I feel as though a miracle has been worked through these many years in my own heart. I think back to those two friends I couldn’t invite into our first apartment because it was such a mess, and I know that now the mess wouldn’t make any difference. I think of the aching backs from over-preparation for entertaining and compare that now to the ease I experience in arranging a simple evening.
I remember my lack of organization, every dish in the cupboard lining the small sink, counter, and cutting board, and I am excited about the systems that have been developed in these years. I consider how my priorities have readjusted, how my attitudes have changed. But most of all I am aware that it is the Holy Spirit who is with me in the planning, in the resting of work. He truly sits with us as we dine, and warms our hearts toward each other.
I can remember the time I winged a skillet across the kitchen to break the tension I felt due to short-notice guests David was bringing home, and I think what a difference the gift of the Holy Spirit can make in our lives. “Your home is filled with peace,” said a friend. Yes. It very often is, and that peace is God’s.
There is always a quality of surprise that accompanies the use of the gifts of the Spirit. What the Spirit is able to accomplish in us as well as through us is often amazing. We tend to view the work of the supernatural with human eyes, while all the time He is attempting to teach us to view the human with supernatural eyes.
C. S. Lewis has written about this in Mere Christianity.
“I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel (though we do not put it into words) that we are now good enough. He has done all we wanted him to do, and we should be obliged if he would leave us alone.
“But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what he intended us to be when he made us.”
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.