Fear, Faith, Feelings…

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29 Responses

  1. Linn says:

    “Maybe” it is enough to just get through a day doing what we know we should-doing a job well if we are blessed to have one, being kind as possible to those with whom we have contact (even those we don’t care for so much), keeping up our prayer and Bible reading, and being thankful for what we have. That seems to be all God asks for us in Matt 6: 33. God will take care of the rest, although it may not be what we want, but He gives grace for that, too. When I was a missionary in an unstable country in South America, that thought (God just wants me to trust Him today, and He already knows about tomorrow) really helped me focus on the right things because every day could hold an unpleasant, or perilous “surprise”, but doing the kind things of ministry helped me keep my focus. It’s not easy, but it helps to remember that i need to do the dishes, play with the cat, correct my students lovingly, and participate in what i can at church while they insist on meeting in spite of everything they have been told. God will sort it out, and me, too, as He wills. I don’t think that’s giving up or being fatalistic. There are some things going on right now that are bigger than most of us. God will call some of us to work in certain areas politically or medically, but most of us, it’s to be faithful. I’ve never gotten in trouble for being faithful.

  2. Em says:

    Good ponder material again….
    Communication among mortals is helpful (had a couple of disastrous non communication events up here yesterday). So….
    Isn’t it reasonable to believe that the canon of Scriptures God as provided will help us to focus on the big picture?

    Poor little Miss Kitty and her best friend Michael… My daughter tells of taking one of her old cats to be euthanized. She said the independent old cat looked up at her as if saying goodbye, walked across the exam table and laid down on the mat to receive his final injection. It was, somehow, right and peaceful.
    Sitting in the car, waiting to hear? Is there another vet clinic nearby?
    God keep

  3. Michael says:

    ” I’ve never gotten in trouble for being faithful.”
    I have…but point well made.
    It’s been the right kind of trouble to be in…

  4. Michael says:

    Em,

    All the clinics are doing this.
    Thankfully, Missy has rallied and we have some time left…

  5. Em says:

    Children with no Chriistmas morning? Is there a Toys For Tots anywhere close?

  6. Dan from Georgia says:

    Pet clinics are small and the ones we use here in western GA are all drive-up service only. All the vet techs have been super wonderful and helpful too.

  7. Em says:

    Michael, praying that, when the time comes, she passes peacefully at home – for both your sakes

  8. Michael says:

    Thank you, Em.

    Dan,
    Between the fires and the pandemic our locals are overbooked and stressed to the max.
    We all are…

  9. Linn says:

    Well, I have gotten into trouble a couple of times when I have insisted on doing the right thing (and it was the right thing, not a difference of opinion), but what I like to call “routine” faithfulness-getting to work on time or a little earlier, helping someone in need, letting a mom with little ones go first in line-that has never gotten me into trouble.

  10. Captain Kevin says:

    I’ll just say it, I’m afraid.

  11. Michael says:

    Linn,

    I agree…

  12. Michael says:

    CK,

    Me too…about a bunch of stuff.
    I’m assured that Jesus will receive me in the end…but between now and then, I’m a little shaky…

  13. Em says:

    God understands fear, i think ( in spite of the “perfect love” verse). Sometimes i do wonder if we confuse dread and fear.
    Both the Captain and Michael and many more – me included, have things that loom before us causing dread….
    But Captain, Michael… WOW…. If everyone here isn’t praying, we should be – betting we are, though

  14. David H says:

    Amongst the toughest things I’ve had to do is deciding when it’s time for one of our pets to go to Heaven. Over 25 years, I’ve had to make that choice five times. Although it’s gut wrenching they have all been the right times to go. Saying goodbye to Caleb’s Misty was one the toughest. My son had her for half of his life. Seeing Caleb cry for his cat was horrible. On the other hand it is encouraging that he has such a heart for other creatures.

  15. Em says:

    From a Christmas letter received today:
    “…..This life is brief and shifting. He [Jesus] said He went to heaven to prepare a….. home. Heaven is for undeserving sinners; hell s a willing choice for the alternative. It’s by His grace we are saved. We all exercise defiance. Make ourselves the masters in priorities of worship. Everybody worships something or someone. It’s a very curious thing about humans. …..”
    Amen – works for me…..
    God keep

  16. Em says:

    Good observation, David H. Good observation indeed
    Give Caleb a hug – tell him it’s from a granny he’s never met, but she is sad he hurts … I had a totally charming wire hair terrier when i was a child, he’d wait for me to get home from school and wouldn’t leave my side the rest of the day… someone stole him out of our fenced yard and i never saw him again…. Good chance Caleb’s Misty will be waiting for him in heaven as i hope Skipper will be also…

  17. Jean says:

    David H,

    “Although it’s gut wrenching they have all been the right times to go.”

    I wish I shared your experience. I have second guessed every decision I’ve ever made to put a pet to sleep. For me, they were terrible experiences, even worse in the aftermath, and I don’t know if I could ever again acquire another dog after having had to put two to sleep.

    The hardest part for me is: I don’t want the power or the decision. I just don’t feel like I should have it. I’m not saying anyone else’s alternative feelings are better or worse.

