Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Guest Post from Jenny Carlisle

You Had to Be There
Habukuk’s message from God , his “burden” includes this in the fifth verse of the First Chapter of his book. “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously; for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.”
Oh, those moments that leave us awestruck. For a second or two, nothing else matters, not what has happened in the past, not what will come down the road in the future. Just a time when all we can do is take a deep breath and just try to absorb the wonder of God’s creation. During this time of hustle and bustle, organized ceremonies and unorganized chaos, we live for those “Ahh” moments when God is sufficient, and nothing else matters.
My husband and I love to just get out and drive, and when the sun is shining brightly on our windshield, just topping a hill on one of Arkansas’ many scenic byways can present an incredible panorama of beauty. The colors of the leaves, the sky, the waterways are spotlighted at just the right angle. We don’t always stop the car or snap a photo, but those vistas stay with us, become a part of our memories of care-free days doing whatever we please.
Sometimes, after a stormy day, the sun popping out from behind the clouds produces another such glorious moment. Heavenly rays extend to the ground, and we take a deep breath, knowing that God was with us the whole time. Often, He sends his classic symbol- a rainbow. We know it is a simple message from the maker that renews the promise he made to Noah so long ago. All will be right with the world again.
Holding a new baby, especially when there is a blood relationship, is another indescribable pleasure. The simple trust that this little soul is placing literally in your hands can be overwhelming. At that moment, the struggles leading up to the birth are forgotten; the worries of the days ahead are non-existent. God grants us just a second to simply revel in his miracle.
In contrast, the same sense of peace can be felt at the bedside of someone who is nearing the end of their journey on this earth. All of the pain and suffering can be forgotten when the patient is comfortably communing with his or her maker. Peace penetrates the room, and all who enter. Unexplainable, totally illogical peace, except for those who understand what awaits on the other side.
For me, awe strikes at the strangest times. For example: when my house is almost literally bursting at the seams with busy people of all ages, preparing a meal, or trying to find a spot to relax afterwards. The joyous shouts of the youngest, the bumping into one another, the questionable crashes heard from the kitchen, all provide me with a moment of sweet joy. After years of changes, and missing faces at the table, I recognize these times for their temporary nature. Nothing will ever be quite the same again. The happiness is palpable, almost painful. I relish these precious chaotic moments, and store them away for future, quieter days.
The shepherds felt the same way in Bethlehem centuries ago when the heavenly host brought them unbelievable news, and then they witnessed the miracle for themselves. How fortunate we are that Luke captured these moments in his Gospel. We can share in the wonder as we read that account over and over.
The marketing wizards call moments like this “Priceless”. They remind us that no matter the cost, that one event is totally worth it. Christians can enjoy these precious times with no thought to the past or the future, because Jesus has already paid the price. What is coming for us will be even more wonderful, more awe inspiring than any experience we have had on this earth. Amazing. I definitely want to be there.

Thank you, Lord for these glimpses of your wonder. May we always recognize and appreciate them.

About the Author

Jenny McLeod Carlisle has been writing stories since she could hold a pencil. She is a client of Terry Burns at the Hartline Literary agency, and is pursuing publication of her first Women's Fiction novel, Hold Fast. Wife of her high school prom date, mother of three, mother in law of three, Granny to four with a fifth expected in February, her full time day job with the State of Arkansas leaves very little time for jotting down the hundreds of tales that still dance in her head. She is a columnist for Ouachita Life magazine, which is distributed in the Southwest quadrant of Arkansas. Recently, she has appeared on Tales from the South, an internationally broadcast radio show for storytellers that is headquartered in Central Arkansas. Her motto for life is found in the 33rd. verse of the 6th. Chapter of Matthew's Gospel. Seeking Him first means that everything else will follow.

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