Friday, January 11, 2019

A New Moon

The truth is . . . I had to drag myself here this morning.  As the extended hiatus I've been on since just before Christmas stretched on and on, each day made me less inclined to return to this blog and write.  There are a couple of reasons for my absence, well, three if I'm honest.
The first is that my last child left home and I have been trying to adjust to that new void.
The second is that my house was (I felt) physically in such disarray I could no longer cope by ignoring it.
The third is that I have been, quite honestly, in a state of spiritual funk, where I just felt there was no point, that I have nothing worthwhile to say, etc.
Taken altogether, these kept me away, as I walked through the recent days of both growth and grief.

If God gives you the grace to be an "emptynester", there is some adjusting to do regarding how quiet the house becomes.  You realize that your job, as parent, is largely done - - at least, you realize that if your children are as independent as mine.  That is a sobering and saddening thought.  You acknowledge you should be giving thanks for all God has done in your life and the life of your children.  Knowing something intellectually, however, does not equate to feeling it in real time.

On the bright side, my laundry room, pantry, home office and more generally the rest of the house has been restored to some semblance of order and peace.  I'm not a fastidious housekeeper, preferring usually to do things of more "value" (a deeply personal construct).  It gets to a point, though, where the disorganization is overwhelming.  I reached that point just after Christmas.

Don't ever make the mistake of looking at anyone and believing that they have it easy or "all together".  I am supremely grateful to "giants of the faith" like Charles Spurgeon, who was open about his emotional struggles.  I've not been doubting my faith, although God forgives even that.  I've just been sad in my deepest heart of hearts, and I'd appreciate your prayers about that.

Well now, after that rather lengthy (and probably distracting) introduction, let's examine some Scripture together.  Presently, we will return to the book of Genesis in this blog's ongoing exegesis.  However, today is not that day.

19He made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows when to set.
Psalm 104:19 (BSB)

Earlier this week, leaving the house after nightfall, I spotted the new moon in the night sky...just the tiniest sliver!  Some have compared the people of God to the moon.  This is because, although there are times the moon is not visible, yet it is still there.  Some nights are "dark as night" as a result; others are nearly as bright as midday, when the moon is full and in close perigee to the Earth. 

The Jewish calendar(s), {and of course, there is debate about which "one" is "the one"}, share this feature in common.  They are lunar calendars, whereas the Western, Roman calendar is a solar calendar.  And, the beginning of each month is marked by the spotting of the new moon, Rosh Chodesh.  However, in the more ancient times, Jews would search the night skies for that sliver of hope, that new moon, to declare a new month had begun.  "In ancient times Rosh Chodesh was declared by the beit din (Jewish court) only after two credible witnesses would testify that they had seen the new moon. Since the fourth century, however, it has been determined by a preset calendar."1

This week's most recent new moon has ushered in the Jewish month of Shevat (or Shvat).  Although it occurs in the dead of winter, it is seen as a time or rebirth and new beginnings - - a harbinger of spring.  Thanks be to God that the days are gradually "getting longer"!

If you feel you are wandering in the dark today, look for the new moon.  If you are a Christian, you are not immune from apogee and perigee.  There will be times you will feel like you are stumbling in darkness, others when you are dancing in the light.  God, your Father, Christ, your Savior, and the Holy Spirit within you are no more "with you" or "far from you" at either time.  His presence is not dependent upon your cares or your moods or even your legitimate life circumstances.

He has promised to "be with you always", if you have accepted and trusted Him as your one and only Savior.  On that His children can always depend.



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