I had oral surgery this week. There are far worse things to endure, for sure, but this surprised me in the extent it's after effects. Can you say, 'Chipmunk?' Bruising and lots of pain killers. There was a bone graft involved so that's apparently where the worst of it was from.
But on the upside, the infected abscess that's apparently been there since a root canal in India 3 1/2 years ago is gone, nada, shesh, finished. I'm looking forward to seeing how that feels!
It's a painful experience to endure but wonderful in the aftermath when sin is cut out of our lives as well.
I've been reading Genesis this week. It's such a book of mystery with many unexplained things that I'm going to chat to God about one day. Something that hit me this week was noticing that when people lived 600-900 years that they didn't have kids until they were at least 80. I wonder if that means that they actually matured more slowly? Does that mean the teen years lasted for 50? I digress (painkillers talking?)...........!
When Adam and Eve sinned this is what they did, they, "....hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God." (Gen. 3:8) They hid from the One that gave them life and breath. They hid in shame.
We still do today. We may not go out and commit murder, but sometimes we eat of the fruit of a little white lie. Sometimes we munch on a little worry and anxiety, let the juice of discontent and disappointment dribble down our chin, take another bite of unforgiveness and before we know it bitterness fills our stomachs.
And then, at least for a time, we can try to close ourselves off from God.
Why do we still hide when the way has been paved by Jesus? God through His Word sings us an eternal song of love. His forgiveness is sure, He mercies never end. He's constantly reaching out to restore. We're the ones that try to hide.
"Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you."
Ps. 139: 7-12
Even when we feel like our bed is in Hell itself, He's there. When things seem the very blackest night, He is the Light.
Last year during a particularly dark time in my life something strange kept happening that's never happened before or since. For a period of a couple of weeks at random times I keep smelling the most delicious smell. The closest thing I can compare it to was something even better than the Frangipani flower. One time I smelled it floating through the house, one time in the parking garage under my supermarket, one time sitting on a beach. And with the few minutes that the smell lasted came an intense sense of His presence and peace. A gift and a reminder.
Why on earth would we ever want to leave His presence?
"But as for me, I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me."
We can cry out! We don't need to hide. He will hear. Sometimes we may hide because we don't want to hear what He has to say. But NOTHING is worth the lack of His presence.
I'm currently reading an ESV Bible for the first time and loving it, but written just inside the cover I wrote this verse that I love in the NLT.
"My heart has heard you say,
'Come and talk with me.'
And my heart responds, 'Lord,
I am coming.'"
Why would we ever hide today? He's calling.
I've been working on a project that I'm really excited about! If you're on Facebook you can see it here: Holding Hope Collection Website to come soon.
I've been longing for something I can do to still be involved 'over there' in Asia and the developing world while living in New Zealand. I've loved jewelry since I worked for an artisan jeweler in the USA before Hannah was born, and I also deeply love woman in poverty and at risk. Holding Hope Collection allows two of my passions to work together by gathering jewelry from social enterprises assisting women and promoting it in New Zealand.
The first shipment arrives tomorrow!
*I was honored to write for a couple of weeks for a blog designed to encourage the FS staff in India that's running currently. The first post is HERE*