Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Long Road

How do I apologize for being MIA these last several months—“missing in action” on this blog, online, via e-mail? This long road I’ve traveled grows longer by the day, stretching out just a little farther every time I sigh with relief to think I’ve glimpsed its end. It’s a road of growth that and discipline that makes me think boot camp must be easier.

If you endure discipline, God is dealing with you as with His own children. For who is the child whom a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are bastards, not sons and daughters.
Hebrews 12:7-8

Excuses come readily. I might say that there’s been an unrivaled degree of stress in my life. Certainly I’ve endured affliction. More than once, I’ve simply offered (truthfully) that I’m struggling with health issues. With those closest to me, I’ve shared details of stresses and afflictions enormous enough to provoke those health issues.

But when all is said and done …

When I look at the last 51 months through spiritual lenses …

When I’m honest with God, myself, and others …

I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
Psalm 119:75 (NKJV)

This road has been long because I still have far too much pride and my good Father is working it out of me. He is my Father, and my Maker, and my Lord. He is wise and loving and knows the means by which He may best change and break and rebuild me. I’ve thought Him too tough on me and have foolishly shrunk back from His hand, insisting on a bit of relief from the furnace of refinement.

Unless Your law had been my delight,
I would then have perished in my affliction.
Psalm 119:92 (NKJV)

The end of this long road is not yet in sight. I don’t say that I’ve learned or grown enough to have gained the privilege of travelling a new road. I make no promise of when I’ll find sufficient spirit to write again. (There’s been no “writer’s block”—my fingers often punch out black words against white, but then my heart withers before finishing them.)

But as long as I have breath, I shall continue to declare the goodness of my beloved Lord.

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:21-23 (NKJV)

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