Prepare, Prepared, Preparation

This week is a week of preparation for a visit from our Granddaughter, Rebekah, our daughter, Anna, and our third son, Tim. Cleaning, de-cluttering, and stocking food has taken over our lives. They are coming to celebrate their Granddad and Dad’s 84 birthday. This visit is a welcome interruption to the routine of our lives.

I can hear the laughter, the joy, the hugs as we renew all the family memories of the past, learn all the current activities of the 30 members of our family. Then there is the future plans and the preparations being made by each, from the learning of our great grandchildren to the advancement and preparation for life of our grandchildren and retirement age nearing for our children.

As we prepare, I am reminded of preparations past when we expected our grandparents for a visit. Mother’s idea of preparing included cleaning the house, with our help, from the front door to the back door. Chasing dust bunnies became an art, dusting, sweeping, washing. Then came the baking and cooking. The year our great grandparents also accompanied our grandparents, was an even busier time. It seemed like a forever time to prepare. When our grandparents and great grandparents arrived, all the preparation and planning was over and we enjoyed a time of pure love and encouragement.

A visit to Hillsboro, Kansas, to visit our grandparents was equally a time of preparation. From readying the car, to haircuts, baths, Mother sewing new clothes for all of us, making herself a hat, packing a picnic lunch for the trip, as well as packing the clothes and last minute instructions on expected behavior was necessary. To make this all come together to the Travel Day requires a planning coordinator and that title belonged to Mother.

Preparing the mind is also an important preparation for twists and turns in life. I found the quote, “Every path has its puddle” and the secret to a happy life is to see and not step into the puddles that appear. Preparing the body for various activities also takes time. The Olympics exemplifies the pinnacle of years of preparation in the participants.

One of our granddaughters recently wrote – “I always had all the answers, now I don’t have a clue.” How wise and her next ‘twit’ was: “You are my comfort, my shelter. Tower of refuge and strength. Let me never stop praising You.”

Proverbs 16:9 – In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

We may have a five year plan, a ten year plan, but God determines our steps. God has made His own preparations for us. My favorite verses come from John 14. Imagine my surprise to see the word ‘prepare’….and realize that even as we prepare for earthly activities and goals, God has already prepared a place for us. We must prepare our hearts through faith and trust in Jesus Christ to enter this place. It is our response to God for His immeasurable love.

John 14:1-3 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Oh Lord You’ve searched me You know my ways Even when I fail You I know You love me At the cross I bow my knee Where Your blood was shed for me There’s no greater love than this You have overcome the grave Glory fills the highest place What can separate me now?

At the Cross by Hillsong