the Lord—Jesus…has sent me so that you may…be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 9:17
For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5:7
My husband called me at 5am this morning.
He ran out of gas on the way to work.
He wanted me to immediately get up, get dressed, get my son up, stop and get gas in the truck’s near empty tank, fill the empty gas can, drive the 40 miles (round trip), and bring it to him. All of this he asked while doing his best Captain Kirk drama king impression. You have to understand my husband. He IS a drama king.
This to add to the carbon monoxide detector going off earlier this morning, my husband’s recurring diverticulitis- severe since February, his being off a week of work last week because he was in the hospital, his failed attempt at a lower GI yesterday because the hospital screwed up instructions, and many other struggles.
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…Eph 6
Lately it seems like it’s been one thing after another. Pain, trouble, hardship, pain, delays, finances, pain, heat, humidity, affliction… did I mention pain?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
If you need another example just take this past week. It has been very hot around these here parts with 100+ degree days, and we’ve been doing everything we can to keep cool and not
run out of gas get exhausted so quickly. Like staying in the air conditioning!
I’m so very thankful for air conditioning and I’m also thankful that my Answers Magazine came in the mail, because I’ve been spending some of that time perusing one of two magazines I read cover to cover.
This particular issue had two very encouraging articles in it. One was called “What Kind of God Would Condemn People to Eternal Torment?” and the other one was “Seeing the Forest Amid the Trees.”
The author of the first article began with this better question, “What kind of God would NOT condemn his enemies to an eternal hell?”, and ended with the question, “How can I believe in a God who condemns people to hell? I must believe in this God, for He poured out the punishment of hell on Jesus Christ through whom I have hope.”
The other author stated in his final summation, “I find (Jesus’) relational attributes everywhere in creation, but many people refuse to acknowledge them because they have bought the lie that life evolved slowly without a Creator. The science of ecology, however, is challenging that notion. If the complex ecological services of all organisms are needed so that any individual can live, how could those relationships have formed slowly? Next time you take a trip into the woods, I encourage you to consider the word of ecologist Dr. Henry Zuill, who deeply loved the giving Creator who is still “Clearly seen” in creation despite the Curse (Romans 1:20); “The incredible interdependence between species systems of living things supporting each other is exactly what we would expect to find from a Creator who ‘makes grass grow for the cattle,’ and brings forth ‘food from the earth’ (Psalm 104:14), and ‘who gives food to every creature’ (Psalm 136:25). It is He who said, ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you’ (Luke 6:38), and, “Freely you have received, freely give’ (Matthew 10:18). Do not these contain the essence of ecology–giving and receiving–and the modus operandi of heaven?” This same Creator of life, Jesus Christ, freely gave His own life on the Cross to provide eternal life for sinners who believe in Him.”
For some reason, as I read the words of these articles I felt a ‘filling’ within my heart. A newness if you will. Energy as if I were a car and my
heart tank was getting filled with high octane gas.
Back to early this morning. I woke my son to take the long drive with me to deliver the gas to my husband. My son griped and complained about having to get up early, but this was the cool thing; as we were driving this song came on the radio that I have heard over and over, but never really listened to. As God bent my ear to hear the words, my heart awoke and sang praises to my King.
God inhabits the praises of his people.
“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Isaiah 65:17
I said to my son (who had just got done complaining that he NEVER gets up that early and he NEVER WILL get up that early because he’s going to get an afternoon shift when he gets a job – Captain Kirk Jr.), “If we hadn’t got up, son, we never would have seen this new day forming. We never would have felt its peacefulness. We never would have seen what it’s like at 5am in the morning when some people are on their way to work. We never would have heard God speak to us in this song that is playing on the radio (at that ‘threshold of dawn’ moment Josh Wilson was singing the exact words ‘the dark before the morning’) and we never would have seen the birds flying in flocks in the sky as they lift their little wings to their Creator, we never would have seen that sunrise, or the little dark clouds against the light blue dawn sky that looked like tiny dolphins frolicking in the water. We never would have had to the opportunity to serve your Dad with grace by bringing him gas when he ran out. We never would have had this opportunity to be together. We never would have got to see all those dogs at the fairgrounds for the dog show (at that moment we were driving by the fair grounds and saw standard poodles and boxers and pen after pen of dogs as they were preparing for the next few days). We have so much to be thankful for! Again, my tank filled up to overflowing!!!
With all of these things combined – hearing THAT song at THAT moment, giving thanksgiving, praise, listing our blessings one by one, fellowship with each other in the Spirit, and serving- somehow all the bad of the last
weeks, months, years day went away as my cup the gas tank overflowed!
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5
Jesus, thank you. Without you and your cross and resurrection there is no sure hope, joy, peace, or anything, Lord. And surely without you
my gas tank would be empty my cup would not overflow. Amen.
Further reading: Phillipians and all of Psalm 23