Thursday, 22 December 2011

Mary, Where have you been?

Three months after Gabriel left Mary, she returned to talk to her parents with her strange and wonderful news.
'Hi, Mum and Dad.'
'Mary! Thank goodness you are back. Where have you been? Joseph's been wanting to have the wedding and you weren't even home. Oh, I've never been so embarrassed in my life!'
'You should have been here getting ready. I've tried to work on your dress but I can't finish it without you here. Joseph's impatient. He wants to know where you've been. We couldn't even tell him.'
'I told you Mum I had to go and see Elizabeth. And guess what?'
'Yes, yes, yes. You told me that but why would you stay there three months? We've assumed you went somewhere else.'
'I stayed to help her. She's pregnant.'
'What! I thought you went to see cousin Elizabeth...'
'Yes. And she is due to have a baby any day. An angel visited Zechariah. It's so exciting.'
Mary's mother sinks into a chair. 'But they can't have children and she's older than me!'
'I know. With God nothing is impossible!' 
Mary's father fidgets. He's nervous. 'Enough women talk! Mary get busy. I think Joseph will be here looking for you tomorrow night. You must be ready for the wedding by then.'
'There won't be a wedding tomorrow, Dad. Things have changed.'
'Changed!' Mary's Dad's face flushed pink. 'It can't change. Nothing's changing. We've been paid the bride price. It's locked in. You will be married.'
'Mary, honey. I thought you liked Joseph. It's natural to get a bit nervous, but you'll be very happy I'm sure. Now, come try on the dress.'
Mary wipes a tear from her eye. 'I love Joseph. It's not that. It's about what the angel said. Remember I said I saw an angel?'
Mary's Dad paused, about to go out the door. 'What's this got to do with angels? Get on with your preparations, Mary. I won't hear any more of this preposterous rubbish!'
'Dad, wait! I have to tell you. I'm pregnant, as the angel...'
Mary's Mum drops in a dead feint.
Her Dad slams the door. 'You're what?'
'The angel said I would have a baby and...'
'Are you sure, you're pregnant? Wait 'til I get my hands on that Joseph!'
'Dad, he doesn't know. He didn't do it. The angel said God would overshadow me.'
He grabbed the door handle and yanked the door open. 'You're blaming God! You're adding blasphemy to adultery. You'll be stoned.' The door slammed.
Mary helped her Mum of the floor. They sat together crying. 'Mum. You must believe me. Elizabeth says my baby is the Messiah. Her baby will make way for him. The angel said my baby will be a King; that I was the most blessed of women.'
Her poor mother is inconsolable. She puts her face in her hands and weeps.
'But, Mum. You always taught me it was the highest honour to be the mother of the Messiah.'
'Oh, Mary. It will be, but the Messiah's mother will be married by a prince - a prince in David's line. She'll live in Bethlehem.'
'The angel said all that. He will save His people. And...and He's growing inside me. Me! Oh, Mum, why would God choose me.'
'But, what about Joseph?'
'I'm waiting to see what he does.'
'What if his family decide to stone you? Have you thought of that?'
'I don't know how God will do it, Mum. But this much I know. I'm a virgin and I'm pregnant. I guess He can look after all the details.' Mary walks over to her wedding dress. 'I think I'll turn this into baby clothes fit for a King.'

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Miracle of Christmas

Creator of the world,
           Lord of Lords,
           Almighty God
Contracted to a span
Somehow compacted into a man

This tiny babe
Born in poverty
Died in controversy
Rescued the world
Somehow set me free to be 'me'!

 Jesus… This surpassing treasure
   This Great mystery
   Contained in clay pots
    Living by His Spirit
   Dwelling in the hearts of men!

 Can you grasp it? Can you believe it?
 The Almighty God…
Not out there But in here!
 All knowing, all seeing, all wisdom,
Light of the World
Not unattainable but within

All strength, all courage, all love, all truth
All this right here within me.
 And all He asks is …     I believe it!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

