I can't seem to get this writing thing going. Pray for me. I know I need to do it -- I delight to it, and yet I find so many other things - and reasons to hold back the words. Of late I've been amiss over the need to redo this blog and to make it what I'd really like it to be, but with the fleeting time and my technological deficiencies, I've been held back. Soon!
For now, I have a few short thoughts which I will be spewing out without filter.
Last weekend I took to reading Revelation. I'd not been there for quite a while, but seeing that I am in Butler for a spell, as was I last year -- and the pastor in Pittsburgh is still covering this book, I decided to return there. I was incalculably blessed by what I found, and my heart was nearly ripped in two with joy and sorrow. Revelation depicts such an extreme contrast of the righteous saints who persevere in their love for the Lamb, and the wicked men who refuse -- despite much opportunity and provocation -- to repent and turn to God. I was chilled by the callousness and enlivened by the Kingdom to come; a real place which will one day be my reality. "And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb." Rev. 21:23. "For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Rev. 7:17
The next morning the sermon came from Revelation 22, but we spent the majority of our time in Genesis 3. He spoke of the Garden, and the connection and fulfillment seen in these two scenes. We saw that from Adam hence it has been and is a time of testing for those on the earth. Our obedience and allegiances are continually sought and tested here, and thankfully we - unlike Adam, are counted righteous through grace and not our works. Revelation 22 ushers in an entirely new period - the Genesis of the righteousness of the people of God - no longer imputed, yearned for, sought after, but eternally purchased and attained by the blood of the Lamb. The time of testing breaks into an eternity of rest, and the people of God, with their hearts, souls, minds, and bodies forever cleansed and renewed, enter into the rest of God in perfect peace and awe. This is such terrific news!
I've been rejoicing in this and continually marveling in how great is the task of wrangling a soul. Try though I may, it is only the Spirit of God that can produce any good thing in me, and it is that Spirit which can ever and only sustain that thing. I come, of course to the burgeoning treetops and swaying valleys and ask myself, did I doubt the life before I saw it here, though it was hidden and appeared dead? No, I believed and hoped that spring would follow winter and as it has I desire to replant the spiritual seeds in my soul trusting the harvest will come as He wills it. I stay near the Son, not lamenting my weakness, but leaning in as the flower to the light - doing only what it instinctively knows to do - finding its strength - its life, in another. So must I do this, and you.
There are also fruits for us all which are withheld for our good. Our understanding of the reasons may not be clear, but so it is. If we think on the thing, our hearts begin to melt and we wonder how to do without it. Our sight becomes blurred and our resolves weaken as everything steady begins to totter. Friend, look with me to Him. I can offer no solution for why things are as they are, but I know this to be true: turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Desire only weakens as it is found satisfied in Him. I say this with leaking heart - not to go to the fountain once and be filled, but to find the Fountain and daily - moment by moment, go back and draw the water with springs which bubble up to life everlasting.
Here are some photos of late. The cows followed me as I went past them. All of creation displayed obedience and I thought of Romans 8:21 "that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."