Our expectations are powerful. We do not always expect things to go the way they do. Most of the time, our expectations and hopes are golden. We e left Jesus Himself to swoop down and rescue us from every difficult situation. He does not work that way. He may send angels and He has sent the Holy Spirit but quite often, we are going through difficulties to build our faith, build our character or prove ourselves so why would He rescue us without letting us be tried or proven? No, the expectation is wrong. Hope stomps in with muddy boots, the majority of the time. He goes through it with us, warts and all, dirty and gritty. The hole is that we will come out better, more mature, wiser, built up, reliant more on God, worth more to Him and those around us, more perfected, holier. And we are NEVER alone when we belong to God along the journey. That is the hope. Change the expectation, change the hope. And then when it comes stomping in with you in the more, you will see it and appreciate it for the perfection that it is. You are so very truly purely loved!!
I have found myself of late within a series of difficult events, fighting new battles within my mind. Throughout, I have navigated the rockiest of shores with a wide range of careful triumphant precision and something akin to trying to wrestle a live goose into a large pot of broth while blindfolded while crying like a chef who has just chopped no less than 100 raw onions. So, somewhere in the top!er coaster that has been me, I blew by my giftedness and focussed on, well, me. Disturbed by narcissists worldwide, I realized I was in very real danger of becoming one. So, what I can only call a revelation from God, just entered my mind. I have two things to use as tools in not becoming someone I hate or worse God cannot use. One is the biggest most powerful tool in the universe… the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, God Himself. Amazing! Grasping my problem with a firm grip and shaking it loose from me with a ferocity that rivals a lioness protecting her cubs is God protecting me when I ask. He is my powerful Heavenly Father after all. I am His and He is mine. Second tool is the gift of perspective of a sound mind naturally seeing the big picture. My innate zoom out camera in my mind. I had borrowed a friend’s attention to detail and fixated on the little nuggets that I generally, when true to self, would never have given the time of day. I had let go of who I was, the crazy, zany, wise one I was cut out to be who rises above the now and easily breathes in the big picture. I saw how tiny my own problems were compared to thousands being martyred and worse now, politicians as corrupt mob bosses of old, morality being plunged to negligible levels in the country I love the most, and so many other problems worldwide. My little issues are tiny specks compared to these things. Yes, they still matter to me. Of course, I love very very big and am passionately tender hearted so feel the recent losses in my life vehemently, but I cannot live there for there is much to be done. There are many hurting. If I live in my own hurt and get stuck there, who will be there to help others who are hurting? And who can help them best than someone who intimately understands and can empathize with their experiences? Oh how I would tie my own hands and God’s work through them if I gave in to sorrow and depression? What good would I be? Who would love these other hurting people? Whose hands would God use to heal them if not mine? And it hit me, I had given in to the temptation of selfishness and distraction and I refuse to give up my freedom to such petty things. So, here we are, arriving together at this momentous crossroad in my life. No doubt prayers uttered on my behalf brought it to fruition so I thank you dearly for them. And off we go, me with jobs to do, taking care of my family and home, serving others with my kids, visiting shutins and bringing them joy, being a part of the world again. No more protect and preserve mode. I have better things to do. I will save my tears for the onions.
God made me such that my mind is strong. My will is even stronger. That is how I am cut, just the way it is, not because of me but what He wanted me to have. But when my heart is broken, which honestly is not a common occurrence, my broken heart, because I feel things so deeply, feels like the strongest part of me. In fact, it tends to trump any current logic or thought processes or strength of will. A broken heart rules like a greedy narcissistic tyrannical dictator with no remorse for pain afflicting on the rest of me. I believe this is true of a lot of us. And we kind of just give up and live this way because nothing we have in our toolbox is stronger. However, I have found (probably because so many people were praying for me) that one thing is stronger than a broken heart. Just one thing can eject this horrible ruling body from its throne. Humbleness. Yep, it is amazing how much natural power and payload it has in its arsonal. It is incredibly powerful, the strongest tool and weapon at our disposal. You see, with that one thing, we can bow in prayer and call on the unlimited and all powerful forces of heaven, I stantly gaining the attention of our allmighty and all-powerful Creator God and He readies His troops for battle and fights for you. You see it’s value. Without being humble, prayers or rants or fury or anger or anything else cannot break the back of the broken heart, that powerful wound. With humbleness and contrition, we call on the greatest force we know or can imagine and He can defeat our enemy within us.