It's all in the name

As I write, our new friends are in Singapore enroute to their home in Kent, England. We had three lovely days with them and all because of a name. 
It started last Friday.
'Hello? Are you Steve's wife.' The distinctive, pommy accent bounced down my phone.
'I am.'
'We're here in Brisbane and we'd love to meet you. Blimey! Isn't it hot!'
We organised to meet them Sunday afternoon. This relationship began in England in 1841 when Malcolm's great-great-grand father had a little brother called Solomon Wanmer, who emigrated to Australia on the ship, 'Nimrood', in 1855. Steve is Solomon's great grand son. 
No one in Solomon's family has seen any relatives from England from the day he sailed until we shook Malcolm's hand on Sunday. There was a reconnection of the families about forty years ago through the mail and then contact began through facebook last year.
We invited our new friends/family to stay at our house. What a wonderful time we had, showing them our beautiful city and trying to catch up on one hundred and fifty years of history!
The great surprise was the family similarities. Both cousins had followed similar career paths. They shared a common interest in cars, both old and new. Both love the paper, but refuse to read it after someone else has left the pages untidy. The list goes on. We have discovered a large,new family, carrying similar interests and even similar names.
What a powerful model is family. It is the backbone of our culture, the fabric that holds society together. It is the model that God used to establish His church. He sent Jesus as the first of many sons. I count myself as one of them. I hope others can see the family likenesses in my life as they compare me to Jesus, the same way as we saw the family resemblances this week.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Murder, Bloody Murder

Is anyone out there? Why aren't we screaming murder, bloody murder!

'DOCTORS accidentally ended the life of a healthy 32-week-old unborn twin during a botched procedure to terminate his brother.' Sydney Daily Telegraph today.

They were 'terminating' one twin because of a congenital heart defect but they injected the wrong baby in error. The mother then underwent an emergency caesarean section and the sick child's life was terminated in a three-hour operation. (Illustration shows a 32 week baby.)

What will become of a nation who treats life with such contempt? The paper talks of the deep distress of staff and parent alike when the error was discovered. But why were any of them involved in the premeditated murder of such a child? A baby born at that point of gestation has a high chance of survival. My own daughter was born at 33 weeks 
tiny, but strong and healthy.

The blood of these little boys cries out from the ground. God will not turn a blind eye. The hands of our nation are dripping with blood, blood of babies that have been sacrificed on the alter of convenience. As I was researching this article I came across a story of a woman who aborted twins boys conceived by IVF because she wanted a girl!

I am horrified beyond belief.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm compassionate. I care for those woman and I'm not judging them, but this much I know. We must reap what we sow. We all understand that if we plant pansy seeds we can cut pansies in the future. If we plant bean seeds, we will eat beans, not spinach.

So if we sow murder, what will we reap? But, you argue, 'murder' is a strong word. Let me put it another way. If we sow 'justified termination', we will reap 'justified termination'. It will be called 'euthanasia'. It will be couched in the same acceptable medical jargon that surrounds abortion. 

This generation, when old, helpless and weak, will receive the same consideration given to the young and vulnerable who have been betrayed by the very one who is supposed to protect them. We too will face the termination needle.

As a nation, (and as individuals) we must repent for our murder. Then the blood of Jesus will protect us from reaping what we deserve. 

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

And the Winner is ...

'I'm going to win it!' I declared it emphatically. 
My companions looked a little stunned, and I could understand their reaction. But the moment I heard about it, I wanted it. Money wouldn't buy it. It wasn't available through people I knew. The winner wasn't to be drawn out of a hat. It was The Caleb award for best unpublished manuscript and to win my book had to be...well...the best!
Everyone in the room knew I'd never written a book before and the one I was working on was sadly lacking.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Day in the Life of a Grandma!

'I'm hungry, Ma!' 
Is there any way to fill a four year old? The bag of crisps and ten strawberries obviously hadn't done it.
'I need something cold!' Madam looked hopeful. 
So she selected an ice block from my freezer. It must have been healthy as it boasted wild berries and yoghurt. I know; I'm a soft touch, but unless you are a grandmother, how can you understand? Until you had to stare back into those serious blue eyes, how can you know what you would have done?
This follows last nights text message from Madam Twelve. 'Can you come early in the morning to braid my hair?'  I was due at her house at 8am to mind Miss Four. 
'Is 7.30 ok?' 
'Can you come at 7? Can you do Olivia's hair too?' Olivia is a school friend who must be sleeping over again.
Another message comes. This time from Madam Sixteen (Yes there are a lot of girls in this house!)
'Can you bring my assignment? I left it there last week. It's in a blue book.' 
This morning I woke late after a broken night's sleep. I found the assignment, grabbed the library books that were due back yesterday. In haste, I dropped the books into the 'returns' bin at the library and arrived to braid hair at 7.20am, ignoring several messages from Miss Twelve asking how much longer.
When Madam Sixteen looked expectant I realised what I'd done. I'd posted her assignment into the book bin at the council library! I hung out my daughter's washing and dropped Miss Ten at school, before coming home with the four year old who was complaining. She wanted her mummy *sigh*
My daughter finished her days work just after lunch. We called at the library and retrieved the assignment and met Miss Four's Mummy for coffee and a chat. 
How privileged am I to have so many wonderful girls in my life?  I am blessed...and constantly waiting for the unexpected.

