Greetings from Fairwood, where the fall colors are starting to glorify God again.
I’ve been thinking about reality checks—those things, events, or facts of nature that tell us the truth in the face of confusion. The fall colors come under that category.
As the Bible says, seedtime and harvest will continue till the end. God knew how crazy our world would become and how upset and stressed we would get, but He gave us these reality checks that hold us steady.
I remember how upsetting it was to me, after four years of Bible School, to find my basic faith in God challenged to the place that I could not hold onto it. That was awful! But after I had lost my grip, God Himself stepped in and simply helped me to see in my mind’s eye that HE had a firmer grip on me. And so, thank God, I didn’t get lost!
Every day, we are surrounded by the effects of God’s power at work. He rarely makes a big announcement, but as sure as anything, they are there and we can see them if we want to. I get frustrated sometimes when I hear or interact with some religious person who insists that the miraculous things that happened in the Bible have stopped. To me, that’s like looking out the window on a windy day and saying, “The wind doesn’t blow any more like it used to,” when you can clearly see the trees tossing and turning in the wind.
Many of you have been praying for Sue and me, and it’s in answer to your prayers that I am here writing – a healing for which I am profoundly grateful, to God and to all of you! In this instance, God did a very tangible miracle. As you may or may not have heard, I got a very severe case of COVID that turned into bacterial pneumonia, which then turned into sepsis. Thankfully, I was able to get into a hospital that quickly diagnosed the problem and started treatment. But God wanted to let me know that He was working. That evening in the hospital, I was given a thermometer to take my own temperature. My fever had come down during the day, but as I checked it several times, it was steadily rising. This was very distressing to me, because I had been through several nights battling fevers that went as high as 104 degrees, and I was concerned about a repeat, with all the troubles that would come with it.
But I remembered how my friend in Jerusalem had once watched a missile coming toward his apartment building, and prayed, “God, there’s a missile coming! You’ve got to take it down!” God answered in the form of a defense missile that shot it down. I reminded God of my friend’s prayer, deliberately using the same type of language—something like: “God, my temperature is going up, and you’ve got to take it down!” My prayer was not so much a demand as a very urgent cry. About 15 minutes later, I checked my temperature again, and it was normal! And from that night until now, it has stayed down! That is a miracle and a personal reality check for me: God is still in the business of answering prayer and taking care of His children in tough spots.
These verses describe my experience well: “The right hand of Jehovah is exalted: The right hand of Jehovah doeth valiantly. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of Jehovah. Jehovah hath chastened me sore; but He hath not given me over unto death.” (Psalm 118:16-18)
In the middle of your challenges, and the darkness surrounding all of us, take in the signs of God’s power and attention, and be encouraged. Enjoy the fact that the season is changing again, as He said it would, and have a peaceful Sabbath resting in His love and reality.
And again, thank you all so much for your faith and love for Sue and me. By God’s grace, we are slowly making our way out of the woods.