Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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*SSMT

*Siesta Scripture Memorization Team.

#4 and I are still memorizing scripture along with Beth. This is our 19th verse this year. Nineteen!

Job 19:27–I will see God; I myself will see Him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

I love Job, don’t you? It’s not the easiest book in scripture to get through in one setting, but wow! This is a man!

Remember what happened? God was bragging on Job to the devil. “See Job? He’s great, isn’t he? I’m so proud of that guy!”

And the devil answered, “Well, yeah, but only because you’re good to him. Stop all the blessings you’re showering on him and watch him turn on you.”

So God gave the devil permission to test Job. Satan took away most of what Job owned and his children, who Job loved a lot. But still Job loved God.

Then Satan gave Job boils all over his body, so he was miserable and poor and childless.

Because of all the bad things that happens to him, friend after friend tells Job he must have done something wrong, God is mad at him, but he just keeps on loving God.

His own wife tells him he’s a loser and he might as well curse God and die, but he stays the course. “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”

God is more real to Job than all the troubles landing on his head. He doesn’t like what he’s going through. He hates it that God has hidden His face from him.

Remember Numbers 6:25-26–The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace? That was a blessing God gave Aaron (Moses’s brother) and his sons for the Israelites.

When Job thought God had hidden his face, he felt he was no longer being blessed by God. But even then, he didn’t stop serving Him.

Why? Job knew something many of us don’t know. He knew the absolute joy of walking with the Lord.

He didn’t have the it’s-Sunday-so-I’m-going-to-church-to-see-you-God kind of faith. He didn’t wait until something horrible happened to go to the Father in prayer.

Job knew God and served Him every day of his life.

Do you know people like that? People who “practice the presence of God” every minute of every day? Who seem to feel His presence more than they feel yours?

I have. And I have to tell you, they’re beautiful people to be with.

I’m not there yet. When life hits me in the face, my hair catches on fire and I run in every direction, trying to do what has to be done and fix, fix, fix.

I’m still learning to practice His presence, even after all this time. But, oh! How my heart yearns within me.

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Fire. Proof.

My sister called me yesterday afternoon when I was in Stillwater. “Are you at home?”

“No. We’re working on the boy’s house, just getting ready to leave. What’s up?”

“We’re on our way home from Tulsa. There’s a big fire–smoke everywhere. I talked to a friend whose house is in a neighborhood nears yours and they’re being evacuated.”

Wow. Those words put a little extra length in my stride as I carried things to the car. I wasn’t really worried, but my heart beat a little bit faster and I couldn’t quite fill my lungs when I breathed. We headed home pretty quickly.

We take the turnpike because once we get on it, it’s pretty much a straight shot to our house. Yesterday, when we got to the end, cars were backed up about for about a half mile. The highway to take us on home was closed.

As we went through the only open lane, a man told me to take the road to 51 and go into Tulsa.

“Can I go to C-Town instead?”

“Yes.”

“Can I get back on the highway from C-Town?”

“Once you’re past forty-eight, you’re fine.” The man was so nice. And it was so hot! I wish I’d given him something to drink, but in my excitement I forgot I had Gatorade in the car with me. 😦

Thank God for cell phones. G-Man isn’t as prone to ask questions as I am, so I called him and told him what I’d learned.

“He didn’t tell me that.”

“He didn’t tell me, either. I had to ask.”

We headed toward C-Town and kept meeting long lines of cars–people being routed off the highway because of fire. As we got nearer the house, we could see huge clouds of dark blue, nearly purple smoke. It looked like a bruise.

Of course, I imagined one of those fires being my house. It wasn’t. (Thank you, Jesus!) We passed a convenience store whose parking lot was filled with emergency vehicles. Two ambulances were there on stand-by. On the back bumper of one sat a fire fighter who looked exhausted. Sick. Really beat up.

I wasn’t close enough to recognize him, but I prayed for the man and all the  men who put their lives on the line to stop fires.

As I drove, I listened to a preacher on Bott Radio (95.1 FM).

He talked about David and Goliath, comparing Goliath to the giant problems and worries in our lives.

David was very young and a shepherd, not a soldier. Goliath was nine feet tall and wore armour that weighed as much as David. He had huge sword and spear.

David told the king he would take on Goliath in combat, even though the entire Israel army was afraid of him. David wasn’t afraid. He knew God would handle Goliath, he told the king he’d killed a lion and a bear, and he told the king that God had done that. He’d take care of this giant, too.

So the king allowed David (and God) to take Goliath on.

David had a sling and five stones. Goliath laughed at him, but David just fit the first stone into his sling, swung it around and let it fly. God gave it the speed and accuracy it needed to plow right into the only unprotected spot on Goliath–his forehead. And it took him down.

All our giants aren’t named Goliath. Sometimes they’re called Debt. Or Substance Abuse. Or Unplanned Pregnancy. Or Illness. (From me–sometimes they’re called Fire!)

“The fire of God burns so hot, no Goliath can stand against it.”

I was amazed! Here I was, worried about fire and it’s like God spoke to me out of that radio. “My fire is hotter than that stuff you’re worried about. Stop worrying. Put it in My hands. They’re fire-proof.”

I’m so glad they are!