It Ain’t Easy Being the Pre-THE Wade Webster These Days

I recently got a notice someone tagged me in a photo on Facebook. When I checked it out there was some dude in the picture that didn’t look anything like me. Apparently his name is also Wade Webster.

I left a comment that he wasn’t THE Wade Webster, me. He’s that Wade Webster, him. I think Facebook is the most confused.

I have no idea how easy that Wade’s life is at present, but this Wade’s life is extremely challenging these days.

Take last Friday as an example. I went to bed Thursday night preparing to help the Apainter Paul on a large house project he acquired. Owner of said house is actually a very high government official in the state of Texas.

I won’t tell you exactly who this official is so I don’t compromise the national security of Texas. I shook his hand Friday morning and he said it was a pleasure to meet me.

I thought, “Buddy, you have no clue who I’m going to be soon.” He came across as a very nice normal guy. Hopefully I did likewise.

With a heat advisory in effect most of this week I thought about starting at 7:00 instead of eight. Since I had one of those two day drive through the night twice runs earlier in the week I decided sleep was my better option, so I set my alarm for 5:30.

I woke up at five sharp and compromised by starting at 7:30.

At eleven o’clock I got a phone call asking if I’d be willing to drive to Oklahoma City starting that afternoon.

I said, “Sure.” Then they told me it also involved two local Dallas drops after I got back in the metroplex.

It drives me crazy when they don’t give me the full details before I say I’ll do it. But my budget says I need more influx of cash in the bank. So I went to OKC and back.

With a skillful pacing of caffeine and prayer I stayed awake and returned home about 5:00 AM, 24 hours after I woke up. I crawled under the covers at 5:30.

I had worked 17.5 hours of the 24.5 hours I was conscious. The other seven hours was spent preparing for, traveling to/between and returning from said jobs to bolster my budget.

And “they” say we writers are supposed to find time to write each and every day. Welcome to my real world.

Oh, for the record, I woke up at 8:30 and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I went for a run before the heat index won that decision. Now I’m writing this on three hours of sleep just so I can prove I wrote something today. So, there.

They say too many people quit just before their big break hits. With that in mind I should be famous by the end of next week. Hopefully fortune isn’t far behind, like my budget is.

If you had asked me what my life verse is before I started to write I would have told you I have a whole book full of them.

Once God told me to write I quickly narrowed it down to one simple, yet profound, verse. I replaced the pronoun with the proper noun for clarity.

John 3:30 Jesus must increase, I must decrease.

This writing adventure isn’t to gain fame for me, although that’s likely to come.

My goal is to make Jesus Christ more famous. That’s why everything I write focuses on Him and what He’s done for us.

These chaotic days are building my work ethic, my perseverance and quite possibly preparing me for days of jet lag.

I don’t know how soon I’ll be able to look back on this time of life in my rear view mirror, but I know I won’t forget them anytime soon.

If pride goes before a fall then I hope these times of testing are coming before the other end of this spectrum of life.

In all honesty I’d rather not become famous. I rather prefer my anonymity.

But, if that’s the best way for me to be able to tell people about Jesus then bring it on.

Keep smiling.   Wade

A PLEA AND A PROBE

Isaac walked to his rock overlooking the valley he called home. He didn’t come to try to count the herds of sheep or goats. The cattle were of no interest today, neither.

Instead of sitting on the rock to study his surroundings he fell to his knees and placed his forehead against the stone. His arms hugged the structure. His heart was heavy.

“When, Lord? When will You come through for us? You promised my father a nation would come from him. I’m the only one born to his wife, Sarah. Now I have a wife from the family to keep us pure, but there’s no offspring, yet. I don’t understand. Will children only come to us when we’re old, too? If there’s something more for me to do then please tell me and I’ll do it.”

The sun hung low in the sky when he returned home after that day of anguish.

****

A month later Rebekah was nauseous at breakfast. This continued for several days. She finally broke the news to Isaac who fell over in laughter at the thought of becoming a dad.

A few months later an almost constant churning in her abdomen drove Rebekah to Isaac’s rock to talk to God.

“God of Abraham and Isaac what is going on here? I’m told of a nation being made with me, but I don’t understand why it must be so miserable. How much longer will I have to endure this? I can’t sleep much with whatever is going on inside me. Is there some way to make this stop?”

