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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Thursday, September 04, 2008
Shall I Be Given Wide Berth?
I had a dream last night, well, really this morning, in which I was walking with a godly man who on our walk expressed that this was going to be his last walk - meaning he was about to die.

The man was decrepit, full of physical pain and suffering from his age and the resulting deterioration of his body. It was the sort of thing we pray about with our congregation - you know - Dear God, please ease the suffering of so and so. Yet the fellow in my dream looked at me as, in my dream, he saw the thought crossing over my mind, and said:
"shall I walk this last walk girded on all sides by a wide berth wherein no calamity falls? What end did our Lord send our predecessors to?"
I quoted some passage of scripture incorrectly to him, by way of trying to answer his question, and in my dream he generously and warmly corrected my error by quoting the passage rightly to me, after which it became evident that my answer was not really applicable, and after a pause he answered his own question for me:
"to the lions, beloved, to the lions..."
I had, until this moment, never thought of the slow decay of old age as being sent to the lions, but it is a difficult course for those who must endure painful, physical deterioration as they walk that last mile (or ten miles).

The thought that was impressed upon me in my dream was that this saint had contentedly surrendered to the process by a patience and peace that were grounded in a deep well of faith and trust in God's sovereignty - the same sort of trust that has emboldened martyrs; but rather than for an instant which passes, it is drawn out over years.

There are a few aging people in our congregation, and some of them are struggling with and suffering under age related pains - week after week, some of whom begin to question why? Why does my God let me suffer so?

This was certainly on my mind and in my prayers as I fell asleep, and I like it when a dream comes along and puts a thing into perspective for me, which this one did. Did not our Lord deliver Peter from prison - saving him from execution after Herod had him arrested? Yet the same Lord allowed Herod to put James to death.

Were not prayers offered for both? I believe they were, but the Lord had appointed one death for James, and another for Peter. Each had their own road to walk, as it were, to their demise - and so it is with us today. Some are appointed that they will live to 110, and die quickly and painlessly on their death bed with their family and friends all around them, and some will linger on in poor health increasing their suffering day by day, until they waste away. Some will die accidentally, some by disease - we all die, and most of us will physically suffer in the process - yet if the process is slow, we will be inclined, I think, like Hezekiah, to call out for healing and mercy - to avoid our appointed end, and to travel to a new one with a wide berth around us wherein no suffering or calamity can be found.

I mention Hezekiah, to put that request that God spare us this end into context. Hezekial was the only person in recorded history who had such a request granted. Which isn't to say that God won't do it again - but rather to say that Hezekiah should have accepted the Lord's timing and means rather than reject them in favor of his own desires. In that moment of weakness Hezekiah demonstrated a lack of trust in God's timing - in God's plan, and bluntly and ultimately, in God. Yes, God relented and allowed him fifteen more years, and surely that was God's intention from the start - to give Hezekiah an opportunity to trust, and maybe even reward that trust in some way - but that trust didn't happen, and instead he got the desires of his heart - which (I believe) was the poorer deal.

The joy of the Lord is our strength! We read that in Nehemiah. Yet if we suffer without trusting the Lord in our suffering, there will be no joy - and if no joy, no strength to endure it. No one thinks of the suffering of old age as the furnace wherein many of us are given the opportunity to deal with the residual dross of unbelief, instead we keep our eyes and thoughts on our flesh and its suffering. It is a natural thing to do, but there is a better way.
posted by Daniel @ 7:24 AM  
4 Comments:
  • At 3:46 PM, September 04, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    I have to prime these comments or no one will bother commenting - and by no one, I mean you Dave.

     
  • At 10:48 PM, September 04, 2008, Blogger Even So... said…

    yeah, yeah, I don't feel guilty at all

     
  • At 6:58 PM, September 06, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    JD, you are the only other one. ;)

     
  • At 9:31 AM, September 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'll comment...
    I visit occasionally, comment seldom, but on more than one occasion you have been writing about something on my mind.
    I'm singing at church this morning and was feeling unsure of my song choice. Just 'happened' to decide to check your blog... God is amazing.
    We attend the 'traditional' hymn singing service which is mostly grey haired over 65 - though we are not there yet, I love the hymns and the people and 11 am start (:>).
    The song I chose is taken from Hebrews 11 - the faith chapter. The chorus starts "walk on, walk on, in faith my child, walk on, walk on with God.." even though the storms rage and difficulties come, God is still in control.
    They walked by faith - God brought them through.
    To open your blog and read about a senior 'walking on through' assured me that my song for today is the right one.
    thanks... I'm always edified by what you write.
    Loved the piece on white and not-white as well. You are spot on!

    Eunice

     
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