Monday, March 26, 2018

Shooting Dice

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:7-10

This is probably one of my top 3 favorite passages in the entire Bible. There is something about God taking the time to name different examples of our activities intersecting His presence. It made me remember one day in particular when my emotions were all over the map. Ten years ago, there was a day when my activities spanned from A – Z. I began my day 'in the heavens’…sitting in a dark room while the technician looked for evidence of the gender of my granddaughter. My sister had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. As I sat in that room the thought of a little girl coming into this world while another was leaving was almost too much to bear… ‘in the depths.’ How can our eyes cry two sets of tears at the same time, both joy and sadness? The next appointment that I had was with my father-in-law who suffered with Alzheimer’s. As he sat next to me in the lobby, my telephone rang, and it was my dad. He was discussing both his cancer and my sister’s cancer. At the end of that conversation my phone rang again. My son at college was on the other end informing me that he and his roommate had just been robbed. We talked through what needed to happen next. Quietly, my father-in-law sat next to me and I was unaware that he even knew what all had transpired. As I was driving him back home completely overwhelmed tears streamed down my cheeks making it almost impossible to see. My sweet father-in-law in his childlike state looked over to me and said, ‘Now let me get this right. Your dad still has cancer. Your sister is dying with cancer. The boy just got robbed.’ I looked at him and was amazed at how simply he was listing these heartbreaks as if reciting a grocery list. I confirmed that his assessment of things was correct and couldn’t help but to feel unjustified irritation. He had a disease for goodness sake and was doing his best every day and every moment. Just as the last emotional thread of my heart was unraveling, he stated, ‘Girl, you are shooting dice with no spots!’ How kind was God that day to shoot His grace right into the bulls-eye of my heart? I could not stop laughing and Bud became hysterical in his laughter realizing that ‘he made the teacher laugh.’ God was certainly in the height and depth of that day and always is no matter where my situation takes me.

Where can we go from His spirit or flee from His presence? Not in the doctor’s office…not at work …not in the isolated parts of our lives…not in the lonely cemeteries. Wherever we go and whatever we do He is there. In the most joyful moments of our lives…He is there, and He is good. In the most despairing moments of our lives…He is there, and He is more than enough. When we stay at home or when we travel…He is there, and He will protect. When our prayers are answered or when they are not…He is there, and He is loving. We can not only take comfort that His presence is with us in all times, but His presence will usher in whatever it is that we need. Our seasons change but thankfully God does not.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” De 31:8

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