Pinnochio had Jimminy Cricket. The world at large has the idea of a conscience (even if it is largely ignored). We who are saved have the Holy Spirit. We are taught what to do in every situation, except that God speaks very very quietly and the distractions around us are really loud and demanding and busy. The still small voice is the one with the right answer. So sometimes we have to get alone in prayer to hear Him. Other times He positions us to be forced into solitude for that very purpose. I had this happen recently. I should know better but apparently I needed a reminder nonetheless and I had three important people removed from my life to bring me back to reliance on God, my absolute favorite place to be. God will use whatever method works for you to bring you back to Himself. He loves you and knows that He is the very best Father for us. We shine brightest when He shines through us and we walk with Him. And in the quiet and sometimes more so in loneliness and brokenness, we can hear God talk to us in our mind and heart. He is quiet so as not to overwhelm us and to give us peace and joy all twice His instructions or advice. And His voice is quiet to distinguish it from the loud noise of the world around us.
Venturing out into the realm of the semi-sane, I reminisce with about a milliion thoughts at once, some good, some not, some neutral to carry the burden of the flesh making sense of the spirit realm. I find myself in this place of unsorted logic and well sorted fantasy and I pause. I have once again ventured too far in, to far down the rabbit’s hole into the bizarre netherreaches of quasi-logic. I pause. Here before all of us is an as yet unparalleled mix of distractions and foolishness clouding the sight of the physical so the spirit is camaflouged during a time it would behoove us to truly focus on that which is spirit and is the cause of the terror, the evil, the darkness, the distractions, the confusion, the foolishness. All things happening are warning the spirit to wake up not chasing the body toward its distractedness. The opposite reaction is occurring. And the crazy is evident, the irrationality is vast, the denial is abundant and the lies are ubiquitous. There is an amazement at those who can keep calm amidst the chaos and our lights shine so brightly within us who know these secret things and rest secure despite it all in our precious Savior Jesus Christ. God gives us the choice to know the truth and embrace it and find rest in Him OR hit the crazy fantasy searchers who need distraction to feel safe and not fear. Fantasy, escape from realities, make people feel secure, better, even happy for a moment, euphoric for a little bit but peace does not find anyone where God’s Spirit is not. It can’t. They are connected, related, relevant, necessary.You can not have one without the other. You can’t, not permanently. The only way to counter crazy is to promote peace and love and faith and hope and light and truth. And those things only come from God. You can’t fight a sword with a banana. You need the right tools. If you are tired of crazy and uncertainty, man up with some Holy Spirit. You can find Him by praying to God the Father and reading His Word the Bible. It is just that simple. And simple is what is needed. Simple and distractionless. So here is our hope, personally and for our country and world. It is truly that simple.
The subject inadvertently arose today about pros and cons. There is now and always will be good and bad in any and every situation in which you will find yourself. Many times one of those has more going for it, sometimes it is pretty balanced. However, that does not negate the fact that both are always around. Feeling pretty good, you are choosing to focus on the good stuff. If in a funk or depression, you are probably focusing on the bad stuff. Of course that sounds logical in a very feeling friendly world. And as I explore these things, I assure you that I am feeling pretty worthless right now and not a miniscule amount of tears have run down my cheeks. I am currently feeling pretty bad, so I am writing to lift myself up again and in so doing, maybe I can give you a little lift too. So, yes, life often sucks. There is more bad around us than good it seems quite often. There are huge uglies like terrorism, governmental controls, leadership selfishness, corruption everywhere, media puppets and governmental workers working overtime to convince us it is all wonderful, cancer in friends and family, illness in me right now, caretaking complications, children to raise that want your complete attention all the time, constant criticism and censure and immorality from family members, life complications, the list goes on and on. Yes, it exists and is very real and sucks rotten eggs. Got it. But. And this is a big but. There are positives for those of us who are God’s through Jesus Christ. Why? We have hope. We have hope for the future but we also have hope right smack now. This hope is life with God, which depends not on circumstantial goodness but God’s much bigger eternal goodness. He is enormous and enormously good. And every single day, he gives us breath in our lungs, activity in our brain cells, the ability to work, the peace and joy and love in us through His Holy Spirit. It really doesn’t matter how frustrating life is. What matters and what unequivocally has to matter is that God’s enormous goodness is way bigger than all this crap. There is no hope or even proper focus without His help on the other end of our humility. I am not equipped to handle any of this. I can’t continue to pretend that I can. But. Again with the big but. But I am capable of the incredible act of bravery which sends me to my knees and allows me to let God work through me or for me as He chooses. Then. I. Win. Maybe the only place in the world right now or even any time in the future that I can be truly happy is only when on my knees before God but with Him. Even if that were the case forever, the phenomenal Maker of everything we know of who happens to know and love every detail of me would be all that I need. Maybe I need to try to make that all that I want too. He did allow me to decide this for myself. Free will can be my greatest downfall or greatest ally. It is my choice. It is your choice for you too.
“A person who does not have the Spirit does not accept the truths that come from the Spirit of God. That person thinks they are foolish and cannot understand them, because they can only be judged to be true by the Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14