2012 could not have started better. We are having an outpouring of the Holy Ghost at Emmanuel Pentecostal possibly for two reasons. 1) saints in the church are seeking the Lord with all their heart and mind in prayer and fasting and 2) it is God’s timing. As the world unravels the Lord is raveling His people together in a beautiful seamless wedding garment so His Bride will be prepared and ready for His soon coming.
We’ve had a lot of sickness in our church this last year, especially people stricken with cancer. As grievous as this has been I have also seen the Lord glorified through it all. Some have received supernatural healing while others endured their affliction with joy and faith continuing to come to church despite great obstacles. I’ve seen God’s grace in a dimension I’ve never witnessed before.
Today my thoughts traveled to something I hadn’t thought of in years. My father was 97 years old when he died and my mother 89. I can’t remember a time when my father yelled at my mother. He adored her. My mother was frail and sick for many years. When she was 44 she had stomach and neck cancer. I prayed and fasted and the Lord totally healed my mother and snatched her back from the grip of death. This experience boosted my faith to move mountains, but as time passed I discovered that the Lord doesn’t always heal cancer no matter what faith is exercised.
Today as I was thinking of my father I remember how my sister and I were always awed by our father’s intelligence. He was an inventor and a chemist for DuPont for many years. When we were young we were told that our Dad had invented iodized salt, but someone had stolen the copyright or “beat him to the punch”. It really doesn’t matter what truth was in this story oft repeated, but to this day I will always think of my Dad when I buy a carton of iodized salt.
As I was clearing out their assisted living apartment after my Dad died there were very few items of value that had not been disposed of or given away. I watched my mother and father shed material possessions over the years as their health failed because they wanted to travel “lighter”. The journey had changed from a materialistic and prosperity mind-set to settling for a more practical life unencumbered by things that once seemed so important. My parents did not have the relationship with the Lord that I do and I always have a tinge of sadness thinking of how much more their life could have been if they had let the Lord Jesus guide them on their life journey.
As I cleaned out my father’s closet I noticed a box carefully wrapped with string. When I opened it inside were detailed instructions and papers, samples, odds and ends all related to an invention he had been working on for many years on how to invent a skin patch that would assist elderly people as their skin became thin and open sores became a problem. If someone else had come across this they would have instantly tossed it as junk and valueless. After all, nothing had ever come of all those years of study.
Can we spend our lives on something that is ultimately worthless? This box of items reflected years of hard work by my Dad and to throw it away was difficult. Sadly, most people spend their years in vanity and vexation of spirit according to King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. They will cling to their will and ways of doing things and refuse to receive God’s perfect plan of salvation through Jesus Christ and being filled with His Spirit. They will not surrender their will to go down in the water to have their sins remitted in baptism in Jesus name. The pride of life is a stronghold that keeps multitudes clasped in its grip.
As I pondered these things in a rather melancholy mood something came to mind that I had never considered before. Why was my father so obsessed with this pointless study for a skin patch that spanned many years? Was it really pointless? It occurred to me today that the reason my father had spent hours laboriously studying this subject, and attempting to find some material that could safely cover bruises and sores, was because my father loved my mother so much that he was trying to invent something that would help her in her own skin affliction. Love never fails. It really didn’t matter that my father did not succeed – it was the love in his heart for my mother that will forever be impressed on my heart.
In my latter years the Lord is revealing so much. Experience coupled with the wisdom of God is our best teacher. The Lord is coming for a bride without spot or blemish. How is this possible when the older we get the more blemishes and age spots we have? To see in the eyes of the Spirit is to know that the Lord is not talking about earthly things. Women use makeup to hide spots and blemishes, but the Lord wants us to be transparent. It isn’t our physical beauty He sees but the hidden man of the heart. He is covering us with His garment of righteousness so He does not see the spots and blemishes as we do. However, our responsibility is to keep ourselves unspotted from this world and to remain in the love of God.
“That He might present it to Himself,a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27
Our life is both a journey and a destination, but our destination depends on where we will spend eternity.