Tag Archives: denanetherton.me

To Be Like Enoch


God is my unseen walking partner

I recently posted a blog about Enoch. The Enoch from the book of Genesis who “walked with God.”

“Oh, to be like Enoch,” I often say.

Because, here’s another thing about Enoch: since he lived in a fallen world he must surely have experienced hard times. How could he not?

How do the verses in Genesis about Enoch pertain to all that has happened in my life (and probably your life, too) in the past three weeks?

On Wednesday, March 2nd, my daughter wound up in the ER, unconscious from a drug interaction. She hovered a few inches above death for two days.

That same day, my precious daughter-in-law, who had been experiencing a challenging pregnancy suddenly went into labor eight weeks early.

Wednesday, March 2nd was just about the hardest day of my life. Bruce and I faced the possibility of losing both my daughter, my daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter all in one day.

How could good come out of Danielle’s and Ian’s trouble, baby Harper’s underdeveloped body, and Kiri’s possible death?

That day I swung from sublime moments of trusting and worshipping God, the next, sobbing for mercy.

Usually in this mix of prayer would be my human—though mature and scriptural—solutions, offered to God, just in case He needs my suggestions.

But this time I had nothing. I drove aimlessly around the town of Bellingham, automatically stopping at red lights, yielding to traffic and pedestrians, but seeing nothing.

I parked and called Bruce, who was on the other side of the country on business. We prayed and cried for a long time. I went home and kept up a steady stream of prayers for the rest of the evening.

God be praised, little Harper was born that evening, weighing just two pounds, ten ounces, but healthy. Danielle was fine. So, even though I was grieving for my daughter, I rejoiced for the safety of Danielle and the birth of my granddaughter.

Three weeks later, Harper is 3 and a half pounds and thriving. Yay!

Kiri is home and seems to be doing well. I am so thankful.

Three weeks isn’t a lot of time to process my Wed. March 2nd crisis. I wonder what Enoch said during his close daily walks with God? Did he come up with the same conclusions I have?

Ten conclusions about crises:


  • Crises lead to a higher, eternity-centered perspective. We know that this sometimes- wretched life is not all there is. If we’re willing, God can use us as vessels of His comfort and assurance for others. What have I gained that I can give?
  • In a crisis it is normal for a Christian to not feel God near.(I know, sometimes, God in His grace, makes His presence known.) This is when the faith muscle must be exercised to the point of “feeling the burn.” And salve for this burn comes from what we know from God’s Word, such as Hebrews 13—“I will never leave you”—and Romans 8—God works all things for our good.
  • I must continually check my expectations about how God operates in this fallen world. Are my expectations in alignment with scripture, or have I constructed a safe, convenient, God-constricting world view based on mere platitudes? What does God promise His children…really?
  • Expect trouble. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
  • Life is tenuous; it can change in fractions of seconds. Never take your life or lives of those you cherish for granted. Never.
  • We have a choice, just like Jesus; He could have refused the cross. Likewise, we can refuse to identify with Christ during our own suffering. How will we choose?
  • God is worthy of worship; He made us, knows us, loves us, died for us, is doing great things in and through His creation. Times are bad, (temporarily) but God is good.
  • “This will end,” as my mother-in-law used to say.  Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
  • Our challenges are the Christian body’s opportunity to grow in loving unity. Because we were created for relationship, our suffering is never just about us and us alone.
  • Our response to challenges can be a powerful testimony to an unbelieving world.


“Oh,  to be like Enoch. Dear Jesus, make me like Enoch.”


Spring 2010 044When I was eight years old, my definition of freedom was getting to stay up later than 8 PM.

When I was twelve, freedom was occasionally staying home from school.

At sixteen it was meeting my friends downtown and spending the whole day just hanging out.

At twenty-two: deciding for myself where I would go next after graduation from college.

Before I started following Jesus, I always saw freedom in terms of autonomy, self-determination, freedom from responsibility.

I thought: the Christian life, especially for women, looks bland, boring, almost oppressive. I thought, if I followed Jesus, He would keep me from fulfilling all the exciting goals I’d dreamed about since childhood.

I thought: “Why would God give me a brain and talents and then expect me to do nothing more than hide inside the house, bake cookies, and scrub toilets?”

That doesn’t look like freedom.

But since then, I have come to follow Jesus with my whole heart and here’s what I learned about true freedom:

  1. God wants to make me free. Really? Yes!
  2. I do not have freedom if anything or anyone (including me) impels me to do harm to myself or another.
  3. I am never freer than when I walk according to God’s plan.
  4. Truth teaches me freedom’s definition. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)
  5. Freedom is way more fun than slavery.
  6. Freedom is a gift from God. I didn’t fight for it; it was granted to me.
  7. Apart from God, my maker, there is no true freedom.
  8. Freedom carries responsibility.


(Colorado high country)

Nov 03 2010 084

True freedom means I am no longer held captive by the tyranny of my self-centered soul. I can choose to be selfish. Or not. I have a choice. Christ works in me both to want to do good things, and to actually do them. (Phil 2:13)

God didn’t prevent me from achieving all my cherished childhood goals:

being a wife and mother, grandmother, performing as a singer and pianist, teaching music in college and K-12 schools, directing theater, traveling, building relationships, writing, attending writer’s conferences, serving in a variety of ways at church and in the community.

On top of that, he gave me quite a few more goals, some of which I’m still working toward.

God is not an oppressor. The freedom He bestows gives us power to be all we were meant to be. Far from living a bland, colorless life, I have been given a rich, full, exciting, adventurous life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Anything.

(Me, my mom, my daughter, my granddaughter)

July 2010 Vacation 031

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 NIV Bible)