Did God send me an angel?
This past week, I had the tremendous opportunity to spend the week in Sanibel, FL. With vacations being such a big part of our family heritage, it’s always something we enjoy. This one was a bittersweet vacation as it’s our son’s senior year in high school which sometimes tends to be families last chance to spend spring break together as well as, possibly, overall “family” vacationing. Time will tell and I can assure you, if we can keep the tradition going, we will.
Traveling down the first of the week, we found ourselves frequenting a popular fast food restaurant. Standing in line to grab our morning breakfast, I glanced over to see an older man sipping down his morning coffee. It also caught my attention that he had a Bible open and seemed to be reflecting on a particular passage. For some reason, I was drawn to glance over and see which passage it was and found it to be Jeremiah 17. While Jeremiah is a book I’m familiar, Jeremiah 17 didn’t ring a bell. I moved on in line, ordered, received our food, and went on about our travels with little further thought.
One of the things I enjoy about vacationing is spending time with the Lord in a new setting. The picture in today’s post shows our spot for the week. Can’t complain about an environment like this and truly a wonderful way to admire God’s creation. The first morning, as I settled in, I began to reflect on what particular passage God might have me read. For some reason, it kept coming up that I wonder “what that old man was reading in Jeremiah 17”. Imagine my surprise as I opened my Bible and saw Jeremiah 17:5-8 highlighted from spring break 2014, last year. It reads: “…Cursed is the one who trust in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord…But blessed is the man who trust in the Lord, whose confidence is in him….” Interesting passage as we’re in a season of significant trust in the Lord and had some news the prior week that continues to test our faith.
Later that morning, I had the opportunity to attend @TradersPointCC via live streaming. Imagine my surprise when the title of the sermon was, “Trusting God when life doesn’t make any sense.” Are we starting to see a theme evolve here yet? During the message, one of the things Pastor Aaron said was, “If I can’t readily see a solution, I sometimes assume there isn’t one.” Again, with our journey, Lisa and I can’t deny we’ve been human along the way and can relate to these words. Then, the message ended with a story of a song writer and the playing of a song, “It is well with my soul”. Again, another God moment for me as I’d just attended a funeral a couple weeks ago hearing this story and song, had been reflecting on it a few days following, and nearly blogged about the song. The theme clearly being “trusting God” in times where it doesn’t seem to make sense. So, Palm Sunday and the first morning in Florida started off with a bang.
Morning 2 arrives and I’m settle in with my cup of coffee in great anticipation of what the Lord will reveal. I normally have 4-5 devotionals I skim through to see if anything in particular resignates with my Spirit. Well, imagine my surprise as I open one of the devotionals to read Jeremiah 17:5-8, “Cursed is the one who trust in man…But blessed is the man who trust in the Lord.” The devotional asked a question: “Have you ever considered at what point a test becomes so difficult that you decide you can no longer trust God and you must take over to solve the problem?” Wow, does that question hit home? Matter of fact, a friend/mentor asked a similar question last November at which point I went into retreat and journaled the following: “At what point do you….?” Answer, “When I’ve heard from God that that’s the direction I’m being asked to go.” So, it’s clearly a question we’ve been pondering for some time. Adding to this, when Lisa was sharing with some friends the latest news last week and they asked what’s next, Lisa commented, “we don’t have a plan B.” Plan A has always been to continue to trust the Lord and his timing.
Morning 4 arrives and I’m settling into my routine. It’s April Fools day, so I’m wondering if Gods going to humor me in some manner. I find myself taking time to reflect on my journal over the past six months. In particular, October 2014 is always a particular spiritual retreat day that I reflect back upon to find great encouragement. I won’t get into the details, however, the Lord spoke very clearly that day that “You don’t understand what I’m doing, but you will.” As I’m reflecting on my notes that day, imagine my surprise as I say Jeremiah 17:5-8, “Cursed is the one who trust in man…But blessed is the man who trust in the Lord.” If you’re one of the skeptics in my audience, may this be an encouragement that you just can’t make these things up. Thus far, four different circumstances on four different days leading me to the exact same passage.
Yes, I’m sure by now that you’re seeing the theme of “trust in the Lord” and “not in man” to include our own personal flesh. I’ve left out many details of the story; however, I have much more I could share as how God led Lisa and I both on a journey this week with this theme. Like this vacation being bittersweet, these words are a bittersweet as our patience wears thin, our flesh wants to attempt to take control; yet, we continue to be encouraged to deepen our faith and trust.
Now, today’s title was “Did God send me an angle?” I believe angels exist and know stories of how people felt they’ve had personal encounters with angels. That being said, I don’t know that I’ve ever personally experienced such a thing. Given this weeks events, I must admit, it does cause me to stop and ponder, “was that old man an angel sent by God to guide me toward Jeremiah 17 which would be the message for us this week?” I’ll allow you to be the judge. In the meantime, we’re going to enjoy our final day at the beach reflecting on the meaning behind this day, Good Friday.