Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

This past week I have spent a great deal of time on the sofa, pondering life.  All of it.  Including eternity.  It's a good thing I don't have time often to ponder eternity for my finite mind soon developed a headache which only two Migraine Strength Excedrin could conquer.

I thought about Abraham as I'd been pondering his journey last week.  When God called him out of Ur towards "a city", he had no idea he would not locate that city in his lifetime.  He kept going on his journey... never perfectly and sometimes sinfully... but he didn't give up.

Was God playing some heavenly game with Abraham?  God knew the city He was leading him toward would not be found on this planet.  Was God just leading Abraham along with amusement because He was bored?

Of course not!

The city was his destination but as we learn about Abraham... we come to realize the journey with God... toward the city... was what molded and shaped him into the man of faith he became.

We are amazed at his amount of faith when he offers Isaac back to God (knowing God would raise him from the dead if necessary, or so the Word tells us).  This is a far different man from the person we met on his way out of Ur.

What was the difference?  He had walked with God through all the hills and dales and deserts and oasis and rabbit trails and Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah and lying and cheating and doing things his way and then believing.

I am absolutely certain there were times Abraham had a little chat with God which went something like... "You called me out of the comfort of Ur for THIS?".  I know because I've had that same conversation with Him... only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

In some ways, He has caused my boundaries to be in pleasant places.  He has not asked of me that I suffer completely.  For instance, I love my small-ish house at the edge of a forest which He provided... a miraculous mortgage offer... and a house I loved that we could afford.

But other things in my life, the little and not-so-little foxes which nip at my ankles... some will be with me a lifetime.  The challenges and the difficult relationships and the fears to be conquered.

The grief over those gone and the missing and of those here but far away.  The desires of the heart not received... yet.  My life not what I expected at all when I was younger.

But through the years I've learned Abraham's secret, how he went from Liar to Legend.  How God could promise him a family as big as the stars in the sky and the sand on the beach?  Abraham learned God's secret.

What we see is not all there is

The City truly does exist.  Some answers are on the other side. Someday we will walk in that City whose asphalt is made of gold.  Illness will all be gone and with it poverty and loneliness and exhaustion and war and weeds and things that go bump in the night.

The journey is just getting started on this side.  What did C. S. Lewis call this life at the end of The Last Battle?   The Cover and the Title Page of the story?  When we begin to see life from an eternal perspective, the journey begins to make a little more sense.

What we become... who we are when we are presented to our Father... that all comes from the journey.  He is our destination.

Picture:  The Word of the Lord Endures


Elizabeth said...

A beautiful post!

Vee said...

It gave you a headache? This is making me smile. There is knowledge too vast for me as well. For starters, "a city" does not compute well with me. I do not like cities. I would never live in one, unless the Lord told me to, of course. When I explained to my mother's pastor that his image of heaven (some Disneyland version) was certainly not my mother's, he struggled a bit. She would be perfectly content in her little cottage at the lake. I hope that she is in that corner of heaven. I know that we can not understand it all with our wee brains and I really don't wish to understand it all...yet. (Do I feel a headache coming on?) That ticket comes when we're boarding the train. I'm more of a "let's make heaven on earth" while we're here knowing full well that THAT is never going to happen. What does heaven look like to you? That He will be there and that those loved ones who've gone before will be there seems pretty heavenly. Though He is here, too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding us that we are all on a journey. A lot depends on the attitude we bring to it.

For example, I could say boo-hoo broke a bone, or I can pick up a good mystery and consider this a kind of enforced vacation.(but how about a cruise next time instead :)

Angela said...

Good words. I praise God for the courage He has given you as you travel towards that unseen city. I need that same courage. Your writings help me along the road.

Terra said...

Your ponderings on the sofa have led to you sharing some wise words with us here.

Cheryl (copperswife) said...

"What we see is not all there is. "

Reading this on Monday morning and delighting in the fact that it meshes with and reinforces the sermon I heard in church yesterday. What we see is definitely not all there is, and we don't know the end of our own stories. Reading your pondering this morning, and knowing the end of Abraham's story, makes me cling to my faith and reliance on God. He knows all there is and He knows the end of my story. Hallelujah!

Anonymous said...

you have no idea how much your post touched me today. Thank you.


Heather said...

Excellent thoughts. Abraham longed for a heavenly city and I do too. Although I have come to believe that heavenly means wherever the presence of the Lord is so I will be happy to live on a renewed earth in a renewed body and mind with you and the rest of the bride. :)

a8383 said...

Thank you so much Brenda for reminding me my "cottage with the wrap-around front porch" may not be here. Well I am 52 so maybe it is not too far away! Angela

Sue said...

Got up this morning with feet so heavy from carrying all the burdens of my heart.....then I read this post! Gave me the oomph I needed to get myself in gear and get started on my day remembering this is the journey not the destination. I needed to hear that this morning. God Bless!

Front Porch Grace said...

Wow. Deep thoughts that harmonize with mine of late. My husband's father and uncle passed away within days of each other, and our family has been reeling. Taking time to catch up on my favorite blogs after a month of being away, and this (again.)

In His Grace,