Sunday, September 11, 2011
Reflections on a 10 year anniversary
1:44 p.m. Today's project was to gratefully attend the church service at Calvary Moreno Valley. I'd had to miss last week, because the pain from my left hip down to my ankle was so severe that I didn't even come downstairs until the afternoon.
After a week of getting out for appointments with modest success, if not without considerable pain and soreness later, I've been planning my return to 2nd service very carefully. I hoarded the last ThermaCare heat pack until today, and placed it just below the hip. I timed my Advil so that it could be taken with the small amount of water in my bottle at 10 a.m., just as worship and greeting ended, and a long spell of sitting for the sermon would begin. We even sat in the back so I could unobtrusively go to the ladies' bathroom lounge area and sit with my left leg up if the pain persisted. Lastly, I put a cut-off piece of knee-hi stocking on my calf, to see if mild compression might help, along with resting my leg on the back of my son-in-law's chair on the hand rung that was there, as well as placing my tote/purse under my leg.
Success, thank You, Jesus! I was able to fully concentrate on our pastor's powerful message from Psalm 11, where David is on the run from Saul, a theme that has occupied most of our Thursday morning study of I Samuel this summer. The title of the sermon was, "What are we trusting in?" Verses 1-5 read:
In the LORD I put my trust;
How can you say to my soul,
"Flee as a bird to your mountain"?
For look! The wicked bend their bow,
They make ready their arrow on the string,
That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?
The LORD is in His holy temple,
The LORD's throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold,
His eyelids test the sons of men.
The LORD tests the righteous,
But the wicked and the one who
loves violence His soul hates.
On September 11, 2001, our nation saw many things that we had trusted in, including the almost the complete banishment of God, fall apart, be devastated, and realized that our secure borders were no longer secure. Neither our government, our educational or business institutions, our civil authorities, nor our military forces could halt or do more than react to the calamitous loss of lives, property, power and wealth on that day. As our family witnessed on the Sunday after the attacks, every seat in the huge sanctuary at Harvest, as well as aisles, the foyer and the floor in front of the pulpit, the "sprung building" and the overflow rooms were filled beyond capacity as our people desperately sought God from fear and terror of more attacks, even chemical or biological warfare. Our Satanic enemies, on the other hand, danced in the streets half a world away...
We saw the face of sheer evil "in the name of Allah." What a demonic travesty! A false religion, a false god, resulting in terrorism by the most extreme adherents, expecting to be rewarded with 7 virgins apiece in heaven! Their present condition and eternal fate are taking place as Jesus described in Mark 9:43, in "hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched--"
Yet now, as our nation built itself back from the ashes, our institutions once again functioned, and vengeance was wreaked on terrorists worldwide, a lethargy and spiritual deadness, even an hostility to evangelical Christians and Jesus Himself, has gripped this land, to our sorrow. Businesses large and small are failing. Perversion rules the airwaves and Internet. All mention of God is forbidden in more and more public settings. Christians are told to get lost, stay hidden, or as David put it thousands of years ago, to "flee as a bird to your mountain." Keep your religion inside churches and homes! But we must trust God to "give us more boldness" in witnessing, as the apostles asked of God in Acts 4:29.
In my own personal battle with trust, I find that I can trust God for protection while speaking about Jesus publicly; witnessing is a joy and a thing I do as the Lord prompts me. But in my daily personal trials, facing daily deterioration of my husband's mind, and the losses attendant in that, especially financial ones, as prescriptions and trips to the doctor and neurologist eat away at our modest retirement and disability budget, my trust gets strained, honestly. The shock of having to hire help for tasks Steve did for 29 out of the last 30 years, the danger inherent in his working with tools that he handled his entire lifetime, or my having to do tasks I've not been instructed in are this day's new realities. I burned some of my hair on Thursday, because I was lighting the barbecue, normally Steve's job that he forgot how to do, and neglected to check and find out that the knob was turned to High. Whoosh, up came the flames! Thanks be to God that I wasn't injured at all!
When the Alzheimer Association writes of the billions the disease costs our economy, they aren't kidding. When you think of lost wages of both the victim and the caregiver, medical costs of both victim and caregiver (due to stress), disability payments, both State and Social Security disability paid out over an individual's lifetime, doctor and specialist visits, and ever-increasing fuel costs to get to the appointments, it boggles the mind. While the Association's job may be to lobby Congress for more research funding, can we actually put our trust in government? Or science? So far, no cure and or drugs to effectively slow down the disease's progress have come onto the scene.
Should we not rather be praying for God's healing, and for His mercy to help sufferers and their families? And testifying of God's great love and mercy daily, which I get so tempted to forget?
There is a website asking people what public service they intend to accomplish on September 11, 2011. My public volunteer service will be exactly this--attend church, partake in communion, be built up in God's word, encourage other believers and witness to the unsaved! After I see the prophecy video at tonight's service, I will be eager to witness to a person who needs to know Jesus. I will prayerfully look to open a door He may set before me, because as a believer, I will not "flee as a bird to my mountain," fade away, go quietly or hide behind my home's curtains and doors.
That's one thing that is NOT going to happen on this day in 2011!