“Two nations are in your womb.”

The voice was so clear Rebekah turned to see who was talking to her. She looked up when she found nobody else around. “I’m listening.”

“Of the two nations one will be stronger than the other. The younger will be served by the elder.”

Rebekah’s smile turned into a laugh. “Twins…I’m going to have two children. Thank You.”

****

At the end of the nine months the first son came into the wold. The midwife’s mouth hung open at the sight of him. “He’s ready for the wild with this much hair all over. I’ve never seen one so hairy. Esau will fit you for a name. I think.”

As the boy exited the birth canal she felt a tug instead of the expected slip into her hands. She spied a hand on Esau’s heal. “Jacob, you let go of your brother, you scoundrel.”

When Rebekah was nursing them she smiled at the midwife. “At least we’ll be able to tell them apart with no problem.”

The midwife shook her head. “That little man is definitely the leader of the two. Most grown men don’t have that much hair all over them.”

Rebekah rubbed her cheek against Jacob’s head. “God promised me this one will rule over the first born.”

“Only time will tell on that.”

********

The Bible doesn’t tell us much about Isaac. This passage is the only mention of him talking to God. It’s still common for many folks to wait until they have a deep desire or need to come to God in prayer.

Rebekah was still learning about this God of the family she married into. She was told about Him, but didn’t know Him until her pregnancy drove her to come to Him in search of an answer to what was happening inside her.

They both received a positive response to their prayer requests. Isaac finally became an abba and Rebekah heard from God directly.

I often wonder if Isaac had been told about the younger son ruling over the older one if Rebekah’s deception would had been necessary many years later. We’ll never know. We also don’t know if she ever told her husband what God told her.

I hope you don’t wait until you feel there’s no where else to turn before you take your burdens to God in prayer. Too many people do.

We tend to do all we can to make a situation work out in our own power before we trust God to do His work. That’s so sad.

Why do we spin our wheels so long before we go to the source of progress and purpose to begin with? That’s just crazy.

God made people to have a relationship with Him.

That relationship is meant to be intimate not an emergency.

God wants us to work with Him in all we do. He has plans in every aspect of our lives. The good things and the bad times each have their place.

You can fight Him and try to get things done your way. A lot of stress is built that way.

You can wait until you feel at peace about what you do first. That’s no guarantee of God’s purpose.

You can turn to God’s guidebook and seek His counsel. That’s the type of relationship He designed for us.

Prayer should be the steering wheel that guides out lives not the spare tire we pull out only in an emergency.

Look at every event in your life as something ordained by God to build you into the person He wants you to be, because it is.

See God’s fingerprint on each person who comes in your life to help you and for you to help them in return. That’s why they’re there.

Observe the needs you see as something you can impact with God’s strength and guidance. You’re the instrument of God’s choosing.

Your prayers shouldn’t always begin with why or what, but contain more how and when questions.

God wants to use you to fill the needs in this world. You shouldn’t always expect God to explain what He’s up to.

Don’t be afraid if things don’t make sense to anyone else.

If you’re doing your best to live by God’s book you’ll stand out more times than not.

Isaac and Rebekah didn’t understand this because they didn’t understand God.

Our relationship is that of a Father and child.

Keep it close.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

This is where I’ll likely be in 25 years

I’ve seen a lot of stuff recently about setting goals. Much of it revolves around seeing where you’ll be in twenty five years.

The logic stems from the idea that if you can think something then you can achieve it.

Ask Mitt Romney how well that works, or Michael Dukakis, or anyone else who ran for president of the United Sates unsuccessfully.

I’ve been around too long to have much faith in this believism realism.

I don’t want to get stuck in the other extreme, either.

If I only look at what my life experience has been lately then my rut ain’t cheerful, neither.

Let’s see how un-rosy my life will be looking through that window of promise.

In 25 years I’ll be 80 years old and still living in apartment 3214. Okay, I won’t actually be able to afford that apartment by then, but I’ll be living in Clifford, my big red van, somewhere near there so I can still get my mail.

I’ll be tooling around Archgate Park with my walker since I’ll be too old to run any more.

