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Sight by Touch

In a comment on riddle-like proverbs that can be turned around in our minds and looked at from many directions,  SteveWV yesterday posted at 7:20a.m. a poem called The Elephant and the Blind Men. It ends like this:

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

This verse has often been used to say that all religions are merely describing, in their own limited ways, some perspective on the great Source and unseen Mystery of Life. Am guessing that SteveWV may be suggesting that it can also be used to illustrate how the Bible can be misunderstood.

I sat yesterday in a Bible study in which Bill Crowder of our staff described how Jesus gave personal attention and a healing touch to a blind man of the lake shore community of Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26). Bill went on to show how immediately after that event, Mark goes on to say that Jesus took his disciples to the north and on the way asked them two questions: (1) Who do people say that I am? and (2) who do you say that I am? (Mark 8:27-30). Here the Teacher seems to address a different kind of vision and blindness.

Peter’s answer, followed by an affirmation, is as amazing as what Jesus said would soon happen (Mark 8:31).

By the time the predicted events played out, Jesus’ disciples began to understand something similar to the words in The Elephant and the Blind Men verse quoted above. Prior to the coming of the Son of God into the world, words of Scripture could be quoted without an understanding of how they related to the great unseen God that everyone (people of all religions) keeps touching and bumping into (Acts 17:22-28).

Even the proverb that we’ve been talking about (Prov 10:3) finds fulness  of meaning only in the One who has put a face on the invisible God; while becoming the ‘bread and wine,” the Savior, Provider, and Protector of all who find forgiveness, mercy, and sight in his touch.

 


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61 Responses to “Sight by Touch”

  1. bubbles says:

    Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matthew 6

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Poetry is art with words; the creativity of art is a gift of being like our creator in that we too can create, though never on the grand scale of our creator only a shadow of His being.

    Through Gods creation God can be seen; it is one of those universally sensed experiences that opens our minds and hearts to the wonder of God.

    On the road to Emmaus the gentlemen whom Jesus spoke with were amazed at the fact that the old dry words of their religion came alive at His speaking, they *recognized* the *Truth*.

    It is the beauty of good poetry that opens our hearts and eyes to the same discovery, that these words speak the truth and all recognize it.

    We are all very like these men of Indostan, sure as we can be, that what we have touched and felt and *seen* in our minds is true and we will defend that with all vigor; though from the outside, as seen by God, we all are seen as only partly right, sometimes silly and until He opens our eyes, fully wrong.

    I am glad Mart you enjoyed the poem, I have a library filled with them and the best always align with our journey in life with our eyes on God.

    Steve

  3. s2inkzoo says:

    There were so many great thoughts on the last Post. Mart, your thoughts went to where mine did when I read Steve’s post with the poem. I thought it was ironic that it is also used as you mention, that all religions miss the one universal Truth. Steve’s next post on “casting pearls before swine” gives some of the answer. It depends on the person’s perspective as they approach a text.

    A person, that comes to the scripture to see to seek an answer to their question, sometimes forgets that they may have the wrong question. Like the question of “Who sinned, this man or his Parents”, when the real question was “God, what was your purpose?”. We have a tendency to pour meaning into the scripture, rather than take the meaning out. We often judge God by the scripture, rather than judging the scripture by God. If we approach it with preconceived ideas, we can misread it and see what we want to see. When we approach it with an attitude of God revealing Himself and His will to us, we build our understanding. We measure God’s Justice and Love by comparing what we see in the scripture, instead of knowing that He is the definition of Love (I John 4:8), and the definition of Justice (Duet 32:4). He is 100% love, and 100% Justice. If we have faith in that, then we can approach passages and see where our understanding may fall short.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Mart I also want to say, before I start off on a very busy day, that your guess was right, I wanted to show that our *look* at the proverbs as well as much of Scripture is *seen* by us similarly as illustrated by the poem.

    I had never heard that the poem was a vessel used to encapsulate all religions and their universal views.

    Once again I suppose it is as the poem demonstrated, how we all view things from a different perspective. What we look for is usually what we *see*.

    I read an article in this months “Decision” magazine written by Joe Stowell that demonstrates the heart of what we are saying; all of us see things differently, especially, but not exclusively, when viewing the matters of our faith.

    Steve

  5. Bill says:

    Mart and Friends,

    Interesting and apropos post this morning.

