Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dates and Dung

Day 25

My sister got the call yesterday late afternoon. They will be traveling to Little Rock on 11/11. CT scan on the 12th, surgery on the 14th


There is some relief knowing the date. Knowing when we need to rearrange our lives for a time.

There is relief in knowing.

Then for about an hour after hearing the date I kept getting messages about how perfect the timing is for many reasons. More relief. More confirmation that God’s hand is all over this just as He promises.

I’m not sure what you are waiting on yourself as you read this. But it seems the most unsettling time is in the waiting. When the moment actually arrives for “doing” it’s doable. Somehow, God faithfully provides the means for action. It’s in the waiting where hard, sometimes torturous work has to be done.

I think of Jesus waiting in the garden of Gethsemane the night before He is to be crucified. He is the literal perfect example of how to wait. He went to a beautiful place in God’s creation with some friends and prayed. 

As I googled a picture of the garden I fortuitously stumbled onto a website that gave specific directions for getting to the garden, “The best route for getting to the Garden of Gethsemane is to go through the Dung Gate and then turn to the left towards the Mount of Olives.”

Wait, what was that? Go through the “Dung Gate” to reach the garden? Now I do not have a degree in ancient history, but I can google “dung” and it is exactly what you are thinking it is. The “Dung Gate” shows up in Nehemiah 3:13-14. God does have a sense of humor and there are no coincidences, can we agree on those two things? I love God so much. He knows we are not perfect like His precious son, He knows to reach the “good” waiting place for Him we have to go through dung.
The Dung Gate before is was enlarged in 1952.

I believe some of you, like myself, have a tendency of wanting perfectionism in our faith (After all, Jesus is our example! He’s not only tough to live up to, it’s impossible to do so!) So when bad news arrives we do what humans do and we crumble. Your crumbling may look different than mine, but it is inevitable to go through some falling apart. Y’all. It’s not just inevitable, it’s biblical! Hallelujah for a God who knew some of us would find peace and comfort in permission to go through the Gate of Dung. If we will keep putting one foot in front of another it leads directly to a beautiful place of communion with God. It leads to the garden where His son cried out in all his humanness to take this cup from him, but let God's will be done.
Garden of Gethsemane
Over the years of trials we have been taught by God to turn to Him. For us this involves pouring into our bible study homework, praying without ceasing, choosing joy, and surrounding ourselves with wise people who pray and encourage. 

What is the fruit from this? Peace that surpasses all understanding. Finding joy in moments. Cherishing each other and the time we are given today.

In the waiting is where we decide to either let our fear grow or our faith show.

Goodness, the work is in the waiting, isn’t it? So now we wait for God to part the Red Sea for us and we will give all glory to Him when He arrives in his perfect timing.

Do you need a gentle nudge away from the Dung Gate? It is part of the process for sure, but we were meant to continue on down the path to meet God in prayer. 

Dear God, help us take the small step away from the gate and towards You where you wait with open arms to deliver us from the pain we feel. Amen.

“And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39

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