Prepare, Preparing, Prepared

It was 1938.  Grandpa and Grandma Suderman communicated
that they were coming to visit.
  Mother marshalled
the troops, my two brothers, eight and six years old and me to begin preparing
the house.
  Dusting, vacuuming, washing
the kitchen floor, clean bedding and sweeping the basement was on our
  I remember the relief when the
last of the dirt was swept toward the back door, and a small porch was swept.
The main
preparation happened in the kitchen. Mom’s culinary skills produced baked
chicken, several custard pies (aya pei), chocolate cake, molasses cookies, and
jars of canned vegetables were brought up from the basement in readiness.
Potatoes are peeled and ready to boil.
It was a daunting
exercise in preparedness.  And all was in
readiness. The anticipation grew when it grew time to see our
grandparents.  Each time they brought a
small brown sack of candy, smiles and hugs for each of us.  We gathered after dinner around the upright
piano on the east wall of the living room and sang hymns.  We caught up on the news about Mom’s brothers
and sisters in Hillsboro.  We pictured
Grandpa and Grandma and our uncles and aunts on the farm doing chores, singing
and gathered around the table.
After we had
prepared, a reward was ours.  So it is
with life.  For every great event, there
is the state of preparing. Whether it be a recital, a wedding, a new baby,
visits,  a new job or school year. A
daunting move across the country, a test or a different stage of life and death
can be on the horizon.  Sometimes the
preparation is accompanied by intent anticipation and sometimes with a
heart-deep longing.  The lack of
preparedness brings recrimination and the inevitable questions of Why, I should
have, I could have, Why didn’t I?  The
sadness of self-incrimination digs deep into our souls.
God is the God of
Preparation.  God prepared our world, and
He has given those who love Him a place to live, work to do, and leads us
through this earth’s maze of snares and dangers. I Corinthians 2:9 – “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no
mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Hebrews 11:15-16
–  If
they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back.  But they were looking for a better place, a
heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for
He has prepared a city for them.
When we clearly
see God’s Work in our lives and how He cares for us and loves us from birth to
death.  We are in awe and marvel at His
Goodness. We do not have to stay in the fallen state of man, for God has
prepared a way of salvation that begins in this world through Jesus and his
death, burial and resurrection.  To some
this is foolishness, but to those who see with their hearts through faith, it
is the treasure of life that begins at our new birth.
“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he
will prepare your way. 
He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, Prepare the
way for the LORD’s coming! 
Clear the road for him!’” Mark 1:2b-3. 
God prepared the way for the messenger, John the Baptist, through
Zechariah and Elizabeth. In Luke 1:41 – At
the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
These verses say
one thing gloriously…God is at work in us before we are born.  Even as early as Genesis 4:21 – His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of
all who play the harp and flute.
Special gifts and a ‘calling’ is given to
all of us.  Can we hear that
calling?  Are we listening and
wondering?  Are we prepared to hear?
Samuel was
awakened from sleep by a voice calling, “Samuel!”  Samuel did not yet know the LORD because
never before had he had a message from the LORD.  So the
LORD called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I
am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the LORD who was calling the
boy.  So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie
down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, LORD, your servant is
listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed
. I Samuel 3:7-9
And we know that God causes everything to work
together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his
purpose for them.
  Romans 8:28
Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave
them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and
.  Matthew 10:1
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called
him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his
inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going
. Hebrews 11:8
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you
to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you are called by God. Always be
humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each
other’s faults because of your love. 
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding
yourselves together with peace.
  Ephesians 4: 1-3
Just as God
called these men, Jubal, Samuel, Abraham and Apostle Paul to serve God, we,
too, are called to prepare for living in peace. 
Some days that peace seems unattainable and we must look beyond the
world.  In the mercy and love of God, it
is ours for an eternity.  Prepare
yourself to listen for His Voice, in prayer, peace, joy and service.  In the ultimate preparation of our lives is
our promise in John 14: 1-2 – “Don’t let
your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s
home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a
place for you?
Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time
is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with
good teaching.
  2 Peter 4:2
While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and
sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe
us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be
swallowed up by life.  God himself has
prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.  So we are always confident, even though we
know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord
. 2 Corinthians 5:3-5

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