Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Letter of Hope

Dearest Faith, 
That is great news about Tirza. It's a
wonderful and amazing thing to see the Light of this world dawn on a young one's heart. There has always been a terrible fight for her soul. It's so good to hear of her praising God with dance and song.

Today has truly been a very wonderful and needed day here in Nakuru, Kenya. I have been encouraged by three wonderful letters from three wonderful people. Yours was one of them. They all dovetailed into helping this become a most marvelous day. Surely there must be prayers covering us, as we need them so.

I love what you talked about at the end of your letter, it is something I often struggle with. Will I ever be who or what I need to be? Is the deficit too big? There have been times when for no apparent reason a spirit of heaviness descends upon us and especially me. It always comes with the onslaught of those very same questions. I can only hope I am becoming more like Him. But is that hope enough?

I tend to take everything too personally. I feel responsible for everything. If anyone leaves the church, it's my fault. If anyone stumbles, it's my fault. This sad state of mind has got to be some sort of pride disorder; or maybe PTS  (Post Traumatic Syndrome) from being called a cult leader for 35 years. Something (or someone) starts me thinking; ... if I would have just been stronger, better, more devoted, disciplined etc. etc, and done something different, things would be so much better. Yet, I am never privy to what that something is. Which makes me wonder about the origin and validity of such enlightenment?

That's exactly how the accuser of the brethren works. And I know that but when my weaknesses and self love are thrown into the mix, it still seems to be my entire fault. This wrestling makes me tired. I do not mind the thought of wrestling with God, even if my confidence "limps" ever afterward like Jacob. There is always the hope of our nature being changed and moving forward; but what about wrestling with stupid emotions?

When I'm being pinned by Satan's huge massive arms of accusations and fear, I feel I'm way outmatched. You might then tell me; "Let the Lord fight the battle". I know I need to let the Lord fight my battles but, then, what is the armor He gave us for? Aren't we supposed to be wrestling these high and mighty devils?

Question is; how do I hold up the shield of faith and extinguish a few of these darts instead of peering around the shield to see where they come from and getting it in the face? I know that God is in control of everything and nothing comes against me without His foreknowledge. I also know and believe that I can only do what He allows me to do. Or better stated; I can only be me and can only do what I think He tells me to do. I am me and not someone else. But why does reason have to continually whisper to me, that the welfare of the universe does not depend on my decisions... whether good or bad?

 By the way I don't know if any of this is making any sense, but it sure feels good to watch the computer screen over the top of my fingers form my thoughts into words. I guess I really needed to get all this out. I really am OK, but as usual, I'm having a lot of feelings.   :-)

 Yesterday a picture of an acquaintance I haven't seen for almost twenty years came up across my computer screen. It wasn't really because my acquaintance put it there, but because it’s what the Machine Master Mind of the Cyber World wanted to happen. I looked at it and thought; who is that old man? Oh my gosh! It's Bill Tinsley! It can’t be, he’s so old. Then I slowly and carefully raised myself in my chair and looked into the mirror hanging over my desk at another old man staring back at me.

I felt the same shock I previously felt looking at the face on my computer screen; ....Oh my gosh! It’s me! Suddenly I felt as tired as I have ever felt in my whole life. I felt the dwindling time of my mortal stay on this earth. My first impulse was to scream.... What's going on? STOP.... or at least... SLOW DOWN!

It seems like just yesterday I came back to the States from surfing in Puerto Rico and entered the little coffee house that started such tremendous changes in my life some forty years ago. What an incredible ride! It has been such an amazing and wonderfully terrifying adventure. Not at all like driving in a car with the mindset ... “God is my copilot"; but more like flying in the front seat of a roller coaster screaming down the track. No steering wheel, no brakes, just up and down, side to side, wide eyed flying down the track. How very frightening following God can sometimes be.

Now I have been on this roller coaster ride for forty years and it has never once slowed down. I have learned much about trusting those tracks because of I know the Designer and yet ... sometimes I feel alone and helpless in that seat.

Sometimes I think that twenty three year old young man stopped aging... not stopped growing... the instant he sat down in that seat. When I looked in the mirror I saw that my body went on in time and has grown old; but it left the same young man inside sometimes still feeling a little insecure and unchanged.

Sometimes he wants out. Not out of the roller coaster; out of the old body I used to call me. It’s not just that the shell is wearing out, but that it is still so full of things I no longer want to feel or think. And.... it is way too confining. It seems to hinder who and what the creator said this aged young man would become.  I am also feeling that the person I think I should be, the one I would have me be if I were in control... shouldn't even exist. I think he may be just a lust of this old shell's desires and needs. I don't even know how to make me better if I could. I only have this one and desperate hope.

I have clung to this hope for forty years and it sustains me through every demonic attack. But still sometimes I still wonder … Is this hope enough?

My one desire is when my life is over and I slowly and carefully look in the mirror...  I'll look just like Him. What makes that hope so wonderfully hopeful is where it is found. The Scriptures say that though this shell (body) is deteriorating the anxious young man inside is changing …if he clings to that one hope. Perhaps I will have to wait till Christ is finished working on me to know, but it is what He promised. Perhaps we should quit looking in the mirror and cling to this burning, purifying hope. It's really the safest thing we can do.

    "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man (Shell) is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day."    
(2 Corinthians 4:16, 1 John 3:2, 3)

RCV Grandfather

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