Believing is Seeing

photo credit collette veranouskas via creationswap

photo credit collette veranouskas via creationswap

We often live our lives waiting for the next milestone to arrive, while all around us the present moment is but a flurry. Every year at Christmas I make even more of an effort to not allow this to happen – not let all the stuff to do and things to take care of get in the way of focusing upon my Savior. But it always does. In some way, I just allow it to get in the way. Then, after the day is through, I begin to thing about the past year. I then think about the upcoming one. And I realize…..

I’m doing it again! Thinking back. Thinking forward. Not living in the moment.

Even for those who know Jesus and have a deep relationship with Him – those who know this earthly home is but a blip on the radar of eternity – even some of those folks (yes, I am one of them), we find ourselves jogging along the path of life trying to see what’s up ahead instead of being in the present.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

I try. I really, really do. And some of that is my very problem, friends. I don’t know how to “not” try. I don’t know how to fully surrender. For this girl, it’s a stretch to be okay with jogging along a path that is filled with fog up ahead. Yes, for this one, it’s uncomfortable to not be able to see two feet in front of me. And I know that the trying is getting in my way.

Sometimes I fool myself into thinking that even being on a foggy path must mean that I have grown or come a long way or something. I like to tell myself to remember the times in which I wouldn’t even stick my baby toe out onto a path that wasn’t clear and marked by the mile, with a beautiful plan all mapped out for me.

But then I realize that’s just a load of bologna too.

I accepted a long time ago that I am someone who may never fully embrace not understanding at least a part of the path that I am on. See, I don’t know about you but for me, I feel like I NEED to at least know where my foot is going to be landing in order to take the next step. Yeh. Remember Peter and how the Lord asked him to step onto the water and come and meet Him? That’s been me over this past year. Ad nauseam.

But the Lord has still been moving me in a lot of ways – ways that I can measure tangibly, and ways in which I can just know it through the Holy Spirit. He’s done this with me in ways over this past year that I just can no longer articulate. His light inside of me is getting brighter, but the fog up ahead is all-the-thicker. It’s a really strange place in which to be. Light on the inside screaming to burst forth while simultaneoulsy my human vision continues to worsen – to fail me. Kinda funny when you consider the name of this blog, huh.

I’m starting to wonder if I will even be able to see far enough in front of me to lace up my shoes next.

But then I remember: Nothing is impossible with God. I mean….blind people do this all the time! They lace up their shoes without the help of their eyes, or any illumination at all. I believe God is blinding me to certain things not simply to test my faith, but to grow me. I truly can feel it that He wants to HELP me in this, friends. But it doesn’t change the fact that I am beyond uncomfortable about it.

What minute problems to experience, no? What a gracious God we serve – so merciful, so loving, so sovereign and faithful! He could strike me down any moment for my grumbling and complaining when what I call “discomfort” is luxury in 99% of the rest of the world. Not knowing where your feet will be taking you from one day to the next? Wake up and smell the coffee! That’s how most of the world is forced to live and they don’t have a grande cappuccino by their side while they are doing it.

I thank Jesus today and every single day for loving me so much. I thank God that He was willing to go far beyond the worst discomfort we could even imagine and give us His one and only son to cover all for us so that we can come into the presence of our Holy Lord and have a true and lasting, eternal relationship with Him.

So, when you have times in which you feel you aren’t sure what’s up ahead, or if you are struggling to even put one foot in front of the other, remember that if you trust in Him, He sees all. He will give us HIS kind of vision and HIS eyes to see what we need to see. And He’ll decide when we need to see it too.

Keep your spiritual eyes wide open, friends. Look for Him in the places that even the human eye cannot see, but the heart that is filled with the Spirit of the Lord most definitely can. And watch out…you may end up squinting when you find out just how bright He really is.

And most of all, remember that even if you could stand up tall and say that you have come a long way, it’s nothing compared with where you are going if you have accepted Christ as your Savior. Where He is leading us far surpasses any beautiful destination we could ever see or imagine on this earth.

I suppose that’s not a place where we’ll be uncomfortable at all, is it? I suppose we won’t be experiencing major or minor discomfort there, to say the least. We will be in the presence of the One, True King, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior – for ALL ETERNITY! And once we are there in heaven with Him?

