“You, Lord, Care for People and Animals”…Maggie!

“Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O LORD.”  Psalm 36:6

One may recall from previous post, “The Lord Taketh Away…Maggie!” (3/5/17) that I tearfully purchased a burial pod for my furry friend in February this year. But six months after the significant diagnoses of megacolon, liver mass, pancreatitis, cholangiohepatitis, and anemia, Maggie is still here and on the go!

Maggie in PA for Summit School of Ministry graduation…

Maggie in PA (2)

Graduation can wait…room service please!!

Why is this important? The Lord often reveals His truths and glory through His creation, whether through the lion’s boldness, the ant’s diligence, or the beauty of the lily of the valley. In fact, the Lord can reveal His truths through any and all the circumstances in our life…which includes the life of Maggie! God is not bound by any report of man whether it is a negative, even terminal, medical report, a ‘pink slip’, divorce paper or ominous threat. When such a report comes, it may be time for the ‘burial pod’ but faith should open our heart to whatever the Lord reveals for His purpose and pleasure.

When the Lord calls us to “go” or to “do”, He will enable us, provide for us, and fulfill His purposes through us in spite of limitations and obstacles. It is through those challenges that faith muscles grow and God’s word is proven.

May this truth take root – God is not deterred when the sun is setting on our life. Age, dwindling resources, and increasing weakness are not hardships to God who declares, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” The Lord is not looking for super Christians, only surrendered vessels in whom He can dwell. Whether He allows or brings us into storms of hardship, disappointment, sickness, or betrayal we can hold onto the promise of Romans 8:28 which represents the sovereignty of God. For those who are His, all circumstances, events, calamities and details – even enemies – are under His control.

Elderly Maggie attends All Night Prayer (Commemorate Armenian MartyrsPray for Their Unborn posted 4/12/17)

Maggie at all night prayer (2)

Well, nearly all night!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-7

Our ‘own understanding’ leads us to ‘figure it out’, ‘plan ahead’ and ‘move forward’ without hearing from God. While the world rewards ‘self-starters’, the ‘empowered’ and ‘ambitious’, the Lord is seeking surrendered followers who wait and trust Him with the lead.

Maggie and Bible 2

“Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”

God knows when every “sparrow falls to the ground” and He knows the exact day Maggie will ‘fall to the ground’. Until then and until that day comes for us, we are not bound by any bad report of man.  If “our lives are hidden in Christ” He has reign over our lives and will “order our steps” as we surrender to Him.

“Lord, I pray that we can live each day with faith that You’re in charge, that You have all authority, and that You are well able to order our steps. I pray for a hunger to know your word more and meditate upon it so it takes root and lives within me. Help me to commit and obey. May the reports of ‘man’ – no matter how ominous or weighty – never cause us to shutter but compel us to seek you, trust you and wait upon you for direction.  Amen.” .

“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11

Thou Shalt Not Grow Old

(the new criminals)

Alas, they missed the memo…

“Where there is hope there can be faith, where there is faith miracles can occur”.  This is not a scriptural quote but words of encouragement offered by Hope in a Jar, an anti-aging skin cream.   Cosmetic proverbs and youth adages are more memorable now than scriptural quotes.   Modern day testimonies do not boast of the supernatural but rather strides in fighting the natural, “…women told us their skin looked 730 days younger!”, “anti-aging transformation –  younger looking skin from 1st contact!”.   Youthfulness is the new godliness with its own set of sought after miraculous outcomes.  It is a shame to go gray, worse to go bald – to sag and wrinkle denotes failure.  In all that our culture exalts ,the preservation of youth and the ‘religion’ of self importance is the intrinsic command, Thou Shalt Not Grow Old.   Assuredly our prevailing and persuasive culture rises up in defiance  to God’s wisdom and Living Word.

“The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old”  (Proverbs 20:29)

God is not anti-age, He is pro-eternal.  While His good creation holds wonderful things that bring health and healing, extending youth is not a priority.  In fact, the aged are esteemed before the Lord, they are to be honored,

“Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.”  (Leviticus 19:32)

There is no miracle in the Bible where wrinkles disappear.  That would be so far beneath the awesome power and character of God.   The miraculous intervention of God for the aged is this:  God has indwelled elderly men and moved through them – making their frail bodies powerful vessels for His honor and glory in the world.  The Lord has confounded the world and its superficial glories with His Spirit in the lives of those surrendered to Him.    At age 80, an old shepherd of flocks, Moses was called by God,

“I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

The Lord did not call Moses in the strength of his youth as he resided in the palace of Pharaoh, the epicenter of world power.  God waited until Moses was emptied of all youthful strength and bravado, all worldly resources and influences – indeed, void of inner ability that would rob God of all victorious glory.  “When I am weak, then I am strong” declared the apostle Paul (II Corinthians 12:10).  When I am weak, and dependent on the Lord for His indwelling strength and power, then I am strong – stronger than any man who depends on the power of flesh.  

The world culture continually exalts our temporal and physical life through sexuality, materialism and youthfulness –   while squelching our spiritual life into dormancy.   Jesus proclaimed the opposite as truth for life,

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.”  (John 6:63)

Looking young is not wrong, but the quest for youth will yield what counts for nothing.  In striving against old age we may miss the greatest renewal of life available to mankind, not in anti-aging,  but found only in being born again.  When we come to Christ, in repentance and surrender, His Spirit gives our spirit life, springing forth a miraculous newness.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  (II Corinthians 5:17)

Through sensual displays and celebrity ideals, this  world calls us to strive and hope for the temporal –  that which counts for nothing.  A glittering facade can blind us from the Light of the World, from Whom we receive the gift of eternal life.

Thou Shalt Grow Old, and our flesh turned back to dust.  Let us not settle for “looking 760 days younger” but turn to Jesus Christ, through whom our weakness becomes strength and our death – victory.