Up late, something is missing. Peace is missing. Stillness is absent. Calm is not a resident of my mind. There is in its bed an imposter, named unrest. He has taken up residence because of the void in my mind created by a person missing. There is a disconnect now that is like an open wound, a sore spot, a place where once there was and now there is not. Stillness had a bad day and has morphed into chaos in my mind. Something drives me to find peace, a peace that is there under somewhere, the foundation of the mind’s house. That helps but there is so much distraction that clarity is a phantom, here one moment and gone the next. Too many invasive conversations, child rearing, doubt, sadness, teaching, caretaking, disappointing and inadvertently rejecting a close friend without realizing it until too late to act, skepticism, wonder at life, feelings of unimportance, trust in God, lack of trust in people, missing members of the family at practice, technology and its dangers, messing up so many things and so on, the mind roams among the various topics and others. It continues to pace the floors, sure of its footing because of the peace there but still unsure of where to rest its head or how to heal what was damaged. Sorrow, yes that is her name. Sorrow moved in without permission and laid down her head for the night. Sorrow came in response to watching my fading father, wounding a very dear and loved friend, missing a family member at practice, and inadequacy in so many areas. I am strong for so many people. I am strong for no one. I feel depleted. Yes, sadness crept in. Depression is threatening to enter as well. But no, there are too many here already. Uninvited guests responding to real problems. I must kick them out of this house so rest and stillness and calm can return and dwell here. I reach for the only tools and comfort I have. My friend cannot be here for me and maybe wouldn’t want to. So I get out the Book of comfort. I read Psalms where David cried out to God for help with sadness. I figure it is the only Person in my life I have access to right now. I need arms and understanding and forgiveness and have two of those from God. No one else offers right now, deep into the night. No one else is here in this room or awake in the house but me and God. So I will fall into His love. I rest in Him. I ask Him and He kicks out the unwanted guests. As I focus on and converse with God, the frightened guests slip out unnoticed one by one. And God calls back in my normal residents.
Picture ocean waves gently lapping up on a pristine sandy beach with clear blue skies everywhere you look- all on a beautiful island. It is a beautiful picture. Now imagine that you are stranded there for months with no hope of being rescued. The scenery is the same but the appreciation of that scenery changes and priorities change from enjoyment and worship to survival and hopelessness. Well, those of us stranded on the island by finances, work, school, family struggles, addictions, physical limitations, busyness, we all can choose to appreciate the scenery or be cursed by it. We can enjoy blessings or curses, whichever we choose to accept by doing one thing. Dramatic pause… Wait for it… Focus. Distractions of life, even big ones, are set before us to test us and challenge us to keep our focus on God our first priority. Really, the rest of it is just gorilla sand and nonsense. Life really isn’t complicated and we are bombarded with messages all day that make it seem so to sell you something you don’t need but now have to have. It is embarrassing how often we fall for it. We really don’t have to. We really don’t need to carry emotional baggage. We really don’t need all this technology. We really don’t have to accept so many responsibilities or additional work and busyness. We don’t have to do any of that. We can appreciate the world God made and worship Him. That is the excellent side of free will. Enjoy your day!
