[dropcap]H[/dropcap]e was gnarled and stooped from years of struggling on a poor little farm, three fingers sacrificed to a threshing machine, rheumatism swelling his painful joints.
He had a big voice and a kind heart. His grandchildren loved him.
Dave helped his son farm the sloping 80-acre farm. The house he shared with Emma was a tiny four rooms on a dirt basement lined with shelves for the year’s canning. Only in later years was there a bathroom added.
At church he sang so loudly he embarrassed his family. It didn’t matter—he loved church. He loved the people who went there. After the service, he enjoyed the fellowship and was one of the last to leave. Emma was a shy woman and stood quietly or sat in the car waiting patiently. People were important to him, and she seemed not to mind the wait.
There was never any talk of a nursing home. Maybe he couldn’t afford it; maybe it never entered his head to let someone else care for her. In any case, this was his life for the next 13 years. During that time he had a heart attack, continued to struggle with his painful joints, and kept cheerful. Emma was his life. If he was tired of caring for her, he never mentioned it.
She died in her mid-seventies, and he kept referring to her body as “the corpse.” Emma was gone; she no longer needed it. He was a practical man. The inevitable grief and regret followed, and he expressed with tears in his eyes that he wished he could have given her more. He was referring to material things. He didn’t seem to realize that the gift he had given her could never be compared to something he bought with money.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:4-7.
SCRIPTURES FOR THE MONTH
1 Corinthians 13:4-8, John 3:16, 1 Peter 4:8, Colossians 3:14, John 13:34-35, Proverbs 10:12
This month OF FEBRUARY, FATHER, please:
Give me the grace to love You totally with all of my heart, my soul, and my mind and to love my neighbor as myself.
Give me the grace to love my enemies, to do good and lend to others without expecting to get anything back.
Help me to do unto others what I would have them do unto me. Let my love be sincere, and let me cling to what is good.
Teach me to be patient and kind. Not to be envious, boastful, rude, angry, and proud. Not to keep records of wrongs, not to delight in evil but always to rejoice with the truth.
Give me a deeper revelation and understanding of what it means to love unconditionally.
Help me to be humble and gentle, to be patient and bearing with others in love, because love comes from You and everyone who loves is born of You and knows You.
Help me to be contrite in spirit and tremble at your word.
Help me not to love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Hear my cry and attend unto my prayer–lead me to the rock that is higher than me and establish my goings.
Answer me and while I am still speaking, hear me.
Sweep away my offenses and my sins like the morning mist.
Let me be like a well-watered garden and a spring whose waters never fail.
I commit my way to You and trust that You will bring it to pass, in Jesus’ name.
I declare by faith that:
No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against me, in judgment I shall condemn.
I will fear not because the Lord has redeemed me; He has summoned me by my name and I am His.
I will be still and wait patiently for the Lord. I will refrain from malice, anger, envy, and unforgiveness, because they all lead to evil.
I will forget the former things and not dwell in the past, because the Lord is doing a new thing in my life.
I am full of divine favor; I am a partaker of heavenly blessings, and in righteousness, I am established.
When the enemy will come like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
Because I am seated with Christ in heavenly places far above principalities and powers, no weapon formed against me or any member of my household shall prosper, in Jesus’ name.