- Waypoint Church
Promise, Pattern, and Presence
Written by Cale Little
A few weeks ago, Pastor Lawrence preached that God shows His promise, His pattern, and His presence. All last year, as my wife and I attended, then joined Waypoint through covenant membership, this truth pulsed in the preaching, through the people, and from the Church’s purpose. This year we are prayerfully seeking to know and love God more. The turn of the year and the vision for the new leads to share testimony in each area.
Bearing witness to who God is and what He has done is a privilege above and beyond what I could hope or dream, but it is the express, unique, treasured possession of each believer. I have witnessed God’s promises when He promised my mother that He would keep both her parents and her children safe as my folks followed His leading to the mission field. I witnessed broken bones, scorpion stings, eating disorders, hunger, heat strokes, malaria, broken hearts, and scores of difficult encounters – and that was just with us children! I’m so glad he kept his promise to my mom through all that. I also witnessed Him keep His promise to never leave me or forsake me that I accepted at age 11. He kept His promise of faithfulness to me through my questions, my period of hating Him, my resignations, my praises, my stumblings, my wishing for death, my pinnacles, and my progress. He has always been with me. Even when I didn’t feel Him, think of Him, or sense Him. As the hymn (based on 2 Timothy 1:12) goes, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him until that day.”
“The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (Psalm 19:7). Time and words fail me in describing how much I have grown to love the Law of the Lord. His Law has literally saved my life. His Law has been a staff to lean on through confusingly crooked seasons. He created all things in his image and in his pattern. He showed us the way in Jesus. Christ did not abolish the law, but fulfilled it, giving us a new covenant. Every time I come to the end of myself or to the end of something, it’s clear that the pattern remains. It’s precisely in those times that I can learn from the One who made all things and of the world He has made and called good.
One day I couldn’t think clearly as I was overwhelmed with the tasks of ministry to teens, seminary duties, and being a husband. I travelled out to the North Carolinian countryside, to a small grassland with trees to my back, a small pond ahead. Alone out there I read Isaiah 40. “Comfort, comfort my people, says Your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, and that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” It’s still too much to consider. He went on to preach over me about preparing the way, of the vapor of life yet His enduring Word, and of His character. Then I reached the familiar conclusion to the passage of growing tired and being lifted up on eagle’s wings and I looked up and there! An eagle! It felt like an undeserved sign of blessing and comfort and connection to the Almighty as I knew He saw. He sees us. It was perfectly glorious. He’s got to be the best storyteller!
“Dead end” yellow sign
Three reds, a metal marked line.
Gully. And a pine
While I was running last fall and came round a bend, seeing first a yellow sign marked “dead end,” then the slope downward and the road’s last crumbled asphalt before the ground dropped away in a steep descent, I thought of transitions and new chapters. I thought of how things end. My gaze continued over the stony ground in the dry gully and up the steep other side where a strong pine stood, ensconced and proud in its position at the edge of the other side. The leaves around the evergreen were dying. It moved me to poetry and song just as the eagle had.
Friends, many things will come and go, but the Word of our Lord remains forever. He transcends all created things and all paradigms. He transcends race and creed, and one day every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. What comfort there is in Him.
The first two lines of the haiku above point out manmade boundaries in the world, while the last reveals the natural. In every limited moment God is with us, Emmanuel. While journeying into this new year, I find myself confidently singing with Romans 8:38-39 that nothing can separate us from his love.
Thank you for reading.
May the Lord bless and keep you, His face shine upon you, and give you peace.