Fear is running amuck on this third rock from the sun we all share. It seems rampant even amongst worthy followers of Christ! Don’t I know crazy evil is on the rise? Yes. Don’t I know Christians are being targeted and discriminated against on a large scale world wide? Yes. Don’t I know that natural disasters or massive nuclear missiles could hit us any time? Yes. Yes. Yes. And from a worldly perspective, all of that should have me terrified in a bunker with 9 years of food and water rations. From a worldly perspective, I would and should be worried and tremble every time the new media goes and excitedly launches another report on something else horrifying that inevitably will happen. So, why do my friends and family call me fearless and how do you become so, if you aren’t already? Okay, I will tell you my secret. I am saved. Voila. Yes, I understand that most people who read my blog are in fact saved, trust Jesus as their Savior and have residences in Heaven by mine. However, the difference is that God gave me a gift of faith. It is my Spiritual gift. We all have some one or two things in the Holy Spirit that we were built to specialize in. My gift, is primarily faith and secondarily healing, a natural extension of faith. So, for me, when I say I am saved, that means that God has saved my soul from lostness (I understand I just made that word up) and fear. When God saved me, He delivered me from fear because of my faith. See, I realize that the Bible is absolutely true all the time and that God said that when we are saved, our soul and spirit are safe in Heaven and man or cancer or other circumstances can harm the body or even kill it, whatever,but they can never touch or even breathe on my soul and spirit. They are God’s property under His protection and no one can mess with Him or even attempt to without His permission. And He never let’s anyone mess with our spirit because He has taken up residence in us. So, whether we live or die, our eternal home is unchanged. There is only fear if you don’t believe that with all your heart. Fear is a temptation and you have not sinned until you have bought into it, allowed it to distract you and cowered in fear away from what God wants you to do. Yes, there are lesser fears as well- fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of ducks, fear of cartilage breaking, fear of black cats, etc. However, I move that these fears are temptations from the enemy who wants to imprison us, kill, steal, destroy, all that and a bag of lies basted with fear. If you give in to the temptation and allow this lie to become your reality, you give the enemy a stronghold in your life and thus dumb down your faith and impede your prayer walk and maybe even not do what God designed you to do for Him. Fear is generally a lie. Legitimate fears- fear of our children or spouses being hurt or dying, etc.- are still attempts at control. With faith and Spiritual maturity, faith in God allows you to surrender control of our family’s futures to our capable God. God has the whole world in His hands. That song sung by children shows us why God says to have faith like a child. Pain is just a part of life, but it is temporary. In fact, in the scope of eternity everything is temporary but God and the beings He created. This Earth is not forever. Our body time is never guaranteed, and even long lives in skin are short in the scheme of things. We can build our faith by asking God to build it, by reading your Bible, by obeying His command to “Fear not”, by praying, by not yielding to temptation and not becoming distracted by the lie that something is to be feared. God has it all under control and nothing happens unless it is part of His plan- except for our free will. Food for thought…
I think mosquitoes are really around to teach us very important lessons about life. Many would say they wish Moses would have just swatted those two mosquitoes but I think they are still plaguing us for several reasons. First, they are a great equalizer. Of course, they have their favorites (me) but they can pretty much get everyone to run for the inside at dusk and spray things and hurl curses at them from our mouths pretty equally. Along those lines, we are kept humble as well for similar reasons. No one proudly struts around when they decide to attack. They duck and run for cover. They also teach us something about distraction. No matter how deep and important the conversation and thought being shared is, the conversation is over when these little evil distractions invade our space. And no matter how strong we are in our faith, if we are attacked by many distractions we can get off course and not finish the sentence, so to speak. I have had many attempts at distraction in the past, have some now and most assuredly will later, but it is my choice how I handle them. It is always our choice to allow the distraction to change us or cause us to side step when we are to go straight. Our job is to read God’s Word to know God’s will and pray for His strength and renewed protection from distraction every day or moment. If we make it a priority to prioritize, we run the very real chance of being unmoved by distractions and creation a barrier of protection around ourselves. Just a thought.
I wrote this in a song many years ago: “All alone and on my knees my fear has passed beyond me now. For ever more do I feel bliss when all alone to Him I bow.” This song I believe God gave me as comfort. Sometimes we wonder why God calls us to seasons of loneliness (and the can happen often even in a crowd). Sometimes, it is to capture our attention and penetrate our busyness to reward us with peace when we humbly pray to Him. God is a very jealous God, like a Father who wants His children to not call other men “Daddy”. He wants us to be peaceful and joyful and sustained and know it was from Him. When we are alone and free from distraction, we can place ourselves into an attitude of prayer, looking to God to fill our loneliness with His presence and love. And He does every time! Each time you look to Him for answers and company and love and satisfaction, He will never let you down. Everyone else with skin on will let you down and maybe has, but God never has and never will. Maybe we’ve let Him down a time or two, but He’s never let us down. And if we have let Him down, all we ever need to do is take off our hat of pride and bow our head and He forgives! And if we walk with Him in our lives, we have that One special Person in our lives that cannot lie or go back on His Word or fail us. This is what He longs for. This is also what we long for. Some long for it but do not recognize it or acknowledge it and fail to see it and work hard to fill that longing with things that only temporarily satisfy or distract. Longing and loneliness then become these people’s blankets in time. It doesn’t have to be. All we need is a little time alone with our Heavenly Father and Creator who loves us magnificently and paying more attention to Him than ourselves and pray, which is simply a running conversation with the Amazing One, our God. It is a blessing when God gives you loneliness. He is saying gently that He wants to spend some time with just you right now. So cool!