View From The Ridge

View From The Ridge

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A time for every thing --

Dear Orville and Bernice; 

Oh, my goodness, how my heart aches for you both and Doug, on the loss of your daughter and sister.  I can only imagine what pain you are going through.  And yet I know there is joy in your hearts knowing that she was a child of Christ and is now home with Him.  The suffering and pain are now gone and Teresa is free at last, free at last to run and play and enjoy the beauty of Heaven at the feet of Jesus. 

As you know, I called the next day and talked to you, Orvy, and as Jeff has said to me numerous times, "How are you not able to express yourself verbally and yet write the way you do?"  (I still think he believes I use a ghost writer.)  I wasn't able to share what was really on my heart because I do have a difficult time expressing myself. 

This afternoon I was catching up on my daily devotion with Rick Warren, and today's text came from Job and Ecclesiastics.  As I was reading the verses and text of Warren, thoughts started running through my mind of things that I needed to convey to you both.  It has been several months since this has happened, the inspiration, so I knew that it was from the Holy Spirit.

  I love the book of Job, because it gives us insight into what goes on every single day in Heaven between God and Satan.  If you look at chapter one, verse 8, God asks Satan "Did you notice my servant ______  (insert your name, my name, any child of God).  I believe that Teresa's name was put there somewhere back in time, and Satan challenged God to pull back his protective angels and watch her curse God's name.  All it did was bring her closer to Jesus and God.  I'm sure that Teresa was angry with God, just as Job was, yet in the end, they were faithful.  In Chapter 7, verse 11 Job says "NO!  I can't be quiet!  I am angry and bitter.  I have to speak."  I believe God expects that, because we are just human, we have weaknesses and faults, just as Job did.  He cursed the day he was conceived and the day he was born, but never the name of God.  In the end God blesses Job many times over what he lost. 

I have said before that there should be a 13th commandment, or directive that says a parent should not have to bury one of their children.  But look at how many families in La Grande First Baptist Church have done that over the last forty years, especially the last 10 years.  Your family is just the latest.  Only God knows what the blessings will be from this.  We may never learn what the purpose of Teresa's calling home is while we are here on earth, but we will when we get to Heaven and Jesus will explain it all.

I know that the church family there is ministering to you both, and what a blessing they are.  I know that they are sharing many scriptures with you and so I will spare you any more.  I don't need to tell you where your hope is, because you already know that it is in Jesus.  My hope and prayer is that through all of what Teresa went through, lives will be touched and souls saved.  My greatest disappointment is that I am not be able to be there with you in your greatest hour of need.  Know that Jeri and I are there in spirit and love and miss you all so much. 

I wrote this following "VIEW FROM THE RIDGE" back in June of 2006.  You may remember it or not, but it was about one of many near misses that Satan has thrown at us. 



 There was this particular Tuesday morning in late March when God was having his morning coffee and donuts – or maybe fruit from one of the twelve trees mentioned in Revelation – and discussing various people on earth with  the angels who had come for their daily report with God.  Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them.

   God singled out Satan and said, "What have you been up to?" Satan answered God, "Going here and there, checking things out on earth."

   God said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Mikey Q? There's no one quite like him--honest and true to his word."

   Satan snorted, "Yeah, I’ve watched him and I can tell you he ain’t no Job!  I admit he is in church most Sundays, but his morning devotions have been hit and miss, and there have been a few meals that grace was not said.  Then there is his golf addiction and course demeanor.  He still has some work to do on his anger management.   

God replied, “I didn’t say he was perfect, but he has been a loyal and faithful servant, and you have to admit that he is a unique individual.”

Again Satan snorted, Excuse me, do you think he does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart?  Now I admit that he hasn’t had it as good as Job did before I started working on him, but you have to admit that you pamper Mikey like a pet.  Sure, you allowed me to annoy him a lot, but you haven’t really allowed me to make life miserable for him.  Nothing really bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions.    

God replied, “Hey, I let you give him the big C! 

Oh, come on, Jehovah, you limited it to Prostrate cancer!  He would have lived another 10 or 12 years if he did nothing, for crying out loud.  Eight weeks of radiation turned out to be a vacation, a piece of cake.  I put two months of rain in the Portland area trying to dampen his spirits and he still had a great time with his family and grand kids. 

Then I had him nailed in Mexico with that SUV that was headed straight for him and his pick-up but, no, you have to divert her the last ten feet to just barely miss him.  Almost scaring him and Jeri to death doesn’t count.

God answered, “So what do you have in mind now?”

Satan thought for a moment.  I have this big wind scheduled for today in the Santa Barbara area where Mikey Q will be traveling.  You know how he hates headwinds and how he gripes and complains the whole time.  Well, this is going to be the mother of all head winds and we’ll see how he and that fifth wheel trailer holds up and who he ends up blaming when every thing goes to you-know-where in a hand basket.    

 God replied, "We'll see. Go ahead--do what you want with all that is his. Just don't hurt him." Then Satan left the presence of God.

So there was a mighty blast of wind that day in the Ventura and Santa Barbara areas.  Trees were blown over, power lines were down and roofs were damaged. 

 The next day the angels are again meeting with God and of course Satan is there, too.  Then God said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Mikey Q? There's no one quite like him, is there --honest and true to his word,   devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity! You tried to trick me into destroying him, but it didn't work."

Satan answered, Well, Emanuel, you are a sneaky God.  I had a hunch that you would do some end-around move so I loosened up a few of his lug nuts and weakened a few of the wheel studs so that the right front wheel would come off when he was doing 60 mph.  I wasn’t going to wait around for the wind to do him in.  But then you did your preemptive move and clogged up traffic right when every thing was supposed to  fall apart.  I can’t believe your timing!  He is barely moving when the wheel breaks loose and the hub comes to rest on the inside of the rim.   Nothing touches the ground!  So again, you have protected him and Jeri.  Are you ever going to tire of pampering him? 

God replied, “Well, you know the old saying, ‘I take care of those who can’t take care of themselves’, and Mikey is right up there at the top of the list.  It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.”

Folks, we’re not sure that the above conversations actually took place, but from our view of the events, something along this order must have.  We have no explanation for the missing lug nuts and failed studs, why that wheel and none of the others, why on a straight stretch of smooth freeway, why there and not deep in the heart of Mexico where we had been the previous month.  No one had worked on that wheel in over 6 months and thousands of miles.  Hundreds of questions; not one single answer.  Except, as always, God is in control!  It was not by chance or luck that we were slowed by traffic at that critical point in time.  As we sat there for over four hours waiting for the tow truck, traffic never slowed again!  Losing a front wheel at freeway speeds with a 12,000 lb. trailer in tow would have resulted in a very nasty wreck.  God provided the protection; God gets all the glory.