Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Modus Operandi

“And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.” ~Mark 14:13

Intricate. Precise. Exact. Intentional. Those are only a few words that I can think of to describe God’s modus operandi, or His mode of operation — His “M.O.”. God’s way of doing things are never coincidental. In fact, I do not believe in coincidences. Every thing happens for a reason, and with God, this is most true.

I am praising and thanking God right now for the little things that seemed so insignificant to me. The things that He’s allowed me to do that I thought nothing of. For He has placed me in scenarios and situations whereas I’ve had to use skills that I didn’t even know I had, and I wondered why He put me in these situations. A little of this, a little of that, all to hone and polish something He put in me.

I see today how He has begun to weave all of these little things together in order for me to us for a greater purpose. Wow! Isn’t that so like God?

Review Mark 14:13 above. Jesus gives instructions to two of the disciples to locate the upper room where they are to prepare for the passover meal. The Last Supper. Jesus tells them exactly what they will see and how they will know they are in the right place. What He says doesn’t seem all that remarkable or odd. But it is. Actually, He said something highly significant. That is that they would find a man carrying water in a pitcher. Or a jug. Again, seemingly insignificant. But if you understand the customs or culture of that time, you would find it odd. Men either did not carry water, or if they did, they did not bear it in pitchers. Women did. Men would tote water in skins.

So, naturally, this man carrying a pitcher of water — a seemingly small detail — was yet a very precise and intentional act of God!

The scripture doesn’t tell us, but I do wonder why this man toted his water in a pitcher? I am sure that it was a so-called coincidence, and even he probably wondered why he did it. Perhaps a skin wasn’t available. Perhaps a woman wasn’t available to bring the water. Perhaps initially there was not a need for water. There are numerous possibilities and dynamics to this, but the bottomline is that it was necessary for this man to be carrying water in a pitcher at that exact moment as a sign to the disciples.

Why was it important for this to happen? This was yet another action of God to show that Jesus Christ knows all. He was/is not just a “good man”. He is divine, He is Lord, He is the Savior. Yet another opportunity for the disciples to receive and accept Him. Even then, they did not fully know who He was.

God’s M.O. has not changed. He is still performing miracles and doing the impossible today. He still uses the ordinary to do extraordinary things. He still shows us signs of His power and greatness. He still takes little and turns it into much. He still builds and weaves the most intricate details of our lives into something significant.

Don’t take for granted the small things that occur in your life. You don’t have to think that God is not active or present in your life because you may not see anything spectactular (according to you). Some of those little incidences are catalysts for great things.

Trust God in all ways. Don’t dismiss what you may not understand. Trust Him!


Carla Y. Nix

Sunday, December 28, 2008

An Open Letter - Dear You, Part 1

This open letter is the result of a conversation I had in my head. It is a conversation that I imagined having with someone who plays a big role in the dysfunction of a precious family I know. Although the family’s situation is different than my own, I can relate to the position the wife of this family is in. Only because my past experience, though not the same, brought the same feelings of pain, hurt, and anger. Out of those negative feelings, I did write my own letter at the time (years ago). God has delivered me from such a place in life, but it does hurt me when others go through what I went through, or what this family goes through today.

As I had the conversation in my head, I thought it best to write it out and pen it here. I truly believe that many can relate, and perhaps, some could very well be the target of the words I’m about to express.

Dear You,

Yes you. You, the woman who seem to have no shame whatsoever. What is your problem?

I am very angry because of your actions. But what angers me even more is the fact that you don’t think enough of yourself nor do you have any pride. It hurts me to know that you are a partner in crime with the demise of a family, but it kills me inside because you are also the culprit in destroying your own life. Worse, you are painting a very ugly picture for your daughters of what a beautiful strong woman is.

Why do you care so little about yourself that you would be involved with a married man? What makes you not value yourself to the point that you are willing to steal whatever time you can from a man who is obviously not capable of showing true love and commitment? Why are you wrapped up with someone who is not honest nor has respect for the mother of his children? What makes this man so appealing to you? Why do you not know that you deserve better?

You’ve played footsy with this man for years. He has been told a number of times that he is free to leave to be with you solely. But, he hasn’t done it. He can’t do it. He obviously does not hold you in high enough esteem to want to be with you fully. He will not leave his wife for you, and if he does one day, do you believe that he would be faithful to you? He never has been.

Why do you settle for that? And you wonder why God hasn’t shown favor towards you. Why should He when you are not living as you should? Please don’t think that your life is a secret from the Lord. Remember the woman at the well who met Jesus? The woman living in shame? Jesus, without hesitation, let her know that the man that she was with now was not her husband. I hope that you know that Jesus knows the same about you today. Most of all, I hope you know that Jesus can deliver you as well, just as He did this Samaritan woman.

I should be angry with you because you are affecting a great family that I love dearly. I guess I am. But, I am truly devastated that you, my sister, are ruining your own life. I cannot say enough that you deserve so much better, but you are limiting yourself because you choose to waddle with this man.

You choose to be the other woman. Shouldn’t you be the only woman?

Carla Y. Nix