“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”
Isaiah 45:3 NIV
Someone said to me, “Your Bible belongs in a museum.”
Sincerity was in the tone of the one who decided this.
Today, I turned to Romans and I found two pages almost completely covered with longings and lists.
In the margin, I added the word “indeed” to strengthen the words of Paul saying Christ is at His Father’s hand communicating my specific needs and hopes to Him.
Unfathomable? No. Hard to believe?
“God! Thou art love! I build my faith on that!” Robert Browning
A couple of Sundays ago, I heard the word “perish” in the delivery of two different ministers.
We don’t talk much about Hell anymore, some about Heaven. As a child, I remember a favorite uncle telling my daddy that he went there as he lay on a hospital bed and that the smell of burning bodies was overwhelming.
Was he delusional in his terminal illness? Did he glimpse what perishing means?
I can’t know any more than I can really know what Heaven will be.
Both preachers explained Hell as “eternal separation from God” and I thought
I know what it feels like to be distant from God because of my own wandering mind and activities here on earth.
I know I don’t want to be separated eternally.
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Romans 8:24-25 ESV
I’ve just been interrupted by a call, a number I sort of know and so I answer.
The caller is a precious woman. A woman who’s name I used to scan the obituaries for, a woman I served in the best way I could until I couldn’t anymore. One, challenged by loss, addiction, incarceration, homelessness, loneliness and utter despair.
I felt I’d always be responsible for her well-being.
And then, I let her go.
She learned to fly on her own.
She’s with her mama this morning. Her mama hasn’t eaten in three days and “it’s her time, Miss Lisa, I just wanted to call you, will you pray?”.
I told her what I had just been reading and how I had added the word “indeed” in the note to self:
“Christ Jesus is indeed interceding for me, for us.”
Together, we imagined such a conversation.
Then I asked if she needed anything. She answered, “No, Miss Lisa. Just pray.”
And I thought.
Well, that’s one thing I can do.
The mysterious ways of God will never truly be understood by us here on earth.
Still, my hope is unwavering.
I pray it’s the same with you.
Continue and believe.