October 29, 2016
“Saturday’s child works hard for it’s living…”
Believe it or not, when I was a young teen, and struggling like crazy as I tried to figure out if God was real or not, this song became popular. Once I realized that nearly all of it’s word were taken straight out of the Holy Bible, I was ecstatic! To me, it was like proof that God really was/is real, and I ran right out to the kitchen to tell my mom what I’d discovered, all because that rock ‘n roll group, the Byrds, had decided to take words for their song right out of the Bible–to me, that meant only one thing–that, if they believed those words then they had to be true, and thus, God had to be real!
However, my mom’s reaction was far less enthusiastic than mine, and she literally pooh-poohed the whole notion that, simply because some rockers used words they’d found in the Bible to use in their song, it meant that God was real. I was crest-fallen at hearing her response about that! But, I never forgot just how excited I’d been at realizing from where they’d taken the words for their song, and putting that fact with so many other facts surrounding the reality of God, and Christ, and God’s written word, it truly helped me in the long run to finally be capable of looking heavenward and proclaiming my faith in Him, and also in His Son, Jesus. I still smile at remembering all of that whenever I hear this song again:
I think it’s called a premonition, and I believe that the ones I’ve experienced in life have been given to me by the Almighty, but they are still shocking to me, when they come to pass. For instance, the first one I can ever remember having was when my son, Bobby, was stationed up at Fairbanks, Alaska. One night as I was trying to get to sleep, I suddenly envisioned darkness, bitter coldness, and snow blowing everywhere. I immediately thought of Bobby, and before I finally went to sleep I asked God to please watch over my son.
I woke up at around 6 am to the phone ringing, and as I usually did, I nearly jumped out of bed to grab it before it even rang twice. I heard my son’s voice saying to me, “I’m OK mom! We were in a helicopter crash last night, but I’m OK!” He told me that they had gotten word that two military jets had crashed into a mountainside near Fairbanks, and they had gotten on board the helicopter to fly out there as part of the rescue/recovery crew. He said, as they were going along, suddenly the helicopter lost lift, and plummeted to the ground, forcing the skids out sideways from the impact, they hit so hard! He told me everyone of his crew were fine, because they had been strapped in, but he hadn’t been, and the impact threw him up against the bulkhead! He said he didn’t have any broken bones, but that his ribs hurt pretty badly, and that the flight crew wasn’t doing all that good, either. I was stunned, so stunned!
I also immediately remembered the vision I’d had of the deep cold, and blowing snow, and the prayer I’d said to God for Him to please keep Bobby safe–realizing that God Himself had given me that mental picture of the cold and snow, in order to get me to pray for Bobby’s safety, and it also served as a tiny premonition, that I would look back on once I found out about what had happened and realize that it was God who had been watching over Bobby, and who had given it to me, so had prompted me to pray for him “just in case”–because I had no idea when I went to sleep that anything was actually going to happen! I just suddenly felt as though I needed to ask God for His protection for my son.
I know how much I’d wanted to sing the words to this song “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” [below] to Bobby, after he was over in Afghanistan, because I wanted to be that bridge over any troubled waters he might encounter in his life. It’s such a touchingly beautiful song, filled with the very sentiments that fill the hearts of those who love us, I’m sure, and are the actions we’d all love to take on behalf of a loved one, be they family or friend. Yet, our heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom, doesn’t spare His own children from having to face, and endure, hardships of all kinds. He never spared the Lord Jesus any hardships, because it was for our sake that He’d come here to live a sinless life, that we could not live, then to allow hateful men to crucify Him, thus taking on the death sentence due the entire human race due to our sins against God. Then, because Jesus never committed a single sin, once He’d died, He was able to rise back to life again, thus giving us the way of salvation and eternal life with God and Himself, and sealing the fate of the devil forevermore. Amen.
So, here is that beautiful song every one of us would love to sing to those whom we love, because it’s how we feel, and how much we’d love to be capable of being that bridge for them. Yet, we need to remember that, if God does not allow us to be that bridge over their troubled waters, it has to be because He knows better what’s best of each of us than we ever do. So, pray for a blessing-in-disguise to come out of each and every hardship we all encounter in this brief life we live here on earth, and be grateful for each and every lesson we learn from all that we endure.
