A good while back I decided to post some simple and very peaceful words over our kitchen sink.
STAY, REMAIN, REST, BE
I would read those words often, having found them “randomly” in our Synonym Finder. Somehow they seemed to express what home needed to be for me at that time. Our kids had all scattered and the long-awaited time had come for me to be with Tom more often on his multiple and constant journeys.
In 2006 the mysterious yearnings surrounding HOME came to a head. We had an apartment in Oxford, England connected to work, our primary residence in Fayetteville, a child in college studies in Minnesota, an engaged child working in Wisconsin, a married child in Alabama with a brand new baby, and terribly sad – a father dying of cancer in yet another city.
I would wake up and not know where I was as I traveled to and fro between each of those important destinations. I would sometimes be on an airplane flying somewhere and momentarily forget where I’d be landing next. Oh, yes, we also added in a week of serving in Southeast Asia with a Fellowship team.
In the middle of that crazy traveling time I happened to be meditating on James 1:2-4 in the NASB.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I was drawn for obvious reasons to the word endurance (patience in many other versions). Prior to that personal time of study I had pictured a person leaning forward into the wind, straining, sweating, ski cap blowing straight back behind me, breath puffing…That must surely be what endurance is.
To my surprise, when I studied this word further in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, these are some of the synonyms that surfaced:
not recede or flee
to continue to be present
to be held, kept continually
Little had I known that the words God had “randomly” led me to much earlier for posting on our wall regarding HOME were actually His definition of patience, endurance and perseverance.
And, while at times calories were to be burned in enduring, His message to me was that leaning into the wind, straining hard was the opposite of true endurance at that time. Instead for me it meant
STAYING, REMAINING, RESTING, AND BEING IN HIS PRESENCE.
It meant DWELLING and ABIDING…wherever I was!
It really “hit home” for me. I am continually thankful for this message.
And I have re-posted those words in our newest home over the kitchen sink!
Sue Addington lives with her husband, Tom, in Fayetteville. She confesses that she has always had much to share, which is evidenced by her early report cards. God has used that passion for sharing in her as a public school teacher, and especially teaching the Bible to women. These days, she does most of her “sharing” through mentoring.