Wayne and I’ve been surrounded lately by family in ways that haven’t occurred since…well, ever. We’ve hit that ‘sandwich’ place in life where we have aging parents in front of us and a bundle of two foot high energy toddling along behind us.
In the span of a week, we steadied our 13-month old grandson as he lurched over pea gravel at the schoolyard near our home, while a few days later, I stationed myself near Wayne’s mom bending over the kitchen sink to give way to the nausea from the pain meds for the pancreatic cancer she is battling. Pure joy on one hand and utter pain on the other – with our emotions swinging from one end of our souls’ pendulum to the other in those eight days.
Talk about a paradox. Discovery of life and the end of life. Learning to walk and can hardly walk. Enjoying with expectancy Cohen’s first few page turnings of life’s story, while simultaneously reading the final chapter of the days God ordained for Mom Bentz before ever one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
It is in the living of life’s major ‘stuff’ that we discover if our spiritual vitals are strong and stable – or weak and thready.
How many of you would agree that life’s ‘stuff’ has been coming at you in increasing measure? More of it and more often? I see those hands! So, how much can a heart take?
Well, it depends. If we’ve been willing (or at least willing to be willing) to go through God’s ‘no pain, no gain’ exercise regimen, then there is something of substance being built into us that is the stuff that spiritual pillars in His house are made of. However, if we’ve perched too long on the ‘nuther trip around the mountain’ conveyor belt, it can be our misfortune to become a sitting duck in the enemy’s sights. He’d love nothing better than to pick us off. Even ‘weak and thready’ doesn’t quite describe the outcome…
Spiritual vitals test strong and stable when we realize where our strength comes from, just as David did. In his song of praise in II Samuel 22:33 he declared, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect (complete).” But he didn’t stop there. On he went in verse 34 exulting, “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.”
David didn’t plop down in the pea gravel and stay there. Yes, he hid in caves and took the sneaky way around to avoid Saul the Pursuer, but he trusted that in the toughest of days, God knew what He was doing. David, in his ‘through a glass darkly’ uncertainty, was certain of one thing. He knew that the same Strength that ordained certain things for him before he was even born was strong enough to shield his hide from the enemy and set him on the heights God had chosen for him.
So, how are your vitals? If you can hear God’s heartbeat, then praise the Lord and give Him ten more laps! If your legs are rubbery, your heart is pounding, and you’re dying for a drink…welcome to the Wellspring of Life. He gives without hesitation or judgment the free gift of the water of life. (Rev. 22:17)
Postscript: Two months have passed since that week. Cohen is now 15 months old and getting bigger by the biteful. It’s amazing how two little feet can motor around so quickly. So cute and short, but getting to be a pro at this walking thing!
Meanwhile, in two months’ time, Mom Bentz is many steps nearer the thin veil between life this side of heaven and entering into heaven’s glory where there will be no more pain or suffering. It won’t be long. Prayers are appreciated.
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6
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