Monday, January 16, 2012

Foreigner - Chapter 2

God the father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter

God’s picks and chooses. A truth that has been cussed and discussed since God chose to accept Abel’s offering and rejected Cain’s. Since He chose to, “love Jacob and hate Esau.” Theological systems have been developed to explain the “why’s and wherefores” of election/selection. However, it’s a train of thought that is above our ability to comprehend. The baffling examples of Divine prerogative can’t be harmonized with human logic. God’s choices are unexplainable, but from my view of the deck His unbreakable commitment to stick with His choices may be the most profound!

Peter writes to people living far from home, and says (I paraphrase), “Your heavenly Father knew you and chose you for His own before you were a twinkle in your earthly daddy’s eye.”

During 2011 Dad’s health began to deteriorate rapidly. By March a series of medical complications piled up and like an avalanche swept him into the valley of the shadow of death. My sister Barb called to tell me that Dad's Dr. believed his passing was imminent. I got on a plane in Charlotte, NC and to his bedside as soon as I could.

With just God and me present Dad told me of some of his fears – confessions I have heard at least a hundred times by the faithful in their final moments. Dad was as “saved” as saved can be. He was redeemed. But he was about to enter eternity and in his mind there were “logical” reasons to doubt that God’s grace and love could cover all his sin. It was a surreal moment as we sat and talked and wept and found peace in the illogical love of God.

Perhaps you’ve heard the, “St. Peter met so and so at the pearly gates” jokes.

I smile -- when in my imagination – my father passes through the veil and is met by rough and tumble Peter! Redeemed, but still gloriously wild, he pokes my father in the shoulder and says . . .

“Burleigh! Your heavenly Father knew you and chose you for His own before you were a twinkle in your earthly daddy’s eye. Welcome home!”

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