Thank you to all of you who continue to think of me, Lucas, and our families and lift us up to the Lord in your prayers. It was 2 years ago today that we suffered the loss of our Midi and Nathan. Lucas is a happy 6 year old now who, thanks be to God, is thriving and doing well. There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit is at work in his life - not just in protecting his heart from despair and pain but also in building him up as a boy who is a living testimony of God's goodness. I thank God for him everyday for I know that I do not deserve him. I also am doing well. My faith in Him has never been stronger. God continues to provide for me in every way and is teaching me deep lessons. I am learning to abide in Him, which is, I think, the main challenge for all Christians throughout the course of our lives. Not that I didn't before, but I'm learning to abide in Him in the Present even as I look back to my Past and await my certain ultimate Future. Here is where God has me. And Here is where I am learning to be.
I'm reading and marinating in this passage tonight and I'd like to share it.
"Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, 'I believed, and so I spoke,' we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened - not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil."
2 Cor 4.13-5.10
What I am struck by in my times in the Word lately is how throughout the scriptures - Old Testament and New, Psalms and Proverbs, prophets and epistles - the focus is on the Present. For a believer in Jesus and one who has experienced communion with God through the Holy Spirit, the Past is meant to help us believe and live in the Present with confidence that the One who gave blessings and rescued us and taught deep truths in the Past is reliable, good, and true. The Future promises of eternal glory, resurrection, freedom from pain, tears and suffering, a new heaven and a new earth, being face to face with Jesus - these are also meant to help followers of Jesus live in faith and confidence in the Present, even if the Present is full of pain and sorrow. Neither the Past nor the Future are meant to distract us or keep us from living in direct communion with God through the Holy Spirit in the Present. He is Immanuel, God with us; not just in the Past or face to face in the Future, but God with us right now. So I exhort you fellow believers in Jesus out there (and myself, too) to grow in your walk with Immanuel.