Wednesday, August 30, 2006

what do you write pt 3

Monday morning we awoke as we often do to our kids. Around 7am the phone rang. Monday is generally my day off, so it's not often that happens (for those that know me, 7am is not my best hour).
The expression "good news waits 'til noon" rings true. A dear lady in our church had been killed in a car accident the night before. Perhaps you know the feeling of having a thought enter your mind and your mind utterly rejected that thought. I was so in need of verifying the truth of it that I immediately jumped in the van and went to the hospital in town (although I must say at this point, I did trust the people who shared the information with me, I just needed to be sure in my own mind). I found out that it was indeed true. Her husband was in hospital with minor injuries, and I went home to wait until later to visit him as he was sleeping. I can't tell you what my mind has thought much of this week as it's fuzzy and floppy.
What words bring comfort when there is grief? I think that much of my expectations of life and what happens to us in this life must be very different than God's. I suppose these are not new thoughts to anyone but how do you align your perspective of life to what what God sees life to be?
I blogged a little while ago about Henri Nouwen. The past week, much of the meditations has been on death. A coincidence? I'm not sure. To be honest, I skimmed them. I suppose I should go back and really take them in.
Oh, that I could see life the way that God does! To be able to see the endless joy of simply knowing God without concern for "stuff", to not be worried about circumstances needlessly, to know that a lifetime here is but a blip in the light of eternity. To see temptation and sin as what it is and cast it aside the way one should without a second thought or consideration. To understand true joy when a beloved saint goes home.
But I have not attained these things. One foot in front of the other, seeking Jesus. I'm stumble, I am slow, moody, sad, angry, flippant and everthing else. Yet I am determined to become what God has called me to be. I love the people I serve. I love being a pastor. I love God. I am not sure of many things. I have more questions than answers. I have answers that don't seem to speak much to a family that has lost a wife, a daughter, a mother, a friend, a confidant, a encourager, a teacher, a light, a laugh and most of all a godly woman.
I know that God will provide the words I need. The prayers I pray with them will make sense, even if it is just them knowing I care and want the best for them. While I struggle with the events, and I'm sure I have yet to feel the full weight of them, I struggle more with my own perspective of life and death, both physically and spiritually.
We all speak endlessly of simplifying life. We know we are too busy. We know we don't sleep enough (don't look at the time of this post). We know we... yet what do we do about it?
What should we do about it? The only passage of Scripture that has come to me this week to share and to contemplate on is from Hebrews 11 and 12. The author of Hebrews (we won't go there today), speaks of the "heroes" of the faith from scripture, an incredible legacy of faith and life, and then in 11:38:

"38They were too good for this world. They wandered over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

39All of these people we have mentioned received God's approval because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can't receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.

Hebrews 12 Gods Discipline Proves His Love

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven. 3Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don't become weary and give up." (Hebrews 11:38-12:3, NLT)

We keep our eyes on Jesus.

Sorry, this has turned out to be a very long post. I'm sure at points it has been a rant, a sermon and other things besides. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading, and most likely caring. Blessings.


Trevor said...

Ah Doug. The life of a shepherd and indeed the life of any member of the family of God when tragedy strikes. Our prayers with you from over here in Outlook. Baby's choking and mother's dieing. The life we are given is precious and is made for serving. Thank you for the service you provide where you are. Blessings to you and your great family in these difficult days ahead.

Corrie K said...

Doug, Just found your blog (via your wifes blog) and read this post. I just wanted to let you know how we appreciate you so very much. I know that we don't see you as often anymore, but please know that the words you said to us and to God were heard. God has blessed us, and you were definitely one of his blessings.