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QTMs for 3/1/2015: “YOU GAVE ME BACK MY DREAMS!”

Posted by on March 1, 2015

There’s no feeling quite like having something returned to you that you thought you’d forever lost.

Coffee - memories6Some things – like those glittery shirts woven with foil thread that caught the sun, no matter what color they were?  You know–the ones never, ever worn without a t-shirt?  Uh–no.  May their tribe swiftly decrease.  They were cool at the time.

That ratty, faded red blanket with all the silk edging completely gone?  Different story.  Growing up, it was one of the things I counted on always being there.  Mother usually had to sneak in, grab it while I was otherwise occupied exploring outside or saving the world as only 5-year-olds can do, and toss it in the washing machine.  The blanket, not the world.


Too bad the world wouldn’t fit in our washing machine.  It could sure use some serious cleaning, couldn’t it?


There are things I don’t care if I ever see again.

Real wingtips?  Seriously?  I thought clonking down the halls of my high school in those hideous things was just the coolest thing ever.  No.  Not.

Image result for wingtips shoes

It’s no wonder girls snickered as I trundled past.  They couldn’t decide whether I was a frustrated wannabe-guard at the Tomb of The Unknowns or if a Clydesdale had escaped from the Budweiser team and had somehow gotten past Mr. Jenkins.

Then there are the other things my heart longed – longs – for; things for which I’d give my life if they could be somehow retrieved.

God in His grace sometimes brings some of those priceless, not-to-be-forgotten things back.  It’s never to retrieve painful memories.  Never to attempt reliving the past.  No.

Coffee - memories1God brings some things back because, just perhaps, I didn’t get how important they were; didn’t appreciate their true worth.  He intends them to enrich who I now am, and who I am in the process of becoming.

I’ve been reading in the Psalms during this Lenten season because they always have something fresh, new and engaging to relate.  That’s the nature of The Bible.  It’s the only book I know that while you are reading it, it’s reading you.  I think that’s by design.

Listen to what David was saying all those millennia ago . . .

“I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness.  Misery has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.” [31:10, NLT]

Wow.  You know how it is when you’re perusing something?  Reading . . . reading . . .  “Mm.  Yeah, I’ve felt like that sometimes.  Hm.  Good phrasing.”  The minute I read this verse, everything inside mind, body and spirit came to a synchronized halt just as we tech-school troops did when whoever was marching us to class said, “Squad-RON—-HALT!”  In our minds and muscles came the automatic, “One-Two.”  Four squads’ worth of booted feet stopped at the exact same moment, heels smacking together with a muted thunk.

I am dying …  my years are shortened …  Misery has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within …  Tears formed unbidden and I got that chill, that frisson of sensation all over my back as I sat there just the other day in a quiet office, miles and years later, remembering:

“Nothing’s working.  We’re going to have to go in.  We need to open him up and find out what’s going on.”

Image result for surgery waitingI blinked back self-conscious tears and blew my nose.  After all, I was sitting in someone else’s office and these professional people did not need a grown— a mature— a . . .

I read some more . . .

“But I am trusting in you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!  My future is in your hands.” [vv. 14-15a]

Image result for surgery waiting

I remember laying there after a couple of unsuccessful surgeries, weakened and scared, saying almost word-for-word what David did.  As I remembered, a favorite song began to play in my spirit.  Yeah.  Dandora.

 

“My Life Is In Your Hands”

 You don’t have to worry
And don’t you be afraid
Joy comes in the morning
Troubles they don’t last always
For there’s a friend in Jesus
Who will wipe your tears away
And if your heart is broken
Just lift your hands and say

Oh
I know that I can make it
I know that I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands

With Jesus I can take it
With Him I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands

So when your tests and trials
They seem to get you down
And all your friends and loved ones
Are nowhere to be found
Remember there’s a friend in Jesus
Who will wipe your tears away
And if you heart is broken
Just lift your hands and say

Oh
I know that I can make it
I know that I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands

With Jesus I can take it
With Him I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands

Kirk Franklin had no idea how his lyrics would touch my life, but I’m weeping again as I recall these events from 17 years ago as if happening right now.  I love to hear that song and love even more to sing it – but never can get through it without shedding some tears.
I read on . . .
“Your goodness is so great!  You have stored up great blessings for those who honor You . . . .  The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.”  [v. 19, 32:8]
And has He?  Hope had atrophied.  The dreams of my life making a difference laid lifeless and discarded just like almost all my diseased small gut, unceremoniously dumped in a large steel surgical bowl.  Toxic waste.
“He’s not going to live.  There’s not enough left in there to sustain life.”
Has He?  Has God guided me to the best pathway for my life?  Has God been advising and watching over me?
Of the two surgeons who performed those unsuccessful surgeries, one is now dead, and the other has been retired for years.
And I?  I’m still here.  Oh, boy, am I still here.  I’m creating my own opportunities, recognizing God’s guiding hand and miraculous touch every day.
“So, Dan–I know you’re not done with this.  Don’t keep me in suspenders.”
No more than’s good for you.  As I kept reading, still blinking away memory’s warm tears and warmer recollections, here’s what David suggested as a fitting wrap-up:
“Trust in the Lord and do good.  Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.  Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire.  Commit everything you do to the Lord; trust him and he will help you.”  [37:3-5, New Living Translation]
    Here’s the way vv. 5-6 read in The Message:  “Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done:  He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.”
By now my normal humorous self was kicking back in.  “Do good”?  David, talking Southern?  “Y’all duh-oo gyud, nayah.”  I couldn’t help grinning at that point, and it didn’t matter whether a stuffy, sobersides accounting type saw me or not.  I heard my more fun self saying to David, “Ah DONE gyud!  Ah BEEN DEW-IN gyud!”
“What brought all that good humor bubbling up in the midst of your tears?”
Oh, nothing much.  I saw myself looking into God’s eyes and saying through my tears, “YOU GAVE ME BACK MY DREAMS!”

 “YOU GAVE ME BACK MY DREAMS!”

I’m alive!  I’m so blessed!  God’s doing things right now, as He points to the way ahead, I never thought possible!
That’s all.
Oh.  And, just between you and me?  Accountants are NOT all that stuffy and sobersides.  Just sayin’.  And why don’t you just admit it?  You know you love trying to talk like I write.  You even go back and repeat it to see if you can sound even better . . .
Like, I’m totally flattered.
“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”~ Gilbert K. Chesterton
© D. Dean Boone, March 2015

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