Haunted by God

“May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.” – Robert A. Heinlein
(BrainyQuote)

The word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is anythingarianism, which is “The fact or phenomenon of not holding any fixed or established beliefs; (also) the rejection of all fixed or established beliefs, regarded (often humorously) as a creed or philosophy.” There seems to be a lot of that going around, these days.

Today is Leave the Office Earlier Day. Not a problem, since I’m not at the “office” today. I’ll explain that next.

So, the reason I am not at work is this morning is one of extreme sadness. I received a phone call from C yesterday morning, as she had just received a phone call to let her know that her mother passed away, yesterday morning. It was a strange call, coming from the home health people that had been coming over to help take care of her mother. She said that he just kind of matter-of-factly told her, as if she should have been expecting it. Granted, there have been numerous health and mental issues over the past few years (decades?), but I wouldn’t say it was expected. I finished the day at work, and submitted a request for bereavement for the rest of this week and Monday. I get three days for in-laws. We will be going to the funeral home at 1:00PM today, to make arrangements, which, thankfully, have already been pre-paid. It looks like the funeral will be Monday.

This will be pretty much occupying all of our time and energy for the next few days.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.
If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.

Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.

Psalm 73:10-20

This passage is the answer to yesterday’s questions, and verse 17 is the turning point. “‘Until’ picks up the first sixteen verses of outraged sensitivity, of battered reason, of provoked faith, and marches them all into the sanctuary.” When they emerge, “they are no longer troubles, but truths of cheer and hope.”

“Instead of wildly asking questions or clamorously making complaints, I ask you to lead me, Father, into acts of worship in which I will see creation whole and redemption complete, in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

What Are You Haunted By?

Who is the man who fears the LORD?
Psalm 25:12

“What are you haunted by?” Most of us would probably say nothing. But aren’t we all truly haunted by something? A lot of us are haunted by ourselves, or, “if we are Christians, by our experience.” But our consciousness should be consumed by God, and not just thinking about God. “The whole of our life inside and out is to be absolutely haunted by the presence of God.” Just as a child is “haunted” by the presence of his mother, even when she is not in sight, so we should be haunted by the presence of God, to the point that we “look at everything in relation to God,” and that this “abiding consciousness of God pushes itself to the front all the time.”

And here is the kicker: “If we are haunted by God, nothing else can get in, no cares, no tribulation, no anxieties.” This is why worry is so emphasized by Jesus. How can we be unbelieving in this constant presence of God? “To be haunted by God is to have an effective barricade against all the onslaughts of the enemy.” What does the Bible say, in Isaiah 26:3? You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. If I am “haunted” by God, my mind is stayed on him, and I will be at peace.

Father, I am not sufficiently haunted by you, because I find myself experiencing anxiety, worry, and cares. I pray for this abiding consciousness of your presence at all times, that pushes itself to the front of my life and my being. I pray that I may live and move and have my being completely in you. I pray for this overriding sense of your presence as we gather to make funeral arrangements today. May your peace be in and with us.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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