Not Forgotten

  ~ I’d probably heard the song playing on the radio a hundred times before. But it seemed to pierce my heart in a new way ~

                                    “I have seen the many faces of fear and of pain, I have watched the tears fall plenty  from heartache and strain. So if this life’s journey has you weary and afraid, there’s rest in the shadow of His wings.”

  ~ The last couple of days had been spent in the quiet little town of Blakely, Georgia. As is so often the case, I’d received immeasurably more than I could have ever given ~

                                     “I’ve walked through the valleys, the mountains, and plains. I have held the hand of freedom that washes all my stains. If you feel the weight of many trials and burdens from this world, there’s freedom in the shelter of the Lord.”

  ~ Scheduled to speak at the Annual Women’s Luncheon, I’d prepared a message from an experience I’d had on a mission trip ten years ago to the Ukraine. It spoke of team…purpose…healing…living with a heart of God ~

                                  “And I have seen the healing hand of God, reaching out and mending broken hearts. Taste and see the fullness of His peace, and hold on to what’s being held out, the healing hand of God.”

    ~ I witnessed firsthand a group of women who’d unknowingly become the epitome of the message. Story after story was shared of women who’d experienced the loss of a husband,  a child, loved ones and close friends…women who were battling cancer, women who’d recently lost the fight ~

                              “And I’ve touched the scars upon His hands to see if they were real. He has walked the road before me, He knows just how I feel. When you feel that there’s not anyone, who understands your pain, just remember all of Jesus’s suffering.”

  ~ women who’d formed a team with a purpose to bring about healing, women who live with a heart of God ~

                          “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you. He’s near to the broken and confused. By His stripes our spirit is renewed, so enter in the joy prepared for you.”

  ~ May we all be moved by the example of the Godly women of First United Methodist Church of Blakely to taste and see the fullness of God’s Shalom and hold on tightly to what is being held out…the healing hand of God ~

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Healing Hand of God Lyrics by Jeremy Camp

“Me not goin’ bye-bye!!!”

IMG_2314Driving home from a week’s vacation provided ample time to browse through new pictures and videos on my phone. Let’s see, take one lake cabin, a boat for tubing, several adults and three  grandchildren…well, you’ve got the makings of a pretty great week! The voice of my two and a half year old grandson was still ringing in my ears.

Every morning was the same. First one up, I’d make a pot of coffee and head out to the comfy seating area on the upper deck. This was my sanctuary…a place to enjoy quiet time with the Lord and His amazing creation. Slowly the rest of the house would awaken and before long the sanctuary was filled with sleepy-eyed adults, coffee cups in hand. My grandson began his daily ritual as well.

The door to the deck opened and closed more times than I could count! Its a wonder it didn’t fall off the hinges! Each time he opened the door we’d all say “Hi!” and receive the appropriate response. But when he turned to go back and we’d say good-bye, the response changed. “Me not goin’ bye-bye. Me dus goin’ in da house.”  After repeating this phrase numerous times each morning, he eventually added “Me be right back!”, in hopes of conveying his intentions.

Though a wonderful game for the adults, my grandson found no humor in the repetitive declaration. The innocent truth of a child’s words stirred something inside me.

“In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

…Me not goin’ bye-bye…Me dus goin’ in da house…

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”

…Me be right back!…

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.”

Saying goodbye to my grandson wasn’t easy. I knew much time would pass before I’d see him again. “You go with me?” he asked. No, I have to go to my house now. But I love you very much and I will see you soon. I promise!

Today as I celebrate Pentecost…the giving of the Holy Spirit, my Counselor and Spirit of Truth…I am reminded of this:  Jesus has not left me but is in the House! He is preparing a place for me because He loves me and I will see Him soon.

He promised!