Blind, but still alive.
Are we waiting on Jesus for the things we don’t yet see?
As I often quote some of my Stormie Omartan readings in these posts I am sure I have mentioned her book, ‘just enough light for the step I am on.’
Sometimes it feels like I am completely blind to what is in front of me and all I can see is where I am right now. In these moments it’s easy to give up on looking to the future and simply living in a day to day existence. I always loved being a dreamer when I was a kid. People would tell me that my goals were too big or didn’t jive and they were probably right. As I got older I somehow slipped from ‘dreamer’ to ‘realist’ and that sucks. Living in a world of reality. Boring. Because our reality isn’t God’s. He sees far into the future and has thoughts and ideas we can’t even begin to comprehend. Even when you can only see your year as dates on a calendar Jesus sees far beyond that to a glimmering dream world beyond what you can fathom.
That’s what Jesus does. He gives us dreams that are a size too big so we can grow into them- Max Lucado
It may seem pointless to keep on dreaming beyond where you are and onto where you want to be but Jesus makes it feasable. Your impossible dreams have an amazing God who makes the impossible possible. You may be blind to what is coming, but you are still alive, so live and dream without fear.
When did you fall in love with God?
What was the moment that changed it from serving God to loving God for you.?
For me, I think I always loved God in that child love that says ‘God’s so amazing!’
But I don’t think I truly loved God in a mature way until the first time I really suffered. I mean really really suffered. It was in that blackness that I found God’s hand reaching so invaluable. Before that God was always like a Jeanie. A sort of fun bright light that bounced around and made flowers grow and puppies bark. Suddenly that bright light was a burning, piercing flame that tore away the pain and darkness until I was free from my chains. That was the moment I truly fell in love with God.
What was yours?
Some days….most days, I wish that God would make things easy. You know? Today I drove into an unassuming ditch. It looked like I would skim the edge of a very small divot leading to a field. The divot was a ditch so deep and so full of snow that suddenly not all four wheels were on the ground anymore. Worse it wasn’t my property. Worse still I was in the middle of no where so CAA would be a pain to try to get out to my trouble spot. So I prayed. Of course. Then tried for about 15mins to get out. Now, in my mind I would pray and walk my truck right out of the hole. Nope. I prayed and then tried and tried and tried until finally my little Holy Spirit nudge said, “call your DAD!” Dad face timed with me. We prayed together and he helped me figure out how to get the truck out. It took almost an hour. A lot of shoving bear claws under tires, backing up as far as it would go and repeating. A bit of shoveling, more prayer, and a 3 point basket cheer when we finally got out.
Was God not there as I struggled? Of course He was.
Why wasn’t He making it easy?
I think that sometimes God gives us things that He helps us through. Instead of fixing the problem for us, He helps us fix the problem ourselves, then we learn and grow from our issues and mistakes.
Kind of like my Poppa. I can do so many things that most people probably can’t simply because instead of doing it for me my Poppa always showed me how to do it and had me do it myself. Actually so does my dad. He hands me the skill saw and says ‘cut here, follow this line.’ Saw gets pinched. ‘Here, this is how you get it unstuck without breaking the blade, now you do it.’ That’s how I know how to do things. I believe that God does that too.
“Here, listen to what I am saying and try it this way. Okay, good job, now try again.”
That way, we learn.
Thank God for teaching me, even if that sometimes means making me do things the hard way.
Today feels like spring. I got up and took my dog for a run in the sunshine, the snow sparkling all around me as the sun warmed my back. My dog took out over the fields with his tail going like a prop. The birds were singing loud and happy. The best thing was that this beautiful day is a Sunday. It felt like a day where the whole world would be smiling. I know that that isn’t true, but it is still a great feeling.
If you had said you saw pansies popping up through the ice I wouldn’t be surprised.
It’s funny how just a tiny bit of sunshine can fill the whole heart. Like how a tiny sprig of peppermint can fill the whole mouth, or a single guitar can sound like a symphony. It amazes me how it takes a big amount of darkness to throw us off, but just a tiny bit of light to make us smile. Jesus wants us to be happy, so I suppose He made happiness easily attainable by tiny things that He sets in our everyday lives. Birds singing, ocean waves crashing, sunshine, blue skies, sparkles in the snow, a dog wagging his tail. Pain and anguish is real, but so is joy and happiness, you just have to look for the things that make you smile.
