Saturday, November 14, 2009

God's Ways Are Not My Ways

VACATION! VACATION! VACATION! AAAHHH! The splendor of God that was displayed throughout our stay in Ellijay, Ga. was truly breathtaking…from the leaves turning from green to their colors of glorious golds to radiant reds…to the star filled sky seen so clearly both at night and in the early morning hours…to the full moon just a couple of nights before we left. I’ve never seen the moon so “white” as I did in the mountains. A friend of ours said to us before we left, “God is in the mountains.” All I can say to that is a big “AMEN” and to thank God for giving me an opportunity to experience His beauty and majesty while in the mountains. If one ever doubts the Sovereignty of God all they have to do is “look up.” He holds each planet and star in His hands but even better than that, He knows each one by name. The awesomeness of God always leaves me breathless and in amazement that He really does love me and wants me to experience all of Him not just bits and pieces of Him.

As many of you remember, this trip was going to be trip which would have included my beloved Standard Poodle Hannah. I made the reservation thinking of her and how this would probably be her last vacation. I thought how much she loved the cooler weather and how much fun she would have. She loved going on vacation just like mommy does. But that wasn’t going to be the case since she passed away back in June. I missed her while there but also knew that God's ways are not my ways. So what does He do? He has brought Lacey into my life eight days later after Hannah’s passing and she is a 2 year Standard Poodle who accompanied us on our trip. It was such a blessing for me to have her with us. She has never been exposed to vacation or out walking in towns amongst people. Nor has she ever hiked up to waterfalls before. But she did on this trip. She had a blast and it brought me great joy and laughter as I watched her play among the leaves in the mountains.

You might remember in the one blog that I wrote about 2009 being a difficult year emotionally with so many people around me passing away including Hannah. Since that blog there have been three others close to me who have also passed away. And now, it is with great great sadness that upon returning home I found out that a dear sister in the Lord, Vickie Rankin passed away while we were gone. I didn’t know Vickie that well but was getting to know her a bit more each time I saw her. Vickie just started attending my Wednesday night class “The Purse-uit of Holiness.” She would tell me how much she was enjoying it. She started talking about joining our ladies class on Sunday mornings. I could see God working in her, growing her and filling her with a desire for more of Him. The last Sunday I was in church before vacation she stopped me afterwards. She said….I am so excited I am joining the church next week. Of course I was thrilled but disappointed because I wouldn’t be there I’d be on vacation. I said – “Oh Vickie I won’t be here….can’t you delay it?” (Selfish I know). She replied….that Traci wouldn’t be here either but all her kids would be and that was the only time she could get everyone together so Sunday it was. So needless to say I was so happy for her and told her that I’d see her when I get back.

I like to make up gift bags for each woman as she joins the church and in each bag I include some kind of bible study for them to do on their own. Vickie was the next one to receive such a bag. It was the last couple days before heading home I was thinking about getting a gift bag ready to give Vickie to welcome her to the church and The Yahweh Sisterhood “officially.”

Well, I found out the night I got home about her passing. She had a stroke on the way to church and passed away Monday in the hospital. I couldn’t believe it... I thought not another one Lord. I thought maybe my friend got the name wrong. Then I found out that she bought a brand new dress for that particular Sunday that she would join the church. And the Lord brought to my mind the part in the book of Esther where Esther was now ready to meet the king. She had gone through 12 months of beauty preparations. And I imagine how beautifully dressed Esther must have been as well. The Scriptures tell us that the king loved Esther more than any of the others, she obtained grace and favor in his sight more so than all the virgins so he set his royal crown upon her head and made her queen.

I thought about Vickie and how she was so excited about growing in the things of the Lord. I thought about her new dress as she was ready to stand before God and the congregation to become a part of FCCC. I don’t know the why’s of God taking her, but I thought how beautiful she must have looked to her King and her Groom, as she arrived at their wedding feast to His open and loving arms. I thought about the dress she picked out just for this occasion. I thought about how she probably had no idea the dress she was going to wear for her celebration of joining our church family, would actually be the perfect wedding dress as she would meet her King and her Groom, who would crown her with her crown of glory and escort her hand in hand to their wedding feast where the celebration will last long into eternity as He leads her out to a dance floor that is made of gold. There won’t be tears at this celebration just Vickie rejoicing in her Redeemer and in whose presence she’ll forever be.

God’s ways are not our ways! But I thank God here and now for the opportunity of knowing Vickie for such a short time….it saddens me as I prepare for class tonight knowing that she won’t be in her regular seat or at her regular table….it saddens me to think I won’t get to know her more here on earth but I know one day we’ll each see her again as we too partake in the wedding feast celebration that will last well into eternity.

I don’t know if God will do it but I pray that He will let her know how much we’ll miss her and how much she was loved by those who may not have known her well but loved her anyway.

I love you all and pray that you will truly love and appreciate those around you. Remember, God’s ways are not our ways and you may not always have the opportunity to say to them “I LOVE YOU!

In Christ’s love,

Orignally written and posted 11/4//09.  Re-posted due to a problem with an edit.

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