Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Verizon Squeeze

Last Friday morning, I made an error in making a past due payment on our Verizon account.  I paid the whole bill, which we couldn't afford, instead of the past due amount only.  Its hamstrung our finances.  Its prompted prayers and cries for mercy in light of an error from a lack of attention to detail and fatigue.

The morning before, April and I both awoke with the same song in our minds and hearts, Always by Kristian Stanfill.  My God, he will not delay. My refuge and strength always.

In Jesus' name, we claim this together.  Great God, you will not delay. You are strength and refuge always.  Alleluia.


Saturday morning, I read from Luke 21.  As I read of the prophetic declaration by Jesus of the pending fall of Jerusalem, I thought, "Why am I reading this?"  At the end of that declaration, verse 28 struck me. I read it again, and it stuck in my heart as a word picture for me these days.

Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. -- Luke 21: 28.

Great God, you will not delay. You're our refuge and strength always.  The things that take place, good and not so good, prompt me to stand up and raise my head because our deliverance is drawing near. Alleluia.

Barbara Yoder wrote in her book, The Cry God Hears, of the feeling of being squeezed due to circumstances when you're near the end of a time of waiting, struggle and warfare and the dawning of manifested glory in new ministry and fulfillment.  The Verizon Squeeze certainly feels like circumstances putting us in a vice emotionally and spiritually.  With such a thought this week, I go back to that verse from Luke 21:  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near (Luke 21: 28).

April and I both believe this accident didn't happen by chance.  I've made payments via the internet to Verizon for years without mishap.  This hamstrung us from putting gas in the car so I couldn't go to work Saturday, we couldn't go to worship Sunday and purchase essentials for our daily living.  Its been a squeeze, indeed.

Sunday morning's gospel reading in the Daily Office was from Matthew 19.  Verse 29 spoke to me, And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name's sake, will receive a hundred-fold, and will inherit eternal life.  We have left much to pursue God's calling on our lives.  To many, if not all, it appears foolish.  To us, there's little we would have changed regarding the pursuit of God and declaring what he's told us of what is to come.  We still invite you to join us in the pursuit, but there will be cost.

Monday morning, the gospel lesson echoed the end time theme of the previous lessons.  Luke 21: 29-30 were my verses: Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.  Signs are evident there is change on its way.  

When we approached the possibility of not attending worship due to a lack of gas money but still asking the Lord for it, April reminded me she heard the Lord tell her in worship the Sunday before "you won't be here next week."  We weren't.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

April had two dreams this week.  In the first, she saw a bedside, windup alarm clock with the time nine o'clock on its face.  Nine means visitation and deliverance.  In the second, the four of us in this family were in a car. We arrived at a large, round lake.  The road circled it. As we drove around it, we were hit by a wave from one direction but kept going.  On the other side of the lake, we were hit by another wave from a different direction that sent us careening into a red car, but we kept going.  The first wave was the payment accident. The second was the financial difficulty that ensued with anger (the red car), but we kept going.  Nothing will impede us.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Our creditors have called us relentlessly these days, but we've prayed for their prosperity because we will pay them back.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

My hands have broken out due to the strong hand soap and detergent at work.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. 

Our children have felt squeezed financially, as well.  We've had to borrow from them for gas and coffee (essentials of life).  This is painful for me as a father.  They have been gracious but felt it wasn't fair to them.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

I had a bout of frustration and emotional fatigue (any wonder?) regarding ever returning to work this week, as well.  April reminded me of Bill Johnson's call to believers to always finish well when seasons draw to a close.  Finish well.  She said I should endeavor to finish well, not quit, keep going until God releases me.  That was hard to hear, but I see it as a lesson I need to learn and not a course or class to withdraw from.  Selah.   Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

I talked recently with Verizon, and money should be credited back to our debit card account soon.  It was a relief, but we're still left with the admonition to trust in our God because when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

We're going to finish well and go home!  Alleluia!

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