Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Waiting and Leukemia

I live with a friend who has been in a war with leukemia since the end of January. Since then, my job has been to take care of her house and her precious pups. Actually, not pups but two standard poodles, which ... wait ... I digress. Watching my friend over these last 6 months, I have learned so very much about waiting ... waiting in the active, ready-to-go, on-red-alert stance. There is never a moment to let down but a myriad of moments to let go ... of control. It's this paradox of praying in the confidence of God and the power of His Spirit within us and the humble relinquishment of our inability to do anything to change the situation.

6 chemo treatments, 6 bone marrow tests, 1 remission, 1 relapse ... a return of leukemia cells to over 70%. And, now we wait ... as we live each day beginning with prayer to our Mighty God. We live each day recognizing that He is God and we are not. And, we live each day in the hope of resurrection life ... in this present moment, right now, in this day ... resurrection life today. We live as we wait. Live ... in the active, ready-to-go, on-red-alert stance.

And, I live these days amazed ... in awe.
And, I learn.

What do I learn? To pray with all that I am to our God who loves us so much that He gives us life ... and then live it! Not just getting through today or making it to a certain day or date, but living life today ... living abundantly because God has blessed us with so very, very much. It requires vigilance (thank you Terry for that word) to keep our thoughts focused on the goodness and grace and gifts that surround us ... a mantle of God-ness ... his character in action that blesses us. And, it requires relinquishment ... letting go of wanting to control and looking for the ways God is at work ... looking for His blessing ... and then receive it, offer thanks and praise for it and ... live in it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Road Construction and Jacob

I spent a good deal of time yesterday sitting in a line of cars and ... you guessed it
... waiting.

That wasn't my plan, but that's the way it happened. When I first saw the road construction signs I thought I would skirt around it by taking another route ... only to find ... yep ... more road construction. Road Closed. Detour. Expect Delays. Lane Closed. It took me three times longer to get to where I wanted to go.

As I sat in those lines of cars I noticed the person behind me getting more and more frustrated. Looking at the time. Looking out the window to see what was happening (which was completely blocked from view). Angry talking on the phone. Agitated looking around for a way out. ... No way out. ... What occurred to me was that I didn't feel like that at all. I couldn't do anything about these setbacks. It actually became a bit funny because any route I tried another construction sign rose to meet me. OK ... I guess I'm learning something more about waiting.

Jacob certainly knew about waiting. Actually, he chose to wait! He offered to wait 7 years to marry his beloved Rachel. And, he worked to pay for her hand! Think of that! Offering to wait. Hmmm ... offering to wait.

Waiting can be an offering if we choose to make it so. Waiting can be a time to reflect on the ways God has worked and giving thanks. Waiting can be a time for looking for ways God is at work and giving thanks. Waiting can be a time for how God will work and giving thanks.
Remember the past. Watch the present. Hope for the future.
And, give thanks.
Imagine Jacob's joy ... JOY ... on the day he married Rachel. Joy made all the greater because he chose to wait.

As I sat in those lines of cars yesterday, I chose to give thanks ... for the joy of taking my Mum to lunch and on a drive through the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, which are displaying the most wondrous colors of green, for the wonder of dogs running ... and running and running and running at the dog park, and for the lusciousness of throwing with porcelain on the wheel. Choosing to make waiting an offering changes the mind of my heart ... and it gives God the offering of thanks and praise that is due him. It was my pleasure to give it and I think, it was just as much His pleasure to receive it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wait: An Action Verb

A friend of mine sent me a blog post by Roy Lessin and this caught my attention

As we walk with the Lord, He will put us into situations that require challenging solutions. He doesn’t put us into these situations so we can solve them, but as a way for us to discover how He will solve them. They come to us as tests. They are not theory tests that we take with a pencil and paper, but living tests that are based upon things we are actually experiencing. These tests are not given to frustrate or defeat us, but to deepen our faith and to help us learn the Lord’s ways. 
Whenever we face these situations, it is a natural thing for us to “lean upon our own understanding.” We like to put our minds to work and figure things out, solve problems, and come up with plans that bring the needed answers. God, on the other hand, is not dependent upon human resources, or human reason to answer any question, solve any problem, or meet any need.
This, my friends, is what waiting is all about. I don't have to understand or figure it all out or come up with the answer to "Why?" or "What if?" The answer is waiting on God (Yes, Janet ... an action verb!) and then, wait and watch and walk into what He is doing or is going to do. This means keeping our eyes on Him ... seeing His love and grace and mercy that abounds in all around us. Waiting grows faith. Waiting strengthens our feet and arms for action. Waiting keeps our hearts prepared. Waiting makes us ready for each day ... today ... not for some time in the future. Waiting on God ... looking to the Lord Jesus ... involves us in our daily living in a very real, active, faltering, challenging, tangible, loving, exhilarating, frustrating, life-giving way.

Waiting makes us, shapes us, and molds us into His likeness ... if we choose to be at peace and wait on Him each moment of every day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hidden or Unhidden God is Present

Yes, I know the quote is really "Bidden or Unbidden God is present" but right now "Hidden or Unhidden God is present" is a better quote for my life. Yes, I know it's been awhile. And, although I've been "hidden" from the blog, it doesn't mean I've been ... well ... hidden from life. Rather, the opposite is true. The stuff of life has so filled my days that writing on the blog has had to take a seat and wait a while. Which, when I think of it, is what I am doing still ... waiting ... but waiting in a much different way.

Following the Eucharist on Easter morning I went for prayer and during that time in prayer a word came to me ... a command really:
  bat peac 
That's sort of what it looked like except that it came rushing at me out of complete blackness (for some reason Blogger text formatting doesn't make the background color the size of the font ... harumpf). It was such a direct command that it caught me in its intensity ... and its invitation to ... well ... be at peace. Stop worrying. Stop fretting. Stop looking for what is next. God is with you now, so
  bat peac
My sister said that I changed so dramatically, it was as though I flipped a switch. Well, you betcha! If God gives a command I'm not going to question it ... I'm going to do it.

Since then, I have been thinking on what it is to wait. This is not an in between time. This is not a time of looking for what is next. This is not a time of searching for the way forward. This is the time to live life ... right now. The church calls our present season "ordinary time". I say it's "extraordinary time". This is the time to wait with{IN} Him. I know I've talked about this before, but being on this side of 18 months of waiting, it looks quite a bit differently than it did before.

I will post more about this but for now ... may you
bat peace