Well, here it is 4 am again.  Seems like the Lord keeps me up so early now, but actually I like it; things are so still and beautiful outside as the new day comes slowly lighting up the morning sky.  Yet it is sometimes difficult to discover just when sunrise begins during the long summer days in the Arctic.  It can be a bit confusing, for there are regions where the sun never sets.   Alaska is awesome!
Yesterday, I had a long discussion with a dear friend regarding hopes, plans, and dreams that our individual physical problems sometime come along to try and destroy.  Overnight, I have had time to do a little reflection on it.  No great revelation--but perhaps a more conclusive one.
Maturity in Christ comes about when we no longer have to explain or try to answer our own questions regarding our faith in God.  We know, simply because we have experienced--and there is no greater proof than that.  It is an acceptance of God for who He is and for what He can do, and an expulsion of our constant reasonings about it. 
There is no microscope that can discover Him; He simply is: I AM. 
We are fearfully and wonderfully made, yet from our first breath of life, we begin the process of dying.  Because you and I are made in His image, we reflect the awesomeness of His creative power.  And yet this corrupt and sinful world in which we live includes a force of evil whose very existence was allowed to roam among us by the same God who sent His Son to overthrow and destroy it--to give us hope of a resurrected body and eternal life. 
Once, as a child, I looked at my hands.  I wanted them to stay beautiful, with no spots, graceful, lovely and ageless.  So I declared that it would be so.  Yet, now that I am seventy, I see that didn't happen.  My fingers are stiff, with arthritic nodules.  My skin sags and tendons poke through.  Brown spots have appeared.  How I once loved to run, filling my lungs with frest air and feeling the rush of adrenalin, as youthful vigor made me leap like a newborn colt.  But my legs now buckle and weakly struggle to climb the stairs.  Great trees were once saplings that took root and flourished.  But even they too finally succumbed to the ravages of time and disease, and fell to the forest floor where nature's street sweepers now finish the job.
So I wondered about Moses, of whom the Bible says died at the age of 120, yet his "eyesight was not dimmed, nor his strength abated."  He still could climb up a mountain when God ordered him there to die!
The great adventures regarding life sell well, but death and dying is an avoided and hated subject.   Most of our days upon this earth are spent frantically running from it in a continual pursuit of the last vestige of enjoyment of worldly pleasures; even Solomon concluded: it is "all vanity."
There is, however, God--the great I AM.  If we believe He created, why do we then render Him impotent to re-create or to heal us at any point of time?  At what point do we mentally strip Him of His power to reverse a process of death working in our bodies?  Time and again I have seen Him do that for me in answer to prayer.  I do not need that to be proven to me--for, as I said, I know--
because I have experienced.
The truth is, God did not abandon us to the cycle of fate in which we find we live.  He provided us with Himself.  At any time, He is listening for the moment in which we call upon Him for help in times of trouble...but we must ask.
"The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
Yet we stumble over the question of whether He will or He won't.  I am no different that anyone else--I have struggled with this subject; amazed at undeniable miracles, yet puzzled in other instances when prayer was seemingly unanswered.  The childish word "why" whispers its way into my brain as a tormenting devil latches onto my mind, tempting me to turn loose of fragile faith.  But again, maturity comes along to remind me that only God knows some things that He chooses not to reveal.  And I find that while I might have been looking at things through my puny electron microscope trying to find the reasons, the Maker of the universe is seeing them through the orginal blueprint of His Plan, of which I can only know in part.
Perhaps that bests explains why Jesus taught us to pray:
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven..."
Our journey through this life takes us to many places, through many trials.  But like the polar regions on their longest summer day, there is also a place and a time where the sun never goes under the horizon...where it rises and sets in the same place.  It is like the Secret Place of the Most High God, where there is no darkness, and the only shadow there is the shadow of His wings hovering over us. And that shadow is caused by the Light of the World that never leaves us nor forsakes us:  Jesus Christ our Lord.  It too is a place seperated from the rest of the world.  Sadly, like the Eskimos, there are few who choose to live there, but all of us can spiritually live there with Him and bring that canopy with us wherever we go, even as we face the other shadow: the valley of the shadow of death. 
"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Psalm 102:2-5)
"But unto you that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness arise with healing in his wings...."  (Mal 4;2)
Faith will keep us living in that place where the Son never sets and where there is hope in His words.
May, 2005