Thursday, September 24, 2009

Trials and Heavenly hope

I'm working on a pantry post but a conversation and a song reminded me of past ponderings about Heaven and Jesus and all things eternal. I was talking to a sweet friend that I met through this blog (blogdom is a wonderful way to meet likeminded people) yesterday and the conversation came around to what Heaven will be like. I'd been thinking a lot about kitties and Heaven this past week.

Then last night I tuned into Ravi Zacharias' program where one of his associates was talking about philosophical stuff. I was rather tired and what would normally be interesting was going over my head until he mentioned C. S. Lewis... of course I listened more closely then.

He talked about Lewis' book called The Great Divorce and the description of the scenery as they were getting closer to Heaven. Everything became brighter and more clear, the grass looked thicker, it was as if this earth was ethereal and Heaven was what is real (of course, Lewis is famous for saying this life is nothing but the Shadowlands).

My ponderings during the time we lived by the pond took me back to the reality of who Jesus is and what I expect from Him. I knew how John the Baptist felt when he was in the jail cell awaiting death and sending out a message to Jesus... basically, are you who I thought you were? This is not what I planned. If you are the Messiah, I wouldn't be in this bleak cell.

During this time, I had an epiphany (I love epiphanies) that Heaven must be an amazing place if Jesus was willing to enter Time and Space to become the perfect sacrifice needed for the sin of Eden. What is it about us that stopped Him from just obliterating humanity and starting all over again?

At the time, I thought of what Lewis said about Jesus... basically He either was God or He was a nut case running around saying He was God. If He truly was sent from the Father to pay the price of sin and take back the Keys to the Kingdom... why? There must be some kind of amazing future ahead of us that is only known by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit... to make the Father send... the Son sacrifice... the Holy Spirit come to earth as Comforter and Teacher.

If He was just a raving lunatic who thought He was God, then how did the Church survive 2,000 years? Certainly not because church people are the nicest or most holy. In spite of humankind, His church survived, flourished, and changed the world. Would a lunatic cause us to change our calendar to B.C. and A.D.?

I had to come to a place during the days I didn't want to keep going that He has a plan and my place in that plan is not about my being comfortable or even happy. If He was willing to leave Paradise and walk the desert sands of Nazareth... how could I complain about my circumstances? One tends to ponder in the fires of affliction more than any other season of life.

All of this was on my mind as I drove down country roads and through lush "end of season" green forests while listening to K-love on the radio. One of my favorite songs by Mercy Me started to play (Jesus Bring the Rain), which I thought appropriate as the wind shield wipers were working overtime to clear rain so I could see where I was driving. What appropriate words at just the right time. It is somewhere on my Play List but here are the words...

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that
I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory
And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may
loom above because you are much greater than
my pain... you who made a way for me suffering
your destiny so tell me whats a little rain


hmsclmom said...

Amen and thank you Brenda. That song is also one of my favorites and it usually brings me to tears and I enter into worship when I hear it. What a great gift we have all been given.


Brenda Leyland said...

What a wonderful posting!!!! You really said it 'just right'!

I'm soooo glad our blogging paths crossed. It excites me to hear what God is doing in the lives of His children everywhere! Hope and joy and peace in bushels-full, that's my prayer for you today!!!!

Remembrances said...

What a wonderful post! Sometimes we need to be reminded that He knows the end from the beginning! That is why James reminded us "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations" - it is the trials that strengthen us and bring us closer to our Lord.

scrappy quilter said...

Brenda, what an beautiful post once again. I love your writing. And I agree, what a great gift we've all been given.

matty said...

Ms. Brenda, had I read your post yesterday I wouldn't have had the blues! I won't today! John is leaving on Feb. 8 for boot camp. I think getting the date has finally made it real and me very sad. Honey will be your way soon! Take care... Your blog buddy.. m