Before I published this the other day I should have gone ahead and explained about the premonition I received about Bobby after he went to Afghanistan, and why I could never actually dedicate that song, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” to him the way I’d wanted so badly to do. It had to do with the fact that, as soon as I began to try and sing the words to that song while meaning them for Bobby, I felt the need to stop doing so. That’s also when I realized that God was letting me know that I couldn’t be that “Bridge” for Bobby, because God, Himself, had other plans for him, and that included the one thing that every parent fears more than any other thing on this earth. I must have gasped, but then told myself no matter what God had in mind for Bobby it would all be ok, and God never did anything that wasn’t right, and for the best for us no matter what that might entail–then, I proceeded to bury the very thought of it! The fear had become so overwhelming that I simply couldn’t think about it at all, ever!
I did succeed in putting it so far out of my thoughts that it was as though God had never let me know anything about what might happen to Bobby while he was there in Afghanistan–until the moment I heard Bob cry out as someone cruelly told him over the phone that Bobby was dead! At first, I told him, “No! That can’t be!”, but it was right then and there that the fact that God truly had given me that precognitive warning came into play. Because, before I felt I’d lose my mind, it came roaring back to me what He had shown me would happen! If that had not happened, I think I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this right this minute, because what God did by giving me that warning as to what was going to happen, was to help me more than I can ever say. It helped me to hang on at that most horrible minute of my life! It helped remind me of just how real He is, and how He is in charge, and everything will be ALRIGHT some day, no matter how black things look at any given time.
I was even given a couple of brief glimpses of Bobby during the first few days after his death, once in a very brief vision, the other time in a brief dream. In the vision I had right before I was finally able to drift off to sleep after two days, my eyes were closed, as I was trying to fall asleep. Instantly, I clearly saw Bobby standing in a room looking around, as an angel pulled back the white curtains with his hands, that separated Bobby from whatever was beyond them, and said to him in a kind, and almost cheery voice, “Bobby, come with me!”, and the angel was smiling! The angel also had the appearance of a fairly young man, too, and it felt like he was someone who was such a great friend to the Lord and to us, so his presence put my fears to rest completely.
In the dream I had, which happened a few days before his funeral, I saw myself standing near the front gate to his Quarters on Ft. Polk. It was dark outside, so it was like I was standing in shadows. Suddenly I saw Bobby come through the front gate, dressed in his fatigues, and he was walking quickly towards the front door to his quarters. I tried to get his attention, but realized he could not see me, and didn’t know I was there. I was struck by how determined he was, too, because he was on a mission to protect his wife and children from something he sensed was inside his quarters. I had no time to say anything other than his name before he marched on passed me, and into the building, because it was right then that I woke up. I knew it had been a dream, yet it had felt so real that it served as a great comfort to me to have been able to see him so clearly like that.
Weeks after Bobby’s funeral I was trying to look up a verse in my Bible that I could use to help someone else on a message board. I had become a bit tormented as to why God had decided to take Bobby home to be with Him, which meant his dad and I, his wife and children, had to live without him for the rest of our lives. I feared why God had decided to remove him from our lives that way, and I was having a tough time putting that fear to rest, since I think my grief was what was driving it. So, as I was thumbing through my Bible, trying to find a verse that I could use to help that other person, I found myself looking at the beginning of Isaiah 57, at verses 1 and 2. As my eyes landed on those first two verses in that chapter it was as though, suddenly, the words seemed to jump off the page and into my heart, and seemed to brand themselves into my mind. That’s how I knew that God had meant me to find them, because they explained to me why He had taken Bobby home to be with him. These are those verses:
“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart:
and merciful men are taken away,
none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
2 He shall enter into peace:
they shall rest in their beds,
each one walking in his uprightness.”[Isaiah 57:1,2 AKJV]
After I realized what God was saying to me through those verses from His word, I felt like letting out a huge shout of pure joy!!! I read and reread those verses more than a few times, too, letting what God said in them really sink in–He was letting me know that the ‘righteous’ are ‘taken away from the evil to come’, and knowing that showed that it was meant to comfort me where Bobby was concerned! I couldn’t have been more overjoyed if I’d tried, because finding that out just killed that nagging fear, I’d been living with, outright!! I also must have told everyone I knew online, too!
I adore the Doxology of the Lutheran Church, and I found this rendition performed by Diane Bish and the West Point Military Band, on YouTube. It’s just beautiful, and it’s entitled “The Old One Hundredth” I think because it’s based on the praises mentioned by the Psalmist, that we should offer up to God in Psalm 100. It’s the most beautiful song, and I sang it regularly when I was in Basic Training, to help me get through the stressful situation that being in the Army presented to me! This rendition doesn’t include the words, which I love, so I’ll print them out here:
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost….Amen!”
I finally located a version of it sung by a choir–so beautiful!
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Bernard M. Baruch~
A “White Christmas” Production