It's been a roller coaster week, and I thought I'd just pour it all out here on the blog so you can share it with me.
Sunday went well. We had good services at church, a good deacon's meeting, just a nice smooth day.
I spent Monday on the phone with various bank representatives trying to figure out if any of the billions of dollars banks got to help people who couldn't make mortgage payments or sell houses could somehow help me, since I have a house to sell that won't sell. One bank seemed somewhat helpful. The bank whose representatives talked me into splitting my 100% finance mortgage into an 80/20 Mortgage and Home Equity Loan, and who then sold the 80 and kept the 20, they weren't very helpful. In fact, they basically told me that no matter what happened, they would have to have the final say in whether I sold the house. They have no guidelines to offer about what offers will be acceptable short of 100% payoff, even criticizing me for having made the decision to accept the advice of their own mortgage department when I took out the loan. Not a good day. Not my finest hour, and I'm still a little steamed.
Tuesday went ok. Then Wednesday rolled around, and I was asked to guest post on a blog that has a lot of readers! So, I wrote up something for SBCVoices.com and sent it in. If you click over, you'll read it there. I'll probably re-post it here in a week or so. That felt good, to be invited to write and post elsewhere. It feels pretty good that there weren't really any critical comments either. Apparently it was generally agreeable or generally unread, but either way, I'm happy.
Wednesday night was business meeting, and it went sleepily, which is wonderful for a Baptist church, especially at budget time.
Thursday was fairly normal, then Friday rolled along. A little background for Friday: one of my favorite authors these days is Andy Andrews. He's an inspirational author, and I've done a few reviews of his books and read many of them. Well, since he's very much a writer interested in happy, heartwarming stories, he asked for heartwarming stories of Christmas to be sent in to his blog. I thought I'd send him one. I checked back today to see if they had decided which ones to post, and saw a familiar story being used as the example of 'heartwarming story.' It was mine! (As of Friday afternoon, this link will take you to his blog and you can read the story over there. It's at the bottom of the page about asking for stories.)
Meanwhile, as we've been praying desperately over the house, God has provided for the payments to keep being made for a little while longer. We're hopeful it will give the house time to sell, and we're reminded God can provide. And no, it's not a government bailout program. We still need it to sell, but we can now not choose between making the payments and buying groceries. This is a good thing.
So, I'm feeling pretty good about myself. Well, actually, really good. Right now the only thing not going my way is I haven't shot a deer yet, but since I haven't gone all week, it's no surprise. I even cleaned up some ducks I was given and get to eat those.
Now, where does this story turn? When does Doug get his comeuppance, where does his hubris show through?
Well, before I get carried away with myself, I simply have to look in the toolbar of my computer. I see there a file, it's my sermon for Sunday morning. It's a Christmas sermon, it's about love. It's happy.
Not exactly. It's from Isaiah 53:
“He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:3–6, NAS)
I'm reminded just how far God had to come to make it to the manger. Not just to trade the light and glory for the dark of Earth, but to come to know illness, sorrow, and death. To come and be pierced, stricken, and afflicted.
And it's not just that He loved me enough that, had been the only person on Earth He would have done it anyway. It's also that I'm sinful enough that He would have had to do it all. All of His suffering was necessary just for me.
And if that can't keep me humble, keep me on my knees before my Almighty King, what will?