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God on the Run

IMG_0036 (1)A Christmas weekend marked by unseasonably violent weather and the emotions of caring for the needs of loved ones reflect, as Regina and Steve wrote yesterday, a realism we cannot escape.

The embodying of the God of the universe in the flesh of a baby can sound so much like a child’s story—vaguely related to the lives we live. Yet is anything we face more realistic?

The picture hanging next to my reading chair at home has been in my wife’s family for a long time. It’s religious glass art, and not the kind I’m naturally drawn to. Yet I’ve always been intrigued by its subject and the fact that someone in our family bought or acquired it for a reason.

A protective angel hovers in the background. Joseph rests a long handled axe on his shoulder— leading the donkey that is carrying Mary and her young son. At the bottom in bold, capitalized black and silver flecked letters it says FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.

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38 Responses to “God on the Run”

  1. poohpity says:

    When I first started this journey with the Lord I thought everyday would be filled with roses and everything was going to be easier. It was different trials and struggles with the only thing making it easier was not depending on myself and everyone around me but struggles, trails and sorrows were still there nonetheless. In fact some of them became worse like rejection because of my faith. However reading God’s word I knew that it was not just me but everyone throughout history that has to go through life with all it toils, thorns and snares but knowing as in the picture that God is here and surrounded by angels makes things so much better.

    I can not even now imagine how anyone goes through this life without God’s help. Seeing His hand and heart in each circumstance I am sure I would have ended my life by now however having the ability to just call out His name when I do not even know what to pray or how to pray brings a peace and rest knowing that everything will be alright, not perfect but alright.

  2. SFDBWV says:

    I have all of my life appreciated art in its many forms. I have considered it a carry-over from our being created in God’s image and our feeble attempt to be creative like Him.

    In this picture Mart has offered this morning I can see the artist’s view and attempt to capture his/her emotion of the scene and momentous occasion.

    There is a donkey carrying Jesus to safety, yet in another story one brings him to his death. The young Mary cradling Him and caring for Him as he looks up at her. Yet too soon He would look down at her from the cross and in an effort to see to her care give the task over to His friend John. Joseph with the axe over his shoulder ready to do the work that lay ahead in order for him to care for his charge and young family as the angel oversees and protects them as they journey into the unknown.

    This morning I went out a little late to feed my critters and was reminded at how much better an artist God is than man as the first lights of the morning colored the few clouds in the eastern sky a strange combination of yellow, orange, pink and purple, almost seen by me as a new kind of color.

    In another story at another time I have seen how God has sent me to my own personal “Egypt” as He prepared events for my return.

    I think all of us have that experience and in the story of Jesus, it may be a precursor to His triumphant return.

    53 and partly cloudy.


  3. poohpity says:

    Jesus having gone through this life as we do is now able to empathize with us. He knows! We can take everything to Him.

  4. jeff1 says:

    I seem to spend so much time running from God then running to Him,but when I run to God,for the right reasons,He never sends me away, but often I ask of Him that which He knows is not in my best interest and that is where I struggle believing I know best.

    I am learning to trust God even when I do not understand His ways and I put it down to getting to know God personally rather then listening to others.

    There are many who like myself spend too much of their lives running from God. I had been brought up with a God of wrath and tried to keep the commandments and became more and more despondent when I failed to do this perfectly.

    In the end I ran from God believing He was an angry God but God does not give up on us and in time I am getting to know the true God the one who died for my failings and knowing that He did not give up on me I now know He will not give up on others who like me had been running from Him instead of to Him.

    God has eternity to draw people to Him so I no longer worry about my wayward children, for they are just like I was, thinking I knew best, but it is God who knows what’s best in all our lives but it can take us a lifetime to begin to see it.

  5. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    The axe over Joseph’s shoulder, along with the hat he wears, remind me of the mid-1800s in the U.S. I like the palm branch in the angel’s hand — and the bare snag of a small tree in the background. Who can say with assurance what the artist intends with these details…Perhaps Joseph’s occupation — carpenter — or the tree that will play such an important role in Jesus’ future self-sacrifice.

    I recall that the Lord commanded Joseph to “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

    The infant Savior is under the protection of His family on earth — and under the protection of heaven. He, as Pooh remarks, fully human and fully divine.


  6. SFDBWV says:

    My sister in law called me this morning and said she is going to bring her mother back here. She said her mother called her last night after only having been in her new environment several hours and insisted that either she or I come and get her and bring her home, right now.

    I suggested Connie speak with the professionals there at the nursing home and see how best to handle the situation and not to deal with it emotionally.

    Not a good start, but not surprising at all.