Setting your mind
In one of my favorite movies the main character loves the song ‘country roads’ and rewrites the lyrics to it. The new version has a line that says:
Determined to live alone but fearless, my constant longing is to be courageous. Loneliness is bottled up inside, going down this path that I must try.
It’s a beautiful description of who she is. She knows herself and is willing to allow that to be enough for her. She knows her path is lonely but she takes it anyway with determination to contain that feeling and not allow it to control her. She is fearless and longs for even greater courage. These simple lyrics could apply to many of us. We all have a path to travel and we all have struggles along the way; some we can foresee others we can not, it’s how we handle these struggles that define us. Will we take them on like a ship breaking through a squall, heading for the light? Or will we shrink back inside our cabin and hope that it all goes away? Maybe we try to run from the storm, but we know that that never works out, just ask Jonah. However we face our troubles, however we take on our paths, God knows what He’s doing. He saw these squalls even before you were born, and He also saw a way through them. Some people fear asking for courage because they think that it will add turmoil to their lives, but lives will have turmoil whether you ask for courage or not. Isn’t it better to have already built up your courage before the big struggles come? If you haven’t then those times when you feel you’ve hit rock bottom will be harder to overcome. It’s not easy to look down the road ahead, feel the wind grab your hair, feel the hard path beneath your feet and take off your fear like a cloak throwing it over your shoulder, stepping off the threshold of your comfort zone at a run and smiling about it. Those who have done so have had the chance to touch their stars, yours are still waiting for you. When you look at those who have left their fear behind and taken hold of their path you will see a person scarred. Their cloths may seem torn and their skin marred by the hard falls, but you will also see a brilliant smile of triumph on their faces and when they walk by they drip of starlight, because they have touched the heavens. Why? Because they trusted God would lead them and never doubted His perfect, guiding hand. Do you see starlight in your future? Your future as an accountant, a plumber, a teacher, a doctor, an electrician? You don’t have to be an artist to gleam, you just have to give what you are meant to do everything you’ve got and trust that every time you fall a nail pierced hand will be there to help you back up.
I’ve been there too
So, I caught a cold this past Monday. I have an old family rule that I live by that says, ‘if you don’t have a fever you aren’t sick enough to stay home.’ I hate this rule; but once something becomes engraved in your mind it’s hard to change. So I plowed through and made it to Saturday where I almost died on the couch. Not literally. Then my mom asks me to bring a meal over to my grandparents. Up I get and off I go to carry the food across the yard, (we live on an acreage). On the way back my dog wants to play. It’s so warm and sunny that we play for about half an hour. Then I see him. My horse with his head over the fence. Guess what? He too has a cold. I walk over and rub his neck and he presses his forehead against mine. I have had my horse for nearly 10 years, I knew he was saying he didn’t feel great. I also felt the sense that we were sharing a moment of understanding. He was sick and so was I, he needed a hug and so did I. We understood each other’s suffering. Then I got to work filling his water, because he was low and giving him extra mineral to combat the virus, and feed to keep his strength up and then more hugs.
I have two points here. One is that no matter how you feel there is always someone who needs something and true love is doing that something no matter what. My mom is really great at this. Complain your way through if you must, but Christ’s spirit of carrying one another’s burdens makes us keep giving. Point two. No matter what you are going through there is always someone somewhere who has been through the same and wants to help. You are NEVER alone. With 7 billion people in the world there is zero chance that you are the only one who is suffering this particular way. Others get it and even if they don’t, Jesus gets it and He has always got your back! He will Always help you through the tough times. Even if that though time is pushing through with a cold.
God arms me with strength. And He makes my path perfect. Psalms 18:32
Where faith may fail
Do you ever feel as though your faith has failed?
Ya, me too.
You build yourself up with courageous words and scripture verses to make your heart feel okay, but deep down you still feel faithless. A nagging voice says, ‘you know God doesn’t operate like that anymore! You know that those kinds of miracles ended before the 20th century began. So why pray for it? Why run after something that you will never catch? You’ll just end up looking silly for trying so hard. Give up. Faith has no ground.’
Wow. Say ‘hello Devil, when did you get here?’ because that’s the voice I hear when I hear such words. It is clearly the Devil saying such things; eating away at your Faith like a monster devouring flesh, but that doesn’t stop us from believing such wicked and common lies. We hit a wall where our Faith feels powerless and we just can’t fight through. I realized something the other day. Why do we fight with our Faith? Faith isn’t a weapon. It’s a shield. The Holy Spirit is the weapon! Our Faith feels battered because we are using it to beat down our enemy. We drop our sword, take our shield in both hands and smack our enemy with it with all our strength! And we get knocked back on our belt of hard truth. The truth is that with our own strength we can’t do anything. But if we attack our enemy with the sword of the Spirit the enemy will fall! Because we are using God’s strength to win! Our Faith gets battered because we wield it as a weapon. Which it isn’t. But as a shield, as our defense, our Faith is unmatched in power because our Faith is in the unmatched, powerful God. Whose name is Jesus.
