I mentioned in the introduction to yesterday’s post that the past few months had been a whirlwind of activity, faith and thanksgiving. What I failed to express was the extreme difficulties I faced at different times throughout that adventure. Although I have complete peace and am assured that we are in the perfect home that Papa God has prepared for us, there have been many times where I fought the idea of throwing in the towel!
This new house project has definitely taxed my emotions, my physical body and my faith. From the days right before we met with the lawyer to sign the paperwork when I began to really wonder if this was the right move for us due to the large financial commitment we would be making at this time in our lives, to the packing up of our stuff at the apartment, the preparation, cleanup and minor renovations to the new house and then the physical move, I had to deal with many extreme pressures that got me to second guessing the whole transaction!
Once we were out of the apartment my body started to rebel when it came to cleaning up before we turned in the key and got our deposits back. It wasn’t bad enough that my joints began to scream things to me that I never heard before, but Piper was also experiencing some very weak days and on a few occasions refused to take a single step, which when push came to shove, meant that I had to lift her from her chair to the car, to the house and to bed at night.
One night she was not able to hold herself up when it came to retire for the evening. I’m still not sure how I got her changed and into bed that night! I think that this is the first time in my life where I have really had to consider my own physical limitations.
The one thing that I have learned throughout this whole time though, is the need for me to continually rearrange my thoughts, my plans and even any fears that tried to knock on my door and make sure that all of them fit into His plan and not mine! During those moments when I felt like I could not physically go on… His strength (read that: His joy – Nehemiah 8:10) carried me through.
Deep inside I knew that this was Papa God’s perfect plan and place for us and I wanted to make sure that I would not do anything that would mess up the possibility of us excitedly stepping into our future that He has designed specifically for my wife and I… just like Zechariah and Elizabeth had to do in their lives in the mountain country of Judah a few thousand years ago!
I would encourage you to consider the times that you have or might still have to rearrange your emotions, your faith, and your fears in order to stayed aligned with Papa God’s plans for your future as you study today’s Advent Calendar reading. Oh... by the way, I hope you are enjoying our new blog page format!
Let’s Rearrange That!
Tuesday, the first week of Advent
Today’s Reading: Genesis 30:1, 22-23 / Luke 1:23-25
There is an old western film produced by the RKO studio in 1936 starring the legend of silent and talking westerns, Harry Carey Sr. In the film the actor plays the part of a notorious outlaw who has just been released from prison after a 35 year sentence. He is totally out of touch with the modern world and is even more miffed when nobody remembers the tough guy that he used to be. There are some pretty hilarious scenes with the way he reacts to the younger people’s comments to him as being an “old man!”
In the climax of the movie, he teams up with the old Sheriff who put him away many years back to help with his sharp-shooter skills with a rifle, in order to roust a gang held up in a country cabin. Throughout the gunfight scene Harry Carey’s character calmly looks at different targets on, in and around the cabin and says to the young upstart Deputy crouching next to him, “Let’s rearrange that!” Then to the amazement and chagrin of his young “Doubting Thomas” he aims his rifle and hits his intended bull’s-eye. In the end he shoots off the stovepipe from the roof and forces the bad guys to surrender as they are overtaken by the smoke from the fireplace that fills the cabin.
The words of the comment “Let’s rearrange that” go hand in hand with today’s reading and corresponding lesson. In our scripture we take up where Zechariah has just received a life altering message from the angel of the Lord. Yesterday we saw a man that responded in doubt and unbelief, but today we see a man that quickly saw the error of his ways and “rearranged” his thinking, his faith and his courage! Think about that for a moment. Many of us would have probably felt sorry for ourselves, thrown in the towel and went home with our tails between our legs. But not Zechariah!
This man of God, swallowed his pride, accepted his situation, and looked forward with new purpose to the job that was set before him. The Word says that he did not drop everything and run home, but that he stayed on in order to complete his previous assignment with his temple duties for another few days and then returned to his home in the mountains to proceed with the next phase of his life. After this the story turns to his wife Elizabeth and we get an abbreviated glimpse into the reactions of a mighty women of faith.
Our story states that Zechariah and Elizabeth were quite old and that she had been barren. Previous to this we learned that they were accepted by God because they lived righteous before both God and man. As members of the priestly line of Aaron they had to be very much aware of the promises of God to His people, especially that of Deuteronomy 7:14 where it was proclaimed that “You will be blessed more than any other people. Your men and women will be able to have children, and your animals will be able to have offspring.” (God’s Word ©)
Throughout my many years in ministry I have seen countless Christians who have turned away from God because they became angry and embittered with the loss of a loved one, the inability to have a family, or because they felt that God didn’t answer a particular prayer of theirs. They blamed God, and walked away from Him and or blamed themselves and lived the rest of their lives in defeat, fear of failure and indecision. Zechariah and Elizabeth were not like that though! They are shining examples of those who trust in the Lord in the midst of confusing times when you might not have all the answers. And yes, Zechariah did exhibit a moment of weakness (which is not uncommon among those of us who face negative lifelong situations or health issues day and night, 24/7), but he saw the light, “rearranged” his faith and moved forward.
Elizabeth quickly discerned not only the miracle but also the importance of the event that had taken place in their lives. I believe that is precisely why she spent five months in seclusion so she could be alone in the presence of the Lord, thank Him for removing what was considered a disgrace and meditate upon, as well as prepare herself for their new assignment.
Today we have read of an older couple who learned a practical lesson in life, made some rapid “rearrangements” within themselves and stepped excitedly into their future! How would you (or have you) handled a similar situation? This would be a good time to consider the place and level of faith in your life. Are you at a place where you could positively respond to a new direction, or job that God might present to you? If not, then today just might present the perfect opportunity to look within and make any “rearrangements” to better align yourself with the path that proceeds from His loving kindness, mercy and potential plan for your life!
Once again, this could be the perfect discussion to have around the dinner table tonight. Have a great adventure today! Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What “REARRANGEMENTS” am I expecting to make today?”