    Real life has some real life struggles.

    I see this morning where there were more deaths in Texas due to the storms there. I think that there hidden in the story of the flight to Egypt may be a hint of “the rapture” whereby God will send us all to safety while He prepares the world for His return with us as His clouds of glory.

    Just because there is trouble on the horizon doesn’t imply that behind it is the silver lining He promises, but it may take some work to get there.

    I like Mart’s picture, his wife’s family seen something in the picture that spoke to them and so do I.


  7. SFDBWV says:

    “Just because there is trouble on the horizon doesn’t imply that behind it ISN”T the silver lining he promises…”


    Oh well I hope you all got the message, With God at the helm the storm will abate and He will wipe away all tears just as promised.


  8. foreverblessed says:

    Hosea 11:1
    When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.

    Psalm 80:8
    You transplanted a vine from Egypt

    That last line in Hosea, is also talking about God calling Jesus back out of Egypt, I have been told.

    Steve, I pray for peace in your family, especially your mother in law!
    How difficult life can become when the mind falls apart. May God be with her, and with your whole family.

    When my father in law was put in an old peoples home, he did not want to stay either. But the people who worked there were very good in working with dementing people, they knew how to handle in such a situation.

    In the old peoples home where I helping out, the
    people are who are dementing (if that is proper English) live on the upper level. It is built in a square,around the cafe on the down floor. When people want to leave, and go home, they can leave the room, and say goodbye, they walk in a square and come back at the other side of the room.
    When they enter the room again, they are happy to be greeted again!
    I do not know if that what I write is of any comfort to you, but I trust that only God can give comfort.

  9. marma says:

    Steve, praying for you and your family and Mom in law.

  10. street says:

    God on the Run

    so many stories to think about.
    when i saw my father run.
    when jonah ran.
    when jeremiah went to egypt.
    when david ran from saul.
    when Jesus headed north after john had been beheaded or this story of a flight to egypt.

    all these stories have two things in common. one the presents of evil, two the veiled steadfast love of God revealed in His abundant grace.

    mart pointed out,”the emotions of caring for the needs of loved ones ” managment of these emotions in a violent world.
    thinking of Jesus at the cross and how He handled that in peace and settling His finale earthly affairs. this Savior and this cross is to bring us this peace with God forever. a God of Great love and personal understanding for His Own. staggering love that makes us more valuable then we can understand.

    thinking of the seed that is buried is not like the body that comes out of the ground.
    Glory to God most High.

  11. street says:

    thinking the struggle is to love and trust God for nothing. Jesus did it without sin, bringing many into God’s presents alive.

  12. jeff1 says:

    I cannot love God until I get to know Him personally, I can have hope and faith because of Jesus’s death and Ressurection but the only way I will love God is by getting to know Him personally.

    For some like myself who knew an angry God for so much of my life it is a struggle and it may remain so for the rest of my earthly days.

    I cannot get rid of the little voice in my head that says, disobedience, God cannot forgive, and so I am the one on the run.

    When I run to God He does not send me away but my guilty conscience reminds me of my worthlessness and so I hide from Him just like Adam and Eve did.

    God knows us so very well that we cannot out give or out love Him.

    The Gospel is not the story of man’s love for God,but God’s love for man, for we cannot love God more than He loves us, and the Cross is the evidence of that love for is there any of us who would sacrifice our child for the unrighteous and it is why so many will never truly get the Gospel because it is divine love and not human love.

  13. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks you Jeff, you make it so down to earth, the Gospel, as it speaks to your heart.
    Because Steve has not commented yet, I feel problems with his mother in law prevent him. I keep praying for them.

    Jeff, I also liked your line: God has eternity to draw men to Himself!
    That is my hope too, I write: hope.

    God’s ways are past finding out…
    why would He sent Jesus with Mary and Joseph to Egypt?

    One reason could be that He feels with those that are fugitives.
    (We have lots from Syria now in Europe).

    And… the bible itself explains Hosea 11:1,
    Matthew 2:13-15
    When they (the Magi) had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there untill I tell you, for Herod is ging to search for the child to kill him”.
    So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death oh Herod.
    And so was fulfilled what the Lord has said through the prophet:

    “Out of Egypt I called my son”.

    Why is that prophecy touching my heart so much?
    Is it a promise for each of His children, He rescued us from our Egypt, Egypt, standing for our fallen state, our chaos, our old life? And into His spiritual World from Above, even if we still live here in this world with our feet…

  14. jeff1 says:

    I think it was you Pooh who said that it is your own sins that you have to look for more then your brother or sisters and I am beginning to understand where you are coming from.

    My tendency was to look at the evil in my Country and the men who where carrying it out but it is not what God requires of me.

    He wants me to do what is right in His eyes and not in man’s eyes for the truth is I can never do what is right in man’s eyes when man is not focused on God which modern day man isn’t.

    Tell the truth and shame the devil and the truth is I am not worthy of God’s forgiveness nor do I see anyone else worthy but how do I know they are not worthy because I see them from my own eyes and not God’s for God is divine while I am human.

    God may see them very differently to me for I know them in part while God knows them intimately. I can know Him intimately too but I allow Satan to steel my joy when I listen to the voice and sometime voices telling me your disobedience means you failed God.

    The truth is God never expected me not to fail, or Jesus would not have had to die on the Cross, for the righteous are right with God, and already have their seat in Heaven but the unrighteous whose disobedience has had consequences are saved from a hell of their own making.

    I am sure that God never intended there to be a hell, but human nature has created hell on Earth by listening to Satan’s lies and God knew man would listen to Satan’s lies in the end time, as in the beginning, so Christ is the fulfillment of the Gospel for all time past, present and future.

    I do not see this world from God’s eyes but from human eyes which are dimed by my humanness but in His time and for His purpose I will be made WHOLE again for it is by the miraculous work of God that I have my being.

  15. street says:

    been thinking about the shepherds spreading the news of Jesus birth in the house of bread, bethlehem. then the flight of refugees. i wonder when racheal was weeping, if she remembered the news of the shepherds? did she look for the Child? did she understand hope was not lost but only delayed? if i remember right she refused to be comforted. i need to deny myself more than ever and take up my cross daily and follow Jesus.

  16. joycemb says:

    Hello Readers,

    I’ve been thinking about God on the run. Running in circles like the cycle of life? The breath of God makes us alive, then returns to God when we die. From a babe in arms to rotting bodies we rise, or we fall. Failure is our choice, not Gods.
    Take courage my friends, no matter how difficult the journey God loves YOU and wants you to return to Him when you die, and in the mean time wants a closer walk with you, to show you the pathway to understanding grace.

    Thank you Jesus for showing us the way.

  17. jeff1 says:

    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all evermore. Amen.

  18. joycemb says:

    Thank you Viv, and to you also.

  19. jeff1 says:

    To God be the glory, great things He has done;
    So loved He the world that He gave us His son,
    Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
    And opened the life gate so all may go in.


    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

    O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
    To every believer, the promise of God;
    The vilest offender who truly believes,
    That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

    Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
    And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
    But purer, and higher, and greater will be
    Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.


    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done…

  20. poohpity says:

    Viv, I think the reason many teachers say that the closer one gets to God the more aware they are of their own sin is not to discourage, shame or defeat us but it keeps us humble and not looking at the sin in others which more often than not is prideful. It seems to also keep us so grateful for the undeserved mercy and grace we have been shown because God does count us worthy and worthwhile to receive the greatest love that anyone will ever be able to experience from God.

    As seen by the troubles that Jesus experienced in His life here we learn because of the troubles we go through it does not mean in anyway that we do not have His love because of them. He understands our suffering but we can also understand the suffering He went through for us and because of us. Some people believe when they have trails or troubles it is God’s punishment but that seems to be a false teaching. For the believer I do not think we ever get totally what we actually deserve even when we are serving the consequences of our choices, the load seems to be lighter.

    It usually seems to be us who beats up on ourselves worse than anyone else but of course there are those as well as the devil who likes to rub our noses in our failures so we walk a suppressed life rather than one filled with abundant joy.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    It is interesting at how so many of us see God, because He is all powerful, more of a magician who will command His desires into being and it be done rather that a God who develops His desires into being through the actions of man.

    Upon the birth of Jesus God could simply have had Herod die, or change his mind, but that isn’t how God wanted His story to unfold.

    Ancient prophesy had to be fulfilled so that all things were in place to identify Jesus as the Child prophesied since the promise in the Garden.

    Which of course included His flight to Egypt.

    Yes it sounds strange to think of Jesus/God having to “run” in order to protect Himself, but that is how God wanted it to be, just as He ask John the Baptist to baptize Him.

    39 degrees and light rain this morning.


  22. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed that is so very thoughtful and considerate of you to concern yourself with my families struggle with my soon to be 97 year old mother in law. Bless you for that.

    Her given name is Pauline, but somewhere in her youth she picked up the nick-name “Crick” which is what I have called her my entire life. Her husband Robert (Curley) called her Polly and her grandchildren call her “Mom mom”.