    Last night, in Mart’s post “Law and Love in the Balance,” I suggested to Gary that our beliefs are not infallible about what each verse means. Ditto for the entire sweep of them — and the many (sometimes conflicting) doctrines that spring from them. My opinion is that we all offer opinions, not facts, not certainties. And that knowing that would help us keep our minds flexible, our hearts open, and our arms wide.

    We know what we think/believe verses mean. We know what we’ve been taught they mean. We know how we feel about them and what they mean to us. We know that we like to say the Holy Spirit reveals to us what the verses mean. (Which is always an interesting claim to make since a room full of Christians saying that will often reveal several different meanings to the verses.)

    We are not God. We did not pen the verses. We don’t know for a fact what He intended, why He created us (especially knowing full well — before He formed Adam from the dust — that we’d fall and the world would become a very vile place). We cannot be sure how narrow or wide the efficacy of the cross is. (Did Jesus pay the penalty for all? Or just the “elect”)

    When it comes right down to it, aren’t we all like the blind men and the elephant?

    Mart wrote:

    “This verse has often been used to say that all religions are merely describing, in their own limited ways, some perspective on the great Source and unseen Mystery of Life. Am guessing that SteveWV may be suggesting that it can also be used to illustrate how the Bible can be misunderstood.”

    Two comments:

    1. I do believe all religions indicate something about the great Source and unseen Mystery of Life. They can’t help but do so. If human beings are created in God’s image, and if we all have a need inside of us to connect with the Creator, then all religions DO try — in their own way — to achieve that. I’m not saying all religions are equal. I’m saying there’s an element of truth to them. Knowing that would go a long way to helping us reach out to people in love and respect — rather than a position of superiority and I-am-right-you-are-wrong.

    2. There’s an aspect to my comments for Gary last night that I forgot to note: we could be wrong. I suggested to Gary that we (he and I) could both be right. But, frankly, I forgot to mention that we could also be wrong.

    That’s the thought that keeps me humble, enables me to embrace others from different backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, economic status, religions, etc. I am humbled by what Jesus accomplished on the cross. I am humbled by the Bible and what it seems to indicate to me. But I am not so dead-sure in my beliefs that I can find fault or argue — especially with brothers and sisters in Christ.

    So, the parable of the blind men and the elephant helps keep me humble and teachable, open to new things, new ways of thinking.

    Great post, Mart! Made me think…again. :)

    Bill

  6. refump says:

    Don’t we all look for some solid base to stand on? Sort of that “I think therefore I am” position that we can build from that gives us some sense of confidence that we are on the right track to “KNOWING” God. Maybe that is why we are often afraid to open ourselves up to the possibility that we could be wrong about our understanding of a verse or doctrinal position. Sometimes I feel like a builder that is having to tear down the house I have built because it is structurally bad. Fortunately, each time I do that I find I have a firm foundation from which to re-build from, that being the gift of salvation provided to me by the death & resurrection of Jesus Christ! No doubt, as Bill said, it is a very humbling experience & this is a good thing.

  7. Bill says:

    @refump, you just captured — more vividly and more succinctly — my opinion than I did in three times as many words, over 2-3 posts. Your analogy of the builder was precisely the meaning I meant to convey.

    This was extremely profound: “Maybe that is why we are often afraid to open ourselves up to the possibility that we could be wrong about our understanding of a verse or doctrinal position.”

    I believe that’s it: fear. I think we are afraid to let go and let God. I think we feel safe and secure when our minds grip, tightly, onto our understanding of the verses and doctrines. I think we feel scared and worried and lost when we release all of our own beliefs and just let God be God.

    Wow. You nailed it. Thank you for clarifying what I’ve been trying to say. My hat is off to you!

    Bill

  8. swwagner says:

    Mart and All

    I am humbled by all of your thoughts. I do sometimes try to pour my thoughts into the scripture instead of receiving what God has to say to me. And, I do tend to think that my experience with a truth of God is the only side there is to His word or a particular scripture. Could it be that my comments (here and in other conversations) are more about being heard than about contributing to the discussion and listening???

    Concerning the way we touch the word of God (or are touched by it) in our limited vision and blindness: Could it be that what we “see” personally is God’s way of loving us individually even though we don’t see the whole picture? The Holy Spirit makes the Word of God come alive for us as believers as a whole, but also personally in the “situation rooms” of our private souls. The great mystery the “Living Word” is not that we can interpret it to mean whatever we want it to mean…but that He, in all wisdom, can present an unchanging, universal truth to meet the common need of all and simultaneously make facets of that truth be the drawing card for individual need.

