God is always more than we know or understand!
Back again after an un-planned absence from blogging. In the last couple of days I came down with a nasty head-cold. My sinuses were just 100% blocked, and my sleep was as a result fitful at best. The over-the-counter medicine I was taking was having no more impact than a water-pistol at a forest-fire, but Laurie prayed and laid hands on me last night, and this morning the forest-fire is nothing more than a few crackling sparks and embers. Praise God!
I sense that I’m going through a sort of transition here, although I’m not sure where it’s leading. Laurie and I took the summer off from small groups, but now we’ve decided to join a new group, led by our friends Richard and Janet. We are very excited about this. It definitely seems like a piece of the puzzle that is our “new beginning.”
You may remember that I had something to say about new beginnings a few days back (here). We have to remember that we are following a way, not making our own path according to our own sense of direction. We do not get to decide the landscape our path of faith will take us through. Any journey of length must come through some hard places, of course, but there are also those points along the way when you come out of a dark wood, where the view had been obstructed, and a new vista opens before you. It is a gift from God that he gives us these sublime and unexpected moments in the journey.
Back on August 31 and again on September 1, I wrote in my journal that I was feeling a strong sense of some major change in the offing. It was not a sense of fearful foreboding, but it was a sense that something important and perhaps even cataclysmic was at hand. At the time, I connected this feeling somehow with September 11. That is, with the anniversary of the WTC terrorist attack, and I wondered if my country was going to endure another attack of that same kind on or before the anniversary.
Well, the “event” turned out to be something more personal than that. On September 1 my mother called me to say that the doctors had found a tumor in my step-father’s lung, and that in addition to the emphysema he was now going to be undergoing radiation treatment for the tumor. Although she didn’t say so, I could tell that Mom had a strong feeling that the end was near. Jack died on September 5th, and his memorial service, as it turned out, was on the 11th.
I just thought I’d share that with you. I think the Lord was impressing something on me back at the beginning of the month, and I was receiving it and interpreting it in a rather fuzzy and garbled way. I don’t think we understand at all the real extent of God's presence with us and His "speaking" to us, and I think the part that we are conscious of is merely the tip of the iceberg. And even that small part we don’t pay much heed to, or we mix it with our own poor wisdom and wind up misunderstanding what God is saying and doing. As did the Israelites time and time again, of course.
That’s all for today. I’m off to work now. See you on the flip-side!