Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mile 62.79 - A Few Reflections on February 27, 2017

My paternal grandmother was born on February 27, 1892, and Grandma would be 125 years today if people lived this long.

Recently I heard in a news blurb that no one who was born in the 1800’s walks the earth today. Sad in a way, an entire century of people born in it have been swept away as if they never were, but such is the reality of the inexorable passing of time. My four grandparents were born in the 1800’s and they too were taken away.

“You turn man back to the dust, and say, “Turn back O children of dust.” (Psalm 90:3)

Reality is that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never changes, His word does not change and His love for His people does not change. God does what he says he will do. His promises do not fail or leave us abandoned; He does not withhold his hand from us; His salvation does not change. God is truly forever.

“But he, (Stephen) full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven an saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55-56)

“And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:59-60)

One can only wonder why God allowed Stephen’s life to be ended so soon, but that was God’s will. Stephen bore witness to Jesus in front of the religious leaders. The Bible tells us that Saul was present at the death of Stephen, and likely Saul would have heard those last words that echoed Jesus’ words from the cross, “Forgive them.”

If we catch glimpses into the lives of some people today and wonder why God allows his chosen to suffer unjustly, then we need only to look at the life of Jesus and then of Stephen. Our lives are given to serve God but we may never understand the “whys?” of what we see as unfairness. I surely don’t understand the theological argument of suffering, but I write my thoughts here as a witness to what I’ve seen through my years.

I only have to remember and look back at the final decade of my maternal grandmother’s life, and later the final decade of Mom’s life to be confronted with outcomes that seem so very unfair to God’s chosen. I have also seen that for Grandma and then Mom, God provided for all their needs in spite of them not having the financial means.

God is faithful in his promises. Jesus said, “…your heavenly Father knows you need them all.” (Matthew 6:32)

I have no idea what may be down the road for both Kie and me, and at times I do wonder and worry about this. I also know that God’s will shall be done and his promises fulfilled. I also know that when my life ends, so too does end all my earthly worries, fears, hopes, dreams and everything else. The bible is not wrong about any of this.

Not a day goes by that I do not consciously thank God for each new day of life. Not a day passes that I do not think about and acknowledge my own inescapable and eventual mortality.

Since my restoration to life following cardiac arrest I'm no longer able to live in denial of my own mortality.

Yes! This is a burden I do not like to carry.

Yes! I wish I could go back to that comfort of foolish denial, but…

I’ve experienced God’s grace – an undeserved grace of a second chance to live – and I have been given sight to see the wonder and miracle of each new day of life. I have also been given the gift of insight to see and know how God has loved and cared for me when I truly thought I was abandoned and alone.

Again I shall declare, life is a precious gift from God – given to us freely and only for a season, and then we too shall be gone like those who were before us and as shall be for those who follow us.

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6”)

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob does not withhold his hand from us; God does what he says he will do.

God’s promises do not fail or leave us abandoned.

The Oddblock Station Agent