#151 "On My New Front Porch"
June 10, 2008
"In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war...David remained in Jerusalem." (2 Samuel 11:1)
My youngest son is graduating from high school tomorrow. After 21 consecutive years in the same school system, Chuck and I are closing that chapter of our lives. I've been thinking a lot about what happens next...especially about the possibility of moving. One of the selling points of our community was the once excellent school system. We've stayed through the years, and tomorrow we'll applaud and cheer at our last graduation. (BTW...this is commencement ceremony #5) Nothing is left to tie us to this community, so will we move? Don't know for sure.
One thing I do know "for sure" is that there is a new home being prepared for me right now. A mansion, in fact. Wow! Never lived in one of those! And one day Jesus will take me with Him, give me the grand tour and hand me the keys. Well, I probably won't need keys--we'll be able to leave our doors wide open and give a warm welcome to all who come to visit.
I hope that my mansion has a huge front porch.You know the kind...a long Southern styled one. I hope that I'll have white wicker chairs with comfy cushions to sit on. Every month the trees will bear a different fruit and I just know that the smells will be delicious. (Can smells be delicious? I think they just may be.) I plan to have lots and lots of company.
I want to ask Abraham how fast his heart was beating as he walked with Isaac up the mountain at Moriah.
I want to tell Joseph that if I were one of his brothers, I might have wanted to leave him in a pit too! What with all that bragging and all! I want to tell him that I too watched Almighty God take what was intended to harm me and work it out for good.
I want Moses to bring over those stone tablets and tell me first hand what it was like to watch the Red Sea part.
I want to sip tea with Ruth and thank her for showing me that one decision can change my destiny. And I think that Esther and I will linger on the porch a good, long while, swapping stories about our one night with the King and how it literally changed everything!
I'll thank Solomon for his wisdom and Jeremiah for letting God use him to place the call to ministry on my life in 2005.
And since this is what prompted this morning's "Tuesdays" anyway...I want to ask David why he stayed in Jerusalem that day. If it was customary for kings to go out with their armies in the spring time, for goodness sake, why didn't you go? David, that one decision affected everything in your life from that day forward! That fateful choice led to adultery and murder. You lost a young son, had another turn against you...one who sent you on the run...again. Another son raped the sister of his brother. Oh, if you had only gone with your army that day... My burning question is...what made you stay?
I want to meet Mary, the mother of Jesus and His brothers. I want to know how long it took Peter to overcome cursing.
I really want to know what happened to the woman of sin who anointed Jesus' feet at Simon the Pharisee's house. What was the rest of her life like?
I can't wait for Martha to visit. "Girlfriend, we were worried and upset about so many things, weren't we?" Maybe we'll share some apple pie on the porch. Pie that we didn't have to bake ourselves.
I want to meet the Samaritan woman, Lazarus, Paul and Timothy too.
Finally, I'm going to carve out one long, glorious afternoon to chat with the woman caught in adultery. You see, I want to tell her that I was caught too. My Pharisees didn't carry real stones but they lined up to hurl judgment and hurtful words, that left me no less wounded than if they had hit me with physical stones.
The same Man came to both of us. The same Man looked us both in the eye and spoke the same words..."I do not condemn you." The same Man set us both free. Over 2000 years apart, we are BFF's (best friends forever) in our hearts. He loves us both. And it's not adultery this time. It's love...pure, unconditional, unending, everlasting love and forgiveness.
And that chair over there. Do you see it? It's the one with the best cushion, the one under the loveliest tree and it's the one reserved just for that Man. Jesus Christ is the One, my friend, that I most long to spend time with ...on my new front porch.
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