Hard Lessons

Ok, so in my younger days, ahem, God had to whack me in the head to get my attention and teach me lessons I desperately needed to learn to be useful in His kingdom and even right now in this place with these people. I was largely on my own in many ways and was grossly independent with an annoying kind of false humility (which is based on an enormous pride) and I needed training tempered with love (most often) to get my hard-headed attention. I desperately needed to be humbled and alone with God. It is funny thr clarity that comes with decades of maturing, mildewing and contemplation.

The hardest lessons ever were always the same lesson: I am little but loved and God is great, solely worthy of worship, and the only One trustworthy who loves me unconditionally.

It seems a simple lesson. I was not simple. I knew enough to be dangerous but not wise, highly intelligent and over-thinking everything but with an arrogance I am almost embarrassed by now. God has always been about simple presentation of that lesson. And He has always been about a relationship with me, amazingly, and is big enough to have that with everyone who accepts Jesus as their Savior.😄❤

The Let Down

It is easy to be up. Life is a lovely breeze when you are on the top of your mountain and everything is wonderful, you had a great family day, you are doing well on your life’s spiritual journey, you are healthier and strong, you are free of drama or strife, etc. Anyone can do extremely well during those times. And that is most definitely why we don’t just have those up times in our lives. It is difficult to maintain up all the time. People in the rat race try and sometimes assist the up times with stimulants like drugs or alcohol or food or caffeine or sexual activity like porn or worse. Most of these choices are bad because they numb you and rob you of many learning tools and tests of character. We should desire the down time, the calm or boring times especially and even the rough and trying times. Why would anyone want that? Because that is how you grow and learn about yourself and prove yourself. Boring or bad times is where we show God what we have learned (hopefully) from Him and we reveal humbly where we need work and can ask for it. During the times everything goes your way, few people are contrite, fewer see a need for God or give Him the credit. We really feel Him and worship Him most when He carries us through those awful or tedious times. The day after the fanfare is a chance to rest and be reminded of our fragility and God’s contrasting amazingness to have given us the day and then allowed further development the day after. He knows when we need rest and when we need trials for growth and proof of growth. When you cease to have those times is dangerous because I would feel beyond hope, that He had left me to myself because chance after chance I failed the test. So I am thankful when God chooses to teach and train and test me. I am in this journey to win a greater prize of eternity in heaven with my God and those who love Him. I want to grow as close as I can to Him while here because here we determine our eternal destination. We have a short time to grow close to the Lord in our salvation. The day after is good. Every day is a gift.

Difficult Decisions

What truly makes a decision difficult is most often us. Our uncertainty, lack of faith/trust, distractions, input from others, masks or just plain pride are the accomplices to the crime of difficulty but the gunman is generally just a focus on the details so much that God’s big picture and will are shadowed. Often it is really an easy decision shrouded in emotional or spiritual baggage. What really makes us have difficulty with a decision is the enemy. He works overtime on causing distraction and loss of focus and even procrastination and evil influences of others. He takes pride in steering us the wrong direction and loves to see us sweat it out while his plan is going strong. The decision whether to do right or wrong is never a gray decision, never difficult. However, if the enemy has his way, he tempts us to a myriad of shades of gray until little compromises are made. Usually, big decisions are difficult when they involve the future of other people. In that case, the big picture thinking comes in handy. If you are not cut to see the big picture, maybe you know a fellow Christ follower who is and can help see that big picture you need to make the decision. And if you don’t have such a person in your circle, or even if you do, here is a revolutionary practice… Pray about it and read your Bible and then have ask some questions in your head and you will be surprised how many times God’s Holy Spirit answers your question in your head or heart OR the opportunity that shows up soon after. God is not dead. He is absolutely alive and active and His Holy Spirit dwells/lives in every person who is saved. So, with His help decisions cease to be difficult or ugly. They clear up when you ask the Lord for help and are open for His answer.