Thank God! This Time It Was Only a 24-hour Funk

Should’ves & could’ves have threatened my heart world again lately. I know they are the language of regret. I know they are in the background of grief over losses. I know the pictures they present to my mind appear so brilliant because they act on after-the-fact information. But I also know they are dangerous to soul health and can be used by our spiritual enemy to steal away joy, crush hope, and hinder faith.

So I’m rejoicing this morning that regrets and grief have not conquered my heart, and I pause in wonder at the grace of God that’s invaded my heart, surrounded and conquered the thoughts that have threatened to disable me, giving me an inner strength to move forward in this moment, into tomorrow.

The snowfall last night and into this morning left a foot of heavy, wet snow. After an hour of shoveling a walk to our cars, the weakness in my back and legs showed up big time and I had to come in and head for the Ibuprofen bottle. Grief over lost ability to work threatened to undue my snow-cheered attitude and once again I had to put the remembrance of youthful vigor in proper perspective – with God’s help. And now, after coming back in and resting, making breakfast for Julia and me, and doing the dishes, I think I’m ready to return.

But wait! God has sent reinforcements!

My neighbor just showed up with his snow blower. Yeah John!

It really is true! God does answer prayer and he does care about showing up in our weakness to demonstrate his great love for us. To say I should have been able to do that work, and I could have if I hadn’t been afflicted with aging arthritis and calcification of muscles simply does not fit the moment.

My tomorrow with the Lord is testifying to my today that it is far greater than yesterday’s casualties. His gracious mastery of my life is a mastery of my heart’s greatest enemies and at the end of the day, Jesus wins!

There’s a song lyric that says, “Each morning brings you closer to your goal so grab your chance, don’t let it go.”*  What is my chance? It is to fully rely on God to transform my heart and free me from momentary distresses of soul. As my life testifies, nothing beats the power and joy of looking up and finding the God-of-Extravagant-Love looking full in your face.

– David Ewert (November 16, 2018)

*Tomorrow Never Dies is a 1997 British spy film, the eighteenth entry in the James Bond series ….. for the missing score tracks. Pulp’s effort was re-titled as “Tomorrow Never Lies” and appeared as a b-side on their single “Help The Aged”: “Tomorrow never lies, / So live for today. / Don’t be afraid / Of the skeletons / Of yesterday. / Each morning brings you closer to your goal / So grab your chance, / don’t let it go. / The city streets are littered / With the casualties, / The could haves / The should haves / And the would’ve beens. / Don’t let this chance slip by. / Because / Tomorrow never lies. / Tomorrow never lies…” [https://en.wikipedia.org]

It’s In His Nature to be Faithful

How thankful I am that though we may be a broken people, God is faithful.

There’s really only one objection to sin that really matters. There’s only one person who raises an objection to our self-control, our self-righteousness, our self-this or self-that. It’s God.  He is the overwhelmingly big and powerful and almighty OBJECTION to sin in our lives.

And because of God, because He is there none of us can get away from dealing with our sin. God is too big to get around, too big to get under, too bit to get over. He is just too big! He is this huge OBJECTION to our sin and the brokenness of life that comes because of sin.

But as He stands there, objects to life as it tends to go on and on in this sinful world, He is not just standing there like a brick wall. No, God is standing there with His arms open wide to us, saying, “I want to help you through this, I want to redeem you, I want to rescue you. I want to set you apart from all of this. I want to raise you up and some day take you completely out of all that junk. So God as this great OBJECTION to the sin and brokenness of our lives is also the great REFUGE and HOPE. And in His faithfulness we find all that we need in order to be whole people.

God’s people may be broken by the oppression and sorrow that follows their sin. But, He is faithful – faithful to His own pure goodness (holiness), and also faithful to His heart-felt purpose to restore us to a holy fellowship with Himself.

God IS faithful. It’s his nature to be faithful to Himself, to His purposes, and to His people. God ACTS faithfully – always!   “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)

As a result of God, we do not throw away our confidence in Him, but declare with the writer of Hebrews: “we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:39 NASB)

David Ewert

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Very Best Time of His Life

A few days ago, David and I were talking about our life as it is now, and David commented that this the very best time of his life. I agreed. We have lived very busy lives, David studying for his master’s degree, starting a church, working at pastoring for forty years with all the meetings, counseling, studying for sermons and teaching and me working at a variety of jobs, raising a daughter, maintaining a home that was built around hospitality, and teaching.

Now, we live in one of the smallest homes we’ve ever had, there are few times a week we are required to be out and about, and our life barely resembles what we’ve known for the rest of our lives. But the thing that makes it so very good is that we are together almost 24/7 and we are close to our daughter’s family, so they pop in and out of our days.

You hear stories of couples who, when they retire, can hardly stand each other for they are always in each other’s way. We are so not like that. Our lives have been so busy that we could go days without seeing each other for more than a meal or two a day and then falling exhausted into bed at night. The rest of the time we just tried to squeeze each other into our busyness. We longed for more time together being just “us.” Now we have it and we are loving it!

The other day, David had to be home to let the man fixing our furnace into the house, so I went to pulmonary rehab alone. Afterwards, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from Albany. Although I used the electric wheelchair at the store, by the time I got to the check out I was so exhausted I was almost in tears. The checker was kind and had someone help me out with the groceries, but when I got into the car I just sat for a moment to try to compose myself before driving home. I had to stop and thank God that almost fifty years ago He brought David and I together. We didn’t dream then of life now. We didn’t even think through what the forty-eight years of marriage it took to get here would be like.

But God knew and He planned the very best for us and gave it to us wrapped up in a big bow!

Life is so very different now than anything we’ve known, but it is so very good. It’s like God saved the best for last. I am so grateful for breath, for life, for my daughter and her family, for our church, for friends, and most of all for my wonderful husband.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, for we had great examples of wonderful husbands in our lives. David’s brother-in-law Art took such wonderful care of his sister Pauline throughout all of her illnesses, and my wonderful father lovingly cared for my mother in those hard years after her stroke. David makes my life so much easier by taking so much of the burden of our lives on himself. He makes sure I eat, take naps, and pace myself to conserve my energy. He holds me when I’m weak, and does everything he can to make my life do-able. And for him to say this is the best part of his life is such a blessing to me. I know I’m enjoying time with him, but that he enjoys it too makes it over-the-top wonderful.

Julia Ewert

October 28 at 7:01 AM ·