Forgive me for lamenting...I know there are untold numbers in the world today who would trade places in an instant...
'If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yet, even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and
COUNT THE COST,
whether he has enough to complete it?
Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish,
all who see it begin to mock him.'"
I have counted and recounted the cost over the past few years, thinking I had offered all I had...leaving children, an elderly mother, extended family, ministry, dear, life-long friends, the family farm, horses, sheep and chickens...everything precious and familiar, to answer His call.
I could not have anticipated the crucifixion of my character.
"Is anyone telling you what people are saying about you?"
"Isn't there anyone who is speaking candidly with you about what people are saying?"
"Isn't there anyone in the church who knows you well enough to defend your character?"
Requests for specifics and clarification were met with a glib rebuff:
"I am not going to betray my confidences."
Henry had just left to visit his Mom in Indiana. I came home that evening to an empty house...consumed with torment, confusion and grief. My only goal since arriving in Orkney has been to 'be a blessing' to our new community. I grabbed my journal and cried out to the Lord:
I am practically crawling out of my skin at the moment. My 2 1/2 hour meeting turned into a lengthy recitation of all the reasons I have failed in Orkney...evidently everyone has been talking about me, but no one has bothered to tell me...
1) Our God is El Roi, 'The God who sees.'
In Genesis 16 Hagar had been mistreated by Sarai and fled into the wilderness. The angel of the Lord found her and ministered to her. She called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, "You are a God of seeing...truly here have I seen Him who looks after me."
2) He is my Defender
King David cried out to the Lord when Saul pursued him in jealousy: "Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me...my God in His steadfast love will meet me..." (Psalm 59:1, 10)
"No one knows you well enough to know that what you have to offer is ok..."
I am completely dependent on Him. The words from a Chris Tomin song come to mind:
Where you stay, I'll stay.
When you move, I'll move.
I will follow...
All Your ways are good
All Your ways are sure.
I WILL TRUST IN YOU ALONE...
"If you were to write something on a stone for me, what would it say?"
Immediately the words from Jeremiah 31:3 came to mind...
"I have loved you with an everlasting love!"