APRIL 16, 2016
The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, RSV)
Confession is good for the soul, so let me say up front that this title is what I heard, and even though hearing a title is usually the way my writings begin, I dragged my feet on this one. However, since I kept hearing it, clearly the Lord wants me to write about it, so I am doing that. All of us are only too familiar with waiting on the Lord, having done that most of our lives, so this seems very simplistic to me, sort of like “Following Christ 101.”
When we were little kids, we waited for our birthdays and Christmas with eager anticipation, because there were presents for us on these occasions. When we were in school, we waited eagerly to get out so we could get on with our lives. Once we did get on with our lives, our families, our jobs, there were countless things that we waited for, worried about, fretted over, and lost sleep waiting for it to happen, or not happen, as the case may be.
I’ve always loved Isaiah’s admonition to wait because he says that if we do (that’s the problem clearly), we will renew our strength, run and not be weary, walk and not faint. Back in the day, I used to quote this verse to myself in my daily jog around the neighborhood. Sometimes when God came through like a glorious champion, overturning something I dreaded would happen,
I celebrated my 75th birthday last week, and marveled that I had arrived at this ancient age of three quarters of a century. “How did we get so old?” my sister asked, and my reply was, “We just kept breathing in and out.” She laughed at my joke but really, had God not held us in the palm of His hands, and lovingly tended to us over our lives, we may not have made it this far. We’ve all had friends and family who passed at a younger age, and considering that I was a very sickly child, I praise God that I have made it this far relatively unscathed by the vicissitudes of life.
It took a lot of stress and pressure, lovingly supplied by the Lord to bring me to the place where I saw that He alone is in control of everyone, all things, all the time, whether we can see it or not, and we usually cannot. Lenny was 13 years older than I and a mystic as well, so he always seemed to know it. It took losing our house in California for me to get it at a cellular level
Missouri was familiar to me because I grew up on the farm where we lived in a 5th wheel beside the barn for nearly 16 years. Mother passed and left us enough money to buy the house and barn from my sisters, and
He was always that, of course, but He hadn’t opened my eyes to see it until about 1997, when we lost everything in California except our health and our beautiful family and friends. Back when we first were on the Internet, a man I called
A man recently wrote with the exact same question and when I asked him if he was the Tomas to whom I had addressed my article, he denied it vigorously. Yet the question still stands in the minds of many Christians who were taught in Sunday School that it all depends upon us to obey God, to keep the commandments, in order to gain victory over hell when we die.
My life has shown me that the real answer to why Christ came, the true blessing of the incarnation is that we do not have to fear hell when we die, and best of all, He holds our hands while we walk through the flames in our lives, fires sent by God to burn off the dross. The house we lost in California, was our dream home, and I never thought we were going to lose it because God had helped us get it. There was an escrow which I couldn’t get closed, no matter how hard I tried, and believe me, I did try. The holder of the second had foreclosed on us, and had we been able to close this escrow, we could have made up the back payments and been OK.
However, California law decrees that when the Notice of Default is recorded against the property, the back payments are not enough to satisfy the debt. The entire note becomes due and must be paid in full. That notice was filed about February 17, 1997, and we were able to close the escrow a few days later, but it was too late, not enough to pay off the entire debt. The timing on this showed me clearly that God had arranged the whole thing.
Had we not lost the house, with its huge payment, we could never have moved here because we had to work to support the property. As it was, we came without the burden of a house payment. Lenny delivered to the Baptist men the messages the Lord gave him; the Lord gave me the articles I wrote, which I then delivered to the old Saints at Medicalodge, local nursing home. God did it all, the good, the blessed and what looked like the very bad at the time.
Protestant Christians are not used to thinking that walking with Christ involves suffering, but Jesus did tell us to take up our cross and follow Him, that if we lose our life, we will save it. These are hard words to hear until we finally get it that all is for our growth and His glory. Most of us won’t admit that we want some of the glory for being good, obeying God, and keeping the commandments. IF it were true, that we receive glory for the good we do, we would also then have to bear the blame when we fail, which all of us do everyday.
Paul declared that if we suffer with Christ, we shall be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:17)
What’s next in our lives? As we await the Lord’s answer to that, Isaiah’s beautiful assurance sweeps away our fears: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; Your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16, NIV)
Father, now and forever, we love You and praise Your plan of the Ages revealed in Christ. Make us love bearers and light bringers to all who do not know You, for You alone are the grace for our fears, the hope of our being, and the love and joy of our lives. We join our voices with all the Saints who have gone before, as we gather round Your throne in Spirit, “and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty