They say that God speaks in a gentle breeze. While that is true, He certainly speaks however He wants to. He is God, after all. That is a big word and an infinitely bigger person. And for me personally, He can speak through a gentle whisper of a tornado. It has happened in my life, maybe because my pride or stubbornness or maybe I am denser and just more plain determined to get my way than I envisioned but I firmly believe when He has done this, it was out of loving necessity. See, He has never given up on me. And this world is all the generous grace we get. Once we die, our decisions of whether to obey/worship or not are our final decisions. We only have this brief time on earth to decide how our eternity after will be, wonderful or horrifying. And I would rather go through an eye opening tornado of a wake up call now than throw away that loving grace and opportunity to be humble and live happy forever. God is everything. He made us, this is all about Him and He is so very good/perfect/loving/holy!! How stupid was I and would I be again to pick up anything else to worship than Him?? What temporary pleasure (and everything but Him is temporary at best) is worth chasing where it is more important than my heavenly Father?? Is any amount of temporary pleasure worth eternal separation from God?? Uh, no. No person, no thing, no drug, no porn, no power, no lie, no agends, no meager success, nothing. Not one thing. So a tornado of life woke me up, thank God for it. I am awake. And thanks to His grace, I am forgiven and holy and saved. Oh how I love Him!!!
There is salvation from our sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior/Messiah. That happens when we humble our spirits and pray that we have messed up and accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior. Bam, we are saved. We then live our lives for God, thinking and acting for His good and helping who we can be saved or encouraged or helped. We worship by our obedience, humbleness, prayer, Bible study, service. This is who we are and we have immediately the development of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our life (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) as well as love, hope of eternity with Him now and in Heaven, and faith. And God helps us. It is really this simple.
Sometimes, we screw up again. And maybe it is something we like and/or think we want or need at the time, but it is not right, things we would not do if God were standing right there. Well, once we realize God is always standing right there because duh, He is God, and that He is holy, we all of a sudden realize that we need Him to save us again from this patch of mess we are in. And will He save us again? YES! The way is the same. Humbly admit you screwed up and ask His forgiveness in prayer and atop doing it. Become involved in His work again and worship Him. God is forgiving and faithful to His Word in the Bible and so very good and loving. Yes, holy too, so we need Jesus to save us and wash us clean. So don’t give up and don’t believe the lies the enemy tells that it is ok to keep sinning or to go ahead because God doesn’t care or He won’t save you because you go back to it. God is very forgiving. Humbly pray and ask Him for help and stop messing up. God does care and loves you and wants you to be saved. Out loud, say it all to God. But humbly do it. God is amazing and will help. And we all need His help and are empty down deep without that connection to Him. He did lovingly make us all after all. Get back to Him right now. 🙂
I just read this again and want to share it with you. It is from a devotion al book I have read and reread hundreds of times. This is an excerpt from Tia Stanley, as follows:
“This is a true story about a girl who grew so tired of living with her strict parents thahouse, ran away from home. But soon she found out that life was not so easy on her own. She couldn’t find a job and it didn’t take long for her friends to get weary of her living off their kindness, so they kicked her out. In desperation the 19-year-old was driven to prostitution.
“Years passed. Her father died, her mother grew older, and the daughter’s life just became more hopeless. Still she would not write or go home to her mother. One day the mother heard that her daughter had been seen in a certain part of town, so she went looking for her. The mother went to every cheap hotel and store, asking to put a picture on their walls. It was a picture of herself, now a gray-haired woman. Beside her picture was a message which simply said: ‘I still love you! Please come home!’
“Months went by and nothing happened. Then one day the daughter, who was now very worn and sick, wandered into one of those hotels. You can imagine e how shocked she was to see her mother’s picture on the wall of that dirty, cheap, hotel lobby. As she read her mother’s message, she began to cry.
” That night she started walking the many miles back to her home. It was early in the morning when she finally arrived at the front door of her parents’ house. She began to knock but found the door was already open. Afraid that someone had broken into her parents’ house, she ran inside and found her mother sleeping. She woke her and told her she had finally come home. Mother and daughter began to cry as they held each other. The daughter said, ‘I thought someone had broken open the door!’ But the mother shook her head and answered, ‘My dear, from the day you left I’ve kept the door unlocked.’
“It doesn’t matter to Jesus what things we’ve done or how badly we’ve lived. The moment we decide to turn to Him and ask His forgiveness, He will accept us and give us another chance. He is the only One who makes it possible for us to start a new life, living His way, because that’s the only way we can ever have real love, peace, and satisfaction that lasts. With Jesus, the door is always unlocked.”
