When I click on my home screen there’s a space to start a new post that says, “what’s on your mind?” I’ll tell you what’s on my mind. Maybe. I’ll try, anyway.
I’m grateful for God’s gifts.
His truth. His willingness to allow us to know Him. To connect with Him. To relate to Him. We’re talking about the Creator of the universe. The One whose voice bends space and brings to existence that which wasn’t. We have no right to ask anything of Him. Yet, He has offered everything. Through Christ we have instant access. We don’t need to travel to a far off land. To offer anything but gratefulness and loyalty. He wants to help us. He wants to heal us. He wants to bring us peace. He reaches for us and wants us to reach for Him. He comforts us, and wants us to comfort each other.
Today I volunteered a prayer. And it was an odd moment for me. I am rarely found speechless. In that moment I had such a flood of gratefulness and emotional and I had no words to put it all together. What I thought was going to be my traditional, “Father thank you for this meal. Please bless this meal that it may nourish, strengthen, and heal our bodies just as your Word does for our spirits. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.” turned into a mess of trying to spit out what was coursing through me.
I know that God’s word is living, breathing, healing, comforting. But I realized in that mountain of connection that I couldn’t express, that His gifts are, too. My standard prayer of His Word offering that spiritual nourishment was short sided. That meal was made of food, but more than that, it was made with love. Love brought us all together to eat. Love brought the food to the table that we could eat. Love is what it was we were feasting on. We could all eat and not only our bodies but our very souls be fed and nourished to have strength to heal. That’s a beautiful gift. There are those that do not call on God. They don’t even realize that God has built his healing into our actions that He can love you, comfort you, heal you…even if you don’t know Him. He could’ve created our mouths with taste buds that only recognize food that is bad so you could avoid it. But he gave us mouths that recognize what tastes good, too. Through this we can find joy in our food, mirroring the joy we find in His Word, our spiritual food, even if you’ve never touched a Bible! We can find joy and comfort in companionship as we eat, just as when we join in worship. We are such complex creatures and He created every bit about us to know Him. And why? He is the creator of the universe!! It blows my mind! He mourns with us, rejoices with us and loves us!! Everything He gives freely and for all, not only for those that recognize that beauty as His!
It’s not God’s will that there is sorrow in this world. It’s not His will that we feel grief and pain and sickness. We chose our path at the beginning, and now we have to learn from experience. That was the choice that was made for us…that part of us was awakened. We have to KNOW for ourselves before we believe it. It’s a beautiful gift that we have an Almighty Father, not just a god. It’s a beautiful gift that although He could just let us learn and deal with us later…or even not at all…He has not left us alone. That He sent Christ to Earth to experience these emotions so that he could intercede for us!!
I don’t mourn the dead. It sounds stark to say, but it’s the truth. I read my Bible maybe a bit differently than most…meaning death to me is sleep for my soul until Christ wakes me to help rebuild his claimed kingdom on earth. I don’t believe any but a select few of the original sons of God have had their judgement written. All will have a chance to know His unadulterated Truth before their judgement is read. So for me, there is no reason to worry for those that have passed their time on this earth. If His whole Truth wasn’t revealed to them in their lifetime here, He will give them a chance to know and accept Him! My heart does break for those that have to miss the ones they love in the meantime. Christ knows that He will spread His living waters across the globe and all will rise. Christ knows that He has told me this through His word. So why doesn’t He just shake His head and say, “What’s her problem? She knows he’s fine! She’s knows that this life is just a drop in the bucket!”? Instead He tells me that He understands my sorrow…has felt my sorrow even with absolute knowledge that He will raise the dead! He gives me this at a moment when I just thought I was asking for a blessing before a meal! Of course, it threw me and I found myself a bit embarrassed at my own rambling, (I can’t say I wound it up eloquently) but I will humbly accept His wisdom whenever He offers! Maybe someone else needed a solid reminder that God does understand, and He doesn’t like it or want it to be this way. I can’t imagine any other reason why He would overwhelm me in that seemingly simple prayer…but I should know by now that on occasion it doesn’t matter what I think the conversation between God and I is going to be…I open that door to Him and He has something to say to me…I asked for it! I can think of some pretty huge things in my life that I have reasoned through very logically and what He’s delivering to me is quite opposite what I’m wanting to do! Not even what I’m praying about! When I stopped celebrating Christmas I wasn’t doing anything more than just going through the motions of a tired prayer, ready to go to sleep. I couldn’t even focus, really, so I asked for His Spirit to search my soul and lead me in His Truth. That simple. Good night. Oh….NO!! He gave me the “stop celebrating Christmas bomb” and I just wanted to tell Him that we’d talk about it in the morning! Then morning came and it was already cemented like a brick! I announced to my family that it just wasn’t anything we were going to do anymore. I was expecting a “what is wrong with you?” kind of reaction and they were all like, “okay,” like maybe He told them, too!
I am grateful to know Christ. I am grateful to have access to the Father, even when I don’t understand or like what He’s telling me! It gives me an opportunity to prove my love and devotion to Him, and maybe that’s why there are things asked of me and not of others. Maybe all my years of denying him require that of me. I don’t know! Most of all I am grateful that I do know, without a doubt and through these experiences, that I can’t wait for Christ to claim His kingdom so that all of the confusion and grief in the world can be done with!
All of these pictures were taken this morning. Winter is a bittersweet sort of circumstance. There’s nothing you can do to stop it. It’s needed rest for the Earth to be productive and grow again. Spring wouldn’t feel so wonderful except for winter. But for a moment it can stop you. The cold will take your take your breath. You are at the mercy of the ice and snow…yet in that moment there is beauty to be seen. The promise of a better tomorrow. A more fruitful future. That beauty was sent to steady our hearts and ground us before we faced the finality of this life of my friend.
I was talking to his daughter yesterday and we were reminded of one time that I had a splinter. She told me if I didn’t get it out that night to get him to try (I worked for him and his wife at their corner store for a time). I didn’t get it out, but I also didn’t have to ask. She had already told him, apparently, because when I got to work the next morning I walked in the back door and his six-foot long meat counter was filled with every torturous looking implement you can think of. I mean hack saws for butchering hogs and scissors with eight inch blades…meat cleavers…you name it…it was there! He looks at me and says, “Have a seat.” I did. But I was thinking I should probably run! He sits on a stool facing me and asks, “Where’s the splinter?” Then he pulled out the tiniest little sewing pin and got it out. We had a good laugh, and what I thought was even funnier was the time it took to put it all away for a thirty-second joke! He was pretty tickled with himself and seemed to think it was quite worth it!
Another time he faked a phone call in front me, pretending it was the hit-man he hired to knock me off after I saw the “secret ingredient” in his cole-slaw.
Just constant. Always up to something…and I got a few on him, too!
We shared story after story and I just can’t be sad for knowing him. He was full of love and friendship, and I look forward to the time I’ll see him again!