Friday, June 24, 2016

Somewhere In-Between

Larry and Elizabeth had come into town to have lunch with us at a local restaurant.  When we arrived Liz was standing inside waving us over to the table.  Quickly saying our hellos and ordering we got around to chatting about family and friends. 

Not long into our conversations the waitress brought our lunches, but there was a bit of a problem.  My food was on Liz’s plate, part of her meal was missing, hubby had to send my salad back and his sandwich was on white bread not rye. The only one who didn’t have anything wrong was Larry. 

We didn’t let it phase us.  After sorting out our meals we went back to our conversations, only this time Larry and my husband started talking about cars and who knows what else.  Liz and I continued in our own world and the two sets never intertwined.  

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBSaudi Arabia; Mazabuka, Southern Province, Zambia; Bangladesh; Cambodia; Damascus, Damascus Governorate, Syria; Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles; Kazakhstan; Mariana Islands; Singapore; Senegal. 

USA Madras, GA; Kabetogama, MN; Boone, NC; Fairton, Ocean City, Olivet, NJ; Rutledge, AL; Strasburg, VA; Muskogee, OK; Blount Beach, TN; Kenner, Slidell & Covington, LA; Dora, MO; Hector, AR; Estero, FL. 

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Duck, Bob and Weave 

Liz was sitting across from me, and my husband and I had a seat between us.  While she was talking I leaned to the left and stretched out my arm over the middle chair.  Bending my arm I rested my head on my hand and sort of took a detour on what was happening.  The body was there, but the brain was on leave. 

I didn’t mean to be rude, but I couldn’t keep my thoughts on the conversation.  It had nothing to do with my friends and Liz knew that I was waiting for a call concerning my father.    

A few days earlier my brother mentioned that Dad wanted to talk to me, only he fell asleep before we could speak.  He had already spoken to the rest of the family except for yours truly.  As soon as Dad woke my brother said he would call, so I was anxiously waiting not knowing what time of day or night that would be. 

Trying to interact with my friend the subject was changed to the weather and heat wave.  Knowing that she didn’t have an air conditioner (by choice for health reasons), I wondered how she was beating all this heat. 

“How are you keeping cool?  Do you have a ceiling fan?” 

Liz went on to enlighten me about her situation. 

“We bought a big fan with a stand and that does a pretty good job.  We also have a ceiling fan, but it only has two blades.” 

As soon as she said that I popped back on my chair and started laughing. I couldn’t help myself picturing two blades going clunkity clunk round and round.  Certainly there was more to this story. 

“Liz why are there only two blades?” 

“Larry kept hitting his head on it so he took some out.” Liz explained. 

You see Larry is well over six feet tall and 80 years old! Can you visualize Larry caught in-between blades trying to duck, bob and weave as he entered the living room?  I guess taking out two or three of the blades gave him time to dodge the others.   

What was so funny to me is that I’d never heard of a two blade ceiling fan so I found it was hysterical and so did hubby. Come to find out there are thousands of those buggers and it’s not so uncommon after all.  The difference is they were made to be that way!

Right about then the phone rang and everyone got quiet as if someone had turned off a switch to the sound of our voices.  I knew it was my brother. 

Taking the Call 

Checking the number hubby handed me the phone; I tried to hear what was happening on the other end of the line.  At this point my father was only awake a few minutes of the day and hadn’t eaten anything in four days.  Being longtime friends of my parents, Larry and Elizabeth were also eager to hear from my family regarding the state of Dad. 

None of us could understand why Dad was still holding on and hadn’t left for Heaven when all he talked about was being with my mother.  His vital signs and organs were working great but something was keeping him here. 

When I began to speak to my brother, he told me that Dad woke up and asked for water. He drank almost eight ounces and even ate a snack size pudding cup.  With him now alert it would be a good time to call. 

Trying to get my father to stay awake my brother beckoned “keep talking.” Over and over I repeated “Dad, I love you.” Realizing that my voice level was rising I got up from the table and went outside. 

For the next 45 minutes my brother tried to catch Dad awake for more than a few seconds so he could take a picture with his eyes open while I was talking with him.  Not being able to be there with my father at this moment was extremely difficult for both of us.
By now I was sitting on the concrete step outside the restaurant listening to my brother coach my Dad.  

“Open your eyes Pop. Pop, Fay’s on the phone do you want to talk to her. Pop, Pop, open your eyes. Say something Pop.” 

Finally he was awake but could only make a shallow grunting sound confirming that he understood what was happening.  Putting the phone to his ear I began to tear up as I repeated myself. 

“Dad, I love you …” Something then moved in my spirit. “It’s okay Dad.  It’s okay if you want to go.  You’ll be with Mom, Van and your other babies that Mom miscarried.  It’s okay, we’ll all be together again.  I love you.” 

As soon as I said that he closed his eyes.  You see the rest of the family except one of my sisters and me, had released my Dad back in January.  Ann sang to Dad on Tuesday and gave her blessings.  I was the last one to “release” my father and up to that point I wasn’t ready to do it.   