Friday, 4 November 2011

From a grub to a butterfly

Have you ever sat with someone as their life ebbed out? Have you watched the battle between life and death, the battle between the determination of the human will and the deterioration of the physical body? On Monday I sat with a precious friend as she lost her battle with Alzheimer’s disease. A few years ago in a different nursing home I sat with my Mum as her aged body finally released her to be with her Lord. 

Today I thought I'd share a poem I wrote some years ago - poem of hope. 

The Parable of the Grub

 There comes a time in the life of every grub,
when he must weave a cocoon
And gradually he becomes more and more restricted
And things that were simple to do, become harder and harder
Until eventually they are impossible.

The grub struggles in the cocoon
Until one day the struggle stops – and all is still.

And we other grubs grieve the loss of life
And through our tears we celebrate a life lived.

But while the cocoon remains, motionless, an empty shell
A butterfly soars …..
Free from restriction
Free from keeping its feet upon the ground
        Free to fly, and swoop and flutter
Free ………
Gloriously free!

Jesus said: “I go to prepare a place for you. In my fathers house there are many mansions. If were not so I would have told you.”

RIP Eileen Whitmore <3

Thursday, 27 October 2011

It's time to be determined!

   This week Miss Three morphed into Miss Four! While to me she looks the same, sadly, my three year old has departed. The four year old is now a proud owner of her first push bike, complete with training wheels. In no time she was flying around the park, yard and streets.
   Yesterday, her mother suggested she left the bike at home and walked to the school to collect the older children.  She was very indignant. 'But, I'm four! Four year old legs ride bikes! They don't walk!'
It doesn't feel like it, but it must be four years since I watched as she pushed her way into the world. She was determined as a baby, and she has forced her way into life from that day on. The youngest of five siblings, she quickly learned how to charm the family into meeting her every want!
   She reminds me of Jesus's strange words about taking the Kingdom of God by force. She knows what she wants and what is hers by right of birth. If she wants to sleep with her brother or sister she claims that place. Thirsty in the night? She yells until Mum fixes it. Wants to stretch out on the whole lounge, she kicks everyone else off! (Yes, she is learning to share...slowly!) Hungry? She raids the fridge.
   Jesus also said that unless we become as a little child, we can never enter the Kingdom of God. Ahhh, it is starting to make sense.  I've been born into the Kingdom. Everything Father God owns is mine. I have access to the throne room, the store room, the angels, the table that's prepared for me. It is not a time for standing back and being shy. I think I'll follow Miss Four's example and barge straight in and claim everything that is mine!  Want to come with me?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

What others think is none of my business.

    Thanks to the wonder of technology and the iPhone, today I listened to Heidi Baker address the Voice of the Apostles conference in Baltimore.  She has planted 10,000 churches in Mozambique and rescued countless thousands of orphans from the streets in that nation. She is my hero! 
    Today she taught me a valuable lesson. 
    As her mission has a desperate need for bibles, she was excited when offered a large quantity from a well known Bible distributor. But then he added, 'We can only distribute them through men.'
I was instantly angry. How could he say such a thing to the woman who is one of the most successful missionaries of our age? How could he be so rude?
    But I was taken by her response. 'Men! I can get thousands of men! How many would you like?'
    Then she explained. 'At that time I had to make a choice. Would I be offended and risk losing the generous gift? No! There was no reason for me to be offended and I wanted those bibles.' She remained gracious and received thousands of Bibles for her people.
    Ouch! I wonder how many times I have missed a blessing because I took offense? How many times has my attitude been soured when I've taken exception to something expressed, when it was not my place to judge the statement?
    I have a wise friend that often says, 'What other people think of me is none of my business!' 
There could be a corollary. 'When other people think differently to me, it is none of my business!'
Ah, Lord. Help my reactions to be gracious and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The gate crasher who concealed himself just before my dinner party

