When we walk with God, and if our faith deepens to the point of putting our lives in His capable hands, He directs our paths. And like walking in the dark from step to step on flat towers with huge chasms beneath, God gives light and direction to our steps and we realize that following Him who is so full of grace, love and knowledge is actually never walking through the unknown for He knows everything and guides us. So it is never a matter of unknown but not enough faith. And as our faith and relationship with God grows, our need to know lessons and we become the culmination of what we should be, children.
Our neighbor is a cat lady for sure. in fact, their whole family is like that. They believe all the neighbors should be very happy and find it cute when their 5 cats (reduced now from 8) poop in our yards. No inconvenience really, of course I love stepping in cat poop every time we play catch in the back yard. Of course it is super cute to step on more cat poop with your good shoes on your way to the car. All good. Funny even. And I got to thinking about my words. I write a lot, being a writer, but I also (unlike many writers) am an extrovert so also tend to talk too much. And my excess of words, in and of themselves may not be bad per se but may be like my cat lady neighbor’s cat poop… unwanted and irritating, poorly timed and poorly placed if I am not careful. So, to remain sweet smelling and wanted, I must tame the savage beast of my tongue until it’s presence is requested or needed. Until then, I must maintain my boundaries and enjoy life alongside my family, embraced and protected by God. This is a higher calling and much more desirable. I want to be a good neighbor.
There are legitimate things to fear. These things are eternal things. Hell is one. But much more so those who have the power to send you away from God (to hell). Those people are God Himself and we who decide on earth to follow/worship/serve God or not. Those are the two people to fear. God is loving, yes, and wants everyone to be saved, but He leaves that decision to us. Every and anything else that can happen on this earth is temporary, momentary in comparison to eternity that never ends. So, there is the proper perspective in a nutshell from a big picture person. The details are where one can easily stumble. Pain is a big fear and no on wants to hurt for any reason, so here is my take on pain. Leprocy is a disease where the person’s skin does not feel pain. Wonderful, right? Wrong, and any leper would give tons of money to be able to feel pain. Pain tells you you really alive and feel something, warns you to withdraw from fire or draw back the hand from a door closing on it. Pain protects. Too much hurts for a while but promotes action and goes away when attended. Death is a big one. If you received God’s child and accepted Jesus as your Savior, you go straight to paradise, so that is much better than here. No worry there. Some people are afraid of what might happen to their kids or over ones if hey die or ooherwise. If they are God’s child, He protects them and you have to trust your training and love and God’s provision and love for them. It all really boils down to trust and faith in God. Do we have it or not? Everything else is really incidental or a distraction to pull you from what is important. Getting to the heart of your faith is the real issue. That is the meat, the crux of the matter. Faith in God dismisses fear.
We are fragile when dealt a hard hand, given lemons to suck on instead of lollipops. But we are not that fragile. Our pride can be wounded, and maybe our shells/bodies or hearts sometimes, but our wills and minds can be stronger than titanium and we can turn our situations around. Of course, we need God’s help, so wounded pride is a good thing because the only thing you need for God to help you is some humility, admitting you need help and asking for it. Then, Boom, we are transformed into steel or titanium or diamonds or whatever er the strongest stuff out there is right now. And we can easily turn those lemons into root beer (I am not a lemonade fan unless it has enough sugar to cease being called such). And we can even throw some ice cream in the and party with it. Why? Because God always helps when humbly asked to help and He is bigger than any problem we face, any injustice done to us, any shattered hope put in the wrong thing or person, and way stronger than any bully.
