Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Just Passing Through

Prayer is an interesting word because it describes both the act and the person doing it. I have had great opportunity to practice this devotion since receiving my diagnosis of Waldenstroms. For a few months, I was pretty depressed and I spent a lot of time talking to God about the situation. I’m a timid person and I don’t like change. Well, dying is the biggest change of all and the unknown is frightening, no matter how much you trust the One you go to see. In my own strength, I am completely incapable of facing these challenges.

Over the weeks, God began to change my prayers. I asked God to give me a vision of heaven. Not a visual experience, but an understanding deep within me that would give me comfort-and courage. Gradually, I began to see things differently. It is easy to become fooled into thinking that this world is the “real” one. Even as a believer, knowing there is a heaven, trusting in God (mostly) this is the world that we can see, that we can touch. Now I began to have a new understanding about which life is the “real” one. This present life is our preparation, our boot camp, if you will, for the life for which we were really created. God has put eternity in our hearts-it is what He designed us for, what He intends for us. He made us “eternity aware” because He wants us to seek Him and find Him.

Even though the wrong I've done separated me from God, He loved me enough to make it possible for me to be reconciled to Him. By God’s design, Jesus lived a perfect life and willingly sacrificed Himself to pay the penalty for my offenses. Because I believe this and accept Him as both Savior and Lord, I have relationship with God and eternal life. I have joy because I know that I will spend eternity in the presence of my Savior.  The Bible talks about the heroes of the faith who admitted they were foreigners on earth, longing for their heavenly country. And then it says “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” 

God prepared me to understand this when we moved our family from TX to WA and back. During our nomad period (we moved 5 times) I made friends and had loved ones all over the place. We passed through beautiful places and made wonderful memories everywhere. But the places I was passing through were not my home-no matter how delightful or comfortable or pleasant they were. I’m still pondering on this, but God is faithful to continue to educate me.
I went from “Why is this happening to me?” to “How can You use me in this?” God’s ways are mysterious.  After my diagnosis, several friends have had someone close to them-mostly spouses-receive a sobering diagnosis. I’ve been able to share what I am learning with them. Before my own experiences, I would have had nothing to give. 

The events Bruce and I have experienced the past two years have given us opportunities to share Jesus with people we never expected. God has been at work in our lives in amazing ways. I can’t say I’m never fearful, never sad, or discouraged but I can say that no matter what I feel, I know that God is present in my life and that He can be trusted. He’s used the tough times to teach me what His presence feels like and to prove that His faithfulness and His love really do endure forever.

Scripture references: Ecclesiastes 3:11Hebrews 11:13-16; Philippians 2:13

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