'Eeekk!' A door slammed.
My niece, who lived with us, ran into the kitchen, white faced and shaking. 'A snake...a snake in the toilet.'
I took a deep breathe and went to investigate. Pushing the door open, I peered into the room. 'I can't see a snake.'
' the lid!' She was hiding behind me.
I did and there it was! A large carpet snake, curled within the bowl of the toilet. And it was only a few minutes until ten of our best clients were coming to a dinner party!
I did what any calm hostess does! I bellowed for my husband. He scratched his head while I fretted. Would I have to tell my guests that we couldn't offer toilet facilities?
'Steve, WHAT are you going to do?'
'It's okay. Calm down! I have a plan.'
'I'll get Lance's help. He's an old bushy. He'll know what to do.' The door bell rang.
When our client, Lance, arrived, there were six guests in my lounge room who heard Steve say, 'Come with me. We have a little matter to take care of.'
His wife raised an eyebrow. 'What is that about?'
I sunk into the nearest lounge. 'Believe me, you don't want to know!'
As the other men gathered around my toilet door to offer advice and be entertained, Bob removed the uninvited guest amid much frivolity. When the men returned, they assured the women they had located the broken grate where the reptile had invaded our private space.
'We covered it with a brick. He won't come back!'
However I noticed everyone carefully watching how much they drank that night. No wanted to have to use that loo!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Some conversations are painful!

The conversation pierced my heart. Poison tipped arrows seemed to penetrate deep into my flesh. It was only a conversation; no one physically injured me, but the physical pain was intense.
As we chatted, she had asked three simple questions.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Missing Home

'I can't sleep on this bed! It's too hard.' My gorgeous granddaughter threw herself around the room. Her sister climbed up on the double bed claiming her space beside me.
It was night five on our holiday with these two granddaughters and it was the third place we'd stayed. Obviously they were out of their comfort zone.
'I'll have to sleep standing up.' She retrieved the pillow she'd thrown across the room and stood beside her bed, cuddling it to herself and resting her head on its end.
I lay on her single bed and  invited her to join me. She refused and kept throwing herself around the room. I controlled my desire to yell at her. We were in a heritage B&B in Katoomba. We'd sat in the classy lounge room, drinking coffee and playing board games. I'd read to her. Was this how she was going to repay my generosity?
I took a deep breath. I suspected she was homesick and suffering a pain that she could only identify as a sore back.
'If I was home I could go lie on the lounge!' She confirmed my suspicions.
I lay on her bed and waited. Eventually she flung her body down beside me and tolerated having her back rubbed. Ten minutes later she dismissed me. 'You can go to your bed now.' Within seconds she was asleep. The next morning she woke up happy and enjoyed the rest of the holiday.
I was thankful I'd remained patient and not caused a scene. That familiar quiet voice spoke in my heart. 'She's a lot like you really.'
'Like me?' Then I understood. I can get grumpy too. Could it be I'm homesick for my heavenly Daddy and I don't recognise it? Maybe it happens when I haven't spent time with God for a few days. Mmm ... I think I'd better go and spend some time with Him!

Friday, 23 September 2011

My Daddy and I

When I was a girl, my Father would often open the casement window over my bed at daybreak. ‘Jocie, would you like to come and milk the cows with me?’
His invitation broke my deep sleep, but I most times would bound out of bed and meet him outside within minutes. My Daddy wanted me! 
Sometimes the invitation would be issued before I went to bed. ‘I’ve a big day tomorrow. Would you like to help me milk in the morning?’ And I did, but to be woken by his voice outside my window was special.
I was blessed with a great Dad, but he betrayed me when I was fifteen. He left and he didn’t even say ‘good-bye’. I farewelled him as best I knew how as I stood in the rain and watched them lower his coffin into the ground. But I was bereft.
Raised a Christian, I finally understood the necessity to personally accept Jesus’ sacrifice when I was nineteen. I served my God, but never could believe he loved me. It was twenty five years before the hound of heaven finally broke through the shell around my heart and I had to accept He loved me–not just everyone else–but me.
Many mornings, my heavenly Dad opens the window of my soul and invites me to walk with him. Just as milking with Dad was never a chore, it was time together, so I love being with my Father. He paints the sky different colours everyday for me, varying the shades of the greens of the trees so that no two mornings are ever the same. He has led me to hidden flowers so I can pick them, showed me the new born clutch of ducklings, pointed out the koala with her baby on her back.
One morning during a solo retreat He woke me, asking me to walk. I was tired, but He was persistent. I walked two kilometres through the bush to a high hill that overlooked a large dam. Then he showed me. In the valley, rising out of the mist, was a pure white rainbow! In awe I watched until it faded. He pointed again and I looked down. A tiny circular, coloured rainbow, about a metre across, was below me in that valley. You see my Daddy just happens to be the creator of the world!
My Daddy invites me to do things with Him, but he never demands. He gives me wise advice, but I don’t have to follow it. He offers me lavish gifts, but I don’t have to open them. He has given me a powerful sword but it is my choice to pick it up. I wear His ring, but He asks me to use it at my discretion.  My choices never change His amazing love for me.
Yes, my Daddy loves me, and as when I was a child, I’m His favourite!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Time has come.

