Sunday, August 11, 2013

"In the Beginning..."

      When I try to describe my God, I have to start with my Alpha and Omega.  In a nutshell, that sums up my story.  He is my beginning and my end.  I’m happy to say He’s my middle too.  I can barely remember a time in my early life when I didn’t know Him.  I gave Him my life at a young age.  I’ve lived a blessed life because of that one fact.  But I can remember times I tried to drift away.  Times he had to hold me extra tight.  Had to leave the rest of His flock to search for me.  I can remember altars to Him that I built at certain times in my life that later became landmarks for me to revisit.  Times I felt Him so closely I could almost physically reach out and touch Him. 
     He’s been my Anchor in the raging storm and the Judge of my ugly sin.  My Comfort in deep sorrow and My Redeemer when I was wronged.  He’s held me in His Righteous Hand, soothed my hurts, and quietly Avenged me.  He has been my Advocate when I had no attorney in court, my Shepherd when I was lost in the wilderness, my trusted Master and favorite Teacher.
     He has been my Living Water when I was lost in the desert.  My Bread of Life when I was starving, the Vine where my fruits were nourished, and the Branch from which I have grown.  He has been my Witness when I could not speak, my Mediator when I could not get along with others and the Prince of My Peace.  He is the Open Door I walked through when every other door closed in my face.  He is my High Priest in the middle of a sleepless night.
     He is The Good Shepherd who searched for me among  the wolves.  He is the Lamb of God who was slaughtered for my sin.  He  is the Author of my story and the Finisher of my faith.  He is my Savior and my Messiah.  He is my Immanuel and the Resurrection that I believe in.  He is the Bishop of my Soul.   
     He is the Head of every church I have ever worshipped in.  He is the Rock I stand on, the Foundation on which I have placed my Home.  He is the Carpenter who designed and built it.  
     He is my Beloved One, my willing Bridegroom when I stood at the altar alone.  He is the Father in whose arms I safely rest.  He is the Light of my World when the darkness closes in around me.  He is my King of Kings and the Prince of my Peace.  He’s my God.
      He is my Wonderful Counselor when I can’t afford therapy. He is my Bright Morning Star after a lonely sleepless night.  He is All-Knowing, All-Seeing and All-Understanding.  He is my Holy One in the middle of worldly sin.
       He wasn’t always all these things to me.  But He has been each of them at one time or another.  And all of them all the time.  He has become the Chief Cornerstone of my daily life.  And my foundation has grown stronger as each layer has been added.  Each lesson learned.  Each joy experienced.  Each tear shed.   And I am so thankful for a lifetime of walking with Him.
     It took me too many years to understand that Heaven for me began the day I accepted Him fully.  He is my past, and my future.  But happily, He is my present too.  He has made my earthly life bearable and my death desirable.  He is my Lord of Lords.  And my very Best Friend.
      I have heard many people argue that the thief on the Cross beside Jesus cheated.  It’s not fair that he lived a long sinful life, then got a last-minute, just-in-time reprieve. Like the old man in the nursing home who accepts the gospel after a lifetime of rejecting it.  Like the murderer in prison about to be executed.  How can God offer a last minute salvation?  How is that fair and just to those who have spent a life time in service and sacrifice?
      I always stop and reflect on my life.  I think of all the blessings and lessons.  I think of the times He has held me.  I think of the times He has given my days meaning and purpose.  I think of the term “heaven on earth” and I realize that was my reward for an early-in-life-salvation.  
     I can never feel envy for someone who lived in sin all during their earthly days and got rewarded with last-minute salvation.  I hurt for them and the Altars they missed out on building, the lessons they didn’t get to learn, the Arms that didn’t hold them, the Peace that didn’t comfort them.  I don’t envy them at all. I may have missed out on some earthly things, but I’ve had an extra lifetime of Heaven, right here on earth!  
     I’ve gotten to walk day by day, side by side, in peace with my Savior and Lord.  My Alpha and my Omega.  And my happy Middle too!

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