I seem to be unable to remove myself from my firm belief that if people saw into my heart and my reasons for what I do or say that they would instantly realize it is out of love and a genuine and honest desire for the best for the recipient. But time and time again I am humbled because I don’t realize that people can’t see my motives. Only God can do that. No one else can see your heart, see into you. They can only see as much as you expose. Those who can see past that and choose to are rare exceptions and will either accept and love you for it or reject you for it. It is their choice. And no matter how extraordinarily beneficial what you are trying to help with is, you cannot EVER make anyone do anything they don’t decide to do. You cannot push a rope. And there is a great and deep feeling of frustration and helplessness watching someone hurting because they reject your help. There is a helplessness in wanting to fix something that either cannot be fixed by you or that they don’t want fixed. It is a hopeless feeling, shakes your will up, makes your gears go from drive to park in a hurry. You cannot make a disease go away. You cannot make someone love you. You cannot make an addict not be an addict. You cannot make anyone care about anything. So many things are completely without your power to help, no matter how amazingly beautiful and sacrificial and meaningfully well intended your words or actions are. Many things are helpless, hopeless. And if that were the end of the story, that would be a really sucky story. In fact, I would hate it and give up on ever trying to help anyone (well, maybe just a reduction lol). So, what do you do when you are really good at loving and someone won’t let you love them? You do the only thing you can do, the only thing within your power to do. You pray. Your words do not ever fall on deaf ears, no matter how far away you think you are. And prayer gives the problem over to God, Who can actually help. Now that same person may be daft and reject even God’s help, but He has ways and options for love that we cannot know that person needs. Because He sees into all of us. He knows how we are cut, knows everything about us, has walked with us all our days before during and after construction. God is our only source of help and hope. And you soon realize that prayer is a superpower and the most important and active gift you can ever give to God and the other person and even yourself, because prayer releases us from the responsibility of it. It limits our responsibility to the workable doing what we can thing and giving God the rest. It is still the person’s choice always, but at least you offered it up to the greatest One to give them the best shot. And helplessness then turns to hopefulness and rest.
There are places where ocean meets bay or bay meets river or ocean meets ocean. Those who sail much will tell you there is always a change in the water, a temperament change, a current change, a pH change, something. Everytime you move from one water to another, there is change to contend with but the greatest hardship is in the transition between the two. That is where the greatest pull is, the greatest danger, the greatest trial. There is make or break. And during these difficult transitions, sometimes you can work with the current. You can never fight the current, though. You simply will not win. The current is bigger than you are, set in place and designed to work by the Ancient of Days. But all sailers would tell you that the best way, after you have done your best work in trying to work with the currents, is to let go of control and ride it out. This requires patience and release and contrition as it puts you in God’s hands and not yours. And the ride is terrifying. Easy to want to grab an oar. Letting go can feel like giving up and we fight that. Oh how we fight it. But letting go is sometimes the only way to get through to the other side safely and damage free. A d if you absolutely have to do something, you can always lighten the load while waiting and release some excess baggage that can weigh down the ship. Strong currents are a great time for release.
Sometimes the hardest part of life is when you feel two opposing things are right at the same time. Our heart and soul can drive us two directions and the result is a less than peaceful indecision. I used to think that the mind or logic fought the heart and soul and the main battle was between feelings and logic. If it were that clear and I was Yoda, much clearer would life be. But alas, life is not so easy after all because there is deep logic on both sides of the coin. So, when answers are not forthcoming and my heart and soul cannot agree, I must pray more and ask the great Problem Solver (God), who is qualified to ask because He knows everything and made us and puts people together on purpose for a reason. And then I must do a most uncomfortable thing. I must wait. This doesn’t mean I start at the grass until an answer comes. It means I follow what I believe to be the direction I am being led and not do anything drastic until greater clarity comes. Keep doing what I believe is right, keep moving forward, renew strength, gain vigar, do everything within my power to live fully according to the gifts God implanted within and bide time. There is hope for us all. Sometimes that hope gets us through the times of struggle and sometimes continues through it to even greater. Time and circumstances time related can be our worst enemy. Sometimes that enemy is us forcing time’s hand. Sometimes it just looks that way and God knows better the whys and reasons for it and it is for our greater good. God knows and we should follow His leading. I have lived in control of myself and I have lived following God in control and He always always leads the best way for everyone involved. He is good like that. So live as fully as possible, pray and wait. Then someday (my new favorite word) the reward for such putting of your life into God’s charge is that life is sweeter and richer and hands down more perfect than you ever thought possible.