‘The time has come!’
The bride wakes the morning of her wedding. ‘At last! The day is here! I’ve waited so long.’ Or a mother walks through a school gate and for the first time leaves her precious child behind. The time has come!
An excited eighteen year old walks onto the campus of university for the first day. A teenager walks away from his driving test waving a new licence. The time has come.
A pregnant woman’s water breaks. ‘The time has come, Honey. We must go to the hospital.’
Somehow these words seem to usher in a new era.
A man is led into court to hear the jury’s verdict. Another man is let out of jail. A woman waits in a hospital bed until the orderlies arrive with a trolley. ‘Okay! It’s time to go. The surgeon is waiting for you.’
Miss Three is going on a holiday tonight. She is flying on a ‘big pla…a…ane’. For a week she’s been asking, ‘Are we going on the big pla…a…ane, today?’ Now the time has come! It is really happening. She is so excited.
Gough Whitlam told us, ‘It’s time!’ He pushed in a new wave. He rewrote history. But the most profound utterance of these simple words came from Jesus.
‘Father, It’s time.’
With those words, he stood, and walked out into the garden, knowing the soldiers were coming to arrest him. It was time to lay down his life, time to carry the hurt, rejection, rebellion, and idolatry of the whole world. Time to suffer. Time to defeat the enemy. He was the most courageous person that ever lived!
‘Father. It’s time.’ When He uttered those words, the history of the world changed.
When have you said these words? 'It’s time.' 
I’d love to hear your stories!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Some conversations change your whole life.

The phone rings. You answer with  a cheerful, 'Hello!' Your stomach does one cart wheel and sinks to the bottom of your boots and you sink into a chair.
What a difference one conversation can make!
Have you sat as a doctor has told you there is no hope? Or answered the door to find a grim faced policeman? Or been summoned to the principle's office? 

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Don't buy those.

‘Don’t buy those!’ My shopping companion was unhappy with the shoes I had chosen.
‘What’s wrong with these sandals? They fit well and I love the colour.’
A big sigh. ‘They’re yucky!’
She marched the length of the shoe rack suggesting other options. I dutifully followed. Her taste is good. But none of her selections fitted my criteria. I walked towards the exit without those shoes, then stopped.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

‘Can I marry your daughter?’

‘Please can I marry your daughter?’
It is a simple question, but it is difficult to ask. I remember when Steve and I decided to get married. My Mum was away so I had to wait until she returned before he could ask the question.
She returned, but Steve’s courage departed. Day after day. Under great pressure from me, he finally asked Mum the BIG question one night after she had gone to bed.
She glared at us and responded, ‘That’s right, get a woman while she is down!’
Many years later we were met by the same question on Saturday afternoon. On this occasion the young man was more confident.
Steve was stunned. I had been forewarned by the girl, and I mean girl, in question. She was years below legal marrying age.
After a protracted silence, I said to Steve, ‘You should say something!’
‘Yes,’ he agreed, ‘but what?’
Some years later we were having a barbeque with a young couple. After the meal, I rose to clear the table.
‘Don’t do that, Mum. We’d like to talk.’
After the ‘talk’ had gone in circles for about two hours, the penny dropped. He’s supposed to be asking us THE question but he’s too shy. I started to enjoy the game. She’d poke him. He’d clear his throat and open his mouth shut it again and we’d sit in silence for another prolonged period of time.
In the end she laid out the facts before us.
Why is it so difficult to ask this simple question? It is fear of rejection. What if they don’t like me, what if they say ‘No!’ What if they run me out of town?
It is the same fear that stops so many coming to Father God. What if He says no? He won’t want me; I’m hopeless, wrong, not nice… The list is endless.
The Good News is he always says ‘YES!’ He never rejects. He wants you and me to be a bride for His Son! Now that’s exciting!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

‘Ma, you’re looking like a lady!’

‘Ma, you’re looking like a lady!’ Miss Three was not impressed. Her little nose curled up in confusion.
‘Aren’t I a lady?’ I thought it was a reasonable question. Was my gender being questioned? What had I done to cause this rebuke, except to apply a dash of face powder?
‘No! You’re a Ma!’
‘Is Mummy a lady?’
‘No! She’s a mummy!’ She walked away, disgusted with the conversation.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

God, Where Were You?