    I Corinthians 13:12

    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (King James Version)

    Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (New Living Translation Version)

  9. swwagner says:

    And added note: the analogy of the firm foundation is “right on”. I have been so wrong about so many things in my life (Biblical and otherwise) that I am constantly rebuilding and tearing down at the same time if that is possible…ha!

  10. poohpity says:

    s2inkzoo and swwagner, Amen! Scripture seems to be the glasses we need to see the condition of our own hearts. Many seem to be far sighted and I think God wants us to be near sighted and with bifocals. Opinions are what cause so many problems and are never good unless asked for and God does not need ours. The Bible is not a weapon as some would use it against others it is a weapon against sin in our own lives and to know about our God to understand the mercy He has shown through generations and the completeness at the Cross.

  11. oneg2dblu says:

    Sometimes I think we all have an elephant in our room, as it is then we realize where our vision or ability to sense or feel anything actually comes from, Our Maker.
    Not just our interpretation of what we perceive we have found, so much as what we know we have experienced personally.
    Now that we have all ushered that rather large beast, in my opinion, out of the room, which ones are going to clean up after it!
    Oh yeah, that would be those who are called to actually get their hands dirty and do some work…
    But, the rest of us, who are not called to work with our hands, may just be left with praising God for all He has just shone for us, although we all have seen it in our own way.
    Somehow I knew it would all end up being a big gray issue? Gary

  12. oneg2dblu says:

    !=?

  13. oneg2dblu says:

    ?=!

  14. poohpity says:

    Sometimes it seems we get so caught up in the creation, the Creator has very little left of us?! We spend so much time trying to figure things out we were never meant to figure out but to just trust and depend on the One who does give sight!! I think in our error we feel like it is up to us to give that sight and then we miss the beauty of what we are given to see!?

  15. kingdomkid7 says:

    So true, pooh!!

  16. swwagner says:

    It is so exciting to hear what my granddaughters (age 5 and 3) have to say about life. Even if they are mixed up about what they have observed or are unable to grasp the entire picture, it means that they are growing and learning. I don’t know if this is an accurate portrayal of how God thinks of what we have to say or write…but, I know that He loves us, delights in us, and is eager to hear our prayers. Yet, after awhile (as with grandchildren) it is time for the hubbub of chatter and clamor to give way to listening and instruction.

    The following scripture has been brought to mind as I think about a Holy God who indulges the musings of His inadequate children.

    He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19)

    “In Him, we live and have our being…” (Acts: 17).

    “Be still, and know that I AM God;
    I (God) will be exalted among the nations,
    I (God) will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

  17. poohpity says:

    swwagner, Psalm 46:10 is my life verse. I wonder if we have misunderstood spiritual maturity as no longer having child like faith but thinking it means rather being more independent of God? It seems to be quite the opposite of what the world view of maturity is.

  18. swwagner says:

    poohpity:

    I wonder about that too…we expect to become independent of our earthly parents and be our own person. But, you are right, in our spiritual life we should be becoming more dependent on our Heavenly Father…more childlike in our faith. Hmmm…more food for thought.

    Yet, Paul challenges us to move past the milk of the word and get to the meat…could Paul be talking more about understanding deeper truths intellectually and spiritually while our faith grows more child like?

    Are we still on topic Mart??

  19. s2inkzoo says:

    I am wondering if some of this is that the “elephant” we are trying to understand, is God himself. He is bigger than our eyes can see, so we are left groping at feeling out parts of His nature. He is bigger than our minds can understand. Who can understand how we have choice to determine what we do,yet God knows all in the future. To understand God (and the scripture), we make Him smaller than He is so we can see Him. We make him simpler than He is, so we can understand Him. Yet, all of it falls short of true understanding of something beyond our understanding. I think that is why men like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, and George Whitfield came to differing conclusions. They were men who studied scripture more deeply, prayed more fervently, and sought God more diligently than many others {me included), yet arrived at differing understandings on doctrine (which reflect what God said and who He is).

    So, we are left with accepting it with the childlike faith that swwagner and Pooh talk about. And if we are driven by the love for knowing God more, we are left to try each day to know Him more.

