It will be a while before I write to you again on here ~ could be a week, could be a month. I am not certain yet. But the Lord has told me clearly it’s time to break away for a while….from here, from facebook and emails (as many as I can, at least) and press in more with Him and with family members.
I think of you all the time ~ you, out there…you who are connecting with others and walking with Jesus ~ you, who are living in His peace and joy but sometimes struggling with the hard stuff in life. You will be in my prayers, dear, dear friends.
The post below comes across heavy to me as I read it myself before pressing the “send” button. I hope you see the light in the midst of the hard that I write about here. I hope you see that the heavy that I have been writing about is a weight we all bear in our own way when we walk in this world, but not live for it. I hope you see the love, the peace, the joy, the comfort, the triumph we all have in Jesus – even in the midst of the tough and sometimes harsh stuff.
May you be blessed as you continue to walk in His love and light ~ I will talk with you soon.
Soon and very soon.
I love the color green. It’s so vibrant, yet not overdone. It makes me think about growth ~ unchained growth. Growth with no bounds. Growth that spreads.
It makes me think about life. It makes me feel good, healthy, and think of an abundance of refreshing and good things.
Green is good. Most of the time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about all of the lines that fill the spaces of life a lot today. Over the last week I pondered much about the tiny, fine lines…the ones that often go unnoticed. Do you see them too? Sometimes they can be quite antagonistic. When they bother me, I tend to surround myself with green. Then I feel better.
But for the past two days, I’ve thinking about the hard lines too. The big and thick ones – the more obvious ones – the ones that intimidate, yet, at the same time, create more clearly delineated boundaries or obstacles.
At least they seem to do that from our human perspective. Those are the ones that seem to be harsh. Maybe they can even delude us into thinking they are even refreshing, depending upon the circumstance.
The fine ones seem more delicate and gentle, don’t they? Yet, to me, they can be so much more confusing. They’re always there ~ hiding ~ trying to make us think all the walls have been torn down and we are just…..home free.
We aren’t home yet. But we are free.
The thick ones are rugged, harsh ~ rough-seeming when we encounter them. But as edgy and sharp as they might be, at least we see those for what they really are much of the time. We settle in on our side of the dense line and make what we can of it until it’s time to move.
Do you see the boundary in this photo below? Where are you if you imagine yourself in this picture today? Are you mixed in nicely with the beautiful flowers? Or are you somewhere beyond them, on the other side, in that open space?
At least in the above photo, both spaces are green. That’s something, isn’t it? There’s continuity there. Or at least it appears that way. Something that ties it all in together and makes the two different spots seem to at least be a part of the same whole.
The green softens the boundary.
That’s kind of what I feel it’s like to walk with Jesus through this earthly life; living life as we can with Him, but not in our perfect, eternal home just yet. We are trying to grow in Him, with Him, yet fences and walls, lines and obstacles seem to keep on coming.
It simultaneously represents the way that spiritual warfare rages in our present circumstances, doesn’t it? Sometimes we are right where we think we want to be; either amongst the pretty and nice smelling roses, or laying out in an open field. What about Jesus? What about where He wants for us to be?
Are we willing to meet with Him ~reside with Him ~ on either side of the line? Is Jesus our green in life?
We live in a fallen world. But with Jesus as our stronghold; with Him as our foundation – even if we are in the open space and wish we were where the flowers are, at least we are still connected to the beauty in the midst of what may seem desolate, plain, isolated, and just….not as interesting.
Is Jesus our foundation and sense of all that is reliable, secure, or worthy of our praise in this life? Is He who we look to for continuity, strength, comfort? Do we live with Jesus as we walk amongst the roses or in the open fields?
Or is it just the green that we are looking for?
How about this photo? What do you see here? Which side do you feel you are you on right now in your life?
Do you feel you are in the dry spaces with little growth, nourishment, or beauty to gaze upon and experience? Or maybe you are you in the water – on the other side. Are you drowning there, or receiving refreshment? What connects the two spaces for you on either side of this fence? Can you see Jesus in both places? He’s there, you know. We carry Him with us in our hearts.