So then, put on the full armor of God-Ephesians 6:10
Downward spiral .vs. upward climb
Have you ever noticed how it is a spiral? Spiral indicates fast, generally out of control and of course spinning.
It sounds like a bad ride at an amusement park, you know, the one your friends dare you to go on and then you feel too sick to do anything else for the next 2 days. 10 years later you have the confidence to laugh about it with someone. Spiral.
And upward CLIMB. With this one I visualize a mountain. I love hiking and exploring. If you let me go with my dog and spend the day someplace hiking and exploring, there is a chance we will be gone that whole day. Generally the moment we feel like…..I am sorry, I feel like, he could go on forever……when I feel like turning around is the moment I hit a steep incline. Usually it is my powerhouse Jack Russell who keeps me moving, he is probably 1/6th of my weight and yet he is the one who pulls me to the top and we stand (and I gasp for air) and he starts to head down the next trail, dragging me behind and I feel this wave of achievement. We made it to the top! Oh Ya! And look! Another hill…… I wonder what the top of that one looks like?
To hit rock bottom takes a simple ‘yes’ or a small give in your normal perspective. It happens fast, it is generally a little sickening and it takes a long time to recover.
To hit the summit takes a lot of hard work, motivation, and sometimes someone else pulling on your lead to keep you going, and you find acheivement in the end.
To climb back up from the bottom is a massive struggle and you can NOT do it without God, but you CAN do it.
We all have a seed inside our hearts. A part of us that is undiscovered and trying to grow. A potential. A dream left to the wear of time and long since forgotten. Deep down in your heart, however, that dream left a seed. We all have someone we want to be. A chef, a weatherwoman, an accountant, a movie star. But to fulfill a dream takes hard work, good people, and a bull dog drive. Stats say that over 90% of people give up on their dreams instead of seeing them fulfilled. I think that is very sad. A dream is something important to us, and things that are important to us should be things we fight for. Sometimes we dream of being something that other people say we can’t be. An artist who can’t draw, or a musician who doesn’t know how to play. It is possible that maybe that means your true seed is growing into something else. Perhaps a music teacher or an art studio director. Don’t drop your dreams where you stand and move on. Sometimes the true dream is a vine of the original one. Fight for your dreams and water them. See what your seed grows. Like buying a surprise packaged of flower seeds at the plant store. All you can do is scatter them in the dirt and care for them. You know you want a flower, but what that flower looks like is entirely up to the seed. So you care for it and as it grows you love it more and get more excited to see what it will be.
Let your seed grow, and never give up on it.
Home is behind, the world is ahead, (J.R.R. Tolkien). I usually see this phrase of this song as a sentence of awe and thrill. Images of camping and wooded trails, tall mountains and pounding waterfalls overtake my mind and I breathe deeply. However that was not the scene around this statement. In the Lord of The Rings masterpiece epic, ( I mean the novels) Pipin sings a song of what would seem to be great adventure, in fact it is a song of war. They left their homes behind and took to war. Trenches and hill tops and beaches. Skies, oceans and forests. Deserts and mountains and jungles. Comfort left behind, loving arms and gentle words long forgotten as feet ache in heavy boots and backs sweat under heavy packs. You almost don’t dare make friends because you don’t know how long you will get to hold to these people around you, but you become family. Our soldiers learned the line Jesus said about true friends, and what Paul said, Rare for a person to lay down their life even for a righteous person; perhaps for a good man one would dare to die for.-Paul ( this is not a direct quote)
Our soldiers dared to die for those they never met. War is UGLY! Suffering and death happen and it is awful! But freedom doesn’t come by hoping for it. We should always honor those who suffered and died, AND those who suffered and live, because our freedom came from their blood. Hate war always, hate our soldiers NEVER! They did not ask for the wars they fought and fight in, but they saw the suffering of the innocent and had the courage to stand up and do something about it. God bless our soldiers! Semper Fi.
I found the cover image on the internet and hope that it is okay that I used it because it is so powerful. My uncle was in Vietnam and this painting reminded me of the few stories that he was able to tell when he got back.