Ephesians 4:29 ESV (italics mine): Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Let me just say that usually that verse speaks to me because a lot of times I find myself saying things that don’t seem to come out quite right (My Puppy-Dog Tongue).
But I’ve also had struggles with the end of that verse, which is what I want to chat about today: “What am I allowing my ears to hear?”
Back in my last post Precious Surprises For Jeffrey, we all were absolutely floored at the wonderful gift the Lord had allowed to come our way with the scholarship money given to Jeffrey by the Chance to Become foundation. We could use this money to help pay for Jeffrey’s nursing expenses when he started college until the SSI payments got approved!
It was now early August, and we were moving ahead trying to get last minute details finalized before Jeffrey’s big move.
Then it happened…
I was on the phone one day with the nursing company who had agreed to provide the necessary part-time care at the college. We needed to make sure they understood the specifics required.
The agreement we had made with them was that they were to come to Jeffrey’s dorm room twice a day: 2 hours in the morning to get him ready for the day; and 2 hours in the evening to get him ready for bed.
The nurse that we had met with on our recent trip to ERAU (Checking Out Dorm Rooms) turned out to be our main contact, so that particular day I was on the phone to her finalizing payment, etc.
Then came her comment: “So, what are you going to do if this doesn’t work out?”
Oh, the power of words – and more so the power of not keeping your eyes on the Lord trusting that He’s got everything in His control!
I was weak – no doubt about it. I came crashing down, and hard…
After sputtering something like, “I don’t know,” we ended the conversation and I found myself starting to think all sorts of things that I shouldn’t have been thinking:
What’s going to happen after Jeffrey eats lunch – what if he has stuff all over his face and doesn’t realize it?
What’s going to happen if Jeffrey has to go to the bathroom during the day – yes the college had said they could provide someone to keep an eye on him, but what if they weren’t around?
What if the scholarship money runs out before Jeffrey’s SSI payments come through – will we be able to keep paying the nursing agency out of our own pocket?
I had to force myself to push those thoughts out of my head. Was not everything in the Lord’s hands? Had He not already brought us this far?
Of course a short time later the phone rings, and it turns out to be the lady who had stopped by our table at Subway a few weeks ago, and had stated that “by the way” their son and a nephew were attending the same college and they’d be happy to come help Jeffrey if he needed it (Surety Needed).
She told me on the phone that she had spoken to her son, and he and his roommates were very excited that Jeffrey was going to be attending ERAU, and they were all interested in helping out once he got there!
As I got off the phone I was again weeping with joy at how great our God is – and how He continually comes alongside me, even when my faith is weak.
So going back to Ephesians 4:29, how important it is to be careful in our speech! Whether we are Christians or not, our words have the power to boost up people, or bring them crashing down (Proverbs 15:4).
I can’t tell you how many times well-meaning people (including physicians), have told us that Jeffrey “will never be able to do…” whatever it is we’ve been talking about. The fact of the matter is, no one knows what the future holds but our great God.
The troubles come when we take our eyes off the Bible, and place them onto people in our lives who, well-meaning or not, can push off over the brink…
That’s what I did when the nurse asked me the “what if” question. And, unfortunately, there were more occasions in the future when I allowed this same nurse to do the exact same thing to me yet again.
Yet, oh to keep our minds on Jesus! In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we are told:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Keep walking step-by-step with Him, my friends, because no matter what trial you are facing, God is greater than it is!