"Wonders Without Number"
Frances and I are currently working on a major repair project in our house. I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say that we started out with contractors who did a good bit of work (not always good, actually!). We are finishing, however, with the grace, wisdom, fortitude, and knowledge of God as revealed in my wife. I am working too, and have contributed quite a bit. However, Frances is doing the brain stuff and the hardest work. Yet again, therefore, I have the privilege of witnessing the Lord Jesus Christ as He walks and works in my wife to my sheer amazement and awe (I am going to get pinched big time for this!).
God… doeth great things past finding out, yea, and wonders without number" (Job 9:10).
I discovered Frances's gifts early in our relationship. When we courted in the late 1970s, I worked in the recreation building of a local church. Frances often visited me while I tended to people in their activities and took care of the facilities. She helped me when possible, and blessed me just by being there with me. One evening, she found some modeling clay, the kind we all played with as kids, and decided to form an interesting scene. As I worked, she shaped the clay into a depiction of the empty tomb, along with a Roman soldier lying beside it, dazzled by the angelic visitation (Matthew 28:1-4). I entered the office area where Frances worked and was amazed at how vividly the scene portrayed the place where our Lord once lay. Her work looked like a photograph in clay, so vivid were the details of the tomb and the soldier. As I looked closer, my wonder increased exponentially. On the face of the dazed soldier, Frances had carved his features into exactly what you might expect of one who had witnessed the glory of God. The soldier's face was minuscule, but you could literally see the bewilderment in his eyes, and the open mouth wherein the man had sought to catch a breath before fainting. "How did you do that????" I exclaimed in wonder. I don't recall Frances's response, except that she didn't seem to think it was that big a deal. She confirmed this after I left the office. Rather than preserve the scene for posterity and a place in the Louvre, she wadded up the clay and proceeded to some other venture of genius. I couldn't believe it. "What??? It's gone!!!!" To this day, I wish we still had that masterpiece in more than just my memory and heart.
Thankfully, I still have the artist who shaped the masterpiece not only in my memory and heart, but in my presence. These days, I think of that evening long ago as Frances yet again does her thing, this time with sheetrock, wood, caulk, tools, nails, and screws. More importantly, I think of the person she is in heart, devoted to God and people in countless ways space does not permit me to describe. As a young man, I could not process how marvelous a gift God had given me in my future wife. Nor as an older man do I fully realize the grace of His generosity. However, I am at least a little more cognizant of the fact that our Heavenly Father gave me a gift long ago, again, the gift of seeing Christ walk in a woman devoted to His love, glory, will and Word. It is an amazing scene, far more so than the empty tomb and Roman soldier that left me in awe all those years ago. "Wonders without number" - this has been and remains the undeserved and ongoing chronicle of grace I have witnessed in my Lord and His daughter. I recall something Solomon wrote about wives, and believe with all my heart I know the meaning of his words more than he did. Because while our brother of old had many wives, the Lord gave me one, the very best He had to give...
"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
"A man that hath friends must show himself friendly."