But we have to seek ~ and we need to listen.
I must admit sometimes I get lost and all I see is the dividing fence. I forget to remember that Jesus is everywhere – He’s with me in the pretty and in the ugly. He’s with me in the blue and in the brown. I don’t think that the fence means much of anything to Him.
So why do I allow it to take up so much of my own focus and energy? I need to stop looking at what seems to be a roadblock. I need to stop gazing upon the fences even if I am not sitting on one of them.
I only need to open my eyes and look for Him… Right where I am at.
There’s no green in that second picture anywhere, anyway. But there is Jesus.
The green might be pretty, but it isn’t lasting. Green turns to brown quickly. And I hate the fence. I struggle at times with not feeling able to decide which place to go or how to accept the place that I am in at the present moment if it’s not pretty. Then I look over at the fence again.
Fences are fakers. They give us a false sense of security when we don’t know which way to go. Either that, or they become a perpetual prison of sorts. Depends upon whether you are sitting on it or just toying with it by looking at it ~ wishing you were on the other side.
See, I think some of us – we spend so much time wishing we were having a better time where we are, or trying to hop over to the other side and obtain that which appears to be just within our reach, that we miss Jesus and what He has in store for us in the process of it all. We set our eyes on what is right there in the distance, yet so impossible to grab.
I am sad to say that I do this all the time. I know I do it, and I don’t want to do it.
But I do.
Sometimes we need to ask Jesus to just tear the fences down – remove them from our line of vision. But even when we do so, those fine, harder-to-see-or-detect little lines are still always going to be there – waiting for us. What to do?
Fatalistic view? I guess one could say that. But I think when we realize this truth, we can actually then surrender the fight against the lines and stop looking for the green grass and just ask Jesus to meet us where we are at. If He chooses to have us do battle, we will then do so with Him on our “side.”
Maybe He will just show us a rainbow instead.
So I figure this about all of it right now: We need to accept there are lines in this life, friends, but that they aren’t our masters. We will contend with them no matter how hard we try to tell ourselves we’ve erased them all. It’s a question of whether or not we are trying to know Jesus and rely upon Him in the midst of it. Are we trying harder to fight the lines or to know Jesus better? Are we seeking the green stuff more than we are looking for Jesus?
Those lines in and of themselves are not what is bad. And the green isn’t always a bad thing either. It’s letting the lines deceive us into thinking we can’t have access to our Savior. It’s looking for security in what the things of this world might seem to lend us, but in reality, can just be distortions of the truth.
Because of Jesus, all lines are transcended ~ even the green ones. All the walls that need to be demolished are utterly torn down. Even when physical walls and lines do exist, He reigns supreme.
We may feel like we are bound up by situations or circumstances, but He is always there for us. He brings freedom in the midst of what can appear to be chains, prisons or formidible obstacles. He gave us freedom and salvation from sin and eternity apart from Him, while NAILED to a cross ~ taking all the sin of the world upon Himself ~ being separated for a time from communion with His Father.
- All so He could tear down the fences that try to keep us apart from Him.
- All so that there would be nothing standing in the way of us living in relationship with Him.
- All so that we would see and look for and live to know Him, instead of looking for the glorious green instead.
If that isn’t breaking down all the boundaries, I don’t know what is.
If that doesn’t stare borders, lines, roadblocks, walls, fortresses of division and darkness right in the face and scream, “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13) nothing does!
He conquered the GRAVE.
HE is our rock. All the others ~ the ones that build up tall walls and prisons – the ones that try to divide us from fellowship with one another – the ones that try to isolate us and make us think we are blocked from all that is good – particularly our relationship with HIM ~ they are but dust to Jesus.
He said “it is finished.” And then all the “lines” were decimated. I’ll take that over all the green in the world.
“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split.” Matthew 27:51