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Things That Go Bump In The Day

March 27, 2010

Last night, I expected to be writing something about Revelation & Hype Cycles - like maybe part four. It didn't happen. Not because something went bump - but because I realized, after so many years, I wouldn't write it the same way any more. So more research was needed.

No problem - I can get started tonight. Well - that didn't happen either. Something went bump.

This afternoon while I was working on 1 Corinthians for the men's group I'm in - as usual, I start by launching a couple programs on my notebook to do some research. One of them is the eBible Bible Study Library. One of its features is a "this day in history" topic on the home page. Being a Free Methodist, today's topic was of interest - so I sent it off to the guys in the group. And here it is:

Old Jeffrey   –    March 27

In 1697 Samuel and Susanna Wesley assumed responsibility for the church in Epworth, England, and they soon filled the parsonage with children. Susanna gave birth to 19 in all—among them, John, the future founder of Methodism. The Epworth years were hard, days of poverty, disagreement, and discouragement. The difficulties increased in December, 1716, when an unexpected visitor arrived—a ghost. The parsonage came alive with mysterious sounds. Groaning. Loud knockings. Feet on the stairs. Bottles breaking. Chains rattling. The house sometimes shook from top to bottom. No explanation could be found, but strange apparitions were occasionally seen.The ghost (or demon, or whatever it was) became most agitated during family devotions when Rev. Wesley prayed for the royal family. Terrible poundings came from upstairs, which so provoked the minister that he prayed with increasing defiance and volume. Losing all patience, he once shouted, “Thou deaf and dumb devil, why dost thou frighten the children? Come to me in my study that am a man.” Afterward, it constantly annoyed Wesley in his study.At first, Susanna had attributed the noises to rats. But when strange horns began blaring throughout the house, she grew convinced that no human or animal could make such sounds. On March 27, 1717 she wrote to her skeptical son Samuel, away at school, “I cannot imagine how you should be so curious about our unwelcome guest. For my part, I am tired with hearing or speaking of it; but if you come, you will find enough to satisfy all your scruples, and perhaps you may hear or see it yourself. ”The family eventually named their ghost “Old Jeffrey.” The children grew accustomed to him, finding they could tease and anger him with personal remarks. His antics finally died down, but years later John, then a world-famous evangelist, wrote an account of him for a magazine. It seems the devil had overplayed his hand. Seeking to frighten or destroy the future evangelist, Old Jeffrey had instead convinced John that the battle was not against flesh and blood, but against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm. Ephesians 6:12,13 Morgan, Robert J.: On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997, S. March 27

I added a comment of my own (of course):

Based on the source, I'm assuming it's most likely true. If so - it's interesting to see how things work out. Where would our church be without this encounter? And what if it had actually worked and John Wesley didn't pursue his passion?

Stay with God - the One who can keep us all safe & on the right path,

After that - the program tells me there's an update available. So I chose to install it right away.

Bump. Major Bump.

First off - I need to say that I've been running this software for years, and have never had a problem with it. And I've already done this upgrade on my other system - also with no problem. But on this day - at this time - it messed up so badly that it won't even allow me to restart the upgrade. The program is totally wiped out.

I tried reinstalling it. Won't work.

I have now removed the whole thing from control panel and am reinstalling from scratch.

HHhhmmmm. Do you believe in spiritual warfare? I do. I figure at this point, I've got a couple options. One would be to get really frustrated & just go to bed. (I'm not ready to totally give up - never would be for something like this.) Or, I can remember God's promise of peace - and move forward with that.

I could also get really frustrated and insist on moving on with Revelation & Hype Cycles part four in spite of this. Or - I can assume that He has a reason why I'm not doing it tonight. I choose to believe that's the case.

I know - this is nowhere near as exciting, traumatic, life changing, or anything else compared to the events in the Wesley household in Epworth back in 1697. But - most of us don't grow up to be as big a threat to Satan as John Wesley either. So I have to wonder - as we all should - how many of life's disasters, problems, annoyances, and other side trips that take us off our intended path come from Satan trying to distract us?

After all - God doesn't make junk. And He didn't waste time or effort in making any of us. We are all His children - and we were all placed here for a reason. We have a purpose - a God given reason for being born. Whether we choose to fulfill that purpose - that's up to us. One thing we can count on - Satan will be there to try to sidetrack us - to keep us from fulfilling that purpose.

We can choose to follow either Satan or God. It's entirely up to us.

Am I overreacting to imply - or outright just say - that what happened to my notebook today was a sidetrack attempt by Satan? Who knows. Maybe it was - maybe it wasn't. But if it was - do I even want to start going down the path of getting frustrated - getting upset - giving up, if even for a day? No.

I wish I could always make the right choice - but I haven't in the past - I'm sure I won't always in the future - but for today, I will.

I don't know why this is happening today. I don't know what will come from it. But if I truly believe that God is always in control - and I do believe that - then I also have to believe that He can and will bring about some good from it - if I don't screw it up - if I allow Him to work through me in whatever way He has chosen. Maybe I'll know what that good is right away - maybe I won't know until much later - maybe I never will know.

But to not believe that it is there - that would be so much against what I believe that I just can't do it.

And so the lesson - this is something that appears to be reasonably trivial in the overall scheme of things. It's pretty easy to not get bothered by it - to move forward, fix the problem - and write another day.

But what about when it's not so trivial?

If God can make something good out of something this small - think about what He can do with a really big problem - like Old Jeffrey all those years ago. That's when we need to remember things like this bump in the day that came up today. He's a big - powerful - loving God. If He can get us through these little things - if He can take the time to help little me today when He's got so many other really, really big things to deal with - then He'll be there for us that much more when the big ones happen.

An maybe that's the good that comes from today's bump. It's a reminder for me - and for whoever reads this - that He is always there. Whether our problems are small or incredibly huge - He's always there. We just need to remember to ask. It's easy in the good times. It's easy when things aren't too bad. For some reason it seems to be harder to remember when the big stuff comes. Maybe we need these little things to help us to remember.

While I've been writing - as I mentioned, I've also been reinstalling from scratch after entirely removing the software package. The install has just completed - and the program now runs successfully! (Thank You God!) So - time to sign off here and reload the rest of the books that go with it.

Stay with God - the One who can keep us all safe & on the right path,

Good night.