I’m sure I’ll still have trash and dog piles to pick up since that’s proved to be a definite surety in my life.

If Texas has an open carry law on the books I may be shooting at the dog owners who don’t pick up after their pet. Those dogs can be trained…the people I’m not so sure about.

I’ll still have enough prayer books to build a prayer chair since I only sell or give away one a week.

Wade's Prayer Chair

Wade’s Prayer Chair

The bankruptcy should be off my record from my failed business venture trying to help local businesses succeed.

I may have finished that first book I began writing almost nine years ago.

I’ll still be waiting for Barb to return to our promised shared life together. I’m determined to out-stubborn her on this issue to the glory of God.

And Rick Perry will be the president of the United State of Texas.

Wow. I don’t know where that last one came from. Yeah, it scared me, too.

I sure hope they have an effective anti-depressant drug by then because I feel like I need one now.

I’ve heard it said that too many people quit just before their big break hits. That’s what keeps me putting one foot in front of the other these days.

In reality I may still be able to jog without a walker. I might avoid bankruptcy even if the business venture fails. The trash and dog piles are another story I won’t go into here.

I could become a wildly successful author who Barb becomes attracted to again. Funny what money will do to change an outlook.

Whatever happens won’t be because of something I dreamed up on my own volition. No, the outcome will be totally dependent on God and His will for me.

I’ll press onward with the stewardship that’s been entrusted to me for my writing since I know this is all God’s idea to begin with.

The only thing I know for sure is I’ll end up in heaven someday with Jesus on the throne. That could happen before the next 25 years transpire.

Until then I’ll do my best to learn from these life experiences God is putting in my life to become more like Jesus Christ every day.

After all, all things are working together to that end according to Romans 8:28-29.

Keep smiling.   Wade

What Must They Have Thought

The Pharisees didn’t get Jesus at all. That didn’t stop Jesus from ruffling their feathers any chance He got.

The thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s gospel begins a litany of stories Jesus told to anybody who listened to Him.

The prophets said He would do that so some eyes wouldn’t see what He was talking about, or hear and understand it anyway.

I wonder what the Pharisees thought about some of Jesus’s stories.

The parable of the sower placing seeds on different types of soil likely went over their heads even though the seeds landed on the ground.

The next parable about weeds being mixed with wheat followed closely by something about mustard seeds had to have them guessing Jesus was about to open a gardening shop somewhere.

How in the world was any of this going to help anybody live like they expected them to live, anyway? After all, they were the guys responsible to make sure people obeyed God and His laws. Planting gardens was a springtime event. Was it even that time of year when Jesus said these things? If it wasn’t then He was definitely blowing smoke to cover something up. Right?

Jesus’s miracles were a joke to them as well. They wanted Jesus to perform at their command.

Don’t we all?

Sorry. I didn’t mean to step on your toes there. But, it’s true. Isn’t it?

When one of our close friends or family members gets diagnosed with cancer we expect God to come through with a miracle per our prayers.

When our finances become a fiasco because of our bad choices we demand God come through for us to keep us from bankruptcy.

When our spouse becomes distant despite our best efforts to draw closer to them we require reconciliation immediately.

But, God’s ways are not our ways.

Remember that.

Death, disasters and divorce aren’t something we can avoid if they’re in God’s will.

All things are working together to make us more like Christ.

Death reminds us of our need to tell everyone of their need for the Savior.

Financial ruin proves who, or what, we’re really depending on.

Divorce only shows us who is the only One who promised to never leave us.

God’s heart is broken when anyone is separated from Him or trusts in their own efforts over His own.

A heavenly perspective is only gained by walking in some dark valleys.

When God places you there look up.

That’s God’s objective all along.

Keep smiling.   Wade

A Quick Answer to a Specific Request

“Eliezer, come here. I need you to promise me something.” Abraham was watching his son walk to the field again. A habit the young man increased since his mother’s death.

Eliezer approached his master and bowed. “What is it, my lord?”

“We must find Isaac a wife. It’s time for him to start his own family.” Abraham’s gaze locked onto Eliezer’s eyes. “Promise me you won’t let him marry one of the women from this land.”

Eliezer nodded. “Okay.”

Abraham grabbed his hand. “Go to Haran. Bring a woman from my brother’s family.”

