Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Last Standing

Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.  Philippians 4:1

I don’t know what happened to me.  Maybe it was being away from home for week.  I was near the grandkids and saw them every night.  That might have sharpened and accentuated the absence of my wife.  I had a dream last night.  I was somewhere, working, I think, and the phone rang.  When I answered it, I heard Vickie talking.  I said, “Hey, Boss, when did you wake up?  You’ve been out of it for weeks, you know.”  I don’t remember what she said, just the sound of her voice.  I woke up because I had to go wherever she was. 

That’s the way I was over the weekend, and I couldn’t put it into words.  I felt like I need to be wherever she is because I need to take care of her.  I’ve always done that.  I know, consciously, she’s with the Lord, she is being taken care of, and all of her fears are gone.  But taking care of her is my default mode.  It’s automatic.  That’s what I do.  Through four decades that is what I have done.  How can it be that I just stop?

You might ask what that has to do with the verse above.  Sunday, especially, after church, I felt like I could not go on.  Everybody has probably reached a point of mental, emotional, or physical exhaustion and had the thought that it was impossible to keep going.  What do you do when you cannot “ …  press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” as Paul says just a few verses prior?  By the way, that verse, Philippians 3:14, is the one that is engraved on our headstone.   

Sometimes all we can do is stand, and that is enough, so Milton’s sonnet concludes:  They also serve who only stand and wait.  Or, as the prophet Isaiah says (with added emphasis):  

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

And Paul again admonishes:  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore … (Ephesians 6:13-14). 

Just because I can’t go forward, because I don’t know where to go or what to do, it doesn’t mean I should give up or quit or fall back.  When I don’t know what else to do, I can stand, and I can wait.  No matter how long it takes.


John Lien said...

Hey, maybe we can stand next to each other? These past couple of weeks, the surf of life has been crashing on me. Progress? Na brah, just standing is about all I can do.

But the spring is lovely, is it not?

mushroom said...

Spring will help a lot. Being outside makes a huge difference.

julie said...


mushroom said...

Thank you.

Rick said...

Prayers, Mush. To strong legs for all of us.

Peter said...

Hi Dwaine,

I was thinking of your comment that you had protected your wife for so many years. It occurred to me that in a way you are still doing that by being the one left behind while she is in Heaven. She does not have to endure what you are going through.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Brings to mind this song:

These scriptures you have quoted are among my very favorite, Brother.

mushroom said...

Peter, thanks, that's something I'll think about. If one of had to go first, and we could not go together, I'm still better able to take care of myself than she would have been without me.

Thank you, Ben.

Thanks for your prayers, Rick.