Well, that’s when we’ll know just how far He has brought us. He could pluck us right out of here at any moment you know. And the fog shall lift forevermore. We may need special sunglasses in order to soak it all in.

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40

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The Clock is Ticking

Geralt via Pixabay

Geralt via Pixabay

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 NIV

What if we didn’t have so many choices? Have you ever really thought about it much? Having too many choices isn’t necessarily a very good thing. Choices or decisions we must make entail a sense of urgency. How do you avoid stressing in situations like that where the clock is ticking and the hour is coming and soon, very soon, you are going to be put on the spot to give your answer?

Now, I do believe that God, our Father is a God of choices. He gives us the freedom to choose whether or not we wish to follow Him, or go our own way. He gives us the option of living out our lives with our eternal home in mind, or living for the things of this earthly world. He also gives us choices that are not only limited to just “good” or “bad”, but an array of things that fall somewhere in-between.

We, His children, are making choices each and every single day. Everyone is different, that’s for sure. And there’s a certain beauty in that diversity that we find amongst God’s children.

Well, this one is someone who struggles when faced with having too many “good” choices. Once, when I came back from living in Peru for a few years, I had to go to the grocery store to get coca cola for a party. Not a big problem to have, right? Going to a fun party – getting to be invited – just have to pick up some yummy carbonated beverages to add to the fun. But I remember freaking out when I was standing in the aisle at the grocery store that was lined on both sides with hundreds of cola choices. Freaking out! There were two choices in Peru that I can recall. Normal coca cola and Inca Cola. I had a miniature meltdown in the grocery store over this supposedly “good problem.”

See, if it comes down to an obviously good choice or a clearly bad one, I tend to be okay (at least at this point in my life) with choosing the good one; even when it’s hard.But when there are so many choices out there that aren’t good or bad, but just….there….well, I then struggle…IMMENSELY.

Why is that? Well, for me I think it’s largely due to several reasons:

I struggle with change that’s BIG. Big stuff that is going to impact lots of people, not just me, in my little world. I struggle with making choices in a simple manner – because I think of myself and everyone else too, and how MY choice might impact others when it comes down to having multiple options that are all seemingly “good.” Someone is going to be potentially impacted in a negative way and that doesn’t sit well with me.
And the sinful part? I struggle with worry about making a choice that I will have to own later with regret. Yes. We all know that this Annie B. is a worry wart and will have to turn that junk over to God day in and day out until she goes home to live with Him forever. Let’s just face it, and I need to own it. With God. Bam.

Well, lately I am faced with a choice coming up pretty soon that has weighed upon my heart in a very heavy way. I have also been under the weather the last two days, although the last week has also been filled with abundant blessings and examples of God’s grace in action. But the hammer is about to come down in my life as far as reaching a crossroads in regard to something that seems big that entails a choice on my part. And that’s making me all-the-sicker.

I tend to be good when the hammer finally comes down and shortly thereafter. It’s the lead up to stuff that slays me.

Today, I ask for prayer from my friends out there. I ask that you pray that God keep this in perspective, first and foremost. You know, these things that seem so “big” to us at the time are really small in the face of eternity. But that doesn’t change the fact that we are about to be faced with a large knock on our door and we have to either choose to open it or keep it closed.

Secondly, that I can be obective about the right things and subjective about the right things. I need to consider other people and family life. I need to consider finances and purpose. I need to consider things that seem silly, but can have a large, rippling effect in many lives. Most of all, I need to consider which decision will best enable me to glorify God – to the greatest degree.

And finally, that I will feel better physically. I do think the stress of this impending decision is not really helping in regard to this matter, but I also think I am just simply fighting off a pretty bad cold. I am exhausted, physically and mentally. We all go through such things – no big deal. But when I am not feeling up to par, I wonder how objective I will handle decision making at such times, you know?