Eliezer swallowed hard. “What if the young woman won’t come back with me? Shall I bring Isaac to her?”

“No!” Abraham looked around. “God promised me my descendants will inherit this land. If she refuses to return with you then you’ll be absolved of this oath.”

Eliezer placed his hand under Abraham’s thigh. “I promise to bring back the woman God has chosen for Isaac’s bride.”

The rest of that day was filled with loading camels and ordering four other servants to pack for the trip north.

****

Eliezer was now glad he had watched the town of Haran disappear over the horizon when they left so many years before. It had more buildings now, but the mountains behind it were the same.

After the ten camels were all kneeling around the watering trough he looked at the four men with him. “Take some figs and raisins, go under that tree and take a break. We must wait now.”

He knelt by the trough. “O, God of Abraham, here I am at the place the women come to gather water. Show me Isaac’s bride by having her offer me a drink when I ask her for one.”

A camel sneezed.

“And let her offer to water all the camels as well for proof that You are in this.”

When He stood he saw a young woman approaching the well with a jug. He had never seen a woman so beautiful. She could have been Sarah’s sister a generation before.

When she lifted her jug from the well Eliezer walked up to her. “May I have a drink of water?”

She held the jug at her waist and tipped it. “Of course.”

After he was finished she looked at the camels. “I’ll give your camels a drink, too.”

Eliezer enjoyed watching her as she spent the time making sure all of the camels were satisfied with water.

She splashed some fresh water on her face. “Wow. You must have traveled quite a distance. These guys were really thirsty.”

Eliezer walked over to one of the camels and untied a bundle. Then he brought a nose ring and two gold bracelets to her. “Tell me, please, whose daughter are you and is there room for us and our camels to spend the night at your father’s house?”

She hoisted the water jug up to her shoulder. I’m Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel. His parents are Milcah and Nahor. We have plenty of room for you and your camels.”

Eliezer fell to his knees. “Praise the God of Abraham for leading me so quickly to his family and making my journey prosperous.”

Rebekah dropped the jug and ran to town.

********

Since this is a post about prayer I could tell you five to ten things Eliezer did right to bring about such a quick answer to his prayer. A publisher could catch wind of this and offer me a contract to build this into a book that would sell tens of thousands of copies. The problem would come when tens of thousands of folks become disillusioned because their prayers aren’t answered the same way.

That’s because God isn’t a genie in a bottle waiting for us to tell him what we want so He can give it to us.

God is God and He doesn’t answer to anybody.

The reason Eliezer’s prayer was answered so quickly was God was working behind the scenes before Eliezer ever showed up on the scene.

The fact that Rebekah came out to the well by herself tells me she didn’t have any real friends in Haran. That’s why she was so willing to go back with him so easily.

God timed Eliezer’s arrival at the well as He did so they would meet to display God’s hand in fulfilling His promise to Abraham to occupy the land promised to him.

Eliezer’s prayer was his act of submission to God to declare his dependence for successfully accomplishing his mission of finding Isaac’s wife.

There are times we must wait for God to answer our prayer.

Isaac and Rebekah waited two decades for the birth of their twins. Abraham waited longer then that for Isaac.

God is too creative to answer prayers the same way.

Jesus healed some folks with a word, others with a touch and one guy had to wash mud off before he saw an answer to his prayer.

Occasionally God lets us test Him in our prayers.

Gideon asked twice for a sign to assure him God had the right man. Eliezer wanted to make sure Isaac was getting a hard worker as his partner.

Don’t give up on your prayers. God is working behind the scenes to accomplish His will. All things will work out for good, God’s definition of good, not ours.

As my friend Wayne Stiles points out: “We want God’s plan so we can trust the plan. God hides the plan so we will trust him.”

Waiting-on-God-cover-spine-thin

Your heavenly Father wants what’s best for His children. Never doubt that.

Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking.

The door will open on His timetable not yours, necessarily.

Don’t be surprised when the answer to your prayer comes as you’re praying for it.

God delights in surprising us when we least expect it.

Nobody saw the cross as an answer to prayer.

Without that surprise we’d all be lost.

Pray faithfully and let God be God.

You are the dependent child not the parent here.

I’ll see you later.   Wade