Tuesday, September 13, 2005
A Few Quick thoughts...
So it's been awhile since I last posted. Indeed. Which means virtually nothing because I doubt anyone was checking this on anything more than a cursory, weekly visit. And those were only the friends I had asked to comment on stuff. Anyway, so my last real post was the wilderness post, so my next post includes the picture of a vineyard, yeah, they're tied together.
Interesting note, a certain friend text messaged me the other day, just after I'd gotten back from the Adirondacks Labour Day weekend. His message? "No Wilderness". Now, I'm not exactly sure what that meant. But at the time, I was goofing around, doing nothing in particular. And I was reminded to go read my bible, spend some time with the God who on Monday night, as I drifted off to sleep I kept saying over and over that I miss.
So anyway, I'm systematically going through the Bible right now (have been for YEARS) reading a chapter, finding a verse that stands out and writing it and a few notes down in a journal. I figure if nothing else, by the time I'm done (if I can actually find the half dozen binders, and figure out where I actually began) I should have some good sermon material, or something to start my own devotional book or something. Anyway, I'm in your favourite prophet and mine: Ezekiel. I haven't got to my personal favourite section, where he's measuring the temple (four cubits of this, 100 cubits to here, this gate of rubies, etc.) But where am I? Ezekiel 37.
No, I didn't realize that. I had no clue that was the next passage. But I got a little emotional (really, just a little). I mean, here I am talking about wilderness, etc. and I end up reading the story of the Valley of Dry Bones. What was also pretty cool was during the Hebrew reading thing (called the Hebraithon) we read this over in hebrew with Dr. Lapsley who until then, I'd never seen or known her other than the name. Anyway, she made the text come alive in a way that I'd never seen, bringing so much energy. I couldn't help but remember that as I'm reading it, and also get the feeling that God was talking to me too, promising me that God's Spirit could breath on me too, that I wouldn't have to be dry forever.
Well, today I'm reading Ezekiel 39 (yes, didn't read much in a week, I know) and these particular verses jumped out at me:
"Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD." - Ez. 39:28-29.
And in even before I had cracked the Bible open, I had thought to myself as I sat on the couch, "this is a good place, God is good". I don't know how exactly to describe it, but I felt like God was actually smiling on me, reminding me that I was loved. I felt like God was reminding me that He won't leave me, that I won't be abandoned. Like the valleys, the barren terrain, that after being cultivated and watered turns into valuable soil, that God would not leave me. I mean, I haven't been the most proactive person about seeking God out all the time. Which is part of why I've felt bad, that instead of love, God was disappointed in me. And maybe that's true, but I felt today, I was reminded that no matter what, God loves me.
Sometimes I'm not sure what I'm motivated by, encouragement or condemnation, the carrot or the whip. But today I was definitely encouraged by God, and on the eve of a new semester, it's exactly what I needed.
I'll get to posting pictures (some awesome ones) of the Labour Day weekend, and info about the fall (books I'll be reading, etc.) in a couple days. This semester will be busy, but good. I'm looking forward to starting up again. I'm encouraged about what God will do with me this year...