I love that. Forgiveness is what God does beautifully and He is the only One big enough to choose to not only forgive but forget it also. This is amazing. And He is patient while we voyage through managing to forgive ourselves as well and not keep bringing it up or reliving it. God’s love is unconditional. He is waiting for you to humbly pray to Him and you are instantly forgiven and home. Ahhh. Rest and peace and joy for our souls!!!
At band practice tonight, I was joking around with a new girl and heard the bandleader say we would do the verse and chorus. Well, we were playing and those of us on this side played the verse and the chorus but on the other side of the stage (where my husband was) they played something else and without thinking I yelled over, “He said the verse and chorus so I was right.” Well, that was the wrong thing to say, especially while still laughing about something else that was said. So my husband felt disrespected and was fuming the rest of the night and went to bed early mad. So here is a confession of insensitivity to publicly say I was wrong and to show how even people who mean well make mistakes when they blurt things out without thinking. Case in point, we brought a friend to church who does not go with his parents and while there the preacher’s kid teased him and name called about his size. Needless to say, she probably thought she was funny but she totally alienated our friend to church and maybe more. The things we say, especially when joking or sleepy or off guard, well they count. They matter and people can get wounded by them. So, honey, I am very sorry for my rudeness and insensitivity. Please forgive me. And God, please help me with keeping my mouth closed.
There are times, like when hanging onto a tree limb from a cliff top, when holding on is important. Holding on to good memories is also very beneficial as it assists us with healing from past losses and grief as well as gives us happy thoughts to draw from when we are not in happy places. Holding on can be very unhealthy and blatantly mean when it is bad or traumatic memories or any wrongs against us. These memories if held onto will eat you alive. Forgiveness is the key here to prevent such unhappiness. How do we forgive? Especially when they have not acknowledged a wrong or asked forgiveness? There is only one real lasting way. Knowing that Jesus Christ died for our wrongs against Him and anyone else because He deeply loves us and not because He was wrong so when He rose from the dead, we could be forgiven and live in heaven forever when we die. This deep forgiveness we were given is so complete, so great a gift, so hopeful and humbling that not forgiving someone else becomes quite upalling. Not forgiving is counter to appreciating the immeasurable gift of salvation we were generously given. Not forgiving is selfish. Not forgiving is a slap in the face of God who forgave us. So, forgive. Ask God to help you. He will. He always does. Forgive and let go of the bad. It is the right thing and quite freeing! And hold on instead to the truth of the Bible, pray, hold on to beauty and beautiful memories and experiences. Then you always have this amazing peace and joy and deep appreciation of life and hope for the eternal life. Can not get batter than that.
I heard a story of a man from a friend of mine. It reads like a good movie and has hope built in. He was born a long time ago in a land far away with amazing parents who were off and on together, she a great cook and fun loving and he a bit of a mild mannered carrouser, but great parents nonetheless. They were in a rough and tumble big city and the boy grew up sandwiched between four siblings, an older brother and sister and twin younger brothers. The boy was very sensitive in such a rough place so he fought to let no one see his sensitivity and insecurities and literally fought, boxing and fighting and taking on a protective thug exterior. He dated a lot, juggling sometimes, considering himself quite a catch, feeling well protected in his shell. He married too young, wanting a family and had a beautiful little girl. However, they were too young and divorced soon after. Meeting “the one” from school and the neighborhood, a gorgeous gal with a loving but rough dad but no real mom around, they got together and got a place of their own. It was rocky, there was suspicion and cheating and even domestic violence and one day their home was raided and they were separated, tied and beaten severely. Finally getting free from their ropes he was tied with, he left to go back to his mom’s house instead of checking with and helping her in the other part of the house. After healing on their own, they reconnected and got back together and got married. They struggled to support themselves and tried for years to have kids. Finally they had a boy and kept trying and had a girl, beautiful children. But the two fought often, there was an underlying trust issue and insecurities on both sides. And they divorced but still lived together in separate rooms for the kids. She moved across country with the kids and he moved in too, same arrangement. He met a girl and they hit it off, but without them contributing to the income, she was way behind and left for another city with the kids, leaving the man and his girlfriend in the house. After the house was without power or water, she left him and he followed his ex and moved in again, dating woman after woman. Finally, he finds a woman he likes a lot but she is married. He goes after another online, a total psycho in tolerable disguise but willing to share the house she stole from her ex with him if he does exactly what she wants all the time. She forces marriage sooner than he is comfortable