Monday, December 21, 2015
"Passing Through" - 12/21/15 - Hebrews 11-13
"Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them." (11:13-16)
I sat looking out the window into the darkness as we journeyed back towards Quincy. Here and there throughout the landscape were homes and buildings covered with sparkling lights, sending their message of "Merry Christmas" to all who happened to look upon them. As words of conversation flowed throughout the cab, I was silently conversing with our ABBA. So thankful for all the prayers which have been covering these two parts of our hearts since they left Arizona.
Tears streamed down my face as I thought about how we could have instead driven down to pick them up in body bags, returning with only silence and sobbing in the cab of the truck. I kept thinking about how different events would have been without His miracles. I started to count the numerous blessings raining down upon us - despite the situation we were in. Upon sharing the events, time after time we could see His Mighty Hand controlling everything. Smiling as memories of our first years together came by as we had driven by places we used to live by. I loved our time in Texas. He blessed us before the return trip in getting to have lunch outside of Ft. Worth with our first "couple" friends, Javier and Cindy, and their son Miguel and friend of the family Will.
Nichalas' phone call had caused us to rearrange the schedule we had planned out. Our help was needed to bring them and their dead SUV back here. We had left Saturday night at approximately 9pm in the truck pulling the trailer. Making our way across the states lying in between us and Texas, we arrived 12 hours later. Tired, yet very relieved to see and actually feel the physical hugs we shared upon our greeting.
The physical gift of being together.
When the leaves have fallen from the trees, the underbrush has died back, we can view our neighbors to the south. They are all hanging around, there on the hill, we only know two or three of them. Actually, they are very good neighbors - never loud, not in your business, no guilt about spending time with them, they pretty much keep to themselves. Their current address is St Anthony Cemetery.
It isn't that I am afraid to die. I know, without doubt, Heaven is my final address. While here as a "transient in this world", I enjoy my "taste of Heaven". And honestly, I am torn between here and there. I am also selfish in wanting my "taste of Heaven" to be here as well.
I had an inkling of how our ABBA had protected Nichalas and Amber during the breakdown of their SUV. It wasn't until our face to face conversation the hugeness of it all came to light. The mechanic had told them this was the first time they had ever witnessed a vehicle applying its own brakes. Nichalas shared four other mechanics came over to check out the situation and after seeing what had happened were amazed they had not suffered a serious, if not fatal wreck. They had been driving 80 mph when all wheels locked up. Nichalas said there was a bit of sliding as it came to a halt, but nothing major. Even now, I fight the urge to break down and cry knowing what could have been if our ABBA's hand hadn't been controlling it to a stop.
I have loved listening to them praise ABBA in His intervention from everything to an accident, to the mechanics who are men of God, to the persons involved in helping them out. I have loved listening to their reports of seeing ABBA in action. In hearing them give Him all praise. I love watching our children live for their ABBA.
My heart has changed so much over the years. I really do feel like a transient in this world. It used to be that I was so focused on making a living, growing the business, obtaining a home, driving a nice vehicle, etc. And now...........even though God has blessed me with so much materialistically, and I am very appreciative of it all, it just isn't what my heart is set on. It isn't what I find my worth in. The world's measuring stick is no longer the one I use.
My life is about my faith in Him. "It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him." (11:6) This faith has grown my heart to draw closer to Him. It has caused me to live my life wanting to please Him, live for Him, become more Christlike with every breath I take.
I know I could not continue to live without this faith. It has gotten me through so much in my life and will continue to do so. It doesn't matter if tomorrow is the end of this world. What does matter is that I live each today as though it were my last day. That all whom He has me to encounter - they meet Him through me. That I stand in my faith knowing no matter the situation I am in, His glory will shine and His way will prevail.
"God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours." (11:40)
What a blessing and how neat it is knowing that those who lived in their faith before me and me in my faith, are part of His plan - working together - passing Him on as we make our way to "heaven country".