Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Sovereign

A few of you have inquired about my friend, the bottle man and wonder if there has been any resolution to my self-imposed dilemma.

For a couple of days I had felt out of sorts and I know it was because I was feeling so unsettled over the situation.
I sought Papa's forgiveness and direction.

The forgiveness was given and a decision was made....

Go knocking at his door bearing a gift.
I did, but, no surprise, he did not answer the door.
He never does.

Yet, a weight lifted even though I didn't get to see him.
I had done what I could to please Papa.

So is that it?
No, of course not.

It is pretty certain that my friend saw me, but it is his policy not to answer the door for anyone.
If he expects you, he will wait outside for you.

I am also certain to see him by the side of the road, with his thumb out, hitching a ride, in the very near future.
At that point I will pull over and seek to make amends.

Meanwhile I will wait patiently.

James speaks about patience in the Fifth Chapter of his letter.
"You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the LORD is at hand."
There are two points to be taken and applied from that verse and the ones surrounding it.

First, patience is rewarded.
James uses the farmer for his example.
The farmer knows he cannot hurry the sun, rains, nor growth of the plant.  He does know that it all takes time and that it he will be reaping his harvest in time.
All God's promises take time too, but they are certain...In God's time.
One day all of them will be fulfilled and we will rejoice in seeing it!

Second, patience must extend, not just to circumstances, but to the people in those situations. 
When the LORD does return He will take the role of Judge.  Until then we are not to act as judge of one another.

How does this apply to me and my friend, the bottle man?
I must wait for God's timing, which is perfect.  I can be confident that Papa will orchestrate everything in His grace and wisdom.
I also, dare not look upon this man in judgment.  Many do.  It is very easy to reject one who does not conform to what society deems acceptable.
He has done nothing wrong in this situation, but the flesh would have no trouble judging him and making excuses for oneself.  Someone actually made the suggestion that it really was on him to get to my home and how rude not to answer his door!

I am not going down that path.

Every one of us has baggage.  Stuff that has helped shape us, that has burdened us and colored our thinking.
The way I look at it is that you don't know what I am lugging around anymore that I know yours, so let's give each other a break!

Only One knows about all of it and He wants to lift it all from us and set us free.

That is the message I want to share with my reclusive friend....
That is the message I want to share with each one that crosses my path...
and that is the message I so long to get across, right now, to one young man....

At least six years ago Ray and I attended a party at a friend's home.   This man is very involved in reaching out to those who struggle with addictions.  One of the people at the gathering was a teenage boy.
As soon as I set eyes on this fellow I knew that he was to be added to my prayer list.

The boy looked close to death.  He was hollow-eyed and haggard.
Over the years that have past since that day I have heard reports of him being in and out of jails, rehabs, different states, and hospitals.
So very sad.

Fast forward to a few months ago....
He appeared at the rehab that I volunteer at and to all appearances seemed to be determined to change the course of his life.
During a number of our conversations we talked about how this was to be his turning point and that he dare not let go.

Every once in a while I would catch a glimpse of something under the surface, but chalked it up to the struggle with recovery.

It is a struggle.
Years of wrong thinking, of believing lies and of giving into the self-destruction of addiction does not let go without a struggle.  A major struggle.

This precious guy is no longer in the rehab.  It seems he has been giving into the lies again and refuses to admit it.

I am sitting here looking at a beautiful piece of artwork that graces the wall of my little sanctuary.

A couple of months ago our youngest move into his own apartment and I took over his old room.

It is Papa's and my special place.
Papa has been decorating it....

A chair and a quilt found at a tag sale...
A table forgotten in the attic...
A lovely lamp at another tag sale...

I knew He had special plans for what went on the walls.

I returned from Ray's and my trip to Florida to find a package waiting for me. 
My dear friend had sent it to me from China.

Everything about it lent itself to this special place.

The color of the frame and flowers and especially the Scripture that is its centerpiece.

Habakkuk Three, verse Nineteen is written in both English and Chinese.
The English reads,
"The Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights."
My God is my Strength and I know that He wants to be that Strength for this dear young man and for every single person, wherever they are, whatever they face.

The Strength that is ours in Him enables us to climb to the heights...
where the air is clear...
where we can breath deeply...
where we can think clearly...

In His Strength we are set free.
The lies are wiped out by the Truth.
Wrong desires are replaced with the desire of our hearts-Him.

Oh Papa remind my dear young friend of these truths. 
I know he has heard them, but now may he believe with his heart and receive your strength to be set free!

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