‘Im Sorry is a phrase all of us have probably used at one time, and it’s a good apology for relationships. But as I have been trying to learn and teach at the same time through my own experience, I want to help us in this area. As I mentioned in my pastor blog, we are trying as believers to make a paradigm shift in our thinking as we seek to conform our minds and hearts to the heart of God, especially as He is revealed in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is hard to do. Old ways of thinking die hard. While I will miss deeply not being able to be with you for a few Sundays to continue the work of imparting God’s truth and encouraging you in every which way to work personally and corporately to anchor God’s truth to your heart and exercise daily the molding of your heart in harmony with His through the very special relationship He has provided, I can try to do so through this written means and any other means available (possibly more sound files attached to blogs???).
What do we mean, when we say to someone who has encountered a difficult circumstance, “I’m sorry.” I think it is again another one of those awkward situations that we are not sure how to handle, so we want to say something. I have been there. Please don’t miss the deep appreciation from any of you as you have sought to reach out with any kind of sympathy. It has been treasured as a genuine expression of your friendship. But is my brain cancer a “sorry” issue? Has God done me wrong? Did He miss something in His care for me and somehow cancer slipped through the cracks of His sovereign care? I don’t believe that for a minute, nor do I believe you do when you step back and put God and the fullness of His character in view. So what is happening to me is not something to be sorry for, but and opportunity to look at the bigger picture of what God is doing. God is doing something. I am beyond trying to second guess Him. I get the same steady message: “I am doing my perfect work, trust me.” (Isn’t that the case for all of us?) Maybe God is using my situation to force all of us to slow down and get to know God better by taking more time to enjoy Him and who He is?
Obviously what is different is that I have had a malicious brain tumor removed and it has returned. We do hope that surgery this week and any follow-up treatment will help fend off re occurrence. There is that distinct possibility. We have been given by God some great resource people both medically and in God’s family. But what is also sobering is living each day, not knowing for sure. But isn’t that what faith is all about .... God I trust you regardless of whether you show me the temporal future or not?
Let me give you one simple thing to do each day that I believe will continue to shape your heart so that you can continue to make the “paradigm shift” of knowing personally the greatness of God and His joy.
Take the verse that I posted from my daughter Kara on Sunday and make it a daily, moment-to-moment prayer back to God.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand....Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.... But as for me, it is good to be near to God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge. Psalm.73: 23-28
Ask God to reveal any area of your heart and mind-set that is not fully embracing the truth of what He says in Psalm 73:23. Ask Him to reveal to you what is still missing in your full-hearted trust in Him. Look for opportunities through out the day to use this verse to refresh your appreciation of His work within you to will and do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). Continually find new ways to fend off the way the worldand its value system to shape your thinking. We are not naturally adjusted to thinking according to God’s reality defined by faith.Making the shift will deepen your heart and allow you to pursue God’s way at coming at life that transcends life’s hurts. Pain will be soothed by the ointment of His continual grace. Let me know how you are doing. I love being your pastor and am grateful for your fellowship on the journey.