|My son-in-law and grandson|
It's interesting and a little bit shameful that I am so suspicious of God's intentions toward me.
It's no excuse that I am stuck on a finite timeline, imprisoned by a body suit, and perceive the world through physical senses; because the Lord has explained that what is really real (eternal) is spiritual and not physical.
Well, that sounded a little bit convoluted, didn't it? I'm sorry.
Let me explain: we walk by faith and not by sight, and when we take our eyes off the Lord we find ourselves walking blind.
OK, I admit it. I've taken my eyes off the Lord and have fallen into fear. Once again I'm struggling with fear of my mother's death, and that fear brings with it dread and depression over the fact of my own mortality. And yet, at the very same time Mom is fading away from me due to her Alzheimer's disease, the Lord has touched my heart with the knowledge that my future holds blessings.
This morning I felt the Lord speaking these words of comfort to me:
As I contemplated this assurance, a memory from over 25 years ago came to mind.Receive my assurance that nothing is amiss. No health crisis looms, no trial awaits; this time of preparation is not meant to prepare you for distress but for blessing. Blessings require preparation as well.
It was Christmas morning and our three-year-old daughter, Mindy, had been awakened from a sound sleep and instructed to come downstairs to see what Santa had left for her. I was at the foot of the steps, calling her name; camcorder in hand. Mindy slowly entered the room and cast an anxious look around her at a space made unfamiliar by stacks of gifts, which included a huge rocking horse wearing a bow on its head. Overwhelmed, she sat down on the bottom step and began to cry.
If our girl had been awakened gently and given forewarning about the abundance of gifts that awaited her, she would have been been prepared for the blessing of Christmas morning. The abrupt transition from sleep to being confronted with a stack of presents was overwhelming for her.
Sometimes the Lord awakens us gently by providing a time of transition such as the one I'm so suspiciously inhabiting now, as my mother fades from view. During times such as these, He does not need us to train for battle so much as He needs us to be well rested so that the blessings He has prepared for us can be enjoyed to the fullest extent.
Transition times can include grief. The promise that blessings await does not lessen the terrible grief of losing my mother, but it does give me hope for the future.
"In the bulb, there is a flower;You can listen to this beautiful hymn here.
In the seed an apple tree;
"In cocoons, a hidden promise:
Butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter
There's a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see."
from Hymn of Promise by Natalie Sleeth: Copyright © 1986 Hope Publishing Company