Do you have a choice to make that seems big, that can have a pretty big impact in this earthly life depending upon which way you go, but one that you know is small in the face of eternity? Are you seeking to glorify God in your choices, and still struggling? Have you been on your knees praying for guidance, wisdom, and for your Father to help you make the right choice, but it seems like He is leaving it up to you? If so, then know you are not alone. If so, then know that what matters is that you are seeking Him and His will for you and for those your actions will impact and that even if you make a choice that doesn’t turn out right, He knows you sought Him out in the first place. (nice run on sentence, eh?)

What’s the worst thing that can happen if that describes you and where you are at with this situation right now? Well, the way I look at it, is that if it’s a mistake (whatever choice you make), at least you sought the Lord in the first place for help. If it turns out to be a mistake, He will reveal to you new ways to listen better. If it turns out to be a disaster, He will use it to grow you and He’s got everyone else covered as well if they are seeking after Him. He knows what’s gonna go down, and He knows your heart.

Bottom Line? I can’t tell you how to not grapple with the difficulty of indecision if you are pressing in with God and you still find yourself struggling. But I can tell you from what I am experiencing myself, that He is there and He will still be there after the choice is made.

Nothing is risk free, especially when following after Christ in this world. But wow….I sure am glad that we have Him on our side. I figure the more crap that we contend with here on earth as we are striving to follow Him and build an even deeper relationship with Him, the better sign it is that we are probably doing something right. That’s the fruit right there. The world will tell us it’s rotten, because it isn’t all shot up with preservatives and fake stuff to make it look all pretty from the outside. But the truth is, I’d rather have the real stuff – the stuff that truly nourishes us regardless of the wrapping it comes inside of, than the junk that just looks pretty, goes down smoothly, and causes little, but dangerous problems upon the partaking of it. That stuff’s likely to ferment and rot us from the inside out.

So angst it will be sometimes. But trust and faith it will be as well. I trust in the Lord that regardless, He will stand by me and help me with the consequences and results of my decision making. How about you?

Side note? I can’t wait to get to heaven, friends. Maybe I am wrong, but I really feel it building – something out there – stuff’s happening. I shall remind myself of the fact that Jesus may choose to come back tomorrow..today. And know what? I don’t want to have been wasting time agonizing over a decision that will mean nothing by then.

And THAT is the main thing, if nothing else at all, that I think we should be praying for in one another’s lives. Live through the hard. Live through the tough and trial. But remember, if you are getting stuck over something that isn’t lasting in the face of eternity, it’s time to ask for prayer and press in with other believers who can help us take our minds off of the things that try to suck up our thought life, heart life, and relationship life with Jesus and one another. NOT to minimize or ignore sharing wise counsel and letting others vent out their stress and thoughts and tough stuff. But helping one another to live out the joy and love and peace of Jesus through it as it’s happening!

May you be blessed in whatever decisions you need to make – today, as well as tomorrow. May you find peace and joy even while dealing with indecision, difficulty, or trial. And may the Lord protect you, all the while, from falling into the trap of avoiding difficulty and eating the fake stuff whilst you seek His joy.

Remember: His joy is not the same as the joy this world offers to us. His is for real.

What is the most important choice we can make that DOES entail a sense of urgency? I hope you know it and that you have made it, friends. It is that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. It is that He died for our sins so that we might have eternal life! It is that “he is the way, the truth and the life and that no man comes to the Father but by and through Him.”  John 14:16

What if He comes back for us today? He asks us to have made our choice ahead of time. He asks us to wait for him patiently, but watchfully and with eager and hopeful anticipation. He asks us to live our lives as though He will come any moment!

Don’t let that clock – the eternal one that determines where you live for all eternity reach the hour of choice and not  have made your own. I pray that you have chosen Jesus Christ. Please read my page on the home page of this blog “Salvation through Jesus Christ: https://ambirkelo.wordpress.com/salvation-through-jesus-christ/if you haven’t yet.

My heart sure doesn’t want for you to miss out on this because it’s the most important thing you can decide upon EVER and the time is truly NOW.

The decisions of this world entail a ticking clock. But the clock for where we spend eternity is ticking too. That’s the only measure of time that matters.

Our time is in HIS hands. But the choice is in ours.

For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being. Job 12:10 NLT

Photo Courtesy of Lostseed.com

Photo Courtesy of Lostseed.com