Eyes Upon You

Eclipse Solar 8-21-17

Photo Credit: Chap Percival

A hundred things miraculously aligned on August 21, 2017, to allow my family to be in South Carolina to see the wonder of the Solar Eclipse! As one of my daughter’s said, “Totality or bust!” We definitely saw the totality! No need to bust! Even the prevalent clouds parted above the beach for this amazing vision of God-created natural beauty. All eyes were (mostly) protected and were pointed toward the sky in unison! What a picture!

I had the distinct pleasure of holding my 8-month old granddaughter as she had fallen asleep in my arms on the beach! Honestly, in comparison to the eclipse, that was a much more treasured moment for me! (I still got several peeks at the momentous and spectacular eclipse!) Nevertheless, I have been thinking a lot about the frenzy of excitement and preparation across the USA to see this marvel of orbital extraordinariness, especially in prime locations like Isle of Palms.

I must give my husband all the credit for generating excitement and awe about front row seating for this phenomena! It was something he did out of his own passion for the beauty of creation – renting an outstanding beach house, early morning staking out of a prime spot for viewing on the beach, inviting all the kids and grandkids to come and stay, making sure we all knew the precautions and were provided with protective glasses, and keeping us updated on almost all that could be known about this unforgettable event-to-be. Talk about totality – he is a totality himself! This man is definitely “all or nothing!” He was all in! We were all happy benefactors, very appreciative and totally caught up in the unique unison on the beach!!

I couldn’t help but pray that this same strong ethos and anticipation will surround the return of our Lord Jesus Christ! When all eyes will look up and see our great Savior!

2 Chronicles 20:6-9,12 records King Jehoshaphat’s prayer: “O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not the God Who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You. O our God, did You not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for Your name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in Your presence before this temple that bears Your Name and will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear us and save us…’ O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. ”

Our eyes are upon You!

 

 

 

Sweet Caroline

Caroline and Nana 7-22-17pg

This sweetie was baptized on March 5, 2017. She’s a smiler! She loves being held. She’s easygoing and content. She’s almost 8 months old, the youngest of my 4 granddaughters. (Granted, all my grand girls are very special!) But recently, I single this little girl out because she makes me contemplate my blessings, treasure the gift of life as I get older, and think more about the enigma of contentment than I usually do…

The expression on my little Caroline’s face is one of “at-homeness” that says “I’m just happy to be here” and puts everyone around her in awe of her contentment. I picture this expression as reflective of the heart of one who is fully at rest with the Lord’s enduring nearness and tight grip. One who really knows shalom. One who is really a citizen of heaven and not earth. One who is genuinely transformed by new life in Christ, and not merely a reformed version of old life.

In turmoil, I know contentment to be the ability to be calm, unafraid and unconfused. To trust God completely. To see nothing else in sight except Him walking on the sea (Mark 6:49). To know His purposes are being accomplished with no particular end while being all about the process of walking by faith and not sight. But, how often do I experience this reality? Less than I care to admit.

There is a lyric from the Neil Diamond song “Sweet Caroline” that says “how can I hurt when I’m holding you… good times never seemed so good.” Yes I know, it is a big stretch stretch to spiritualize this song, but contentment looks much like this in my mind’s eye. In the tragedies and disappointments of life, God brings supernatural calm in the raging storms. How can I hurt when I am fully in God’s grip?

Paul sums it up in Philippians 4:11b-13: “…For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

Psalm 66:10-12 “For You, O God, tested us; You refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance.” The abundance of Jesus is mine when all earthly comforts are stripped away. The abundance of Jesus is mine when I am grieving losses of all kinds. The abundance of Jesus is mine when I confront the enemies of my soul face to face because He stands between me and my enemies.

I want the true expression of my heart to be like my sweet Caroline’s – joyful, unstriving, trusting, smiling. Sure that God is holding me. Content. Thank you little Caroline! for radiating joy and beaming contentment. You’ve given me a picture that I will hold forever.