Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: YEAR (05/17/18)
TITLE: The Train of His Robe
By Elaine Hemingway
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In the year my father met with the Lord I set up a spiritual marker. It is like a spiritual journal learnt some years ago that records a time when God does something remarkable in our lives and moves us up a step or two in our spiritual walk. The Israelites learnt this when they turned from their evil ways in recognition of Yahweh making a special provision for them or fulfilling a promise. One good example of a physical spiritual marker is an illustration from 1 Samuel 7:12 when, after the Israelites had been protected from the Philistines by the Hand of the Lord who sent a heavy thunder storm causing the rout of the Philistines, Moses took a large stone, setting it up between Mizpah and Shen and calling it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the Lord helped us.”
My husband and I, on a short break, attended a Church service in Cape Town, South Africa, on a day, a little under a year since I had last seen my father. Having been warned by my brother on the telephone the previous day that expectations were poor, I had spent quality time with the Lord that morning committing my father to His care. In the service, which was wonderfully Holy Spirit led, a man shared a vision he had while a soloist was singing. “I saw two hands,” he related, “no face or body, but the hands were receiving someone.” I knew that was for me, but I also realised that if anyone had made a commitment that day it would be for them also.
After great fellowship, we returned to our accommodation to be greeted by the hostess of the establishment. My brother had phoned from England and I knew! He told me that Dad was gone and we grasped the fact that he had died just as Dennis and I were entering the church.
My father had been ill for some time, the worst diagnosis having been given after our last holiday with the family when we had visited England from South Africa. Dad had been positive while we were there, enjoying music with my husband and organising a holiday in the Lake District for us all. I know he held a special place in his heart for me as indeed I for him, but he was very reserved when it came to discussing our beliefs, finding it difficult to express his feelings when we tried to debate our evangelistic approach. He was of the old school stiff upper lip and Church of England background. I could never get a response to repentance and rebirth in a confession of sin. He had carried a load in his heart as he confessed to me his guilt about leaving me to walk home alone when I had suffered a coughing episode in church. That had been about 30+ years earlier when I was a teenager so I recognised an opportunity to share but got no real response. It was some six months later that we received the diagnostic news.
I had wanted to return to England when Dad’s condition worsened but was persuaded that I would cause more stress so my prayers were ever deeper for him. I couldn’t go over for the funeral and it was another year before we could return to England. Imagine my joy when I received a letter from a friend we had met at the church fellowship we enjoyed whenever on holiday in England. Steve was a Pastor who had actually bought my parent’s home when they had downsized to the address we had visited at. “It was amazing,” Steve wrote, “your father asked all the right questions, wondering what you had meant about relationship with Jesus rather than religion. He asked and I answered. He made a response and I know you would want to know He has definitely now seen Jesus.”
All praise to the Lord that He is able to do infinitely and abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. Ephesians 3:20.
And the train of His robe filled the temple when my father saw the Lord.
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