With our conversation my father seemed to find peace.  Several hours later another call came …Dad never woke again … he had given up the ghost and went home to Heaven. 

Caught in-between 

For days I tried to sleep but couldn’t.  It wasn’t as if I hadn’t cried buckets, because I had.  All week long I was thinking about how I could present this post and how was God’s favor in this if my Dad didn’t get healed?  How could I tell the story so that readers could see God in times of sorrow?   

It was a conversation I had with my husband several weeks ago that gave me the answer.  One of the reasons my father wasn’t healed is because he didn’t want to stay. His heart had already moved to Heaven and God will not go against the will of man.  What he was facing reminded me of the passage Paul spoke to the Philippians. 

“For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.  Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Philippians 1:23-24 NKJV) 

Perhaps my father was waiting for all his kids to release him and hear the words “We’ll all be together again.”  My heart would like to think this was the reason however I believe my husband’s words were correct. 

I Shall Go to Him 

One of the things my mother always prayed was that all her family would come to know Christ.  She was uncertain about my father’s salvation and so we have continued her requests since her home going, asking the Lord to honor my mother’s prayers in that He wouldn’t let Dad leave without being right with Him. 

When I talked with my husband he shared how the favor, grace of God was present and that the Lord was honoring our prayers.  He was giving my father more time to give his life to God. 

After we got word that Dad had made the move, my spirit was at rest. Although I cried because I will miss him dearly here on earth, I felt like King David in the Bible when he learned his baby boy had passed. 

Instead of mourning over his son when his prayers weren’t answered, David rose up, washed his face, changed his clothes and anointed himself before entering into the House of the Lord to worship God.  His servants didn’t understand the King’s behavior after losing a child. 

There was a reason David was at peace with what happened even though it didn’t turn out like he expected. He knew one day his family would be reunited only this time it would be with God (Jesus) in Heaven.   

No Greater Favor 

Why was David able to have such inner peace in the midst of a tragedy and not get caught in-between what was, what could be or what should be? He believed God and the grace (favor) promise of eternal life to those who accept Jehovah into their heart. (See 2 Samuel 12:20-22)
God fulfilled that promise through His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17 NKJV) 

Having peace and hope allowed the King to move forward in His walk with the Lord for greater things to come.  He didn’t “stay stuck” in grief, confusion or loss, but came out of the in-between place to embrace what was to come with joy.  God wants us to do the same. 

The hope we have as Christians is that we too shall go to Heaven and see those of our family who also believed in Jesus.  There is no greater favor than that of salvation, eternal life and spending eternity with your family.  

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the (grace, favor) gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) 

If we have a real relationship with Christ our journey with Him will never end and we don’t have to be caught in-between wanting to stay or leave.  None of us know what the real reason was behind all that we witnessed with my father, because it was ultimately between God and him.   

Although our family is still processing the departure of our earthly father, the Lord has been gracious in giving us His Holy Spirit the Comforter.  We have been visited by the Lord with the favor of His salvation, and gladly rejoice in eternity as our inheritance as chosen people knowing there is more for us to do here and now. 

“Remember me, O LORD, with the favor You have toward Your people. Oh, visit me with Your salvation, that I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones.  That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, that I may glory with Your inheritance.” (Psalm 106-4-5 NKJV)  

This Week’s Challenge:
No More In-Between 

It’s been hard dealing with all the hate, crime and ungodly acts that have been plaguing the globe recently.  Some of you are caught in-between handling so much devastation that it is rocking the very foundation of your belief in God.  You’re angry and want relief from all the pain!  You need to literally “feel” God’s comfort and have peace restored in your life. 

I want to help rebuild your faith and let you know that God … Heaven itself … is reaching down to touch Earth with unmerited favor for those who will remain steadfast and not waver.  God has heard your cry and wants to move on your heart with His shield of favor surrounding you with mercy, grace and love. (Psalm 5:12) 

Our challenge is to step out of that “in-between” place where we want to believe, but circumstances are getting in the way of it happening.  As we trust the Lord unconditionally God will overtake us with His glory, so that we will know what it means to truly journey with Jesus. 

Whatever you are going through the Lord has made His peace, comfort, forgiveness and blessings available to whoever will call on His mighty name.  There is a shield of favor waiting for you … it comes with mercy and grace to cover the pain and suffering you are experiencing.  God has something good He’s about to do in your life.  Believe there’s more than what you see before you at this moment. 

Right now, pray for God to remember you with His favor and that you “feel” His loving arms around you as He sorts out the details of your situation. Ask Jesus to show you the benefits of your salvation so that your spirit is no longer caught in-between, but comforted and restored for great works. 

“Remember me, O LORD, with the favor You have
toward Your people. Oh, visit me with Your salvation,
that I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones…” 
Take Me There by Anna Golden
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Until next time, Oh God, remember us with Your favor! 

“Eternal salvation is a benefit of My grace and favor.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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