4 AM: The previous night I had got to sleep at 1.30 in the morning, and I awoke with a start a few hours later. I could still hear the voice in my dream say, “all you need to do is climb up the hill and say God is dead”. This wasn’t from God, it felt different, like the room had changed into rusting metal and the walls were collapsing in. The crucifixion flashed into my head. I shook my head and rubbed my eyes to clear the dream.
Why was I imagining the events of the crucifixion of Jesus so close to Christmas? In fact I seemed to have focussed on the events of Jesus’ death today more than any other day this year.
I still thought on about the dream which was intense. Was the voice talking to me or talking to Jesus as he walked up the hill to Golgotha?
Jesus was used to walking up hills as during his ministry he did this many times to seek solace and prayer with his Father in heaven. He had been with Abraham that time as Abraham climbed up the mountain with his son ready to do the unthinkable. To sacrifice his very own son that he had waited so long to see. Perhaps Abraham might have had doubts, but he was most certainly mournful. As I thought how I would have felt I thought on the words of Job when he said;
“May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said “a boy is conceived!” – that day may it turn to darkness.
May God above not care about it, may no light shine upon it.
I often feel like this about myself for odd moments before I realise that God is with us, Immanuel is here now. I believe it is the enemies favourite attack, to hit us with small moments of doubt. Back in Abraham’s time Jesus was with Abraham all along. He was ready and he knew that if Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his only son then God would not let it happen, but would have step in and provide the sacrifice himself. For God loves beyond any boundaries that we can imagine. Why should God sacrifice his only son, if there was not one single human who would not sacrifice his only son for him, but Abraham was that person – he passed the test and at the last minute as the knife shined in the dawn’s new light a fresh ray of light struck humanity and the covenant was sealed with God’s own blood through Jesus.
5 AM: and I stood in the garden looking up to the moon which was being covered by clouds.
A warm breeze passed by and for a moment it seemed that a cross shone in the hut at the top of the garden, perhaps a reflection! The rain started and I felt my sins from the previous day wash away as droplets ran down my face. “How can you keep washing away my sin when I still go back and sin?” I asked God. I look down to my small leather bible and see it open with the wind to Job 4:18 and I read
If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error, how much more those who live in houses of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth!
The reference to houses of clay hits me, God is not speaking of me, but he could be on a duel level. The bible does that, it speaks on many levels. But He speaks “don’t worry I am with you and will guide you. Your sins are dead and buried. It Is Finished!”
You see if God can forgive me, and as in the words of John Newton
Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
So if God can choose to save me, then there must be hope for anyone. If I have learnt anything this past year, it is that God’s revelation speaks clearly everyday through nature, through the bible and through everyday events, and through God himself. There is that desire in each of us to seemingly grope in the dark for God. God puts this desire in all of us so that;
they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
7 AM: The first light of the day appeared as well as a strong wind, trying to hold the camera steady on a tripod was almost impossible, but I managed a shaky picture.
This first light didn’t stay around long as the rain came in again and smothered everything.
11 AM: As soon as the rain had stopped I bundled the children into the car to do some chores and eventually drove to an area of forest so that we could get some fresh air. We walked along the ribble way path and took a turning that we normally don’t go. We passed a fallen tree which was leaning towards the crematorium with red leaves around the floor.
This reminded me of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane shedding tears of blood as he was that distressed with sorrow.
1 pm: We walked along and we passed some very overgrown stumps and trees
The forest has just been left to get on with it and it naturally thrives, but this reminded me again of Jesus’ crucifixion – this time the forgotten tree where he hung despised by God. That is where it was finished, all our sins taken on for us. He became accursed for us.
for he who is hanged is accursed of God.
I love exploring as I have said many times, and this area of the path showed more old trees and fallen overgrown areas than the more well used route.
I could see a clearing in the sky and some faint colours changing. Was this a trick of the clouds or a remnant of the display promised from the news yesterday because of the solar flare? We ran across the fields to get a good picture.
This then reminded me of Jesus’ resurrection as he had predicted many times in the gospels;
22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.
I managed to take a wonderful picture of a hedge-line against this changing colour, as faint as that was.
After watching this wonderful and delicate colour display in the sky the weather closed up and the rain started once again. We started to run back to the car over the fields getting really muddy but I just had time to stop and take a picture of this small brook which was meandering down the hill and the forest was doing its best to get the best position for drinking from this source.
The forest moves and reaches out at such a slow pace that we don’t tend to notice it being alive. I have watched many time lapse videos and it seems clear that trees and vegetation are alive and breath, and are aware of things around them.
Jesus is aware of everyone, and he waits patiently for He offers living water. Not the water we drink but the spiritual water to experience God and have everlasting life.
14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up
into everlasting life.”
10 PM: Finally after getting home the rain stopped and the hail started, then the clouds clearly just for a few moments to show me a wondrous view of the constellation Orion. With all the lights on tonight for the New Year celebrations it was amazing I got any picture at all.
So Orion reminds me of when I used to just sit in the garden and watch the stars. Searching for something! Now I sit and watch the same stars which have not changed, but I await the return of Jesus.
So as this is the last one for the moment of my blogs, and I shall have a rest, and spend more time praying than actually blogging about it – which seems to have taken more and more time as the year went on. I thank all who have encouraged me through the year, and I pray for God’s blessing on all your lives, and I ask apologies for many babblings and bad grammar as some nights I was rather tired.
I shall finish with a quote from Amos which asks us to look closely at nature and ask seriously who made this? y belief is that nature can not be here just by mere randomness. Look at nature and ask yourself who made it? Ask for guidance from Jesus if you haven’t already and He will not let you down as he never lets me down.
He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name;
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
God bless and may he bless your year ahead,
in love and always through Jesus.