  20. Mart De Haan says:

    I think the challenge for us in emphasizing a right humility before the God of the Bible is to see that we are talking about our own “limited understanding” rather than “God’s failure to clearly reveal as much as he wants us to know about his heart and our own.

    On one hand we all know that the life-changing stories of the Bible are accessible to a child. The Bible means something– that is defined by its own words, in context– as they reflect the shared purposes of human and divine authors.

    We cannot afford to treat the words of the Bible as if they are letters on a keyboard that we use to create our own meaning.

    So one side of wisdom is to see how much we can and can’t know–for sure– about a text as basic and mysterious as John 3:16.

  21. Mart De Haan says:

    swwagner, yes. On target! More food for thought :-)

  22. bubbles says:

    People may take Scripture way too far out of context, and put it in situations that have nothing to do with what the message was about.

  23. BruceC says:

    bubbles,

    Your statement is so true. And I have seen that done.

    Mart,

    3:16 is basic and the the mystery of it; IMHO, is why would such a perfectly righteous and just God even bother to love us at all instead of just starting over.
    But I do not as some, see a “universalism” in it that would say all men are saved by God. Though I do see a universal offering of the gift of salvation.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  24. SFDBWV says:

    John 14: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 gives us a story of two men who were with Jesus and yet couldn’t see/understand who HE is.

    Thomas would go on to even doubting the resurrection until he could see clear proof.

    Peter was praised for daring to say that Jesus is the Messiah, but equally praised was the fact that it is because of the Holy Spirit that Peter could make such a claim.

    In Luke 4: 18, 19 Jesus quotes Isaiah 61:1 and only part of Isaiah 61: 2 (for a reason).

    Jesus is shown all throughout Scripture; first as the nature and being of God in the OT and then once revealed as being the person of Jesus of whom all of Scripture speaks of.

    He is seen.

    However what are we looking for when we read Scripture, are we looking for conformation as what we believe, are we looking for answers to questions, are we looking for power, proof, what?

    There is a long story in John 9: 1-41 whereas Jesus heals a blind man and in the course of the story the man was ask by Jesus if he believed on the Son of God, the man answered “who is He that I might believe on Him?” and Jesus says “Thou hast seen Him and it is He that talketh with thee.”

    The ex-blind man said “Lord I believe.”

    In John 9: 39 Jesus says “For judgment I come into this world, that they which see not might see; and they which see might be made blind.”

    Matthew 7: 7 says “Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

    We are all blind as these men of Indostan, and until we come to the only *One* who can open our eyes we remain blind either by choice or by ignorance.

    Men put blinders on horses so they will look only straight ahead and not from side to side and be spooked.

    Sometimes we put blinders on ourselves so we only see what we want to, afraid of what else we may see.

    Instead of blinders God has us exercise our faith and develop spiritual muscle for the long road ahead and to be fearless of any distractions.

    We need not grope around in the dark as Jesus has given us sight, yet quickly some want to cloud up the view with smoke and mirrors, confusion and doubt in order to wield power over you; power you only surrender to them, for the power in you is far more potent than any power on earth.

    Believe and receive sight.

    Steve

  25. BruceC says:

    swwagner,

    I wonder if that deeper understanding is a much intellectual as some think. God says he makes the simple wise. So, couldn’t that mean a deeper understanding in the heart; in light of the importance of love that Paul stresses in Corinthians? We can have all knowledge and yet without love we are nothing. The Pharisees and Scribes were full of knowledge and yet the majority of them missed Love when He was in their midst.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  26. tracey5tgbtg says:

    s2inkzoo – Your post echoes exactly what came to my mind.

    Considering all the different people who came in contact with Jesus how can we expect everyone to be the same when approaching Him? We are all different parts of one body. God created us differently.

    But above all, I wonder how a finite mind can grasp the infinite God? As was already said, Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12.

  27. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Tracey I believe so too, that my walk with God, and what He shows me might in many ways be different from what He show others.
    Like the differences we have overhere on always saved, for some it is sin to believe so, for others it is sin not to believe so.
    At home I have differences in keeping days: for some it is a sin not to keep a day holy, for others all days are Today, and each day the Day of Grace.
    These things are not essential, but our own walk with God in love are.
    As the Holy Spirit leads me that is how I walk, and how I interpret the scripture (or rather I hope as the scripture was opened to me by the Holy Spirit) is for me, and He might do it in a different way to others as He sees fit, what is the best walk to have Christ grow in each of us.

