Why not me?

ID-100180787Last night, my husband had a really bad headache.  He does get migraines, but this was different–just a bad headache.  It started at supper and he took a pill. Later, after picking up kids in the church van, leading Wednesday night prayer meeting and taking kids home, we were watching some TV when I looked over to see him holding his head. The pain was worse, so I got him another pill. I decided to sleep in the guest room and went there after kissing him good night, leaving him there all curled up in a pathetic ball with the covers over his eyes.

It’s now 4:19 AM and my brain is in overdrive. What if he… I should go and check on him, but I don’t want to awaken him, but what if he’s…

Such a morbid thought, but isn’t it possible? Why not me? The hurricanes just snuffed out lives–someone’s husband or father–why not me?

What would I do? More morbid thoughts, but it may be true, or will be true, someday. I hope it’s not today. He’s only 59.

An amazing statement came into my life recently and I can’t give credit, but this morning, in the wee hours of the day, sitting at his desk, they have new meaning:

God doesn’t give us grace for our imaginations.

I can’t even imagine what I would do. Tom and I may be weird, but we play these things through our minds every once and a while.  He, like most men, always says that he’ll die first and he’s probably right.

I think these thoughts are haunting me because –

  • We just remembered 9/11 this week. Sixteen years ago.  That doesn’t seem possible, but I’m sure anyone who lost a loved one on that day feels something different about the day.
  • 9/12 is the anniversary of my own father’s death. It’s always a hard day, mainly because I don’t want to ignore it but I’m never sure what to say, especially to my mom. I write the date on a piano student’s practice notepad and think, what’s today’s date? Oh yeah, the twelfth–the day my dad died, but I don’t say anything.
  • We went to a funeral this past Saturday. It was an untimely death even though his grandmother was 74. Less than a year ago she was healthy. Then the dreaded news came–cancer. Her husband is quite a bit older than she was and he probably never thought he would be facing that day. As I came to him during the viewing, he asked ME how I was doing! And then, after I asked him how he was doing, he said, “Good.  What are you going to do?  It’s how it is, and you just have to accept it.” WOW!

So, I’m heading back to bed. I may slip into our bedroom and just listen. I’m sure he’s OK…

… but if he’s not, I know only one thing, but it’s a really, really, BIG thing:

God’s grace will be sufficient for the day, no matter what it brings. He’s already taught me that. We carry burdens and heartaches. We have scars from past wounds. We’re made of tough stuff, although the bottom line is that God created us from dirt and when under pressure, it crumbles. But …

God’s grace will be sufficient.

I’m thankful that I can’t speak from experience on this one, but don’t we believe that faith is the substance of things hoped for, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN (Hebrews 11:1)? Can you believe this wonderful, precious promise and the One who promised it for whatever you are facing today? Will you let the strong arms of Jesus carry you through?

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, 
Stand in his strength alone; 
The arm of flesh will fail you, 
Ye dare not trust your own.

Bart Millard

 

 

 

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Enoch Walked with God (Can we?)

If you are looking for a daily devotional that really digs into the Word and is full of Biblical truths, you may want to look at FEATURE – A Daily Bible Study Guide. This little booklet is packed with the Good News of Jesus Christ! Today’s reading starts a ten day series on Hebrews eleven.  (I thought I was reading the one for today, but this is actually Saturdays!) It was just too good to keep to myself!  Enjoy!

The patriarch Enoch pleased the Lord by his godly walk in the midst of rampant ungodliness (Gen. 5:21-6:6). The Bible does not say that Enoch had the encouragement of others who were of like mind or that he was in some way insulated from the wickedness that completely permeated his society.  No, the Scriptures only state that he “walked with God” (Gen 5:22). Enoch knew what conduct was pleasing to his Lord, and he had faith to believe that no personal sacrifice was too great to strive for that circumspect walk. [Emphasis added] Without doubt, conflict, and suffering resulted from such a forthright testimony, but just imagine the blessedness of walking in fellowship day by day, step by step, with the Almighty God!  How much better is the hallowed friendship of the divine “Friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24) than the fleeting favor of anyone else.  Yes, the Lord rewarded Enoch for his walk of faith, for God translated him up to glory so that he did not have to experience death (v.5).

What does this example mean for us today?  Can we walk in this present evil world and still please our heavenly Father at the same time?  By faith, we certainly can!  We see from the Scriptures that God still desires to reward believers who are willing to step out in faith and live for Him in an age that reminds us of the time in which Enoch lived.  Christian, one day we will stand before our Lord either to receive reward or to be ashamed of our actions (1 Cor. 3:8-15, 1 John 2:28).  Is our walk worthy of reward?  Does the world or the Word determine our course? [Emphasis added] Do we “diligently seek” (v.6) to walk by faith—as Enoch did?  If so, our Lord is pleased, and our reward is sure.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death;

and was not found, because God had translated him:

for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him:

for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,

and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:3,4

Lone Soldier

There he stands, facing the enemy.  His uniform is in tatters, his weapon is hot from use.  They’ve all left him – alone to face the enemy.  Maybe the battle was too fierce for them, or maybe they just got tired – whatever the cost, they are gone, and he stands alone.

This blog is dedicated to all you dear people who work IN the world.  Perhaps you are the only Christian at your workplace; or it may be that you have an unsaved spouse, or a spouse who isn’t ‘plugged in’ spiritually.  You are the lone soldier.

At times I feel like that. Some days, as I sub in our local schools, I wonder if anyone is listening or seeing these kids!

As a class of fourth graders come into the room, I hear two of them use God’s name in vain – FOURTH GRADE!  The new slang is OMG, “I meant it to mean Oh, my gosh,” one girl explains.  Have you looked up ‘gosh’ recently in the dictionary?  It is an exclamation of mild surprise AND an euphemism for God!  This is my little battlefield.  They probably get tired of me shooting the enemy in their presence, but I truly believe that when God gave the command: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain,” He meant it!  (Ex. 20:7)

So, what is your battle?  Where has God placed you on the field?  Are you in the thick of it right now – alone?  If so, then you must be VERY special – God only pulls out the Navy Seals for the tough jobs.  Does it seem impossible?  It is apart from God.

You know, in a way, we are inside-out knights!  The Medieval Knight was covered from head to toe with metal – quite impressive; however, inside was just flesh and bones.  Yes, the knight was well-trained, but he was just a man covered with a tough exterior.

We are just flesh and bones on the outside, but inside we house the Spirit of God – with power to “subdue kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtain promises, stop the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire, escape the edge of the sword, out of weakness [be] made strong, wax valiant in fight, turn to flight the armies of the aliens.” (Heb. 11:33,34)  That’s more than any suit of armor can do!  Are you unleashing God’s power against your enemy?  Is your weapon ready, hidden in your heart, “known and read of all men?” (2 Cor 3:2) Lone soldier, if you don’t do it, who will?