Monday, August 5, 2013

After The Dust Settles

The lone oak stood firm against the fury of the tornado
I lie in the dust; revive me by your word. I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees. Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. Psalm 119: 25

Unless you have tried to accomplish absolutely nothing, you can relate to the Psalmist's words. I will take it another step further and say, If you are a person of Faith you have attempted the impossible, because you believed that with God all things are possible. Then, your dream died, and you awoke in a bed of dust. I know I have.

I had just returned from China extremely disappointed that our long-held dream, of a longterm stay, on a spiritual frontier--a plan I was sure God had given me, wasn't exactly what God had in mind for Sandy and me. One weekday morning we took to the Pine Mountain Trail to hike, clear our hearts and heads, and try to figure out what God did say. At Pine Mountain, we stepped into the shade of one of the trails and began a three mile trek. It had been at least five years since we had been in the area.

Walking the trail that rose and fell and traversed the side of the mountain, we talked and were enjoying our reunion with this gift of nature. It was refreshing. Now, imagine the shock when we came around the edge of a ridge and saw the destruction of a tornado that had shredded trees into splinters, left jagged stumps, cross-piled timber, and stripped the landscape bare. This was not at all what we expected on our little soul quest. Standing at the top of the gorge, I looked out over the destruction. What little vigor was left in me trickled out through the dusty soles of my hiking boots.

Revive me...

There are definitely situations that boost our spirit. You know, a good nap, an unexpected kindness, reconnecting with an old friend, a romantic evening, a good song. However, as we follow God--get that--follow God, we are talking about an entirely different adventure. So, mark it down, situations will arise that will require more than a "boost." It happens to every sojourner. Somewhere along the road you will either miss a word from God, misinterpret a word from Him, forget that you have not heard all He has to say regarding a matter, and our plans unravel. Continuing to listen cannot be overstated. God alone, can speak revival into those kinds of situation. It's more like a spiritual resuscitation.

Now, several months removed from the disappointment of leaving Asia, we can see that all we had planned was not all that God had planned. Was it all for nought? Of course not. Do we have all the pieces in place yet? No, but we are still standing, still learning, and God is still teaching. Much of the dust has settled, and thank God, we are not laying in it!


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