- Dr. Rebecca A. Thomas
Everywhere I go I know You're Not Far Away .... You're right here!
– Right Here by Jeremy Camp
I have had the most amazing experience this week. As many of you know, we have been embroiled in a dilemma over the past six months or so regarding moving to Iowa vs. staying put in Virginia. We continued to pray for 'God's will to be done'-over and over. We wanted clear direction regarding this matter, and frankly both locations appear to be quite equal, as far as the pros and cons go. It was becoming quite frustrating "God, just tell us what to do!" Then, on my way home from work one evening, I heard "The Voice". It's weird how it feels almost audible, but it's not. You're sure that it's not your own inner voice, somehow. And you're even surer that it's not your 'voice' when you don't really understand the comment at first! I heard, "You're asking the wrong question." Just that simply put. I clearly heard and understood what was 'said', but "What does that mean?" I felt like was in a game of heavenly Jeopardy or something, and God didn't give me the category or the answer!! How am I supposed to figure out the right question, for Pete's sake!!?? That was it-just that quick and simple line entered my existence in the five to seven minutes it takes me to drive home from my office. All I could do was go home and ponder that sentence over and over again. “If l'm asking the wrong question, what's the right question?" Nothing. "What's the wrong question I'm asking, anyway?" ... still nothing ... "I don't even know the answers to the questions, now I'm supposed to figure out the right question??? Visions of Abbott and Costello performing "Who's on First" began to swim through my brain. I told my husband about all of this-might as well, he's become accustomed to this kind of thing by now. The guy amazes me, because he's not such a touchy-feely type like me, yet he listens and believes me! Isn't that great? Not everyone would, you know! He even spent some time in wonderment with me as we did the "Who's on First" thing together. You asked the wrong question? That's what He said. Well, what's the right question? I don't Know! (He's on third!-Who? No Who's on first ... !) The next morning I awoke hearing "Where can I go from your Spirit?" As is usually the case for me, this was music to my ears-literally. Kelly Willard wrote this song many years ago, and of course it's 'one of my favorites.' (For those of you who have been kind enough to read my blogs, you know by now that I have a whole lot of 'favorites!' Just to give you an idea, I was literally at death's door in about 1980, and my husband and I were forced to talk about the fact that I may not make it. We got to the funeral part, and he broke the tension with this remark: "I can just imagine it now-let's turn to hymn number 403, yet another of my wife's favorites ... Good Grief, we'll be there for days if we have to cover all your 'favorites!" So true!) So back to the lyrics that I heard upon awakening ... "Where can I go from Your Spirit ... " I began to sing that old song .. Where can I go from your spirit? How can I hide from your eyes? Why would I wonder away from you, knowing that you are so wise? .. Then it hit me-Hey! Those are questions!!! Where can I go from Your Spirit?-- is that the right question??? I began to get excited. I sensed I was on to something. I grabbed my Bible and looked the phrase up in my concordance. It's taken from Psalm 139 (Oh, that's right-that's the name of the song--duh!!) and I began to read. And as I read, I began to melt. . .l mean, so many of the 'biggie verses' of my life are right there in that chapter. It began to make sense--dag gone, I WAS asking the wrong question! I should not have been asking the Lord over and over to show me what to do or where to be; rather I needed to understand that no matter where I am, there He is also--all the time! OOOOHHHHHHHH .... The point is not where/ am, the point is that He's always right here!!! DUHHHHH, Rebecca! Well we were still not quite done with that lesson. About the next day or so, I'm sitting at my computer in my office and I feel this distinct nudge to read my favorite devotional, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I'm embarrassed to tell you that I have actually not kept up with the daily readings in that devotional in quite some time, but that makes this even more significant, really. So I read the June 3rd entry. OMG, folks!!! The entry is all about praying God's will. Oswald Chambers is challenging the thought that we should be praying for God to show us His will, like 'where should I go? what should I do?' etc. Essentially, Oswald Chambers was saying that if I'm pressed in; if I'm abidin'; if I live and move and have my being in Him, my choice and His choice should match up-- get it?? The answer is not outside of me, it is within me, because that's where He resides. So, as if l have not embarrassed myself enough already, let me tell you that I got caught up in something I don't even preach! I'm such an advocate for 'being' over 'doing' (remember my Do-Be-Do-Be-Dooo Blog?) God wants a relationship with us and the process of that is so much more than worrying about 'what we're going to do for God', ... you know? And yet here I was doing exactly that!! "God, where should I be-here or there?" "Where will I get the most bang for m buck in helping people for you? Here or there?" Wow ... l was actually pressing God to produce an answer mainly because I'm feeling pressured to let people know what the heck we' e going to do. See how ridiculous this thinking is? No wonder I was in such a mess ... I was asking the wrong question!!! It's been true confession time, revealing my flaws and all, and it was so worth it-- I feel I can breathe again! I highly recommend you take some time to soak in Psalm 139. P.S. Oh, one more thing .. .! have a post script after last month's blog (you know, about the Feds showing up?) Well guess what?? Barney came by the office to pick up some requested documentation and I happened to be in the reception area. We kind of eyeballed each other soberly for a moment, and then he said, "I'm putting my bullet back in my pocket, now." I must admit, he got me there! Turns out Barney read the blog and really liked it! He even showed it to his buds, they all had a good laugh, and we became friends. He wants me to tell y'all that he really does have a sense of humor. When he called me for further info, he even identified himself as Barney!! Also, Barney wanted me to let you know that he rarely talks to honest folks, so it takes him a bit to really believe what he's hearing from even an honest person-sad but true. Of course, I told Barney that this is my blog, so I get to say what I'm feeling and I wouldn't retract anything I wrote. However, in Barney's defense, my husband put it quite well, "Do you know how many dirt-bags that guy has to talk to???" So this is for, you Barn. Here's hopin' you round up Otis and put him where he belongs-but remember to put the keys out of reach this time, OK?
And now the song: Google: YouTube-Jeremy Camp-Right Here to catch the video. "All the world is watching all the world does care Even when the world weighs on my shoulder now these feelings I can bear Because I know, that You're here everywhere I go I know You're not far away You're right here, You're right here All these thoughts I've wasted all these thoughts I've feared Even when these thoughts are faded I still know that You hear so I can rest my hope in You "All the world is watching all the world does care Even when the world weighs on my shoulder now these feelings I can bear Because I know, that You're here everywhere I go I know You're not far away You're right here, You're right here All these thoughts I've wasted all these thoughts I've feared Even when these thoughts are faded I still know that You hear so I can rest my hope in You Everywhere I go I know You’re not far away You’re right here, You’re right here The many times that I have felt alone t he many time that that I felt the world was crashing down upon me You always stood here by my side You were always there Everywhere I go I know You’re not far away. You’re right here, You’re right here”