Sunday, March 27, 2016

Go Out and Live

In just one more day, I find out what the surgeon plans to do to my cancerous breast. I'm still praying for a miracle, but short of that, praying for peace in the midst of whatever I will be facing. Meanwhile, I am continuing life doing what brings me joy. To that end, I had a special day planned for Good Friday.

I met "Sam" a couple of months ago at the nursing home where I teach art. Soon, somehow we were discussing our mutual love of horses and he showed me pictures on his phone of his beautiful Morgan horse. Sam had not seen the horse in four months because of the logistics of the long drive, being wheelchair bound, and his wife having had surgery recently. Neither he nor his wife, "Elle", were up to driving themselves, but both missed their horse terribly.

When I heard this, I knew what my happiness medicine for the week would be. Take Sam and Elle to see their horse. I arranged the details with Elle, and we set Friday for our trip to see the horse. Despite predictions of thunderstorms that would have cancelled our trip, the day dawned clear without a storm in sight. That was God's first anointing of our plans.

I could not wait! As we drove, I got to hear the incredible history of this amazing couple. For their privacy, I will not share it with you, but I was enthralled. Delightful, accomplished people, but best of all, the tender kindness with which they treated each other. The long drive went by in an instant.

And then, we pulled into the farm, and Sam saw his horse. He rolled down his window and called to the horse, who came to the fence right away. It took us a little huffing, puffing, and some shaky moments on uneven ground, but we managed to get Sam safely in the wheelchair, and then onto the pasture.

Here is a picture of him greeting his horse for the first time in four months.

Kind of makes you want to cry, doesn't it? We communed with the horse for two hours. We had packed a picnic lunch, and sat in the sunshine eating our lunch while the horse munched his hay. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed two hours so completely.

After I dropped the grateful couple back at the nursing home, I thought about how hard it is to grow old, to face illness, to face limitations, and ultimately, mortality. What we know and love will pass away. That is a certainty. Some of us fight this truth with bitterness and anger. We refuse to accept the hand we have been dealt, and forget that everything we are given is an unearned blessing.

Charles Spurgeon noted that God could crush us, and certainly should were we to receive what our sin deserves. Instead, “There,” said He, “that self-same arm which made thee quake, see there, I give it to thee. Go out and live. I have made thee mighty as I am, to do My works; I will put strength into thee. The same strength which would have broken thee to pieces on the wheel shall now be put into thee, that you may do mighty works.”

In spite of all the terrors and traps of our mortal world, God strengthens us to go out and live. Live in His might, with His strength, so that we may do mighty works.

Easter Sunday is here. The supreme example of sacrificial love is exemplified and fulfilled in this special day. Jesus knew the agony that awaited Him on the cross, and asked God that if it be possible, the cup He was about to drink would pass Him by. YET, and on this YET, the full message of submission to God lies, "Yet not as I will, but as you will."

Go out and live. Rejoice in the soft muzzle of a horse in your palm. Enjoy what God has given. Help others. Cradle joy in your heart in simple pleasures knowing none of it is permanent. Live in submission to His will, and the victory is won. He is risen.

At least, I think that is what God was whispering in the quiet peace of the pasture.


John 6:37-39

37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your caring heart and for sharing this beauty..