Day number 2 behind us.....and we are still standing. Praise YahWeh!
Today's step in our journey began at Grace Chapel Church. Pastor Steve Berger's family is experiencing heartache from the "earthly loss" of their beloved 19 year old son, Josiah, who was involved in a car accident only weeks ago. Pastor Steve spoke this morning about heaven. He taught that Believers should take the "D" word from our vocabulary, because through the resurrection of our Savior, death was defeated. Now, in victory, we pass from life to life....new life....eternal life. What a beautiful message of hope. Why would any of us want to believe anything less?
After church, two special families joined us for lunch: Emma's family and Gracie's family. Both Emma and Gracie have Down Syndrome and are sweet friends of Hope and Charlie. It is a blessing to be around families who have children with special needs. Love them!
After our friends left today, I cried a river. I don't know why and didn't even see it coming. Tears just came, and came, and came, and left black trails of mascara streaming down my cheeks. Isn't it strange that I actually find comfort when the tears come? The truth of the matter is, I feel the most "at home" right now when I am crying. It's a battle I really have to fight. If I give in to the tears and "feelings" too often, then I will miss the blessing of today, the hope of tomorrow, and ultimately, the plan. I want to be careful and not remove my feet from the path of this "journey".
So, again, I chose to stop the tears, close my eyes, and envision the prize that is before me. The prize being God's perfectly ordained plan. I don't know what it is, because it is still wrapped up with a big bow and a card attached that reads: "I chose this especially for you". Who wouldn't want to march toward a prize that is from the Creator of the Universe? What is going to be inside that box? The package is wrapped in paper covered in photos of Hope....photos of her life story. Part of me wants to tear into it right now, this moment, so I'll just know. However, another part of me wants to wait.
Twelve years ago, I took the course: Experiencing God. Believe it or not, one part of the study still sticks out to me today. If I remember correctly, the writer says something like this (for all of the Experiencing God fans, in advance, forgive my imperfect memory):
A father purchases his son a new bike for his 5th birthday. The son doesn't realize he is ready for a new bike and hasn't asked for one. So, what does the father do? Over the days and weeks leading up to his son's birthday, the father begins to comment to his son about other children riding their bikes on the street, "Look at that boy riding that red bike. He looks to be about your age, and he is doing a great job handling the bike". OR "What a great looking bike. You'll be ready for one of those pretty soon". Through his fathers hints, over time, the boy begins to yearn for a bike. Through his father's gentle nudge, the boy begins to believe he is ready for the challenge of riding a real bike. For his 5th birthday, the boy decides he just has to have a new bike. Objective Achieved.
The father wasn't manipulating his son.....he was loving his son. He knew his son was ready for the bike before the boy realized he was ready. The boy's father was pushing his son toward growth and maturity. He knew what was best for his son.
Then, the author suggests this is the way our Heavenly Father parents us as well. Lovingly, he prepares us for the gift that is to come. He drops hints along the way through His Word, through a song, by way of tender love from a friend or family member, etc. Pretty soon, without realizing it, as believers, we become prepared for His gift, molded for His specific plan, and ready for growth.
So, in closing, I see that beautiful prize before me. It is 28 days away from me right now. Each day that passes, I am stepping closer and closer to the special day, the celebration day, when I can rip the package open and know my Father is watching me with adoring eyes for my reaction. No matter the contents, I plan to jump into His arms. But today, I can honestly say, that I know He has spent alot of time choosing this gift. This gift was chosen before "Let there be light" was spoken. No, it wasn't a last minute thought. This gift was planned out with great care by the Lover of My Soul.
Still Marching for Hope and Still Trusting Him!