Thursday, September 26, 2013

Appointed Part 2

God is working in our hearts and in the circumstances of our lives, even when we are not aware of it.  I'm reminded that God sees the future like it were the present or even in the past, because He is the great I AM. (Exodus 3:14)

That Sunday, before I was asked to speak for our women's retreat, our Sunday School class was discussing 1st John chapter 5.  The question came up, "Can a person love God the Father and not love His Son Jesus?"  And I thought of the relationships between grandfathers, fathers, and sons.  Later, that week, as I was seeking a personal illustration for my talk, God brought this to my memory and I knew I was to speak of my son.

At the retreat we are given time Saturday afternoon to do as we please.  Since I have a passion for hiking, I decided to look online for some good trails.  At last I found one nearby, relatively short, but steep, called Mt. Royal.  As I read the description of it, I suddenly realized I had been there before.  Twenty one years ago, my husband and I were in Frisco, CO for our 2nd wedding anniversary and I was eight months pregnant with my firstborn.  It was then that we had hiked to the top of Mt. Royal.

Sept. 1992

I remember it well.  When we reached the summit we came to a cliff which dropped straight down onto the I-70 corridor.

21 years ago


the same tree as in the photo above,
only on the ground.
When we turned around we could see the entire scope of the valley.

Sept. 1992

A rainbow stretched across that valley and I remember writing in Tyler's baby book of the promise of God for this child, that He had a plan and a purpose for him.

But this illustration required that I be vulnerable and speak of weakness.  I was reluctant to do so.  Vulnerability needs to be guarded with caution.  I do not believe it is God honoring to spill all our dirt to the public.  I wanted to maintain respect for my elders, and also keep from embarrassing my son.  Delicate territory.

Subconsciously I laid out a 'fleece'.  But I don't like the idea of testing God as it seems like a lack of faith to do so and therefore decided against it.  I knew in my heart what I should share without needing confirmation of the 'fleece'. But I think God heard that little discussion with myself because He answered it.

My 'fleece' was that if it worked out that I could actually hike this mountain in my free time, I would go ahead with the illustration.  If not, I wouldn't.

We had some trouble finding the trail head.  (21 years is a long time for trails to change.)  And once on the trail we got a little bit lost.  But eventually we knew we were at the right spot and made it to the top.

Saturday night I could not sleep.  Tears flowed soft, surrender and grace running together, which continued to sweep over me in waves.  Cries for wisdom and courage, and for God to be honored. God met me in the stillness of that night, and I sunk deep into His extravagant grace.  It was three in the morning.

I woke at 5:15 and was able to 'be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him', before the rush of getting ready began in earnest.  But I was weak, trembling, and cold, otherwise known as nervous.  I'm sure the lack of sleep did not help my condition.  I found out later that my husband also could not sleep and that he had been up those same exact hours.  It was a touch of God's grace in the form of empathy, waiting for me to receive when I returned home.

I've written down a quote that sits on my desk.  It states,  "God only allows pain if He's allowing something new to be born."  (Ann Voskamp)  Sometimes our lives can cover years of pain, but they are contractions:  pressure, which, if yielded to in acceptance, births a life pressed near the heart of God. 

Yet, throughout the retreat, God had been demonstrating His overflowing grace to me in tangible form.   I will be sharing some of these grace points in my next post.

"And God said, I will be with you.  And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you:  When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."  
(Exodus 3:12)

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