Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finding the Creator in the creation

I sat on the cracked cement porch step of the old farmhouse my dad bought to rent out. The air was just cool enough to hint of crisp autumn breezes in the future. The sky was a beautiful dusky blue. Faithful Micah lay nearby. The trees stood majestically, their giant arms benevolent-- and looking very much like they would be a perfect place to rest and enjoy the view.

I sat there. And thought about God.

How sometimes He seems so very silent.

How sometimes I feel like He's just beyond my grasp. That I can't understand Him or His ways. I can't feel Him.

I hold onto the image of Jesus in the Gospels. I believe in Him. And I believe Him.

But sometimes life--and the Evil One-- bring up questions in my mind. When a friend's adoption fails. When a local young Christian gets cancer. When bad things happen to good people. Or even when good things don't happen to good people.

Then once more I became aware of my surroundings. His creation was begging me to see the reflection of the Creator. He didn't need to come down from Heaven to remind me who He was. It was there all around me. The warm, comforting feel of the wind on my skin. The beauty of the sky. The trees with their welcoming arms. And the unconditional love of a dog.

That is who He is, I thought. A God who creates such beauty, warmth, love, and security can only be those qualities as well. I may not understand His thoughts and His ways, but I can find comfort in who He is.

He invites us to climb into His arms--a perfect place to rest and enjoy the view.

Monday, August 16, 2010

One of the Other Nine

"As Jesus was going into a village, ten men with leprosy came toward Him. They stood at a distance and shouted, 'Jesus, Master, have pity on us!'

"...On their way they were healed. When one of them discovered that he was healed, he came back, shouting praises to God. He bowed down at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him."

I'd like to think I'm always the one racing back with a thankful heart for the blessings I've received. That I shout praises to God and bow at the feet of Jesus.

"Jesus asked, 'Weren't ten men healed? Where are the other nine?' "

But many times I'm not. I'm one of the other nine.

I've been praying for months about the decision of whether to have ovarian surgery done in an attempt to cure my PCOS. Somehow it all came together smoothly and the surgery was scheduled before I knew it, orchestrated in the beautiful way God often uses-- usually while I'm in the midst of worrying and over-analyzing.

Surrounded by the prayers, love, and encouragement from so many, my surgery date of August 3rd came and went, once again with the gracefulness that seems to come only from above. Thankfulness washed over me as I realized it was over. The months of wondering, of preparing, of fearing the unknown. They were gone. Competent surgeon's hands had erased the source of my condition and given me a great prognosis, a "10 out of 10," he called it.

For a time I was the leper returning in thanks. But how quickly I became one of the other nine. My gratitude was overshadowed by the difficulty of my recovery. The pain, the slowness, the sense of purposelessness tucked my relief and gratitude under the rug. The feelings of thankfulness were replaced by feelings of pity, of boredom, of loneliness.

What a selfish child I must seem to God at times! So many times before I came to Him with prayers for help and healing-- yet afterwards my prayers of thanksgiving were only a fraction of those times.

Lord, thank you for your care and healing touch. That you are by my side every moment, even when I forget you. That you give me infinite second chances. That you love me as your child, even when I'm childish. That this life you've given me is beautiful, even when I can't see it. Thank you.

"Then Jesus told the man, 'You may get up and go. Your faith has made you well.' "*

*Scripture verses from Luke 17:11-19