As I sit here at the kitchen table beginning to write today’s blog post, I am finding myself mesmerized by the sight of the bright sunlight that just broke through the cloud cover and the warmth of the light that is flooding our patio. It reminds me of Malachi 4:1-2 where it states that “Certainly the day is coming! It will burn like a furnace… The Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in his wings…” (God’s Word ©)
As I was praying this verse over my wife one morning, the Lord showed me that this is precisely what He is doing for Piper. His light of love and healing is burning through the fog of confusion that has attacked her mind. Last week He gave me a similar picture when I was confessing Isaiah 58:8 over her. This scripture declares “Your light will break through like the dawn, and you will heal quickly…” (God’s Word ©) What I heard was the Lord saying that, “The light of Piper’s understanding is breaking forth as the morning and her health is springing forth speedily.” Sounds like what we just experienced here looking out our back patio windows doesn’t it! I love the way that the Lord will use very applicable situations that we are familiar with to convey His messages to us.
I have often wondered what is going on inside Piper’s mind over the last few years. It has to be so confusing for her. She always had such a sharp mind, an eye for detail and was quick to reply in almost any situation with just the right words. The idea of a foggy northern California morning seems to paint the clearest picture for me. But then the idea of the sun breaking through and burning off all the vestiges of the mist gives me hope for the brighter tomorrow that He has promised her.
And speaking of His promises… In reviewing I Peter 5:7 today, I was reminded of how special you and I are to our heavenly Papa God. The Phillips New Testament in Modern English puts this truth in such a way that it instantly warms the heart. This paraphrase states: “You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.”
Many of us are probably more familiar with the King James translation which talks of “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Depending which word you emphasize, this encouragement can have two meanings. The first being that Papa God cares for or about you, and the second that He takes and carries your cares in your place!
The Phillips paraphrase acknowledges the personal interaction that Papa God longs to have with each of us. He is a God that exercises a “hands on” approach with you and me! I like that, don’t you? He is not like the supervisor on the job that sits in his or her office all day and never comes out onto the production floor.
When I worked in the fabrication area at Hewlett Packard and their spin off Agilent Technologies, I made a point to position my desk right in the middle of the shop and spend as much time on the floor with my team as I could. I even spent a night running one of the machines and another soldiering and assembling semi-ridged cables. The highlight of the soldering night was when one of the older ladies that worked for me snuck up behind me and secretly turned the heat up on my soldering iron so that I totally burned up one of the connectors! My surprise and clumsy reaction to the sizzle and smote was duly rewarded with the applause of the entire group. It was great!
Over the last few years, I have come to learn that following Papa God’s example of becoming physically involved in the lives of those around you is what the Gospel of love is all about. Like I have said a lot lately… Love is not just empty words but is openly displayed in the actions we take. Many folks have told us that they love us and even that they are praying for us in the midst of the situation we are in with the attack on my wife’s health, but relatively few have put feet to their faith like my Mom who would call every day to inquire as to Piper’s well-being and reiterate her declaration of letting she and my Dad know if there was anything they could do for us, my cousin who would regularly call or text and on multiple occasions cooked and delivered a delicious Italian meal for us (and we still text from coast to coast on almost a daily basis!) and a couple of friends who immediately started coming by each week to spend time with Piper and give me an opportunity to run errands or attend a ball game with my son. I am thankful as well to another old friend who allowed me to share my deepest thoughts and hurts with her through regular emails. Her words of wisdom and peace helped through some of my toughest moments in the early stages of this journey.*
To me, that is a High Definition picture of what God’s love is all about! Each morning and evening when I confess scripture over Piper, I personalize the words as if Papa God is talking directly to her. This morning as I spoke we were almost overcome with His presence in the room. It was no longer me speaking, but it was His loving and personal voice that touched our hearts!
As a child growing up in the Catholic church I knew of God and I believe that I loved Him, but it was not the personal experience that I now have after I asked Jesus to become the Savior and Lord of my life through the loving and gentle influence of my girlfriend (and now wife) as a Senior in High School. That is what sets Christianity apart from any other religion that I know of. Papa God personally and lovingly cares for your every thought and action and He wants you to give Him your cares and thereby allow Him to do His best for your life.
Remember nothing is too big or too small for Him. He just wants to be intimately involved with every aspect of your life. I think that is so cool… don’t you? There are days that I fight the feeling of being alone as I long for the warm, tender and interactive embrace of my wife, but then I am reminded that He is closer than my next breath and any anxiety or emptiness I feel melts away as it is enveloped in the warmth of His love and personal concern for me.
If you’re feeling any of that today, I would encourage you to STOP what you’re doing and lift up your arms in praise and thanksgiving and just allow Him to saturate you with His personal touch of love… Right Where You Are! Then go out and make a difference in someone else’s life. Have a great weekend. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting a TO LOVE ON ME today?”
*There are other friends and family members that have demonstrated their love to us in various ways and they too are special to us, but these are some of the few who regularly went out of their way to interact with us.