They predicted, whoever “they” are, that 12-21-2012 would bring the end of the world as we know it. The infamous date came and went, but also brought to mind a distant memory…12-21-1968, the day I married my Prince Charming.
It could have been the “end of the world” for a young girl marrying with a child on the way. My baby and the marriage miscarried and I began a lifelong quest pursuing LOVE and motherhood in other ways.
After that first miscarriage, hormones ran amuck and endometriosis wreaked havoc in all the natural plans for birthing my own children. During a third marriage, a complete hysterectomy at age 26 permanently closed every door, even though doctors were titillating my dreams with artificial insemination as they wheeled me into surgery. Yes, it was shocking to wake up to that barren reality, and once again, I thought my natural world had ended…
If you’ve read all the previous posts in my blog, first, let me say “thank you” and I pray by now, you’ve sensed the common thread I hope to convey. Whether I am writing from a painful memory or declaring a praiseworthy victory, my purpose is to share an intimate knowledge of God’s very real Abiding Presence in our world today, in your life and mine. Of course, not knowing you, the reader, I can only write about my experiences of His Providence in my life. Almost five years ago, as I sat with my Bible, pen and paper to outline my “goals” for the coming year, I read my morning devotion from the apostle Peter’s letter to us in 2 Peter 1:16.
“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye witnesses to His Majesty.”
“They,” the apostles and other followers, didn’t have to make up stories about Jesus because they had seen Him, touched Him, walked and talked with Him. They KNEW Him and His workings in people’s daily lives…they had been eye witnesses.
During the interim years of goal setting, I continued to take baby steps, but I resisted His call to write because I felt sorely inadequate and insecure. I was much more confident in the visual arts, but recently, I discovered that God’s purpose and desire for the writing does not depend on my clever “word craftsmanship.” He would rather that I merely share with others about His Abiding Presence in my daily life. Someone else might define or describe this as “His Faithful Working.” After all, He is faithful to me and to YOU even though we might not see or perceive it as so. I am an eye witness to His Workmanship in my life. I am still breathing and able to proclaim, “Jesus is Lord!”
As for 12-21-2012 or some other calamity, and even if the world as we know it ends, He is still Lord of Life. As the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah wrote to us in chapter 31:2-4,
“The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness—Israel, when it went to find rest. I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving kindness. Again, I will rebuild you and you shall be rebuilt…”
The rebuilding of my life (and yours) is a lifelong process. Along the way, God has fitted together several key relationships to fill critical gaping cracks in my edifice, primarily, my two adopted children who I know without any doubts, God chose for me and me for them.
One other miraculous blessing was birthed through another painful marriage, BUT GOD delivered another daughter to my life who will be 43 on her next birthday, the same age of the child I lost all those years ago. And today, we forge ahead as two women completing my chapter of loss and salving her painful recent miscarriage. Together we grieve the loss of a little boy she will never know…until God “fits” another boy into her edifice walls, or perhaps places a future son-in-law who needs mothering in ways that only she can deliver…successfully to term!
Yes, God builds our lives in these ways…not just some times, most times, but ALL times. Character, integrity, trust, genuine love, and His Abiding Peace are being built in my life that could only have been built THIS WAY. Understanding, accepting, and embracing this truth has been a great challenge. Sorting through the world’s ideas, other’s opinions, my own stubbornness, making sense of it all, finding God’s purpose and searching God’s Word for a deeper meaning is a quest worth embarking upon.
As I read about King David’s despair in Psalm 40, I felt I was in good company. Here was “a man after God’s own heart” sharing about his deliverance from miry clay to a secure foundation with new songs of praise in his mouth for God who inclined His ear to hear his cries. I have no way out of the clay pit by myself. (God knows, I’ve tried!) The question is, “Will I trust God or man, my church, my family, my career or government?” The answer is, “How blessed is the man/woman who has made the Lord his/her trust.” Jeremiah again shows us a comparison in 17:5-8 of a shrub in the desert contrasted with a green tree. Faith in mankind reduces me to a mere shrub in my wilderness while faith in God makes me a SURVIVOR …even while taking “baby steps.”
“For he/she will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will NOT fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to be fruitful.”
And so, I end the year as I began it, with my Bible, paper and pen in hand. I find myself pondering about the fiscal cliff, drought, farm bills and the price of milk. Gun control legislation, mental health issues, social security, retirement, and most importantly, “Who will be in the Super Bowl?” But as Martin Luther wrote,
“Sola Fide” by Faith alone
“Sola Gratia” by Grace alone
“Sola Scriptura” on His Word alone
“Sola Christus” because of Christ alone
“Sola Deo Gloria” to the glory of God alone
Lord, chisel this on the doorpost of my soul and help me apply myself to LIVE this manifesto!