I Corinthians 7:29-31 “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”
Perhaps that seems a strange passage to begin this post with; especially since it is primarily an update as to what has been transpiring in my proverbial “neck of the woods.” And yet, when sitting down to tell of the goings on here, this passage instantly came to mind. Anytime I’m faced with uncertainty or in need of direction, a passage of scripture is always brought to remembrance. For me, this has always been a prioritizing scripture. A placing of urgency on things eternal and setting temporal things in their proper perspective. Many seem to have this in reverse. Many seem to place more emphasis on careers, family, trappings, and even sports than the deep things of God. While they adamently profess to love Jesus, their conversation consistantly seems to gravitate toward temporal matters. The bulk of a persons dialogue will reveal what they spend the lions share of their time meditating on.
Lately, I’ve not not been spending much time in any of the social networking venues. It was not a planned thing; at least not on my part. January of 2012 arrived and suddenly we had a myriad of complexities to contend with. Vehicle complications, financial issues, Matthew (our autistic son) needing an ever-increasing amount of attention while the costs of taking care of him continue to rise, a looming foreclosure which, from the natural perspective seems unavoidable, and other issues which are far too complicated to convey here. The limited time that I once had to check out links, read through threads of dialogue, even a few seconds to wish a “happy birthday” to a friend whenever facebook alerted me to the event, seemed to vanish into a sea of neverending obligation and manuverings. And yet, these dark clouds of complexity have had a silver lining, and it is that silver lining which is in need of focusing.
As I write this, I honestly do not know where we will be living six months from now. I know that the Lord could supernaturally provide resolution to this situation. Yet I’m not compelled to ask this in prayer. I have done so a few times, but it seems like an empty request; as though my heart is simply not in it. Instead, the fervent prayer request has been “Lord Jesus, my affections are with you; and not on a physical location. I want to be in your perfect will and if you are moving us elsewhere, I’ll be content.” The possibility of physical loss and uncertainty in the days ahead has not been bothering me. Oh I think on it sometimes, but I prefer to meditate on eternal issues with everlasting ramifications. The peace is beyond description and it’s almost like an adventure; not knowing what will transpire, but knowing that God has already made provision. There is, however, one remaining concern. Is this profession of faith a legitimate reflexion of my heart, or just an idealistic euphoria that will vaporate in the event of a worst-case senario?
Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
The recent event-induced internet drought has been quite an unexpected blessing. I seriously doubt (though I could be wrong) that I’ll ever again be as heavily engaged as I once was. It was getting to the point that I was reading so much input from so many sources that It was becomming a massive chorus of noise. I needed to step back and allow the Lord to put things back into perspective. In Ecclesiastes 12:9, we read how the preacher (Solomon) sought out and set in order many proverbs. In a way, I needed to have some things put back in order. There are wars, rumors, and multiple reportings on both; each report being slanted toward a particular world view. If we spend our time reading these reports and not enough time seeking the Lord, we can drive ourselves nutty. It’s very important to stay informed of events. It’s important and spiritually needful to be in fellowship with like-minded saints as much as possible. But it’s imperative to maintain and continuously build up our most holy faith. For me, the past few weeks have seen a level of sweetness in the presence of the Lord that had been lacking.
February 4, of 2012 was in interesting milestone. First of all, it was Matthews 17th birthday. Despite all of the complexities that he presents, he really is a fascinating guy. En eternal soul, created in the image of God. Last year, I began taking him into the streets while sharing the gospel. He now loves to go into the city, and walk around, which frees me up to tend to eternal issues. Matthews love for getting out in this manner has resulted in many souls being presented with the gospel. Also on Feb 4, Matthew and I embarked on the 17th such outing for the year of 2012. Many of these outings would not have transpired if Matthew was not autistic because these blocks of time would have been consumed by seemingly important obligations. In years past, every trip into the streets had been a real battle just to get away from the daily grind. Now Matthew “needs” to get out in this fashion, otherwise he becomes uncontrollable in the evening. (autistic people have a need for “routine” and, once something becomes a part of their routine, it has to be reckoned with.) He goes anywhere; from well-maintained parks, to busy downtown areas, to dangerous neighborhoods.
If I have peace about an area I go; if I don’t have peace, I don’t go. I also monitor Matthews behavior (which is always very easy-going in the streets) and can usually operate within his perimeters. And yet, even though I know how Matthew will respond to most situations, he does have the ability to occasionally do the unexpected. Last fall, we were in an alley approaching a group of people who were hanging out. They were not at all interested in hearing about Jesus and one of the guys informed me to “just keep walking.” I prepared to continue up the alley and motioned for Matthew to come. As I turned, I saw that he, with all of his happy-like mannerism, had quickly waded deep into the crowd and was about to have a seat. I casually went in to get his attention and we then proceeded on our way. This could have created an ugly confrontation, but ended without incident. The peace of God was present the entire time.
Well I need to be going for now. There is a lot of uncertainty in our lives at the moment, but this uncertainty is restricted to the theater of atoms. I know of a pastor who used to tell about the “hundred year test” which goes like this. Whenever we find ourselves getting apprehensive or agitated about a thing, step back and ask “will this be important a hundred years from now?” If the answer is “no; it will not be important a hundred years from now,” than it’s not really that important now. It seems simple, and yet I have often employed this when things were getting to me. It’s easy to become overcharged by issues that have no bearing on eternity and subsequently, remove ourselves from the battle. The temporal seems so real, and yet we know that heaven and earth shall pass away. Well; it’s after 3:00 am. Blessings always in Jesus name.
Colossians 3:1-4 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”