May 09, 2011

Icing on the Cake

I ended up getting the flu on Mother's Day and felt so awful.
Most of today I was lazy, just weak and still feel queasy, stayed in bed as long as I could and sat at the computer a couple hours. I worked on a post about Joseph of Arimathaea that is requiring some research; as well as checking emails and blogs. My parents came out this afternoon and gave me a hand with the house and the boys.

I am glad I am sick now. Otherwise I might not have read a friends email and responded when I did. She is such a healing salve to me and I thank God for her and our treasured friendship. There were many blessings today!

On Mother's Day, our pastor preached on how motherhood is under attack and how sacred it is. Also how when we face hardships, God has great grace to help, we just have to say yes to God's grace.

So as I kept getting more miserable and sicker and longing for my husband to assist with the children, I kept praying arrow prayers, mostly "Help me, Lord." and "Speak to their hearts as their Father."

When I first woke up this morning I was tempted to say "oh, No, Lord" as the storms came and I still wasn't 100%. Then I remembered Preacher and said, "Yes, Lord, I say yes to Your Grace." Then I was able to have one-on-one devotions with each of the boys. It was precious time, as we all slept in and they woke up at different times. Then my parents called to say Mom would be coming between 2pm and 3pm and Dad would be out later. Ah, reinforcements from the Lord:) The rain stopped and the boys went out to play in sunshine and wind. Another blessing. My boys got guy time with Grandpa. I was able to keep my word about setting up the train set in the attic. And I am caught up on alot of housework thanks to my sweet mom. Then to hear my email blessed my grieving friend blessed me too. You could say it was the icing on my cake for the day!

I still don't feel well and am heading back to bed again, but inside is peace and joy! Thank You, JESUS!!

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Joseph of Arimeathea

I find it interesting that God the Father starts Jesus’ life here on earth with a Joseph and ends it with another Joseph. (Interestingly enough, the name Joseph means may he add). Recently while doing family devotions in Mark 15, the Lord has had me really think about this man Joseph of Arimathaea. The gospels describe him this way:

According to Matthew, Joseph was a rich man and was Jesus' disciple.

According to Mark, Joseph was an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God

According to Luke, Joseph was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

According to John, Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews.

The boys and I didn’t just read about what the Bible said but tried to picture the reality of the words.
The love that motivated Joseph to ask for the body of the LORD.
Jesus had brothers where were they?
Joseph had the tomb dug for himself…was he old? Weak in health? Or just being prepatory?
Did he consider that they might deny him Jesus and put him in prison? What was it like taking down Jesus’ body?
How does one get the big nails out?
Gravity would have made the body fall down upon the ground or his body? Jesus’ body wasn’t clean; it had been beaten and pierced and crusified.
Did He get Jesus’ blood on his hands and clothes?
Did he wash the body or just wrap it?
What emotions he must have felt as he touched and wrapped the back and body of his Lord? Did he weep? Did he pray? Did he vent to God in confusion?
How alone he must have felt and how thankful for Nicodemus who came with myrrh and aloes (100lbs of them!)
How he felt to lay Jesus in a tomb prepared for him?
Did he think “It should have been me?”
As he rolled the stone in place, what emotions must have overwhelmed him, like any mourner feels when the casket is lowered into the grave?
Did he run away to a secret place and just bawl or did he gather with the other disciples?
Did he have family and what did he say or do when he eventually went home?

I worked in the nursing home for over 6 years; I remember the first resident that died. I remember helping to prepare the body before the family came in to say goodbye, before the funeral home came for the body. I remember the feeling of washing a body that is minus a soul. I remember the privledge it was to do this one last act of honor toward the life of a person deeply cared for.
Joseph of Arimathaea is one of the people I have read about for years. He has been a part of the Easter story in my little ears as a young child. Yet it wasn’t until this week that I really, really thought about being in his sandals and wondered about him and how he felt. Joseph was a real man and we only see the facts in a few short gospel verses.

I pray I can be like him, bold in the face of the enemies of my Lord, steadfast, faithful and loving, letting my love for my Lord compel me to crave HIM above fear of persecution from the government or from peers. Desiring to honor my Lord no matter what the cost financially, physically, emotionally……
……Waiting for the kingdom of God