“I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” These are the final words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, as translated by Peterson in The Message. I find myself echoing those words in my head this week and really pondering the Truth around that. He is always with us, day after day after day. If we truly live in that and truly understand Truth in that in our hearts, how can we ever feel lost and uncertain? He is always with us and always present.
When I went to the Become Good Soil Intensive back in May, a knife was bestowed to me and the other men from our mentors. This became a very special item to receive and a constant reminder of the journey and experience and the journey for the coming decade toward becoming good soil. This was a good tool for one and something that I kept on me day after day, carving wood, sharpening it, and so forth. It was very special to me as it was to the other men of the Intensive.
Well, barely a month later, I was at the beach with my wife and kids for our annual vacation. During the course of that week, what happens? I lose the knife. While out one evening, it fell from my pocket. We searched all over, called the location we were at to see if anyone turned it in. Nothing. It was gone and I was crushed. I was actually, more or less, pissed at myself for being able to lose it so easily.
So life, moves on. We go back home and continue on, although I thought about the knife a good bit. I know, I know, it’s just a knife, right? Only thing was, there was no replacing it. I could not order another just like it. So back to business. I make use of my Gerber knife and keep that on me, as before, but it never felt the same. Besides, my wife and kids, only one other person knew about it being lost or even what it meant to me.
So, fast-forward to this week. It’s the middle of the week. I’m stressed with work and finances as we get closer to Christmas and meeting the requirements for counseling hours for my Masters program. I was pissed and frustrated and even feeling lost with it all. I break from my work and go to the mailbox and find a package in there. Inside there is the exact same kind of knife, which I thought was cool, then I turn the box over and see a sticker on the box that says “With God, nothing is truly ever lost.” You can see a picture of it at the top of of this post with the knife.
At this point, I am just floored. My knees nearly gave out under me and tears tried to come through. If that wasn’t a God thing, I don’t know what is. It was like God just told me in that very moment. “Slow down my son. Quit with the worry and stress. Cast it all on me.”
I went through this exercise of defining moments of my life before Thanksgiving and shared them all with my family Thanksgiving night. Through it all, I was reminded of God’s constant presence through all of my my life, through the good and the bad. He’s always been there.
How easy it is to forget this though. Get back to life and the various things in our world begin to force us to lose sight of the fact that, yes, God is always there, how can we be lost if we truly have faith in that. That’s when Jesus’ words a the end of Matthew right through, “I will be with you….right up to the end of the age.” He has never abandoned us. It’s not in some far off place. He is right here with us.
God never ceases to disappoint me. I think of Bruce Nolan from the movie “Bruce Almighty.” At the end of the movie, Bruce is in the hospital, finds the beads that he had when his whole adventure with God began as he was crying out at the beginning of movie when his whole world was crumbling. He looks up toward God and says, “Now you’re just showing off.” That’s almost what it felt like. This is why one of the things I pray everyday is break any and all limits I have placed on God.