Tuesday, June 26, 2018

God's Delays

“Yet those who wait for the LORD, will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary” -Isaiah 40:31 Waiting has always been a challenge for youngest child, spoiled Joey Staples. The pace of society today hasn’t helped me at all. I expect instant answers and instant solutions. I text someone and expect an answer within 5 minutes. A century ago, if someone missed the stagecoach, they had to wait a month till it came through again. Today, if the plane is five minutes late, most people go berserk. But the truth is, God is in control. His timing is paramount to our well being, IF we choose to trust Him. The attached poem by Robert Schuller has always proven true to me: God’s Delay is Not God’s Denial 
God always hears and answers prayer,
 Though long may be the trial.
 Let patience bloom while God prepares;
 Delay is not denial.

 When God would glorify His Name,
 And make His blessing great;
 The one whose heart God's will doth frame
 Must sometimes pray and wait.

 But come, the answer surely must,
 For God has never lied.
 And faith, which looks at God in trust,
 God never has denied.

 So when the weeks turn months, then years,
 And doubt feign would defile,
 Beseech the more and that with tears;
 Delay is not denial.

 God always hears our prayers, 
 But He does not always say, "Yes!" 
 Sometimes He says, "Wait" 
 Sometimes He says, "No" 
 For He has something better for us. 

 God's delays are not denials, 
 He has heard your prayer; 
 He knows all about your trials, 
 Knows your every care.
 God's delays are not denials, 
 Help is on the way, 
 He is watching o'er life's dials, 
 Bringing forth that day. 

 God's delays are not denials, 
 You will find Him true, 
 Working through the darkest trials, 
 What is best for you. God has a good plan for our lives also. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) May we welcome God’s change of plans as good. Look back on the times when God blocked a plan and “caused all things to work together for good.” I’m so glad that Paula and I broke up (by note) in 6th grade! I’m glad, because God had another person waiting, Jeanie, as a part of His plan. And we’ve been married 37 years! May we all rest and be secure in HIS plan. May we all wait well. Resting in His care and walking at HIS pace makes all the difference. Even when none of it makes sense, we trust in His plan. Whether it’s a “yes,” “wait,” or “no,” He is in control. His ways are always higher… …so, may we rest in the lower. By Eric Joseph Staples © www.lifeaid101.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Home Free

“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home” -Luke 10:38 There is a scene in the movie “Forrest Gump” when Forrest’s childhood sweetheart, Jennie, is throwing rocks at her childhood home. She is angry with the house where her father abused her. As Jennie falls to her knees, Forrest responds, “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.” Last year, we sold our “home place” on Firth Road in Fort Worth and handed the keys to another young family. I’m not throwing rocks at that beautiful home. Instead, I’m struggling with the loss of the “memorial” to the Staples family. Every few months I would travel to Fort Worth to check on Mom and do “projects” around the house. Today, I was longing to go back and take care of that house. I miss the projects…and I miss my mom. The week after we sold the house, with every call to turn off utilities, I felt like I was disconnecting life support from the house. At the end of the last call to the gas company, the operator responded, “We’ll have that last utility shut off tomorrow,” and I felt like someone had died. A few months later my sweet mom passed away. We’d lost mom and the home so close together. I grieved. I cried. I was sad. I’m still sad sometimes. I spoke to my big brother, Bob who said, “Hey, it’s just a change. Now another young family will raise their kids in that house.” Those are words that I knew, but needed to hear. Research on grieving shows that it can take years for the cycles of loss to lose their punch. So, once again, it’s time to move on. The cycle of life happens. God is a God of change. We can jump on board or resist His plans. There were beautiful days in that home. It seems like just yesterday that I was chasing our dog, Rusty, in the backyard; listening to my brothers play their eight-tracks; watching my dad cooking on the grill; seeing mom cooking the kitchen. Great memories. Great roots of security planted on those beautiful days. But, I know there were tough days as well. There were squabbles between the four boys (and I was usually at the bottom of the pecking order); mom and dad frustrated with each other (but that was behind closed doors in their bedroom); the four boy’s angry or mad (usually related to losing at sports). That house was a pressure cooker of growth, with the ups and the downs. Simply put, it was family. And families are a beautiful mess, for sure. They are a mess because all the pieces of the family puzzle, (people), are a mess as well. The beauty is beheld when love is mixed into the mess and intimacy and compassion result. Houses come and go. Green grass eventually withers. Trees lose their lives. But the love of family lives on through the generations. The love of family isn’t limited to the walls of a house. So, once again, I say goodbye to Firth Road. After turning the page, I say hello to our address on Cougar Trails, and to Blackman Road and Troon Circle, the addresses of our kids and their families. There are new families forming and growing and needing grandparents. I’m in for the new adventure… …but I’ll never forget the old home. By Eric Joseph Staples © www.lifeaid101.com