Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Fast Away…

…the old year passes, fa la la la la, la la la la. Once I dreamed I was a lad and that hot August afternoons lasted forever. Yesterday, I was a teenager, trying to figure out what to do with my life and who to do it with. A moment ago, I was wed to the most beautiful girl in the world that I had somehow conned into thinking I was going to fulfill her dreams and change the world. In the blink of an eye we graduated from minister school and our life’s work began in earnest. A mere breath ago our children were born and along with them a brand new definition of love, joy, hope and fear. We turned around one day and the last of them had left for college. The past, no matter how dear it may be to us, seems like lightning across the evening summer sky. Fast away time passes, ye lads and lasses.

But really, that’s okay with us, isn’t it? It’s okay because that’s how our God has arranged things. We weren’t built for living in this world, this way, forever. The Bible reminds us that our physical lives are like “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). Moses, the great lawgiver, offers this sage advice based on the brief nature of our physical lives…“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Accepting the truth about the nature of our earthly existence, helps us to “redeem” the time which may yet be given to us. So, I won’t mourn too much for my youth, nor for the leaner, stronger physical body I had then. I do mourn for my many failures, like the failures to be a better son and brother…a better husband and friend…a better father and preacher. But I am entirely unable to alter the failures of my past. John R. Rice said, “No matter what a man’s past may have been, his future is spotless.” I can’t go back and change my yesterday, but I can begin today to make a better tomorrow. I ought to learn lessons from the past, but I ought not to allow failure, disappointment and the regret and sorrow over all of that cost me one iota of progress today. I hope to learn from the past, without wallowing in my many failures there. The Bible says, though it may seem too wonderful for us to believe, that our God is able to “restore the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). Only God can perform such wonders. So don’t give up! I can be a better son and brother now…a better husband and friend…a better father, grandfather and preacher beginning right now. And by God’s grace, I shall be. That’s my new year’s resolution. Will you join me in a similar commitment?

Dear Father, Help us to be completely dissatisfied with anything less than Yourself. Help us to want nothing more than we want You. May our souls yearn, even faint, for your courts, dear God. May our hearts and our very flesh cry out for You, our living God. May we look for Your Hand and Your will in all the events and relationships of our lives. And if we dare ask, may we please, please, be allowed to feel Your pleasure in us…Your delight over us. This is almost too much for us to believe possible, Lord. And yet You tell us You feel this way about us. Glory to You, O God! One day with You is worth more than a thousand anywhere else. If we didn’t know that You inhabit the future, we would be so afraid. So help us to look for You there…to live for You there…to love You there and then as well as here and now. We must have you, dear Father, for failing in this, we fail in all. Be ours! There can be no gift from You that compares with the gift of You. In Jesus’ Name. Let it be.

A very blessed New Year to all of you!

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6 thoughts on “Fast Away…

  1. I love what all you had to say about how we need Our Father. One thing you said that made me think is that I would be SO AFRAID without him. I am still a little afraid even knowing HE is there and with us. But I am not afraid of the Future he has planned for us. I know this world is shaky and it can cause us trouble that we do not want. But I remember what Jesus said is “There will be troubles in this world but Lo I am with you Always”. So I will believe and trust and know that what Our God says is what he means. I am not so afraid that I am nervous and looking behind every door for something that could be wrong. But what we may have to go thru in this life before we get to the future (heaven) God has planned for us does scare me a little. But I am not trembling and I try to keep my eyes on HIM. HE SAID HE WOULD BE THERE WITH US AND FOR US.

    • oakesclan on said:

      You would not be human if your heart didn’t race a bit…or a lot…at the possible conditions we may be called upon to face before we leave this life. We have seen enough to get a picture of how very difficult and/or painful life can become. But we are growing because of Him. We know that He won’t desert us. We know that He has helped us through this far. So we believe He will see us all the way Home. And whether our lives are uncomplicated or not, whether our departure is nearer or farther away…quick and relatively easy or lingering and painfully difficult…He will give us strength equal to our days…AND, He will continue with us.

  2. “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in His Temple.” (Ps. 27:4) Under the new covenant of course, I am His Temple. I sure hope to find Him in His Temple (within me) in this year and every year.

    But for the grace of God, go I. I hope I recognize the grace of God in every day…before it passes away. This month will be 5 years with the love of my life…a love I waited for what seemed like an eternity. Now that I’ve found her…the years are passing too quickly. So fast, in fact, that the moments that deserve to be held in time in space forever…just keep rolling on. I hope I can remember this year, that God’s grace is there for me to enjoy. Each succeeding step I take is bound up in His Will and not my effort. If I can remember this, maybe I will take more time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. God has given me so much. I don’t want to miss a thing.

    • oakesclan on said:

      The vision of His beauty will keep us moving forward when all other motivations fail. To see Him is enough for us. But it is so like Him to grant to us so many other wonderful treasures along life’s way…precious family…wonderful friends…inspiring victories…rich truths…and the like. But even if, God forbid, the end of our journey finds us devoid of all these amazing treasures…to see Him in His beauty will be more than worth it all.

      Thanks for sharing, son. I love you. Pops

  3. Email Girl on said:

    Would you mind if I made your prayer my prayer for 2010?

    • oakesclan on said:

      Not only would I not mind…I’d be honored if anything I wrote reflected your heart’s requests of God as well. Happy New Year! May it be a wonderful NEW year for you filled with new, better and joyful beginnings for you.

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