    She is very unhappy in the nursing home, but her daughter and I agree that there is little else can be done to see to her safety and care at this particular time in her life.

    It hurts us both that she just can’t stay at home in her own home, but that would mean Glenna would have to move in with her permanently and endure living with Crick as her health and mental health continue to deteriorate. Something that would take a serious toll on Glenna’s health as well.

    The time has come for Crick to think of others and accept the situation as is.

    Something all of us unhappily have to do at times, accepting things as they are.

    We will deal with this as we do everything else, one day at a time. Trusting God will provide and His will is done.


  23. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    Even as I am slowing down these last few days of 2015, taking a “stay-cation,” family troubles are ever on my heart and mind. Please pray for my brother as
    he makes a huge transition, relocation still grieving in his widowhood. The issues of your mother-in-law’s move to assisted living are real and heartbreaking, Steve. Prayers going up for Crick and the whole family at the end of her sense of independence. She is having to face that family cannot be ever present for her.

    Mart, you wrote:

    “The embodying of the God of the universe in the flesh of a baby can sound so much like a child’s story—vaguely related to the lives we live.
    Yet is anything we face more realistic?”

    I pray for those who have confined themselves in the narrow prison of the “historical Jesus.” Gospel writers deeply desire to convey the human and divine wonder of Jesus of Nazareth. For the sake of desiring scientific and intellectually superiority, some have forfeited faith. Some people want to be free from “myth.” Janis Joplin said it best, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

    “O sing to the Lord a new song,
    For He has done wonderful things,
    His right hand and His holy arm
    have gained the victory for Him.
    The Lord has made known His salvation;
    He has revealed His righteousness in
    the sight of the nations.
    He has remembered His lovingkindness
    and His faithfulness
    to the house of Israel;
    All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.”

    Faith, Hope and Love in 2016!

  24. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, no doubt that is true of many teachers but not them all, and many teach of God’s anger which is why the younger generation are looking elsewhere for answers to life, like Science.

    My son was one who went to a friend’s funeral and the young man had died of a drug overdose and my son says he never spoke of the young man but implied if they did not want to join him in hell then they would need all to shape up.

    Their are teachers and their are teachers and my getting to know God has shown me when to discern the latter. Unfortunately it just turned my son away from God but I know that God will draw him back in his time for I was subjected to such teachings as a young person but I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is Jesus Christ our Lord.

    It is God who can love the unloved but many who claim to know God, today, still point the finger, at the persons sin when their death is due to drugs, suicide. They are turning people away from God, and like me, they will spend their lives running from Him instead of running to Him.

    If it where not for God’ Revelation to me I would still be running from Him but unlike man God keeps His promises.

    I have been listening to false teachers since I was a child but back then my mind was inquisitive and being young and unlearned I had an open mind and took everything on board. It is my journey in life that has brought me to the conclusion that only God knows His own children for sometimes this world with all its woes changes them beyond recognition!

  25. poohpity says:

    Having one’s life rearranged at 97 must be devastating probably with no input from her and I imagine she has cared for many others throughout her lifetime. Praying for this change in her life. Hats off to Glenna for caring for someone she is not even related to is simply amazing and heart warming.

    Mart, I also read that Ed Dobson passed this last weekend, his struggle with ALS is finally over but his legacy lives on. I really admired him and am still sharing his story in my group and his desire to serve and share God’s message continued with the ALS and will go forward to impart hope to others. Praying for his family and friends. Please let them know if you can that he is still ministering to the suffering by showing that no matter what condition our body is in or our circumstance we can still reach out and touch someone in the name of Jesus.

  26. poohpity says:

    Viv, sounds like God knew your heart and revealed His truths about His love to you even with all the false teaching. Praise Him for pursuing you and not giving up letting you know who He really is.

  27. poohpity says:

    Maru, also praying for the changes that lie ahead in your brothers life. May they be filled with wonder and a new adventure letting go of the past to what lies ahead. May God comfort him through his grieving process by holding him closely as well as the rest of the family.

  28. remarutho says:

    Prayers so welcome Pooh —

    My brother is slogging along not seeing much sense in day after day of agony — the grief of his loss seems to be swamping him. The Lord is able to lift and sustain his soul.

    The Creator God has surely called us all out of our deep pit of despair and feeling alone. Blessed Holy Spirit, sustain us by your power and your love — through Jesus’ sacrifice, death and resurrection! Amen.

  29. poohpity says:

    I understand Maru, the grieving process can not be rushed or intellectualized away, it just is. I might add that words will not help either just a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear and to feel a person close at hand through the long process. Feelings get all mushed up and often come out when one lest expects them to surface. This time of year is also very very hard.