with but he goes along, not wanting to be lonely. But soon he tires of the demands and seeks out the married woman he knew before who was everything he ever wanted. He signs the divorce papers and moves back as a roomate with his ex and pursues the woman. Happy in love for the first time in his life, he simultaneously is riddled with guilt because no divorce papers were turned in yet. And a new wrinkle, the ex now wants to find love for herself and kicks him out. Desperate for a place to live and way to relieve his guilt, he abandons the plans with the woman, his true love and soulmate and goes back with the evil controlling con wife and she imprisons him for the rest of his life. He makes the best of it because he does not consider himself worth anymore than that for he has the guilt of hurting so many, not paying child support so long, being lonely and away from those he truly loves, and he believes her lies. Were that the end of the story, it would be so very sad. But it is not the end of the story of this man. You see, this is a man who God loves and who his soulmate loves and who Jesus died and rose to save. And there is nothing ever that God cannot forgive and wipe clean. And this precious soul is worth Jesus dying for and nothing that has ever been done by us is ever bigger than God’s forgiveness. Of course He wants us to stop screwing up and trust Him but He is able and willing to forgive and forget all past wrongs of this man and everyone involved and all over the world. And this man from birth and before and since has such a great capacity for sensitivity to the broken, sensitivity to the Spirit, appreciation and love for family, ability to be proud of his work, ability to be teachable and learn how to fix things and work in nature, can help, can make people feel truly loved, encourage people and make them feel appreciated. And all these characteristics of this man have never been changed, he was just too distracted to see them and had so much trouble forgiving himself or forgetting his wrongs and those done against him with his sensitive and reflective nature. This man has always been loved by God, every moment of every day and every moment for the remainder of life into eternity. And this man knew how loved he was by God and his soulmate, his true love, and he had peace and joy in his current prison and hope of Heaven and was encouraged. And I write this story to share an example of the depth and breadth and height of God’s love for you too. Even very complicated and movie scripted lives, as this story, are never devoid of God’s love and power to heal and forgive and grant hope. No amount of bad decisions are bigger than God’s ability to forgive and forget them when humbly asked. There is hope for the craziest of lives. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone sins. And every sin bears the same weight in God’s eyes, so no one better than anyone else and no one is beyond hope. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. All can be forgiven by God as soon as they humbly ask Him and bam! All clean and peaceful and joyful! Be free! Know that you are loved beyond your wildest imagination! Let this man’s amazing story my friend told me bring you hope as it brought me hope. Be blessed!
Most people won’t read this past the title. Modern psychobabble paints a world of ways we are not responsible for our behavior. People my age and younger seem oblivious to consequences for behavior and expect all good things for no effort. “Great things should always happen to me because I exist” seems to be the pervading ideology. And here I am waki g up at 42.5 heard of age and a revelation hit me square in the jaw and I feel such an immense empowerment from it, such a great sense of rightness, making more sense than anything before. Here it is…
I am responsible for everything bad that has ever happened to me. Since I was of age to make decisions for myself of my own volition, every decision since has brought me every measure of pain I have endured. Now, of course other people have their own responsibilities and that is there business and Daddy going off to Heaven was no one’s fault and some of those things hurt like crazy. But had I humbly obeyed to begin with, God would not have had to bring the hammer down to teach me that He is enough. God is enough. God is everything. He is to be praised and worshipped, not any other human or creature. God’s way is the only way to go for it leads to Him, all that truly matters long term. He is beauty, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, hope, salvation, Creator, etc. No one else on he planet, no matter how perfect they may seem, is anything next to God. By doing things my way because God gave me a strong will and sound mind and enormous heart, I fancied I knew a better way to get those things, through relationships I wanted. When your way differs from God’s way and He loves you, He will fight to teach you the lesson and get your head straight. And if you don’t pay attention with inconveniences, God will give you kicks or nudges, and then bigger tools until, if you are pigheaded like I was, God gives you excruciating pain and heartbreak to finally get you down on your knees before Him. This sounds mean but the opposite is true. He cares toomuch to just give up and send us to hell when this brief life is gone. He wants us saved and walking with Him here to eternity.
So, knowing I am to blame, I then had to confess my initial and subsequent sins to God and ask His forgiveness. Then, and this is harder, I had to forgive myself. Then, in my case, the pain gets left behind and wonderful lessons and good memories (because there is always some) can move forward with me. This is my freedom!!!!