Carole, new to the senior discount class, announced to her long-time friend Paul after their first lunch together, “I’d like to have a friend, but I’m not interested in dating anyone. I swore off dating five years ago.” She thought he’d run away.
The newly widowed man thoughtfully nodded. Then he commented, “How about going to church with me? You could hardly call that a date. You always go to church.”
“We’ll go to breakfast first because we both have to eat.”
“I knew there was a catch, but that’s a good point.”
When the skilled do-it-yourself woman who knew her way around a circular saw couldn’t figure out how to build a food prep table the same height as her barbeque, she asked Paul if he could show her how. “I’m not trying to be coy. I just don’t know how.” She fixed him lunch.
Her admirer sawed, constructed and finished the table. The last hour, the rain drizzled over his head and dripped down his pearl-buttoned shirt.
“Yum!” Paul commented after the first bite of the hot lunch. “You’re a good cook. I haven’t had home-cooked food in ages.”
“Don’t read anything into it.” she explained. “I like to cook and I love to have company over.”
Carole thought he’d run away when she told him, “Stop proposing every week. It’s a relationship killer. You’ll have to wait a year.” But he kept coming around.
Carole thought he’d run away when she told him she couldn’t date anyone her age unless he got a shingles vaccination. The next day, Paul waited three hours and paid three bills to get the shot.
She thought she’d run him off when she said, “I can’t possibly consider a serious relationship with anyone unless I know their credit score.”
He printed it up and handed it to her. As they exchanged credit scores instead of rings, Paul mentioned he wanted to see her more often. “How about Saturday?”
“I’m busy Saturday with a mission project for a widow.” But Paul volunteered to come along with a smile and a tool box. He didn’t even mind that the widow added four extra chores to the “honey do” list.
Carole thought he’d sprint for the nearest internet dating site when she was out of town with her freelance business.
“That’s okay. I miss you, but I’ll just call you in the afternoons. Does that give you enough time?”
Carole kept thinking he’d run away. But like the new formula wood glue that held Paul used to bond her barbeque table tight, the man stuck fast, determined to win at the game of love.
Even Paul’s steadfast commitment to the relationship pales when compared to God’s stick-to-it-iveness that spans lives and generations.
God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He gifted Abraham and Sarah with a baby boy when everyone said it could never happen at their age. He did the same for Zechariah and Elizabeth, senior-aged parents of John the Baptist. God protected Joseph when he had been sold into slavery as a teen. God groomed him as Prime Minister of Egypt. All nations but his suffered from drought. God was with Daniel in the lions’ den. He enabled an orphaned child to become the Queen of Persia and save her people from extinction. He was with Apostle Paul through a handful of shipwrecks on the Mediterranean Sea.
But perhaps in spite of all those ancient stories of God’s steadfast watch care and miracles, you’d been thinking it’s too late for a relationship with God. Surely, He would run away when he knew what you had done. Does He need you? Nope. Do you need Him? Yep.
Maybe you’d been thinking, “I thought God would run away when I told him I was going to do my own thing and didn’t have time for him.”
But He just waited.
Maybe you’d been predicting that God would run away when you stopped going to church.
He just waited.
It could be that you wondered if God would run away when you realized you had a job to do and you didn’t know how to do it.
When you asked for help, He was there with more power, strength and know-how.
You just knew that God would run away when you made a bad choice and got into trouble.
But He stood beside you.
Over 1400 years before the appearance of Christ, the psalmist wrote, “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” [Psalm 33:20-22 NIV].
In those days, as is today, God stands firm, waiting on you. And He won’t run away.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]