, no. Not good. That’s a stale road. LOVE IS NOT EASILY ANGERED, even though I make perfect sense and that other person is talking in circles, even when I’m in a nice conversation and the other person makes an offensive comment, even when all prices are going up and it looks like my government is ignoring me, even when a pro-choice person gets in my face and says that thing growing inside her is just a mass she needs to have cleaned out, even when they say I can’t bring my Bible to work, even when someone I have been mentoring (someone who should be grateful) is mean to me, even when I share insight God has specifically given me, and they blow me off, even when no one gives me credit for what good I have done, or worse yet, when they take credit for it and bad-mouth me to the boss, or even when people just don’t talk to me right…I must not be easily angered, for how can that advance Your will, O God? That is detestable to You and an abomination. You hate it, so I should hate thinking or behaving in such a particular and selfish way. It is sin. LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS, even though they deserve the cold shoulder, even though, boy, if they only knew the thousand things they’ve done to me all my life, even though I might just need to remember for the sake of ammunition, and I’d better write it all down just so I won’t forget, even though I swore I’d never forget it, even though the anguish was terrible (and what’s more, the other person didn’t know or care that I was so grieved)…I must not hold grudges ever, but must release them, O Lord, whether they ask forgiveness or not, not because I feel like it, but because You require it, and I love You. Love does not have anything to do with gossip, true or not, and does not secretly say, “Yes! She finally got what she deserved!” Love rejoices and gets excited over truth, God’s Word, and every little thing He reveals to me. LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL---When would I delight in evil? Any time I am inwardly glad (delight) in something God hates. Teach me, Lord. If I delight in evil, I am not thinking like God wants, I am not in habits ordained by God. If I am rejoicing in evil, I have deceived and deluded myself that ] am justified in doing so, or I just need to give God a hand in the matter because He is taking too long, or it’s not such a big deal because evrybody else is doing it, even Christians. And besides, I’ll just ask God for forgiveness later, and He’ll forgive me. I must not delight in evil; I must delight myself in You, because You lift up my heart and make me free. Love always protects (BEARS ALL THINGS), even when they don’t deserve it, always trusts (BELIEVES ALL THINGS)—only in You, O God, for I put not my trust ever 100% in humans, always hopes (HOPES ALL THINGS, NKJV), for as long as a person is alive, there is hope that he’ll see the truth; always perseveres (ENDURES ALL THINGS), even when I think I’ve had enough, or I deserve better than this, or it’s not fair. LOVE NEVER FAILS because God is love and it is impossible for Him to fail. And He would never require us to do something impossible, or else He wouldn’t ask or command it. So when He says, “Be ye perfect,” He means make up our minds to think on His ways and practice loving so often and so much that we will never be the same old sorry, selfish dogs that we were, unprofitable to Him or to anyone else, for that matter. The rest of the chapter says that the things we do now, like prophesy or pray in tongues, or any other spiritual thing that is extraordinary (and can thus impress people) is temporary, and shouldn’t be the end-all goal in our lives. We know nothing like we think we know, especially when we behave childishly (unloving) and immature. The day is coming when we shall see Jesus face to face, and then we will truly understand how little we knew! After all that temporary glimpse is over, faith, hope, and love still stand, and the greatest of all is love. Now go do it. *************************** Lord…You kept me here for 2 ½ hours, and I couldn’t leave. I’m not going to ask why, because I have answered my own question. I had not studied love till today, and I see now that it is the scalpel in Your hand, showing me every fault in me. How can I think I know so much, when so much wickedness has been surfaced by Your hand? (sigh) Pause to think. Now I must go back to routine, an enlightened person, truly hoping to share all these (how many?) pages. Goodness!! And when I came up here, I thought I was just going to read! ) Now I must review and do. I must be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only, deceiving myself, as James says. Protect me against ignorance, the ignorance of going against Your voice. I must do, whether or not anyone else follows, or even if things don’t change, or they get worse, like the martyrs. I must do.