  30. poohpity says:

    I know for my sons when I have heard them explaining some of their feelings(anger, depression, feeling hopeless, loss of faith) and what they are going through trying to attribute it to many others things but having read what the grieving process is like I try to explain to them that is part of the process and offer some reading material so they will be able to identify it when it happens but they would rather I just shut-up, so I just listen.

  31. joycemb says:

    The Creator God has surely called us all out of our deep pit of despair and feeling alone. Blessed Holy Spirit, sustain us by your power and your love — through Jesus’ sacrifice, death and resurrection! Amen. (Maru)

    If I had never felt alone or despairing I would have never called out to God for help. I see Him patiently waiting to be called. Prayers for your brother Maru, and also for Steve’s family.

  32. jeff1 says:

    I do praise God, Pooh, my disillusionment is with myself for listening to all the wrong people especially since my father had been teaching me correctly but I did not have the insight to see it then.

    I feel I wasted my life, and I hate to see false teaching still going on today, knowing how naive I was myself, I can see other young people today falling into the same trap.

    Hindsight is for the elderly and watching your children making the same mistakes does seem like punishment whether it is from God’s hand or my own.

  33. SFDBWV says:

    The house I live in right now is next door to another house with a distance of about 10 feet between them. They were both built when the town was about a hundred and forty years ago.

    When I bought this house the old gentleman who lived next door was already in his nineties and the father of the man who had owned this house.

    We called Him “Daddy Bill”, but I always called him Mr. Fulk.

    His daughters feared that he may fall asleep smoking his pipe and so convinced him to move into something of a specialized old folk’s home near here that only had about six occupants in the house of their care givers.

    Mr. Fulk agreed to sell me his house with the stipulation that if he decided to return within six months he could have it back with a full refund to me. Of course I agreed, but he liked having the company and as it turned out he stayed there until his death just three days short of his 100th birthday.

    I use it for storage and under the roofed in back porch I feed the birds and am able to watch it also from my kitchen westerly window.

    There is always seed scattered everywhere as the birds and squirrels that feed there aren’t all that neat, unlike the rock and stump where I feed the critters where the deer vacuum up everything they can reach.

    This afternoon as I went out to feed the critters there on that back porch was a dove that didn’t fly away, it hardly moved from my feet as I put out the feed.

    I have seen this many times, as the dove is old and sick and dying and too weak to fly away. It will stay there near food until either killed by a predator or succumbs to its ailment and I pick it up in a day or two.

    One thing is certain at my age I have watched the drama of life and death over and over again and again in all living things around me including and especially with people. Some go with dignity others not so willingly.

    It is the one thing none of us can run from for very long and isn’t it very earth like for this to be true of Jesus Himself, as when His time came somewhat reluctantly and with some amount of fear as shown in the garden of Gethsemane, yet willingly accepting His ultimate fate.

    Good evening friends.


  34. poohpity says:

    Viv, I was not telling you to praise the Lord, I was doing it about your story.

    Steve, I think the fear Jesus had was warranted knowing what he was about to go through, most of us fear the unknown.

  35. marma says:

    Isn’t it something how the older we get the more we understand (if that is the right word) the events of people’s lives in the Bible and what it might have been like for them? Rachel’s bitter passing, the angst of Hannah praying for a child, the suddenness and long road before two parents and their little one? These aren’t just stories they are realities of people’s lives. Sometimes we know the stories so well we miss that until faced with real life difficulties ourselves. Just a thought.

  36. joycemb says:

    Marma that’s a very good thought. Yes I believe it’s easy to forget how very human all the ‘characters’ in the Bible are until we or someone we know goes through the same things. It’s so great to know we serve the same God today, isn’t it.

  37. marma says:

    joycemb: Absolutely! He never changes.

  38. SFDBWV says:

    Abraham ran to Egypt though God had promised him his own land, Joseph was sent to Egypt as a slave, but it turned out to be in order to prepare for the safety of his family.

    That safety became so “comfortable” in spite of the hardships forced upon them that many begged to return rather than face the desert wilderness God was taking them through.

    “The Holy Family” were sent there in order to protect the baby Jesus and to prepare Israel for His coming.

    All of us at some time in our lives are sent to an “Egypt” for God’s purposes, the problem being we get to liking the seeming comfort/safety and forget He has something else, something better in store for us.

    Trust God and keep moving along the path He has ordained for you, remembering He will anoint you with all you need to get you where He wants you to ultimately be.

    40 degrees and fog once again this morning, indeed the foggiest December I can remember.


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