Restoration or Resolution? (Final Chapter)

Restoration or ResolutionBeing “all right” is not the same as being of sound mind and good mental health.  It’s sometimes just an answer for people, but it’s sometimes true.  Compared to the “normal” of a sick person, being “all right” is a good day.  And sometimes the things sick people do to make themselves feel “all right” are not the things God would have them do.  This is what the Spirit had been leading me to find out as I stayed at the Eagle’s Nest; this is what He wanted me to know when He sent me to Thessalonica.  “I know you are in pain and confusion.  Here is your cure.”  Stand resolute.  Stay in the Word.  Lean not on my own understanding but on God.  I just needed to follow these guidelines in order to keep from falling into other difficulty, other sorrow, other illness.

After studying those books over and over again, sitting and contemplating what they mean, I have decided they mean a little of both.  First of all, they are a call to be resolute in following Christ, to follow the teachings in those two books.  For if one follows that teaching, although the path to restoration is still difficult, the chance of further problems from bad choices, those things one does to “feel better,” are eliminated.

In those dark moments of time at the Eagle’s Nest all my mind could fathom was restoration, the promise Christ gave me.  But in reality, He was telling me to stand firm in the truths I knew, for those truths would lead to the restoration I was needing.  That resolution to follow Him, even when I didn’t understand how He could “let” all these events happen, was the message.  The resolution would ultimately lead to a restoration.

I encourage you.  Stay resolute in talking with God (I’m not sure yelling and saying all sorts of horrible things to Him counts, but…).  Stay resolute in attending church; even when we aren’t feeling very “Christian,” go anyway; it eventually draws our hearts into peace.  Stay resolute in following Biblical guidelines; they’re for our health, not God’s.

“And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.”  1 Thessalonians 4:17b-18

Our Sunday School lesson this past week was about Joseph, the son of Jacob, the favorite son out of the 12, the son who got the beautifully ornamented robe.  The son hated by his brothers.  How could one ever imagine being sold to the Egyptians as a young man, just a boy, would work for the glory of God and the betterment of men?  But it did just that.

Over the years I have seen people dealt such harsh blows that I didn’t know how they could stand.  But they did and do.  Not only stand but firmly still trust that God is in control.  A young man who lost his wife and girls in a car accident.  A mother and father who forgives the drunken driver who caused the death of their daughter.  The list goes on and on.

I will never understand the “whys” of this life nor am I strong in my faith as these other people.  There are truths I know for a certainty because God in his wisdom and loving kindness has shown them to me.  Why He would do such a wondrous thing is beyond me.  I cannot imagine, as in the case of Joseph, how any good comes from tragedy, but, again, I know it does.  Who would ever have thought the accident that Joni had as a young woman would bring her fame, enabling her to help so many, as well as glorify God?  How does the young Nick come to terms with a life void of arms and legs?

It is through the movement of a Spirit; a Spirit that is God.  The Spirit that moves those who love God, that sustains them through life, that even creates something majestic out of nothing, from what seems dead and useless.

Our Father God, our Savior God, our Spirit God:  the Trinity.

My favorite quote of all time.

My favorite quote of all time!

Restoration or Resolution? (Part 1)

phototake-rm-hives_urticaria_skin_rash

Hives (Urticaria)
© Scott Camazine / Phototake

Many years ago, when my world came crashing down, so did my body.  It very simply gave way to complete and utter exhaustion brought on by the previous trauma and stress and my unsuccessful coping mechanisms.  My whole body broke out in hives from the tip of my head to the bottoms of my feet.  If you have never had hives, I cannot begin to tell you how horrible they are!

The itching was relentless; the wheals raised and nasty; the stress level even higher than it was.  So after a trip to the doctor and a shot, I was hoping for some relief.  None followed since the shot made me so agitated I could do nothing but walk the floors all night long.  A lion caged comes to mind.

The next morning I went back to the doctor, and this time got a shot once again to calm me down.  It did.  Blissfully put me right to sleep.

But I was on the edge of something.  Something that was taking me down fast: grief, heartache, sleep deprivation, working my body to the point of exhaustion in order not to think.  And it was kicking my butt.

That’s when the sister (once again) stepped in and made decisions for me.  She and Terah found the perfect spot for restoration: the Eagle’s Nest.  My favorite scripture is Isaiah 40:31, so when my sister leaned into my face and said, “It’s called the Eagle’s Nest,” I knew I had to go.

On a cold and blustery, snowing day, the two of them took me to this sanctuary and left me.  All alone.  Just me and God.  There were many, many God moments that were supernatural in nature during my stay at the Eagle’s Nest.  After all, God is supernatural.  But one moment in particular that I have pondered on for a decade is the dream in which my future was being discussed.  The general concensus in the dream by whomever was deciding my fate was “Send her to Thessalonica.”

Wikipedia

Wikipedia Panoramic view of Thessalonica with Mount Olympus in the background.

Having been raised in church, I knew that Thessalonica was one of the cities of the New Testament, and I woke up realizing that I should read Thessalonians.  But I was mad at God.  A lot had happened in my life that year and over the previous several years that made me feel as though God had thrown me into the desert alone, to be devoured by elements and circumstances beyond my control.  And apparently His control as well.  There was no way I was going to Thessalonica or anywhere else I felt He was guiding me.

But as is the way with supernatural activity, the God way, I was so drawn to read the books of Thessalonians that there was nothing I could do but sit down and get out my Bible and read.

At that first reading I was overwhelmed with the message that God would restore my family, for my family was in chaos.  And that gave me the hope, I suppose, to continue fighting, continue coming up for air and trying desperately to pull those I loved up with me. But after years filled with disappointments of that restoration, I began to question my interpretation of Thessalonians.

“Had it truly been a message of restoration?”

(to be continued)