Saturday, February 21, 2009

Angels and other Mysteries

I am not a theologian. There is so much about God that I can’t even wrap my brain around. I think the Sovereignty of God is easy for me, because of that. Yet at the same time, I love the supernatural side of God. I think most of the time we are so busy in our lives and so sterile in our “religion” and even our relationship that we don’t take time to meditate on the supernatural part of God. The mystery. Then we are surprised if we ever notice it or are ever blessed enough to experience it.

God is honored for what he keeps secret. Proverbs 25:2

To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Luke 8:10

Let man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 1 Corinthians 4:1

One of the most intriguing verses in the Bible to me is Hebrews 13:2 --Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some have entertained angels unaware.

When our kids were growing up, we chose to teach them about angels. The Bible tells us that children’s angels continually behold the face of the Father. We recognized their participation in our lives as messengers, protectors. As we slept at night and drove down the highway, the preceding prayers were for the protection of angels around our house, around our windows, and around our cars. We knew definitively that the reason our house was the only house on the street that never was robbed wasn’t because of the big friendly dog in the backyard, but because of the angels who stood guard over our home. However, when the van flooded in high water just a block from our driveway and two never seen before teenagers appeared from nowhere and pushed us into the driveway, and refused to accept money because as they said, “we just came here to help…” it was my preschool daughters who asked if they were angels…not me.

Mandisa sings a song that got me to thinking about the times in my life I could not explain…the mysteries. It may not be totally theologically accurate, but it brought back some of the mysteries of my personal faith journey. Listen to the words of “God Speaking” by Mandisa --

Have you ever heard a love song,
That set your spirit free?
Have you ever watched a sunrise,
And felt you could not breathe?
What if it’s Him? What if it’s God speaking?

Have you ever cried a tear
that You could not explain?
Have you ever met a stranger
Who already knew your name?
What if it’s Him? What if it’s God speaking?

Who knows how He’ll get a hold of us?
Get our attention to prove He is enough
He’ll do, and He’ll use whatever He wants to
To tell us, I love you

Have you ever lost a loved one
Who you thought should still be here?
Do you know what it feels liketo be tangled up in fear?
What if He’s somehow involved?
What if He’s speaking through it all?

His ways are higher
His ways are better
And though sometimes strange
What could be stranger than God in a manger?

Who knows how He’ll get a hold of us?
Get our attention to prove he is enough
He’ll do and He’ll use whatever He wants to
To tell us, I love you

My mother in law was dying of cancer. She had breast cancer that metastasized into the liver. We made a few trips home in the last months to see her. One day Duane mentioned to his sister and me that as her organs began to fail one by one and her body began to slowly shut down, that it was almost like someone was going through the house/ through her body turning off the lights. One by one. I thought that was a pretty accurate word picture.

About a week later, his sister called me. She asked if I remembered what Duane said, and if we had shared that with anyone else. I asked why, and she told me this story. She had called her mom that morning to check on her and her mom said that the strangest thing had happened. She was sleeping in the lazy boy in the den, because she just couldn’t get comfortable in bed. The lazy boy faced down a long hallway that had three bedrooms and a bath off of each side of it. She was dozing off, but woke up to see a man in the house going from room to room and turning off the lights. She thought it was Duane’s younger brother, Craig, who had let himself in to the house, and was perturbed at him for not stopping to give her a hug first. She realized that it wasn’t’ Craig, but then dozed off again. It must have been a dream.

My sister-in-law whispered, “It wasn’t a dream, was it?” I don’t think I could even answer her. Within a few weeks, Duane’s mom was in the arms of Jesus.

Who knows how He’ll get a hold of us? Get our attention to prove HE IS ENOUGH.

Job 11:7 Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Still Trying to Figure Him Out

Conversation last Saturday.

Becky to Duane: “Why don’t we plant a lemon tree?”
Duane to Becky: "O.k."

What Becky would have done:
Go to garden center, buy lemon tree, dig hole, plant lemon tree.

What Duane did:
Go to garden center. Talk to someone about lemon trees. Look at lemon trees. Decide to go back home and find a good place to plant a lemon tree. Decide to renovate the entire back flower bed to make room for lemon tree. Begin digging up twenty year old banana trees in flowerbed to make room for lemon tree. Begin digging up brick edging from around the flower bed. Carry bricks to truck. Carry bricks back to flower bed to use as fillers because we didn’t have enough dirt to fill in where we dug the brick edging up. Go back to garden center and buy 200 pounds of rock to use as edging. Work until dark replacing brick edging with rock. Wait a week. In the meantime talk to everyone he knows about lemon trees. Go to visit a neighbor who has a lemon tree in his back yard. Get up the next Saturday and continue the project. Run out of rock to edge the flowerbed. Go back to garden center. Buy 75 more pounds of rock to finish edging the flowerbed. Buy lemon tree. Go back home. Finish reconstructing the flowerbed. Plant lemon tree.

Ya gotta love him, but does the man not drive you crazy?