It's a Mad Mad Mad World NOT!

Two million or more people moved from wandering in the desert for some 40 years to a dedicated process of preparing to realize their mission, their dreams. Virtually every need had been met over 4 decades, every action guided by the God of the universe that led them there, and all transpired with displays of majestic power to encourage them along the way. They were free after years and years of harsh slavery, multiplied fruitfully, and were about to receive all that was promised to them. What more could the children of Israel have wanted? In their own minds, much more. They griped, built golden images to worship, and failed to heed their leaders over and over again. Many were punished and died as a result; many others just followed along while some questioned where was God? Gee, these people would make “good” Americans right now!

We gripe when our needs are not met within tiny frames of time. We worship people, places, and things instead of the Lord our God. We fail to respect the very leaders the Lord ordains for our lives whether it be our pastor or the President of the United States then wonder why we personally don’t feel respected either. We resist the natural consequences of our actions, fight for some lofty goal of social justice that will never fully arrive in this fallen world, and in doing so push ourselves further away from the God of mercy, true justice, grace, love, and peace. It’s a mad, mad, mad world right now. And the more we strive in our own strength, the more we will squelch our lives of the gifts of this unique time in human history. We are at war with an enemy more “unseen” than the (.3) micron coronavirus-19. Our enemy is our very own pride. A pride that separates us from God and each other, more than “social distancing” ever will.

I live in the heartland of the United States where hard work used to pay off. Whether you went to college or worked your way up the ladder of a manufacturing plant, worked in the trades, or built a small business, you could feed your face and that of your family if you just worked hard. No matter what life threw at you, you were going to be o.k. eventually. Eventually I would come to know my own work ethic as a virtue instilled by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave me the skills I would need to navigate life until I found a personal relationship with Him. Thereafter, my strength would not be enough to survive: the tests and trials were too great to overcome them on my own. And by seeking His face, my Lord sustained me, provided for me, grew me into the woman that I am today. Often I don’t feel these gifts of mercy, true justice, grace, love, and peace. More importantly, I know each are there all of the time no matter what else is going on.

I’ve had a rough go of things again lately. The serious illness that I endure has only become more complicated with new thyroid issues, new dental infections that need specialized care. The latter simply cannot be addressed for weeks because of the quarantine recommendations of our government (and governments around the world). There is very little that me and my beloved can do about the need to wait for medical care, even though this type of infection is known to worsen a person’s health. I also need to find a new clinic in our smaller town to provide the infusions that I receive twice per month; they have helped keep me out of the emergency room for over a year. But only essential and emergency care are now provided at virtually all medical facilities that are preparing for the pandemic. I understand these needs. I really don’t know if several hours per day of convulsive episodes qualify for essential and emergency care when no one has figured out how to treat or stop them yet. Specialized dental care twice in the past made a BIG DIFFERENCE, however. What shall we do?

I know that the Lord sees and grieves my suffering. I know that the Lord hears and grieves the suffering of people sick with this new virus and who are afraid of all the effects it has had on our society to date. I know He hears the cries of His children whether we have professed love for Him or not. You know that we are isolated and hurting. We do need you now. We are like your children of Israel wandering in the desert, needing to see the cloud over the tabernacle by day to know that you are near and what to do. With the presence of so much evil, the consequences of living in a fallen world, the events that puzzle us but you mysteriously have ordained, the leaders over us who shun you, and the tearing apart of these once United States of America, WE NEED YOU NOW. Might we catch a glimpse of Your fire, Your glory to help us, to help me carry on this night?

In the meantime Gentle Reader, please do take care of yourself and your loved ones. Here is my prayer for you as you seek the desires of your own heart. I submit to you that you will find everything you want and need in the person of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for being here with me. Godspeed one and all, JJ

From Wondrous Works Shop on Etsy

The Height of Fear

Camplite, Camp Lite, fear of heights, roof vent, roof fan, cleaning roof vent, cleaning roof fan, roof of trailer, on top of trailer
That’s me up on the roof of the Camp Lite cleaning the covers of the three fans up there.