    The other point that I wanted to say that many differences are about doctrines, as has already been mentioned.
    The devotion here on this site, of Oswald Chambers, often says that it is not through right theology nor doctrines that we come close to God.

    But in our daily walk there should be oneness, loving each other as Jesus has loved us. And what an example He gave us, it is better to study Jesus life, then all these theories about many things that are of no use in our daily our walk, us being a light and salt of the earth.

  28. swwagner says:

    I agree that heart knowledge is more important than head knowledge. I was just thinking that as our overall intellectual maturity grows (which can be a hinderance to seeing with our heart) we are better able to grasp the deeper concepts of God. Of course, there is no insight intellectually or spiritually without God revealing it to us throught the Holy Spirit. God is our “All in ALL”. He made us, provids a way of salvation for us, and provids the calling to the salvation. Praise Him!

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Another example of how this poem exposes human nature, especially concerning matters of *faith*, is the story of Job and his friends.

    For the most part of the Book of Job we hear a discourse from Job’s friends *explaining* Job’s predicament and its relationship to God and what is it God says when He speaks up….They were all wrong concerning Him.

    Yet their *view* of God was what they perceived from what they thought they knew.

    I hear a lot of people try and explain God today, and what I hear is very well reflected in the poem; the poem not meant to be a substitute for Scripture but rather a word picture of people not all together unlike any of us.

    Steve

  30. oneg2dblu says:

    Great posts… forever and s2inkzoo, you hit some of my thoughts already, thanks, now there are less keys to hit, or in my case seem to miss. :0

    I think God places the Elephant, in this scenario himself, right in front of us but only leads us to actually discover a small part, the part we are capable of understanding and expressing in our own terms, or how could we then share?

    When we come together as we do here and share, we each bring our own expression of what we have experienced in our walk, or our discovery.
    Knowing well that each of us has touched something larger than ourselves, for the sight of what we share is much different because we are all blind to the wholeness of what is right before us.
    That is how it is with “discovering the word,” (that’s was my plug for today Mart) our discovering God through the scriptures, some see only the context of a particular part, others see only the words in the verse, and some read the whole and still understand only what they can see.
    If we are in the flesh we see what the flesh wants, when we are in the Spirit we see what the Spirit wants to show us and knows just what He can lead us to that never leads beyond where we should be in our personal walk, or beyond our understanding.

    Perhaps that is why those who have never received the gift can not see it or understand it in their own understanding, because even the way of faith must be given for one to first believe.

    If you keep the faith you also keep the gift, not talking of salvation here, but the deposit of the Holy Spirit that gives us an our understanding and only when He has prepared us for it.

    I believe the command to the Disciples was to wait on the Holy Spirit, before they could walk in the Spirit with God-given power and love, which no blind man, or worldly person can muster up on his own.

    So, I believe the elephant was in the Upper Room, but they all needed the wait for the eyes of the Spirit to come upon them, to fully experience it!

    Who is going to clean that one up? Gary

  31. poohpity says:

    If we believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever Hebrews 13:8; Ps 102:27; Heb 1:12; then what a more accurate account of Him we will have the more we read the bible. We would realize that He does not change it is our understanding that changes. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the helper, nothing we can brag about, that leads us into those truths about our God and anyone we love we want to know more about.

    If the blind men were to have come together and shared what they had touched rather than sharing from the very small account they had their understanding of the elephant would have been more complete not that it would have been a total picture. Paul sat and listened to the Greeks and then took the pieces they already had and what they worshiped then filled in a piece of the puzzle to the “Unknown God”. Any discussion can be enlightening and beneficial as long as we allow others to come to their own conclusions. If the blind men would have just shared their experience with each other I wonder if they may have not come out the other side with a different conclusion respectfully and peaceably.

    The God that does not change is what those who believe have in common and the areas that we all agree on will out weigh those areas we do not agree on.

  32. poohpity says:

    While those blind had the outside to ponder they missed the heart of the elephant, it’s loyalty, remorse over their losses and the care of their young. They saw the outside but had no concern for the heart which I am afraid is what human beings tend to do as well.

  33. poohpity says:

    Gary, I am sure one day you will do the clean up yourself or allow God to do it as long as you keep seeking and knocking.

