God blessed my family with a wonderful friend, almost like family. We were welcomed to their family gatherings, and they came to ours, like a family usually would. They were surrogate family to us. This meant that when one of us had a need, we would do our best to help one another. Sadly, in this relationship, I seemed to be the needier of the two, but “Jarda and Olga” were always more than happy to help.
I woke up early one morning and sat to have my morning coffee on my back patio. I liked to see the forest and listen to the Vltava River as it swept by within a hundred feet of our house. This day the river seemed noisier than usual, but I continued to sip my coffee, that is, until I noticed my back yard had its own river running through it.
I ventured upstream to where I could see the source. There, in the middle of my brick driveway, bubbled out a spring of water which I was sure was a water main leak. Of course, I called Jara and asked him where I would go to find the water main switch. He started to explain when he interrupted himself and said “jsem na cestě”… I’m on my way!
A few minutes later he pulled into the driveway, rolled up his sleeves, and we proceeded to shut off the water main. We then walked up the driveway to where we could see the water having come up through the bricks, and he started removing the bricks and asked for the shovel. I told him he didn’t need to leave work, I just knew that he knew where the main was and could tell me. He said “I could have told you, but I wanted to show you and I wanted to show you how to fix it… together. I couldn’t do that on the phone.”
There were things he knew that I didn’t, some through training as an engineer and some just through life experience. He could have told me what to do, but his was a “gift” that was better shared in person.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Romans 1:8-12 KJV
Paul had a similar gift, one that would benefit the limited Gospel interaction and spiritual experience the Romans had, and he “longed to share,” not in a proud manner, but humbly with them. God had gifted him with words, ones that maybe they hadn’t received yet, maybe he hadn’t yet put on paper, but still directly from God. He desired to use this gift to see them “established,” to “fix some things so they can stand upright and immovable” in and through difficult times and circumstances. That’s the literal translation of being “established” in the Greek and it was on Paul’s heart to share it.
In fact, he “longs for it.” This word he chose for his great and deep longing is often translated “lust.” In the context of course we know there is nothing sinful about his desire, but he made it clear his desire to be there to share his gift was pretty serious.
The Bible makes it clear that at conversion each of us are granted a spiritual gift and likely we are gifted in many more ways. But how desirous and eager are we to make this gift available to others? Enough to drop everything, take the day off from work, roll up our sleeves and say “here I am, let’s get through this together!”
Dr. Ronald J. Barnes, Jr.
August 2, 2022