Monday, February 12, 2007

Emmanuel … "God with us" ... God with ME

God. I wonder what He thinks about when He thinks about me. The bible says He is thinking about me all of the time. Before you begin to wonder if I am in trouble or something rest assured that He thinks about you all of the time too. He has a brain big enough to do that. So don't go getting cocky on me. We are in the same boat. God's watching.

Maybe that's the first thing I know about God. He is watching. If I hide under my bed He sees me anyway. If I close my mouth He still knows what I am thinking. In other words ... I can't get away with squat.

The second thing I know about God is that He loves me. You too. So relax a little bit. He's not looking for reasons to squash us like a bug under His size gazillion shoe. He's looking for reasons not to. That is where the love thing comes in. This God paid for my sin. It was a gift which I have accepted. So my screw-ups are paid for. Forever. Yours are too if you have asked Him to forgive you and have intentionally accepted His offer of free grace (forgiveness.) That's a pretty good second thing to know about God. If there is a God ... and there is ... then I want Him to go by the nickname of "Love."

The third thing I think I know about God is that He has a plan. I know so many people that have trouble with that. It's like we all want to do things our own way and live out our own plans. But you know what? At the ripe age of fifty-one I now realize that I really do not want my own way. I've screwed up enough, thank you very much. It has finally occured to me that every time I listen to Him and do what He tells me to do ... I come out just fine. Sure, I might go through some deep waters. Things might get hairy for a while. But so far I've always come out on top. I believe that someday I am going to die. I've been watching and the birth to death ratio seems to be 1/1. For every birth there is a death. And everybody who is born eventually dies. I've never met an exception. That would seem to indicate that I too am going to get boxed up and sunk in the ground someday. But here's the thing. God's not screwed up one thing in my life yet. Even when He does something or allows something that hurts it has always turned out for my good. So why should I believe that He will break His pattern just because my body wears out or a truck runs me down? If He's really God He should be able to overcome a little thing like death. Right?

In case you are wondering, these ideas are not original with me. I first read them in the bible. But life seems to prove each of them to be true. And God said that if we trust Him we'll even conquer death because He conquered death and so we can too. It's another part of that gift I was telling you about.

The fourth thing I now about God is that He is very big, very intentional and very in charge. I know He is big because I have seen what He has made. Well, I've seen part of it anyway. There are places like the other side of the moon that I've not caught a glimpse of yet. But from what I have seen He has done a very good job. I've often stated that I'm a "lower 48 kind of guy." In other words I have no desire to leave my homeland. I love me some America! I've seen both oceans as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. I've skied the Rocky Mountains and I've done some minor hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I've fallen from the top of a ladder only to land in a fluffy snow drift and laugh about it. I've walked in snow deep enough to make you trip over the top of street signs. I've watched hundreds of times as the mighty muddy Mississippi River floats barges and boats around about 7 miles from my home. I've caught glimpses of thousands of square miles of corn, wheat, bean, cotton and tons of other types of vegetable fields. I've driven across Texas and that will make you certainly HOPE there is a God! I've seen and survived more than one tornado. (FYI, I will be perfectly happy not to see another though I'm holding on to the surviving part.) I've seen the northern lights. I've eaten freshly picked oranges and stood 3 feet from a Florida alligator. I nearly collided with a VERY LARGE wild boar while driving across the wild life refuge adjoining the Kennedy Space Center. And come to think of it I have watched in person as God's creation was harnassed by man as the space shuttle roared off into the utter void of space. I have stood atop the continental divide more than 12,000 feet up and looked both ways. Both were down. I think you get my point. This wonderful stuff did not just happen. Somebody did it. Somebody made it. When I eat a yummy piece of chocolate it never enters my mind that things like cocoa, sugar, etc. just went "BOOM!" one day and the net result was a bag full of M&M's. How dumb. But not as dumb as thinking that all of those things I just mentioned happened by another even more unlikely "BOOM!" No way. I don't buy it.

I think that I know more about God. But I am guessing that you get my point. He's got me hook, line and sinker. I'm totally sold on the whole God concept. I would .... and have .... staked my life on it more than once. I've gone places and done things that I should never have survived just because I deeply felt He was directing me to. And again, I've always turned out on top.

How very cool is that?

Still I wonder what God is thinking as He looks at me tonight. It's nearly midnight and I'm propped up in bed typing on "Tess." I should be sleeping. But no, I am thinking about God. And He is thinking about me. He knows me inside and out. I know only what He has revealed about Himself to me. But that is enough. It is enough to make me trust Him. I've been doing a lot of nothing for 11 weeks now. I am beginning to feel health returning. I'm not dizzy anymore. My body feels rested. (I don't believe I ever thought I would feel that way again. But I do.) I still have some issues like a blurry eye that is driving me crazy. I still have a muscular tension that has not totally subsided. My wife says I still do strange things in my sleep. Jerking. Twitching. Crazy stuff. But the fog of the last 3 years is lifting. Slowly but surely it is lifting. And I just do not know how to say "thank you" to God. Words are just words. I want to say it with my heart. I'll find a way. It won't be enough either but it will be a start.

Someday I am going to sit down with Jesus and He will show me His scars. I fully expect that will make me forget my own.