How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.




Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What if What We Think is True is Not True at All~



 In the corner of the garage was an old barrel, dust-covered and forgotten.  Over the years boxes were piled on top and then around until it was completely obscured from sight.  More than three decades had passed when the day came that the family home was sold and all had to be sorted into those things to be kept, those to be given and those to be tossed.  It had taken days, but now it was the barrel’s turn. 

The lid was lifted and the smell of what is old and mysterious momentarily filled the air.  This barrel had once belonged to Grandma Brewer, my dad’s mom, and it had not been touched for at least thirty years.  These were her belongings; the total of those things she had sorted through at one time and deemed worthy of keeping.  In the midst of linens, embroidered and crocheted, was a packet of letters neatly tied. 

 At this discovery, all work stopped as we sat and listened to the words of a grandfather we had never known.

Stack Letters, Letter, Handwriting

These were letters from a time during the Great Depression when my father, the youngest of four, was just a toddler and my grandfather had gone in search for work, leaving his family behind.   I don’t remember much about any of the letters but the one.  The one whose words visibly shook my father.  It was one sentence in the midst of many and it said simply this:  “I sure miss Hap and the sound of his little feet on the floor.” 

My father had grown up believing he was not loved by his father…maybe loved by duty, but not loved affectionately as we all crave to be.  He rarely spoke of his childhood years, but I do remember well the day he told me he could not recall one word of endearment from his father.  He spoke of an early morning long, long ago when his father asked if he would like to go fishing in the evening at the creek that ran through their ranch after all the work was done.  I listened as my dad described working harder and more carefully than he ever had at all his chores.  

 River, Water, Water Courses, Nature

 And the time came…everything finished to perfection.  My dad was anxious with anticipation as he waited for his father to come in from his day's work.  My grandfather was true to his word.  Seeing my father waiting with fishing poles in hand, he said, "let's go" and to the creek father and son walked in silence.  And then fished in silence.  Nothing.  My father’s hopes of having some sign of affection from his father that late afternoon ticked away as the sun began to set.  Not a word.  

Seven years later, when my dad was sixteen, he and my grandfather would wearily trudge through the door after a morning of shoveling snow drifts from the road to their ranch after a historic blizzard (http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/etched-in-snow-memories-of-blizzards-still-vivid-for-locals/article_4c6bdb1b-a30c-5737-a529-a85ba8686701.html).  Uncharacteristically, my grandfather said he wasn’t feeling well and laid down on the sofa.  By the time my father came back with lunch from the kitchen, his father, at only forty-six years old, had died of a massive heart attack. 

Perceptions.  My father had only his perceptions…what he thought…what he felt about his own father.  This became his “truth”…unloved, unwanted until the day a barrel opened and a simple sentence from a tattered letter spoke love and truth over a fifty year old son.

I would wager to guess that most of us have false perceptions we have taken into our lives as truth.  Ponder, just for a moment, on this kind of crazy.  Could it be what we think is true, is really not true at all?  Could something that is a lie of perception influence our behavior, our relationships, our lives in destructive and hurtful ways because we "feel" it is true?  Could we be so wrapped up in a perceived "truth," that we no longer see reality? 


Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 that:

 "...we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ."

Could it be these perceptions...these lies we believe as absolute truth...are strongholds in our lives needing to be demolished?  Could it be what we need to do is take these lies captive every single time they come to mind and make them "bow" to truth? 

 Jesus says this:  “…If you continue in My word, you really are my disciples.  You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.   
John 8: 31-32

Truth is freeing, and God’s Word, THE Truth, is the most freeing of all. 

The Amplified version of the Psalm 15:1-2 is intriguing to me.  Some versions translate the Hebrew word in verse two as "speaks," while others translate it as "thinks."  I love that the Amplified version uses both. 

"Lord, who shall dwell [temporarily] in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell [permanently] on Your holy hill? He who walks and lives uprightly and blamelessly, who works rightness and justice and speaks and thinks the truth in his heart."  
Psalm 15:1-2 Amplified

If we tell ourselves and others over and over the lies we perceive as truth, that we were or are unloved, uncared for, not valued, or whatever yours happens to be, we will believe the lie.  We have to think and speak the truth.  Ask God to show you anything in your life that is a false perception you are walking out in your life as if it were true and then begin replacing the lie with truth. 

It can’t be said better than this: 

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” 
Philippians 3:8 

Let's dwell on the truth!