  34. phpatato says:

    Steve, one sentence you posted: “Sometimes we put blinders on ourselves so we only see what we want to, afraid of what else we may see.”

    I try to find my blinders on a daily basis so that I can wear them! I say try because more times than not, I am not successful in finding them and when I do, they come off. To me, wearing blinders will keep my eyes from looking all around me; to have blinders on will keep my line of sight fixed straight ahead and on Jesus who is waiting with outstretched arms for me to fall into. That being said, while wearing my blinders, I am to know that God, each day, will place people and things inside my line of sight, and I must be ready not to side-step or run over what’s in my path. I am to stop, reach out and to “love” what He so wisely placed before me. And I’m not successful at doing that either but will keep trying…one day at a time.

    Mild weather forecasted for this weekend. Good old January thaw. High, they say, 12c with rain.

    Hugs

    Pat

  35. SFDBWV says:

    Hello Pat, how well I am familiar with the concept of the “January thaw”. We too experience it and it is always welcome.

    Funny how it is a given experience for folks our age, but it means nothing to many in a younger generation because they have been educated above our knowledge.

    Matthew was very blessed by all the respondents here that gave him a pat on the back and especially that he had encouraged others.

    There are some days when I can see him healed, restored and made whole, and others that cause me to hold tightly to that unseen cord of faith that keeps me afloat and from sinking.

    The power that comes from belief is the stuff that miracles are made from and the substance that finds meaning in Philippians 4: 7.

    Thank you dear friend I hope life has settled down for you since the passing of your dad. Fact is it has been 30 years since the passing of my parents who both died only about 8 weeks apart; I still miss them every day and do all I can to keep their memory alive.

    There is a country song about life being a series of goodbyes, in the accompanying video that goes with it when grandpa asks his little grandson what heaven is like, the little boy smiles and says “There are no more goodbyes”…

    Be blessed.

    Steve

  36. poohpity says:

    swwagner, I think Paul addressed that heart knowledge as well as Peter as something that continues to grow. Col 1:10; 3:10; 2 Peter 1:3,5,6,8; 3:18. I wonder if at times we may not become stagnate as water that remains still compared to water that has a constant flow being refreshed daily.

  37. phpatato says:

    Thank you Steve. I find I am still shedding a tear everyday for Dad which then has another being shed in memory for Mom. It’s been two years since her passing and I miss her so much too. We all believed that my parents would pass within a short time of each other as well…having been married for 68 years, we thought they’d die of loneliness and a broken heart.

    My siblings have decided to wait until spring (Apr) to have a memorial service for Dad one day and a private family gathering for the burial the next. The snow is too deep right now for my brother-in-law to be able to go to the gravesite. He has advanced Parkinson’s and is wheelchair bound. Our goodbyes to him won’t be too far down the road.

    I love that we know that in heaven, There Will Be No More Goodbyes!

    Blessings to you also!

    Pat

  38. poohpity says:

    Pat, I understand the tears it has been 3 years for mom and 2 years for dad. The tears come at very unexpected times but I miss them so very much. Each time I read of your sorrow they come again understanding how you feel. I can not even imagine what those who have lost their children feel. Knowing they are now relieved of the pain they both were in because of cancer I still mourn their loss.

  39. bubbles says:

    My mother has been gone for going on 36 years now.
    She is with her Lord and free of the cancer that took her. But you both are correct. No matter how much time passes, they are always missed. Grief can vist any time, the slant of the sun on the walls or floor. Certain flowers or scents bring back her memory, a verse may be read, or the song she chose to have sung at her funeral. The pain will always be with you, but it will become familar, and these secret anniversaries of the heart will become bittersweet.

  40. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you all for commenting, it is good to think over these things, it is also hard to recite everybody,
    Like now it is about missing loved ones. But I think if we only could see with our spiritual eye how well they are doing with the Lord, what a happy place they are now we would be happy too.
    I also liked what Pat wrote, that she puts on blinders so as to look at Jesus. I think that is such a good thing. When I was younger I could have depressed states, and when I looked at the world, and how things were I would drown, but this: looking at Jesus, this is what saves me. There was a time I did not want to do that, I said to myself, that is as if you close your eyes for the reality, as if you do not see the whole truth. But Jesus is the Truth, so when I look at Him I see all I need. He is the One who is going to fix it all, I cannot, I can only do that part that God assigned specifically for me. O, that I would have faith like a little child, full of trust in her dad, that He is in control. That He takes care of all my needs, and He runs the whole world very well. He already has given the solution: Jesus cross’ and His risen Life giving strength for all who believe in Him.
    Would God not be able to show us more of His trhuth when we were more like little children in our faith and walk (simply loving God and each other).

