Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Perspective of Salvation

Have you ever heard a homily or sermon and felt that the preacher was speaking directly to you?  This Sunday, our Deacon spoke about the 'desert experiences' in our lives.  Those times we experience illness, death, dry periods, alienation, job loss, hopelessness.  He spoke of the grace of God coming into those situations.  Indeed, when I look back at those times in my own life, I can see that God was there, even though I was unaware of it at the time.  I can see, in retrospect, how he provided relief, help, encouragement, and support during those times.

Recently, my husband, Dan, and I have been enduring a prolonged period of desert experiences.  Dan's mom, who has been convalescing at home from a fall just nine months ago, fell again and broke her femur last week, requiring another hospitalization.  Rehab arrangements, meetings with staff and the social worker, phone calls, caring for Dan's handicapped brother, and so many other loose ends have been eating up our time and energy.  It is clear that some very difficult decisions need to be made now, as home is no longer safe for Dan's mom.   Dan is recovering himself from heart health issues.  Stress is at a high level for us now.

Deacon Dick's challenge to us this week is to be attentive to our desert experiences; to think about them and try to see them in perspective of our salvation.  When we are caught up in our situations, we cannot see beyond the problems and pain.  We do not see or feel God's provision.  We tend to turn inward and focus on our problem.  

When I think of my salvation, I can more easily put our current issues in their correct perspective.  I realize that it will not be like this forever.  I know that our time here is but a microscopic dot on the timeline of eternity.  God's grace brings me hope, and his blessings become more clear.   I can begin to see God's hand, working through circumstances, through people, and through the Holy Spirit during my prayer and reflection time.   We have friends who have graciously brought meals during Dan's heart procedure; others who have sent cards and call or visit, letting us know they are there for us.   Leaning on each other has brought us closer, as a couple and as a family.  We find joy in quiet moments together on the deck with a cup of coffee, and walking the boardwalk along the river, feeling renewed by the beauty and wonder of nature.  We turn to Jesus, and He is there, ever faithful, welcoming, and understanding.  

Yes, our problems are still there.  They often seem daunting, overwhelming.  Yet, with all of that comes the grace of God.  His love is magnified in our lives. 

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory 
in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself 
restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
                                                                     1 Peter 5:10

Be blessed!

Zentangle note:  Today's Zentangle tile features Circuital as the main tangle.  Also Lazy Eights, B'Tweed, Finery, Phuds, Striping.

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