‘God where were you? How can this happen to my grandchildren? Were you sitting on your hands?’ I paced up and down, taking my frustration out on God.
In 2001 we were blessed with two baby granddaughters. The first, born in March was rushed back to hospital when only six days old with a very high temperature. The hospital did tests including a spinal tap in case it was meningitis. For eight days the doctors treated her with intravenous drugs. Have you ever tried to comfort a tiny baby as they insert needles in those little veins?

 It broke my heart, but to our relief she recovered and we bought her home.
I was thankful she was well and felt blessed to have so many healthy grandchildren.
In the October, the second beautiful granddaughter was born. She was about seven weeks old when her mother heard a little noise in the middle of the night and found the baby burning up with fever.
Once again, there was a frantic rush to a hospital, a spinal tap and intravenous drugs. It was then I stormed heaven in my frustration. How could two babies be so ill in one year? What was going on? I let God know how disappointed I was. Where were His angels?
After my outburst I sat in silence, not really expecting a reply.
But His still small voice spoke, a voice that sounded hurt, nearly rejected.
‘But, Jo I saved them both for you!’
I was broken. I had seen two sick babies. God had seen two babies that had been saved from aggressive illnesses. I had seen the suffering. God had seen the healing. I then realised both of these precious girls could have been ‘cot deaths’.
Deeply humbled, I now ask God to show me His perspective before I dare stand in judgement of Him. What arrogance on my part! What incredible grace He extends toward me. No wonder I love my God so much!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

You buy a house for her

‘You buy a house for her.’
‘Lord! Have you seen our bank balance! You know we can’t buy another house.’
‘Have you tried?’
I started washing dishes, trying to silence the silent voice that planted such crazy ideas in my head. I had asked God to find a house for a single mum who couldn’t find anywhere to live. I hadn’t asked to be the answer to my own prayer.
‘God don’t you know the rules? I ask. You answer.’

Thursday, 28 July 2011

I can do it Myself

‘I did do my eye make-up!’ My three year old granddaughter was clearly proud of her achievement.
I swallowed my first response and crouched to her level. ‘Did you, Darling? Show Ma.’
Obligingly she battered her little eye lids, showing a dash of colour on her eyelids, black tips on her blond eyelashes and only a couple of stray black smudges on her cheeks. ‘Can we go to the doctor, now?’
‘I’m sure the doctor will be pleased to see such a pretty little girl.’ I picked up my keys and hand in hand we left. No,

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Is anyone listening?

   'Are you listening to me?'
He grunts. 'Yep.'
'Well, what should we do?'
'About what?'
'I knew you weren't listening to me!'
      I'd like a dollar for everytime

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Are we there yet?

'Are we there yet, Dad?'
'Nearly. Just around the corner and over two more hills.'
'Dad! You said two hills and we've been over three! How much further?'
As a kid, I clearly remember the conversation as my family drove the thirty minutes into Springsure. My children asked the question, especially when we took long trips on holidays.
As a grandmother, I field the same query from my grandchildren. 'Are we there yet, Ma?'
'See the clock. My guess is we'll arrive at 11.54. What's your guess?'
It becomes a game as they guess and watch to see who wins.
Now I find myself asking God, 'Are we there yet, Father? How much longer? I've prayed about this for so long. I have your promise, but I don't see the fulfillment.'
I think of the Isrealites wandering in the desert. 'God, we could have shown you a shorter way to the promised land. Didn't you have a map? Why did you come this way. I'm sure you're lost!'
They didn't understand the path they travelled wasn't to get them there. It was about preparing them so they were able to inherit the promise. They needed to be equipped as faithful lovers and obedient soldiers. Lovers of God and warriors who would obey the strangest of orders from their commanding officier.
So when My heart cries out in frustration, 'God, are you watching? Don't you know how old I am? The sands of time are running out, Lord. What about your promises?'
I hear His quiet reply.
'Don't be impatient! Look how far we've come! Draw closer, my daughter. Rest in me. Just a little more faith, a little more willingness to obey.'
And I rest. I lean into Him. I recall the journey so far and marvel again at His great faithfulness. And I learn from Him. He is so gentle. Then I realise I'm at the next milestone. In my fretting I nearly missed recognising this stepping stone. I'm one step closer to fulfilling the vision.
'Yah! God. Thank you.'