Going Home To Get My Spiritual Bearings

July 15, 2019

Tomorrow is the first month’s anniversary of our son’s death.  In some ways, it seems like a year has gone by.  So much emotion has been packed into so short a time.  For the first several weeks, sleeping soundly was impossible.  I’m just now starting to catch up.  What better place to do it than to go home to my roots.


Beloved Berkshire Mountains

While I live in Georgia and call that home, my roots are in New England in a little town called Petersburgh.  I am fortunate to be able to go back to my childhood home (my sister still lives there) and walk the grounds that overlook the river, and then go to bed in my old bedroom.

There’s something about going home that allows you to get your bearings.  I finally slept last night – all night – for a good 11 hours.  I’ve gotten out to drive all the back roads I love and it has given me much time for reflection and conversations with Jesus.


Childhood Bedroom

There’s also something about going home to the heart of God that allows us to get our spiritual bearings.  He is the safe place.  He hushes our agitation.  He speaks into the void where emptiness eats away at the soul.  He puts all our questions to rest as faith believes that He is enough ~ even without answers.

I’ve printed out Hebrews 11:1 on an index card and have been living in it for the past four weeks.  Here it is in THE MESSAGE.  The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.  The meaning of ‘getting my spiritual bearings’ is unwrapped in this scripture.  Trust in God is the firm foundation that makes life (even in the midst of tragedy) worth living.  Trust in God is my handle on what I can’t see.

Suicide leaves so many questions behind.  Haunting questions.  Most never know the answers to why someone took their own life.  While here in my childhood surroundings, spiritual rest is intermittent amidst the grief but it is there nonetheless.  My trust in God has not been shaken loose from its moorings.  He’s got me.  He’s got my son.  He’s got the answers.  For everything I cannot see, or know, I do know in whom I have believed.

I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.  Psalm 119:163 God is rarely ambivalent.  He loves truth and He hates falsehood.  David spent enough time in the Torah and enough time in worship that God’s appetite rubbed off.  How our culture needs more like him.  There are far too many prominent Christians in …

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Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.  Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.  Genesis 6:114 God’s children are not destined for wrath but eternal life.  God’s wrath was about to destroy the earth with a flood but God proclaimed a different outcome for Noah. When the world would …

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For thus saith the Lord, “Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.” Jeremiah 31:12 Are you languishing under the condemnation of someone else’s words?  The only cure is to allow God to speak the truth.  I must be willing to disown the hurtful words and no longer have them define me in any …

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July 3, 2019

I am concealed in the shadow of God’s hand.  Isaiah 49:2

The definition of a shadow is an image cast by an object.  The word doesn’t usually bring warm feelings.  Someone hiding in the shadows is a person with a questionable agenda.  Someone afraid of their own shadow is a poor soul gripped by shyness.  Someone who sees shadows in the night is one who sleeps lightly.  And we know the familiar phrase in the 23rd Psalm, ‘in the valley of the shadow of death.’ 

While the topic of shadows makes us think of something foreboding, shadows can also be beautiful.  How about these references.

I dwell in the shadow of the Almighty.  Psalm 91:1

I am concealed in the shadow of God’s hand.  Isaiah 49:2

And, I take refuge in the shadow of my Father’s wings.  Psalm 36:7 

God is also described as One who casts a shadow, and His shadow provides shade from the heat.  Isaiah 25:4  His presence shadows His children ~ going with them wherever they go. Psalm 121:5

If I am in Christ, I am overshadowed when the Spirit conceives something holy, or heals something broken, or prepares something yet unformed.  In these days of our family’s sorrow, we are overshadowed.  We are being refined in the fire, healed in our brokenness, and watching for redemption still unformed.

For each of us who are overshadowed by Your Spirit, we rest while You create.  Amen