Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Driving home the other day, my eyes were bothering me. It seemed like things were blurry. Without even thinking, I took off my glasses, wiped them on my shirt (This is not recommended by those who make glasses. You should of course, only use approved clothe to clean glasses.), and replaced them back over my eyes. All of the sudden, I could see. It was simply that my glasses were dirty which caused my sight to be blurry.

This struck me to be in complete agreement with some thoughts that have been marinating in my brain of late. Namely, how we can lose our vision. 

Now, I am not talking about out actual sight, but how we see things around us. Often the muck of the world taints how we see. It effects:

How we think about who we are. What is our purpose? 

Or where do I fit in? 

Why does living have to be so hard and hurt so much? 

Why do people do the things they do that ruin their lives and hurt others? 

I could go on, however I trust you get the picture. We all have a problem with evil and with struggles that hurt us. 

As did the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 73: 

"But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places,  
you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart. I was brutish and ignorant: I was like a beast toward you. 

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God;

 I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works."

Do you need perspective? Take off your proverbial glasses for a moment of cleaning. Look to God who is our portion forever. 

It is not ours to understand, but to trust. It is ours to "walk by faith."

Who else do we have in Heaven but God? Our flesh and our hearts may fail, but God is the strength and portion forever of those who trust in Him. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Coming Around

About thirteen years ago, I walked into the office of the OPC for interviews as a missionary wife to Haiti. I was completely unaware of the recent events (2004) in the church regarding closing the OPC mission in Japan. I was nervous about being interviewed and distracted with trying to make sure my children were behaved. An older lady, who was a missionary to Japan came up to me. We made small talk and then she asked, "Why are you opening a new mission field when they are closing Japan?" As I said, I was completely ignorant of the circumstances and somewhat taken aback as my southern sensibilities were a little hurt. 

Later, I was informed of the debate and distress surrounding the mission in Japan. I cannot find any reason to blame the dear sister for her blunt words to me. My heart goes out to her for the very reasons she was upset. 

However, I cannot but laugh a bit to myself as I consider that today I packed my nineteen year old daughter off to Japan to go participate in the work my sister in the Lord was doing. The humor of the Lord as He directs our days cannot go unappreciated or unnoticed. He has done this work in the heart of my daughter. Since eighth grade she has loved Japan. She has read "The Etiquette Guide to Japan" histories of Japan and Samari Warriors along with trying to teach herself to speak/read/write the language. She has listened to the music and been intrigued with the all things Japanese. My little blonde child will be trying to teach four and five year olds english and about Jesus. I pray that her light shines brightly for Jesus over the next three months. I pray that they will love her for shining Jesus into their lives more than the shine on her beautiful long, golden hair. 

I also wonder, if she will ever truly come back? Will this be the beginning of another missionary to Japan? I cannot answer to what the Lord is doing or will be doing in the future. I can commit her and the mission work in Japan to our Lord who smiles on us with tender mercies and loves with an everlasting love. 

I pray that love would shine brightly in Japan. 

And to my dear Laura: 

"...Do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor... in the sight of God... Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord." Proverbs 3:1-8