On November 8, 2021, my life was rudely interrupted by death, but God immediately intervened to not simply be in my presence. God has always been present and surrounding me with His dynamic grace, power, and guidance. Yes, He has been my Friend, but mostly He has been my Savior….through it all. My life has not simply moved ‘on,’ my life has moved ‘forward’ at an incredibly rapid motion.
A few days shy of four weeks after the funeral of my best friend and wife of more than 50 years, Sharon literally stepped into my life and me into hers. I have spoken of this many times and there may be multiple scores of people who do not understand what God has done and continues to do in our lives. This is truly an unmistakable time of His grace in our journey.
Moving on is unmistakably a wrong application of what has happened. I and Sharon have moved forward. Moving on simply is going from one place to another, but under a shadow or in a storm. Moving forward is perpetually making progress from a very dark place and into the light of God’s grace on a daily basis. Jesus told His disciples that He was about to leave their physical presence, changing locations as it were, in order to prepare a place for each of them. He Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. And you know the way where I am going.” John 14:1-4 NET2.
This is the course of action that I have chosen because God has prepared the journey. Jesus does not leave us alone and without purpose for our lives. Our journey is always with a purpose because He has planned it so. Reading from God’s Word we can easily see the progression of human history as ‘moving ‘forward.’ And God has always been in the forefront of every moment in time. Adam and Eve were attempting to hide from HIm, but His voice rang out, “hen the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the orchard. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9. And it is interesting to note that the man and woman felt they could somehow keep HIm from finding them…in HIS garden. They could not because of who He is. HE knew where they were and where you and I are. God tells us, For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:11-14. Furthermore, He encourages us like this, ” Don’t be afraid, for I am with you! Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! I strengthen you— yes, I help you— yes, I uphold you with my victorious right hand! Look, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and humiliated; your adversaries will be reduced to nothing and perish. When you will look for your opponents, you will not find them; your enemies will be reduced to absolutely nothing. For I am the Lord your God, the one who takes hold of your right hand, who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’ Isaiah 41:10-14.
No, depending upon myself is not and has never been the solution to my problems. Only God has the solutions to your problems, too. Certainly, there are some who choose to ignore the promised pathways God has given to us in HIs Word, but these promises are powerful directions for us just as they were for those who first heard them. I have had no answers, no solutions for any issues of difficulty over the course of my life, but God has always been faithful in every situation. However, there have been some times when I have chosen to ignore His directions and I have failed. And the moment I have returned to what I knew was His instruction I found joy and peace because of Him alone. and you will,too.
Jesus is Lord.