This Could Be the Day!

As I considered a long-lost loved one – one about and for whom I have prayed many times, and one for whom the Lord has given me assurances over the years – the thought came to me, “This could be the day. I could get a phone call, or they might finally see their need for Savior Jesus and receive His love.  This could be the day!”

There was another time I lived in that state of expectation about the possibility that this could be the day.  My father, whose mental and physical health had deteriorated to the point that he needed to move to North Carolina to be closer to me, lived in Georgia and refused to consider the needed move.  From a hospital stay, he was moved to a rehab facility for no longer than six weeks.  He was adamant that he could return to his home and take care of himself, though the one who had been helping care for him (his older sister by twelve years) was leaving to receive help, herself.

I knew there was a definite end point to the wait; yet, it looked like an impossibility.  Legally, there was nothing I could do against his will.  As I struggled with worry and doubt, trying to figure out how it could ever happen, Holy Spirit encouraged me with something He promised me months before – that Dad would move.  I released the worry and trusted Him to do what only He could do, in ways I could not imagine.  From then on, I began each day with the thought that this could be the day for the phone call saying he had agreed.  I really believed it. At the end of the days when the call hadn’t come, I refused to be discouraged, despite the rapidly-approaching deadline.

Ancient olive tree continues to stand in Israel – through drought and war.

Sure enough, in the latter part of that 6-week stay in rehab, it was the day!  My aunt called to say that Dad had agreed to the move.  It had come in a way only God could have orchestrated, yet it had happened as He promised it would.

I am not aware of a definite time period in which this loved one must see and receive, but there ends the difference between the stories.  My God does not lie.  He is faithful and trustworthy.  I can trust Him with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.  He loves this loved one more than I, and He knows all the intricacies in their personality and all the circumstances in their life.  By His Spirit, I have released any worry or doubt to Him.  Now, instead, I receive His peace as I thank Him in advance for what He is doing.  No matter how many days must pass until that time, I know this could be the day!

Lamentations 3:21-23  AMP  21 But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: 22 It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.  23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

This could be the day for you, as well!

Tribute to a Friend

My friend’s mother passed away yesterday unexpectedly.  The sadness I feel isn’t just for my friend and his family, but for me, too.  This woman was my friend, and I shall miss her.  Yet, moments after hearing the news, my thoughts were taken in a completely different direction.

I’ll be honest.  At first, I thought about how she’s seeing things about the Lord she wouldn’t believe while here, things some of us already knew and tried to tell her.  That arrogant train of thought was quickly destroyed when I realized she’s seeing it all so much more clearly than any of us ever will while on earth.  She understands the limitations of the doctrines she believed, as well as the limitations of the “greater” doctrines we espouse – and sees what the fullness of Truth really is.

Where earthly things are concerned, she sees now how much time was wasted on things of no value, while being shown the eternal impact some of her seemingly insignificant actions had.  I would love to get her perspective for my own life, even after only one heavenly day’s experience.  As a faithful choir member for decades, what notes can she hear that mortal ears can never perceive?  What amazing landscapes does she see now – with colors so crisp and vibrant, and far beyond our visible spectrum?  Then there is also her over-the-top delight in reuniting with friends and loved ones as they celebrate her homecoming.

As wonderful as all these are, they pale in comparison to seeing the face of her Creator, her Father, her Savior and Lord, her Jesus!  He is the One by Whom, for Whom, and through Whom she was made, and now my friend is experiencing Him in His fullness.  Today, you and I can only wonder about it, but one day we will also see Him as He is.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NIV

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  55 “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”  56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Goodbye, my friend.  Thank you for helping me see more clearly – even from heaven.  I look forward to seeing you among my welcoming committee when I arrive.

Where Is Your Hope?

As I read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, a new insight came to me that increased a personal revelation from the Lord.  Follow along with me as we look at this story from the perspective of where we put our hope.  The story involves two servants who earned more with the talents they were given than the one who buried his, but it is so much more than that.  It’s all about the hope of their hearts.

Nothing in this story indicates the master had promised a reward for the servants’ time and effort; however, all their needs were already met as part of his household staff.  The first two did not set their hopes on what they would receive for attending to the master’s business while he was away.  Their hope was in their master, so they were busy doing what would be to his benefit, seemingly without thought of personal increase.  When the master returned, they were rewarded abundantly, on top of what they already had!

The third one missed out entirely.  As one of the servants, he lived with all the benefits of being part of the master’s household, just like the others, yet he was ungrateful and spiteful.  I don’t know where his hope was, but it wasn’t in his master.  His misplaced hope caused him to have wrong thinking and bad attitudes, and led to bad choices – so that, in the end, he even lost what little he had.

I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease.  Getting the diagnosis was an answer to prayer, though God didn’t give this to me, and I didn’t ask for it.  What I did ask for, repeatedly, was help in finding the root of many symptoms that I knew were related.  The day I heard the diagnosis, I prayed for the healing that Jesus provided in the stripes on His back, and I know it is mine.  So, how does all this relate to my personal revelation?

At this time, celiac disease is only treatable through a radically changed diet – one completely free of gluten.  I’m only too happy to give up the gluten, because there is expectation of health beyond what I’ve known!  But, when the Lord gave me the insight into this parable, I saw that I could easily lose sight of the truth that Jesus, alone, is my Hope.  My diet is not my hope, though it is an important part of the health He has for me.  Jesus is my Hope.  Even great health beyond what I’ve ever known is not my hope.  Jesus is my Hope.  Lack of symptoms is not my hope.  If I put my hope in any of those things, I will be disappointed, and might even lose sight of what is already mine in Christ, as did the ungrateful servant with misplaced hope.

I don’t want to forget what is mine in Christ Jesus, but I don’t even want to hope in and focus on that!  I want my hope to be fixed on Jesus Christ, alone.  Everything else is already provided in Christ.  When my hope is in Jesus, alone, what I do is for the benefit and glory of my Lord, producing much fruit for Him.  Yes, my hope is in Jesus Christ alone.  Where is your hope?