For some reason, I never published this post from 2015. I just found it in my drafts as I was cleaning out, and thought I would resurrect it. Remember, as you read it, that it was originally written in May 2015. A lot has happened since then – many new enemies have reared their ugly heads. Dad has since died, his house has been emptied and sold, the whole coronavirus and some very ugly political scenarios. The question still remains – how do we react in the presence of our enemies? Do we fight them, or love them? Do we wage battle with them on social media, or pray for them behind the scenes? Do we experience the peace and provision God has intended for us in the presence of our enemies, or do we eschew that peace to fight another battle? Pray with me that we would do the former rather than the latter, and show God’s love to those who would harass us, battle with us. Forego that “witty” response designed to put them in their place (and call me on it when I don’t do the same, lovingly, but firmly.) Let’s further the work of the gospel – you know, that Jesus came to bring his kingdom to us, and provide a way for us to enter his kingdom – and not foment discontent with the way things are. Let’s bring the peace of God’s kingdom here. “Because of my enemies I am expecting God’s best.”
There’s a lot going on here. The last month+ has been a whirlwind, with barely time to stop and breathe. I guess it started with the call on March 30th that my sister Julie had decided to stop treatment for her cancer and was entering hospice care, and the quick trip down that weekend to see her. Then the next week, two calls from her husband Jay told that she was dying much faster than expected, and then that she died, within three hours of each other. The quickly planned trip to say goodbye became instead a trip to help Jay plan her funeral.
Julie’s funeral was a true time of celebration and rejoicing, but also a time of great sorrow and mourning. It was a time to realize how many lives my big sister had touched around the world, and how many people would miss her. It was a great time, shared with many friends and family. I still have plans to post more memories and the actual service from Calvary Church.
It was also a time of inconvenience. If you know anything about taxes, you know April 15th is a big day, and the days leading up to it are very busy for those in the tax preparation business, and my wife Denise is heavily involved in it. It was a major issue for her to reschedule, but she was able to do it.
In the days since Julie’s death, a room opened up at The Brook retirement home for my dad, and we had to take possession by May 1st or lose it. We moved him up here over a weekend. It’s been hard on Dad to make the change that quickly. He thought he had more time. He’s settled in now, though, and slowly getting used to it. I think.
Still, there never seemed to be enough time. Time seemed to be an enemy. We were always on the run. God’s timing did not seem to be perfect in this whole process.
Then today I read this snippet based on Psalm 23. I guess I needed it.
We all have enemies. How do we act in their presence? Do we sit with God and feast on His bounty, or do we fret and stew, wondering how we’re even going to survive?