    I was looking for the verse that says: Grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    and found these verses which are so encouraging: 1 Peter 3:21-22, 1 Peter 5:10-11
    when we have our Lord Jesus then we have everything we need!

  41. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday as I sat here at the computer and penned a short note to Pat I too shed a tear of memory, but was soon awaken by the suddenness of life.

    No sooner had I posted when my phone rang, it was my sister in Oklahoma calling from the hospital, crying, it was very difficult for her so talk, but her husband, my brother in law had died.

    How very sad, and what a sickening reminded of how fragile our peace and contentment is.

    Andy was not just my brother in law, he and I had spent years together in the Marine Corps, were best friends and as it turned out in our young lives he married my sister and we became family.

    Please remember my sister and her family today in prayer as they will need it as nothing will ever be the same again in their world.

    Steve

  42. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Foreverblessed, you wrote:

    “But I think if we only could see with our spiritual eye how well they are doing with the Lord, what a happy place they are now we would be happy too.” Thanks for that perspective! I also still have the notion to go to the phone thinking, “I need to tell Mom about this.” It is the thinking you offer here that gives me true comfort in Christ.

    I appreciate both the perspectives that
    1) the “men of Indostan” are like the world claiming that all religious understandings lead to the same Source, and
    2) these same men are like Bible experts shouting loud and long about how their own interpretation of Scripture is correct.

    You are naming the very pivot of the reality of our universe, Mart, when you show (once again) that the coming of Messiah in the flesh clears up most troubles by providing “Sight by Touch” to the world – through the Gospels and then, through all the wisdom and prophetic and even history writings of the Old Testament, seen in the light of Christ.

    Mart, you wrote:
    “Even the proverb that we’ve been talking about (Prov 10:3) finds fulness of meaning only in the One who has put a face on the invisible God; while becoming the ‘bread and wine,’ the Savior, Provider, and Protector of all who find forgiveness, mercy, and sight in his touch.”

    The very elements of the Holy Communion have now a spiritual meaning they did not have before Jesus of Nazareth: “The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.” (Prov 10:3) He himself (Jesus) preached on the mountainside: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25, 26)

    The life he brings us is much more than material existence. He is surely speaking of the resurrection life we are freely given through faith in him. In that same discourse, Jesus also commented upon the nature of our seeing. (Matthew 6:22, 23)

    Blessings,
    Maru

  43. dja says:

    Dear Steve,

    I am so sorry. Please know that I will be praying for your sister and her family as well as for you and yours. May the God of all comfort hold your hearts.

    ~Della

  44. poohpity says:

    forever, I put that verse up earlier. 2 Peter 3:18

    Steve, I send condolences to your family. So sad to hear of your loss.

  45. Bill says:

    I’ve very sorry to hear of your loss, Steve. Please accept our prayers. If there’s anything more we can do beyond that, please ask.

    My father passed away two years ago. I still miss him terribly.

    But Steve is absolutely correct. Life is fragile, and fleeting. We are guaranteed nothing, especially not length of days.

    That’s why we have to make our days count.

    Thank you all for that poignant reminder.

    Bill

  46. poohpity says:

    I think we are only limited by the boundaries we have put around God. How big is our God? Bigger than any box we can put Him in. The metaphors used in the Bible about our relationship with God seem to be that of plants; “roots”, “vines”, “seeds”, “soils”, “harvest”, “water” which to me signifies something that is living and growing. The way that anything living grows is with the light of the sun or to us the light of the Son. If we limit or shade that light with preconceived notions thinking it just does not fit in the box I have fashioned for God and tied up with a string all neat and tidy, we miss so much. Are we open in this day and time to really hear what God is saying?

    Can you imagine the Lord asking any of you to run around naked for three years, or laying naked in the street eating food cooked over dung for many days or sacrificing your own child for Him. Today they would put you in a asylum. I wonder if that is why the Lord no longer speaks as He once did because it would be against what our society says is appropriate behavior and acceptable standards? Gosh even when some are asked to leave everything they know and the comforts they now hold so tightly to, to spread the gospel how many will turn a deaf ear.

