“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” (2 Timothy 1:5, KJV)
This post was started on Sunday, the day I like to talk about what I’ve been reading from the Bible. It’s also the day I love to use the vase photo.
The vase is special to me because it belonged to my mother. She passed from this life in 2008. I think of her all the time, her faith in God, and gifts God had given her. Like the time I called her and she said, “I was sitting here by the phone, waiting for you to call. I’ve been praying for you, and God said it’s going to be OK.” Like the time she calmly put me at ease when I (at sixteen) ran, panicking, into the house after I had pulled the car into the garage, scraping the right side as I did. Like the time she begged me to go with her to my grandmother’s in East Texas instead of riding with my dad and brother in the pickup, towing a car to Center (the pickup and car were totaled that day – and God spared our lives).
God had shown my mother something was going to happen that day of the accident. If it had not been for my brother feeling impressed to hold tight to my leg that day, I would not have lived. Yes, the vase is special. It reminds me of Mother’s faith.
Today I noticed things that I had never noticed when reading I Chronicles Ch. 4. I wondered how did I miss these things in the past. The prayer of Jabez is familiar to many of us, but today I saw it like never ever before. First, the chapter starts out with Ashhur, his two wives and descendants. Then all of a sudden, there’s Jabez who cried to God, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. WOW! God granted his request!
I needed to read that today. I had spent the morning searching for an important paper that I had to have today. I couldn’t find it anywhere!! For years when I haven’t been able to find something that I need desperately or right away, I’ve asked God to show me where it is. Every time, he has shown me or told me where to look. I had prayed, looked, prayed this morning….and finally was so overwhelmed that I stopped looking, stopped asking and got the One Year Bible out and started reading I Chronicles Ch. 4. Forgetting about the document, I kept reading and noticed particularly these things:
1) the short names that are actually easy to pronounce
2) Ziph and Ziphah – this made me laugh because I thought why would you name two of your kids almost the same name. Then I said them aloud: “Ziph” “Ziph – ah”. They surely couldn’t have nicknamed Ziphah, or the two would have come running.
3) There were craftsmen, potters, linen workers, leaders.
4) Verse 22: “These records are from ancient times.” – and we think of I Chronicles 4 as ancient times.
5) The leaders’ families increased greatly. They found rich, good pasture, and the land was spacious, peaceful and quiet.
Jabez had faith in God, the God of the universe, the God who controls the universe. There is a verse I like in the Bible that says, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22, KJV). Jabez believed and received.
When I read the prayer of Jabez today, I thought about how I want God to bless me and enlarge my territory. What is your territory that you want God to enlarge? You may not know how to enlarge it, but God is bigger than this universe, bigger than your thoughts, bigger than your money, bigger than your credit bigger than your insufficiencies.
Timothy had sincere faith, but his Grandmother Lois first had it, then his mother Eunice. What can a grandmommy like me do to pass down her faith to her grandchildren? Let them see you practice it. Tell all the stories you can remember when you prayed and the prayer was answered. Tell your parents’ and grandparents’ stories of their prayers that were answered. Pray with your grandchildren about their prayers, believing with them. Always share praise reports like Jabez did.
Want to know the rest of the story about the document? After I read in I Chronicles, I walked into the living/dining room and without even thinking, I picked up a stack of magazines on the corner of a table. Between the magazines, hidden, was a folder with the important paper I had been looking for.
I Chronicles 4 brought new meaning to me today.
Ask God to bless you and enlarge your territory. There’s a catch, though. Believe it, ask it in Jesus’ name.
PS. This evening I did Face Time with my daughter, son-in-law, and my two sweet granddaughters. “GRUMMY!” the oldest said.
“Be right back…be right back, K?”
Coming into my view again, pulling something red with her, she held up Clifford so I could see. I told Clifford to give her a hug and sugars. He did.