  18. Mike E. says:

    First, Michael, your writing on this is exquisite. The analogy was perfect. I have a lot I could say. But I will keep it at this: I listened to a series on Psalm 31 by Pastor Alistair Begg, titled “My Times Are In In Your Hands.” Among many things, he calls for a renewed focus on the doctrine of providence. I cannot recommend listening to this series enough. I find so much solace in God’s providence. Because we know who He is. His character has never and will never change. He is always good. And merciful. And loving. And compassionate. Therefore, we can be assured whatever befalls us, it went through His filter of goodness before it came to us. Love you, Michael. Suffering sucks.

  19. LInn says:

    David H,
    I watched my sister’s dog struggle horribly with bone cancer in its leg for several years until they finally decided to put it to sleep. It was a slow-growing cancer, but that didn’t justify the terrible suffering the dog went through because they “just couldn’t bear” to put him down. When my kitty of almost 18 years started failing last March, I checked with the vet, she told me what to look for, and one morning I just knew that she didn’t want to live anymore. The only thing I hated about the process was having to drop her off in the parking lot, but vet came out, let me know what was going on, reassured me regarding my decision, and then came out when it was over to tell me how it went (my cat was famous for her nasty disposition at the vet and she had a caution sticker on her folder she was proud of). The vet gave me a little smile when she said that kitty had the “last hiss.” I came home and bawled, and couldn’t bear to empty the litter box for a week, but I knew I did the right thing.

    Amazingly, God sent me another cat just a few weeks later. I know that isn’t for everyone, but being alone all day in quarantine wasn’t easy for me. She’s a pretty little tortie who was dumped by her previous owners in a feral colony and pulled out by a rescue when she just didn’t seem feral. She was quite traumatized, but after three months under the bed and in the bathroom, is currently the queen of my home. She’s a fairly gentle soul, except when she nibbles politely on my arm in the morning if her breakfast is not served on time.

  20. Em says:

    Amen Mike E, amen…

  21. Michael says:

    It gets harder as I get older.
    I have been fortunate in a way that the last three were obviously near the end and suffering terribly.
    I knew what I had to do.
    I make a fool out of myself every time.
    When we put Chester to rest it was the most traumatic death of my life and I could not contain my grief…it is to my shame that I have never grieved over a human that way.
    When Miss Kitty’s time comes, at least we’ll have been intentional about our time before hand.
    It won’t make it easier.

  22. Michael says:

    Love you too, Mike..thank you.

  23. sarahmorgan says:

    I admit I am afraid for the future, expecially as my surgery which should have been this week has been postponed a month because of the covid surge in the county, and I’m not convinced things will be better after a month. I have been working towards channeling my fears and uncertainties and anxieties into prayer, especially in the evenings when they loom large. Captain Kevin, I have been praying for you all week, hang in there. Michael, I’m praying for you, too, with your many burdens at this time.

  24. Michael says:

    sarah,

    Keeping you in prayer…I find evening prayer from the Daily Office helpful…

  25. Captain Kevin says:

    Sarah, thank you so much!

  26. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael:
    “Me too…about a bunch of stuff.
    I’m assured that Jesus will receive me in the end…but between now and then, I’m a little shaky…”

    That pretty much sums up where I’m at.

  27. Em says:

    Sarah, praying here too… Captain and Michael for you folks also… Lord, strengthen these who love You, but feel burdened by what life/Satan is testing them (and most of the human race) with now… loss of a loving pet, loss of a home, is there cancer in my body…. praying for a good end to all of this…

  28. Captain Kevin says:

    Thank you, Em! Praying for you too.

  29. Jerod says:

    “Maybe… we’re all just confused and terrified…
    Maybe…being afraid isn’t a sin, but staying afraid is when you know Jesus.“
    I think that’s why he had to make sure and tell us over and over 🙂

    God may allow Satan to take our lives, or the lives of our loved ones (God please spare us the latter outcome) by the action of this virus, or, as it is in California more often these days, by violence. But it is Jesus who is eminent through our faithfulness and, better yet, imminent if we die.

    I was reminded by Michael’s article of an excerpt from Meic Pearce’s book Why the Rest Hates the West. He describes the “weapon of the weak”.

    “Terrorism has been called the weapon of the weak; the weak can be relied upon to use such weapons as they have. Terrorism has the advantage
    of using the West’s own distinctive features against it: an open society (to aid infiltration and hiding); instant and full news coverage (to maximize the political effect); a horror of death or of sustaining even small num‐
    bers of casualties (resulting from the absence of any deep‐rooted sense of transcendence and also from the sheer comfort of Westerners’ lives). After any action, the rule of law can make prosecution difficult… “

    That last part bites hard – cause what are you gonna do about it all:

    the terrorisms of the info-terrorists?
    The fudged numbers and the skewed statistics,
    the graphs that lack context and the outright lies of the media?
    The fact that standing closer than six feet from the person in line in front of you was actually a human comfort we didn’t realize was so important?
    The broken holiday gatherings and lovers dying alone after 50 years of marriage?

    What are you really going to do about it?

    Use Parler? Oh heavens… no! And the powers that be give you the bird… they are so smug, aren’t they?

    But Satan has no authority over the Christian. He is truly a weak god. All he has is lies, pain, and division – like Putin and Assad in Syria and, for the purposes of this post, our government, political leaders, and their lying tongues in just about all media outlets. If you are terrified of the information terrorists take Michael’s caution – We know Jesus, and He knows us.

    You WILL be able to resist in the evil day. You WILL stand, friends.

    To fear is not a sin. Be not afraid.

    God help us because deceit is prospering, as the prophet warned.

    Love you folks. Warmest Greetings and have the Merriest Christmas you can muster!

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