Posted tagged ‘walking with God’

Having A God Limp

June 2, 2019

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                June 2, 2019

                                  

I ran three miles yesterday. Today my hips are feeling the effects! Someday I’ll probably have to have hip replacement surgery, but let’s don’t talk about that right now, okay?

This morning I sorta’ limped down the steps. You know, an “Ouch” noise whispered through my lips each step down. 

Running is not good for certain parts of the body, but great for the cardio! For that matter, life is not good for parts of us, but great in other ways. A few days ago I had a fried seafood platter. It was great for my taste buds, but my arteries are waving the white flag.

All of us have “life limps” of some sort. Recently I found a copy of my freshman transcripts from college. My ego limped through the next couple of hours as I was reminded of the “0.533” grade point average I accumulated in my first quarter of higher education. 

Ouch!

Then there are limps that tell ongoing stories. My friend, Jim Newsome, who passed away a few months ago had a slight limp for most of his life. The limp was the result of having polio when he was in the Navy back in the early 1950’s. He spent a month in an iron lung, unsure of whether he would live or die. Five other sailors who had the disease died. Jim lived. He believed that God spared him for a reason, a life reason, and he served his Heavenly Father for the next 65+ years…with a limp!

A God limp!

There are those who limp along with God and those who have a God Limp. That is, there are those who limp through life affected by its damage, slowed by bad decisions, and scarred by the bitterness…and God is with them, but not in an intimate way. He’s like an acquaintance, not a friend.

And then there are those who walk closely with God, depend on His leading, are encouraged by his companionship, and are touched by His hand. Like Jacob, their wrestling with Him over the problems and conflicts of life have produced a limp that has been the result of the close relationship. 

With Jim Newsome, his limp became a lead in to conversation about coming near to death, living a life of purpose, and trusting in the Lord. 

People with “God Limps” are special, grounded, and, unfortunately, rare! I’ve been fortunate to have a number of them in my life. They are faith followers who lean on the Lord.

This morning I’ll lead worship with the saints of Simla, Colorado. John and Sherry will talk about leaning on the Lord in regards to the Cowboy Camp their family has run for 64 years- a week in June where people gather for worship, fellowship, and evangeIistic services. Each year there are needs that they pray through, like for a cook this year to fix the three meals each day for the 100 or so people who camp there. When God stops providing they believe that Cowboy Camp will end. BUT each year He provides, so they keep going. It’s their God Limp, pronounced and blessed. 

This afternoon I’ll run another three miles and walk gingerly through the rest of the day, and I’ll ponder the closeness of God that I brace myself beside instead of limping along with Him!

How Great Is…Was Our God

July 31, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                 July 31, 2016

                                     

This morning from my writing perch the ear buds began streaming in the praise song to my mind, How Great Is Our God.

The greatness of God fits nicely into a four minute song. A lady with a voice that seemed to reach to heaven sang about his awesomeness. My soul got picked up and elevated upwards.

Last Sunday in worship we sang How Great Thou Art!

Singing about God’s greatness is something we do quite often. It seems, however, that singing about God’s greatness…past tense…is not something that appears on our playlists very much.

That’s not the case for several of David’s Psalms. He talked and sang quite often about what God had done. Psalm 78 focuses on the hand of God in the exodus from Egypt. He says, “He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall. He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night…” (Psalm 78:13-14, NIV)

The greatness of God for the Jews was told in the stories of the past, how he had shown his greatness…already!

Our history is the great revealer of what we believe in the present.

So…how great was God? Is our belief system “end times focused” as a result of our failing to see his greatness in the steps we’ve already journeyed? Do we hope for his greatness in the moment, almost like praying that our Lotto tickets numbers rise to the top?

For me the great indicator of the greatness of God is how he has already touched my life, my personal history of his greatness.

Just clarifying here! How great God was did not get transferred into meaning my personal greatness. In fact, the greatness of God in my life mostly has come through in my weaknesses, incompetence, and cluelessness. God’s greatness can be seen in how I screwed things up and he made a masterpiece out of the mess.

We often trumpet the greatness of God in events of a grand scale. Churches build great worship centers. Football stadiums get reserved for great revival meetings. The greatness of pastors is focused on as a result of being called in for a private session with the President. We define greatness in human terms, and thus look at how great our God is in human terms.

But how great has our God been? I’ll always remember his greatness in the midst of the birth of our oldest daughter. There were complications…Carol and I took hold of each other’s hands and prayed…the medical team worked on Kecia…and the blessed sound for the first time of her suddenly exercising her lungs! God was great in that moment!

I’ve seen the greatness of God in the spiritual depth of others. My life has the brush strokes of so many people who have walked closely with our God: Marie Lyons, Ben Dickerson, Ken and Ardis Bystrom, Vera Ziegler, Steve Wamberg, Tom Bayes, Dave Shaffer, Cyndi Martin Constertina…the list is long and deep.

My God has been great. The assurance of how great he is comes in the evidence of how great he has been. God’s greatness is not something that will just suddenly happen, like the first chin hair on an adolescent.

I love Hebrews 11 and 12, a reminder of the people of faith who God has used…and then the looking forward. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2. NIV)

There it is! How great God was…the stories of the great cloud of witnesses, how great God is…the ongoing salvation story of Jesus, and how great God will be…the race marked out for us…the path of the future he has prepared.

Makes me want to sing! “How great thou art…and have always been!”