Thank you!


Thank you for your responses to LeAnn’s question. Your words were thoughtful and heartfelt. I read them with interest because I did not have an inspired insight into guilt. Now I do.

Today was chemo for me, which makes it very hard for me to Un-Blog. I don’t know why it is that illness chokes me spiritually. Apparently, it is one of my opportunities, to learn how to rise above this obstacle too. I have often said that when we return to the presence of God, it will be through the flames, not around them.

When I was about eight years old, I had a night’s dream that repeated itself maybe a hundred times. It happened without interruption for months, just as I was awakening. It didn’t frighten me, it was just beyond my ken as a child. As a matter of fact, I remember laughing about it in my dream.

I asked my mother about it, and she told me it was a medical procedure that some people need when they have cancer. She said her father had the same thing when he died. I didn’t even know what cancer was, or a medical procedure. I continued to have the dream over and over.

Just the other day I was getting ready for bed, and looking at the very fine collection of scars on my body, when this childhood dream came back into my mind with perfect clarity. I hadn’t thought about it for 50 years.

The Spirit, without words, informed me “I gave you those dreams as a child so that when you arrived at this moment half a century later, you would remember and know that this is the correct path for your life. I showed you then so that you would know now that this is the right pathway for you to obtain all of the blessings you are seeking. This is not a series of errors. This is where you need to be.”

You see, I really have felt like I am sick now because of a few poor decisions, things I could not have known at the time, but still were stupid decisions. I felt like crying for a moment, not from sadness or loss, but for gratitude that Heavenly Father loves me so much, and knows my life so well, that he began almost at my birth to prepare me to receive this comfort in a moment of need.

Seeing and hearing this didn’t change the course of my life. It didn’t heal me, or give me more courage to continue, or more faith to accept the course of my life. It didn’t increase my determination or my willingness to walk His path no matter the cost. It just gave me peace – and it dramatically increased my reverence for His everlasting love; love that would reach out across the ages to set in motion a blessing that would take 50 years to mature. He wasn’t stopping a world war, or opening a new dispensation. He was telling me He loves me.

Brother John

© August 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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6 Responses to Thank you!

  1. patty says:

    Brother John-
    You said that you don’t know why your illness chokes you spiritually. Would you mind sharing your feelings about that? When I read that statement it really hit me, as I feel the same way, however have never been able to put that particular feeling into words. Would you please share more?
    Also- it really is through the flames and not around them.
    It is hard for me to explain that to loved ones. When one faces their own mortality the eternal picture is different, and it is hard for me to explain how I feel about death now, unless I am talking to someone who has had the same experience. It just goes so much deeper. It is wonderful.
    Patty.

    Like

    • John Pontius says:

      Dear Patty,

      I’m not sure what you hope I will say. I have been healthy all of my life, and have been able to serve and fast and work for the Lord. With the recent physical challenges and when my body is terribly sick, it doesn’t seem to be as receptive to the Holy Spirit. I can remember praying so hard while in the hospital, and I could feel nothing. It may have been from the pain killers, or just the pain, but it was very hard to get through. One time my sweet wife sang hymns to me for days trying to awaken me from a coma. I finally awoke with the Spirit and it felt so good, and then when I felt what they had done to my body, the Spirit seemed to leave me.

      Where once feeling Spiritual was my native condition, now I have to struggle and work and plan and pray to have it. It does come, and I do rejoice often, but it is a journey “through the flames” as you suggested.

      You spoke of not being sure how you feel about death. I understand completely. When you are very ill death seems like a welcome relief, and also a frightening ritual of passage. You want to remain with loved ones, but not in this great pain. You welcome the moment after death, but not the journey through – and you hope you are not sinning to want to quit fighting the fight to stay alive.

      The Lord has taught me a powerful way to cease to fear death. It is to seek His face while in this life. This must be done before death, so it focuses all of my senses on a joyful event I can seek now – and the closer to death I feel, the more I seek, and the more I obtain, and the more the veil that separates me from God thins, and the less looming becomes the veil difining mortal death.

      I’m sorry if I didn’t answer your question at all,

      Brother John

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    • patty says:

      Thank you.

      Like

  2. Eric says:

    John:

    Your comment:
    “Seeing and hearing this didn’t change the course of my life. It didn’t heal me, or give me more courage to continue, or more faith to accept the course of my life. It didn’t increase me determination or my willingness to walk His path no matter the cost. It just gave me peace – and it dramatically increased my reverence for His everlasting love; love that would reach out across the ages to set in motion a blessing that would take 50 years to mature. He wasn’t stopping a world war, or opening a new dispensation. He was telling me He loves me.”

    This comment of yours is perhaps the most important thing to understand. God may not do all or anything we would like Him to do to change our weaknesses, ills, mistakes, or our situation but the peace that comes knowing that He does truly love us can be just that gentle push needed to help us keep turned to the light.

    Like

  3. Kim says:

    Thank you. I loved this.

    Like

  4. Brian Bowler says:

    Bro John,
    Thanks for your email.
    On my mission I was sick for several weeks, and during that time I had many vivid dreams that left me wondering what they meant.
    AS My life has went on, I will have a flash of different scenes from those dreams. Like you, its been a huge blessing as I have passed through many trials that I thought I was completely off course (depression, addictions, job loss) yet he will send me a little scene that reminds me that he knew I was going to go through this, and I am “on course”.
    I am grateful to know he is so mindful of me and my family.

    Thanks again for your Spirit.

    Brian

    Like

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