It’s all very simple really.  The vent covers of the three fans in the roof of our Camp Lite travel trailer had not been cleaned and there was visible dirt.  I had hoped it wasn’t mold but we just couldn’t be sure.  The only problem was that to clean it, I had to climb up over the top rung of a very tall ladder to get onto the roof.  “Just don’t look down,” became my strategy.  So up I went over 10 feet into the air . . .

Before I knew it everything was as clean as it could be.  Now it was time to figure out how to get down.  “Just roll onto your belly and throw your legs over the edge,” was the coaching of my beloved Stevers safely on the ground below.  Yeah right.  Easy for you to say.  I decided to reverse the procedure I had used to get over the edge and onto the roof, whilst clinging to the lip of the first open vent.  The rubber gasket over the aluminum panel had held me once, surely it would hold me again?  Yes it did.  And with a few very clear requests to have my spotter stop cracking nerve-wracking jokes, I was able to make my way down the ladder and into earthbound civilization once again.

The view was pretty neat up there.  The sky was painted orange sherbet with streaks of steel blue against the line of trees behind the homes of our neighbors.  As long as I stayed away from the edge and didn’t look down, I was fine.  Hmmm.  I quickly remembered during my descent, one of the first times I had to employ such a strategy.  It wasn’t on the roof of a travel trailer.  We’re talking many decades ago . . .

My dad was always afraid of heights.  They call it acrophobia.  I suppose you could hypothesize that I somehow identified with his fear, taking it on irrationally at an early age.  I really don’t know how that works.  What I remember is his frightful reaction to taking a ride on the Space Spiral at Cedar Point:  an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio.  He would not go near the edge to look out the window.  He stood frozen like a statue with his back to the wall of the elevating compartment in which we rode up then down.  He said nothing but to scold us when we asked what was wrong.  Wow.  That was crippling fear.

Space Spiral, Cedar Point, Sandusky Ohio, going up in the air, amusement park, fear of heights, overcoming fear
Space Spiral rotating observation tower (1965-2012). Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

The Space Spiral was a central attraction of the Midway or carnival area at Cedar Point.  When I worked at the amusement park my sophomore year of college, I found it kind of relaxing to take a ride up over the park as I “played animal” on my day off.  The energy of people screaming from the roller coasters, indulging in sugary treats, and sun-burning themselves while running from one attraction to another was kinda fun, amusing even to watch.  Later in the summer I spent more of my free time taking the ferry from The Point to Sandusky to shop for real food.  The employee cafeteria menu tasted too much like the commons in the dormitories at Eastern Michigan University and many of us know what dorm food is like, eh?  Eeeek!

The feeling of my guts dropping into my loins when leaning over a ledge or riding the Space Spiral had never left me though.  Sure, I visited other amusement parks and even returned to Cedar Point over the years.  I even rode in a 4-seater Cessna transport plane over the mountain tops of the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho with the windows open in the late 1990’s with little more than a quick prayer to pass my worries.  But when I got back on the ground this past Sunday after climbing over the edge of our camper, I felt that very old fear flooding to the surface.  The emotion overtook me for a time.

I stood in our driveway bleeding with tears.  I had chosen to face my fear of heights, or rather my fear of leaning over the edge of a tall ledge, and finally won.  I made an adult decision and the child inside became less afraid; I’ll know for sure the next time I have to crawl someplace ridiculously out of reach if the task is really complete or not.  For now, I am no longer sad but rather pleased.  I did it!

Who knows where this stuff that holds us back really comes from anyways.  Only the Lord knows if we will have victory when that day comes and our countenance is tested.  As for me, I believe that He also knows the activities, the experiences, the fullness of living that I have avoided over the course of my life due to this fear or that.  I can see clearly that to live in any type of fear is not the way to go through my days.  My Jesus is with me always.  I will be o.k.  I can take a look around, like the 360-degree turn of a Space Spiral and take in all there is before me with my eyes wide open, my arms wide open too.

Gentle Reader, there is so much living left to do!  Won’t you join me in embracing something new today?  I tell you: the sky is the limit!  Tee hee.  JJ