Several weeks ago I met a preacher at the hospital. He was an older man. During the course of our conversation he recalled World War I. So I would have to say he was rather seasoned.
The strange thing about our conversation was how the conversation began. We were in the waiting room and had only exchanged head nods. I sat down to lose track of time while playing a game on my phone. From across the room he interrupted my game with this sentence, “You can’t give up what God gives you.” Just like that from out of nowhere he makes this comment and the conversation began.
I was so stunned by the comment I got a business card and wrote the statement down. That comment stirred me emotionally in the moment. Made me wonder if I was entertaining an angel. That was so right on with the wrestling going on in my thoughts.
Reading Colossians 2:6-7 the other day reminded me of this encounter and I wanted to share it with you from The Message:
“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you have been given. You received Christ Jesus the Master, now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out, quite studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.”
At the moment, I am recovering from surgery that I had this morning. This has been a most painful experience. I have had this kidney stone since July. I had surgery for it in January that was not successful. So today’s procedure was much different than last months. Today the Doctor had to go inside to blast it with a lazer. Now I will let you use your imagination as to where he went in to take care of the problem.
So far this has been a very painful experience. But it’s good to be able to sit here in bed and read God’s Word, pray, and think without distractions about what he is doing in my life. God allows some strange things to happen to slow us down so we can really focus on Him and hear what He has to say. Getting the flu would have been just fine with me instead of this. But whatever works for God. Who am I to argue?
Yesterday a very good friend from college called me. James normally calls at the most crucial moments. I thank God for special friends and moments like yesterday. Moments that affirm what I already see Him doing in my life.
Some years ago I went through a workbook called “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackabee. He points out that God speaks in various ways: The Bible, church, our circumstances, and through other believers.
I had called Joel just an hour before James called. I was asking Joel to pray with me about a situation from work. James called to let me know he was praying for me but wasn’t sure why. So I explained the situation from work that I was seeking God’s help with and we also talked about other things God is doing in my life.
I’ve had Psalms 27 on my mind to read for about a week now. I have been reading it but it wasn’t clicking with me until today. I just read it again moments ago. The entire chapter goes with what James had to say. Here are just a few verses of it:
“Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the path of honesty, for my enemies are waiting for me to fall. Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done and breathe out violence against me. Yet I am confident that I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:11-14