    I wonder if we do not want to grow in knowledge and understanding because of what may be asked of us?! Eph 1:17-18 NIV

  47. poohpity says:

    When we wake up in the morning what is the first thing on our minds? Is it the list of to do’s for the day or a desire to know more of the God we love?

  48. phpatato says:

    Steve

    I am thinking of your sister, you and your families today. I pray that God gives each of you what only God can give – comfort of all comforts and peace beyond understanding. Surrounded in His love, may He gather you close and dry your tears.

    I am wanting you to know how much I care.

    Pat

  49. poohpity says:

    Being a Christian in today’s times seems more like a social club rather than having been touched with sight by the Master and becoming a growing plant set about to do His Will.

  50. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve I very sorry for the loss of your dear friend and brother. I will be praying for your entire family. May he numb your sorrow.

    Pat, I am also sorry for the loss of your father and I will be praying for you as well. I have not been coming here regularly or keeping up with messages and must have missed your father’s passing. Please accept my apology for being so late with my condolences.

  51. narrowpathseeker says:

    “He” with a capital H… I’m sorry I didn’t catch that until after I posted. The “I” for “I’m” didn’t bother me, but I had to correct the “he” with a capital for the Lord.

  52. kingdomkid7 says:

    Our lives are indeed fragile threads. I pray the Comforter will hold each of you tightly, Steve, and that you will all stay bonded together by His love in the coming days. Praying for you.

  53. phpatato says:

    No need to apologize Narrow and Thank you for your warm thoughts. Dad died Dec 19 of pneumonia.

    Glad to see you are back. You were missed.

    God Bless

    Pat

  54. remarutho says:

    Thinking of you Steve and keeping you, your Sis and the rest of the family in prayer. May the good memories give you comfort in remembering your brother-in- law.
    Blessings, Maru

  55. BruceC says:

    Steve,

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your brother-in-law. I will keep all in prayer.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  56. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you all for your genuine affectionate words of comfort for me and more importantly for my sister and her family. They are very appreciated and received.

    Love has power beyond all else.

    Steve

  57. poohpity says:

    If I tried to only understand grace for the rest of my life and nothing else I would be blessed beyond measure. I think only looking as the blind men did at parts of a whole failed to see what the total elephant was all about. The whole of the OT and the NT seems to be about grace and mercy. If I could truly grasp that alone it may stop judgement, condemnation, being critical, anger, malice and result in loving others the way I have been loved. Who do I say Jesus is, a measure of love which I will never be able to figure out, beyond anything I can touch, understand or comprehend but as long as I am trying to I will leave the elephants to the blind men.

  58. foreverblessed says:

    Pat, my condolences for the loss of your dad, and that just before Christmas, that must have been a different Christmas, I pray you will be comforted by our loving Father in heaven.
    Steve also my condolences for your brother in law. And how is Matt doing, give him my warm greetings.

  59. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh mentioned to only understand grace. In the last post cbrown mentioned Psalm 63, but I misread and read Psalm 36. And this Psalm is so different, it starts directly with Psalm 36:1 the wicked.
    But then suddenly swithches to God in Psalm 36:5.
    At first I founf this switch odd, but the more I think about it the more I am comforted by it.
    Though the wickedness might be great God’s mercy is still there!
    Psalm 36:6-7,8-9

  60. poohpity says:

    Jesus asked “who do you say I am?”. If we have only touched the tail or the leg of who we think Jesus is then we are very limited in our knowledge of Him. One may say the Son of God but then misses “The father and I are One” and may not understand that Jesus is the exact likeness of the God of the OT only we are given something to touch. I think that is a very good question for me to meditate on “who do you say I am?”. In each answer I give then I may ask myself “If I believe Jesus is _______ then why do I do this______?” If I believe Jesus is the Word then why do I not make it a priority to study the Word. If I believe Jesus is God then why do I fear God when everything about Jesus was done out of love. If I believe Jesus is my provider then why do I not trust Him for provision.

    Mart, I am prayerfully hoping all is well with you.

  61. poohpity says:

    Do I just believe that the bible is more than just typewritten pages but a revelation of God and if I believe that then why do I _________?

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