A popular temptation the enemy attempts to snag us with is that lie of loneliness. It is a lie because no matter what we are going through, others are going through exactly the same thing. No matter if our bed is unshared with another or not, we never sleep alone. No matter how raw your heart is or dry like a desert, we are never without a listening ear or loving Comforter. No matter what sin type you gravitate towards, you are not the only one sinning like that at that exact moment and you never sin alone. The thing is that we are never alone. Ever. We are in fact always in the presence of the angels and the Holy Spirit. And when we pray, we converse with the One always with us and seeing us and knowing us best. In fact, the One who made and loves us a whole bunch never leaves us and is always faithful and loving and good, even when we are not, and we are not. So, when you feel alone, it is important to remember that that feeling is a choice you are making to be deceived and isolated on purpose because it is far from the truth. God is always with you. God is always with me. God is there wherever we are, no matter what we are doing and He loves us best and biggest in the world. And yes, sometimes it feels like He is the only One, but when that One is the loving and all powerful God and Creator of the universe, we are still rich with that Friend. Do not allow the enemy to win a round because you purposely choose to believe his lie and decide you are all you’ve got in this world and even that is bad. No, no, no. Just say no to the lie of loneliness, pick up your Bible and read for yourself how secure we are in His constant companionship. Remember Whose you are. God did not make us and then fling us away to our own devises. We are lovingly nurtured, sometimes disciplines and always guided toward growth and blessing (which can take the easy or hard way). We are not without resources either. We have at our every humble request a Heavenly Father who will hold our hurting souls in His gigantic but gentle arms and heal us and make it all better. He is peace in the storm and light in the dark. You are never alone. I am never alone. Sometimes we want arms, but a soul hug is much more fulfilling and the arms will come when the time is right. Just know that we are never alone.
Today, I choose to focus on the lighter and happier side of life. I will dwell on grapes without seeds and blueberries the kids and I picked together and swimming together in the ocean. I will purposely remember our St. Augustine vacation and seeing dolphins swimming in the Intercoastal. I will remember playing for hours upon hours at the park as a child and never being the least bit bored by the same eight pieces of plain metal playground equipment. I remember church youth group parties with the Earnest boys and watching their home made movies that spoofed Pee Wee Herman. I will dwell on past musical dramas I was in as a child with my friends and am directing now with other kids who are now friends. I will cling to happy rains where the sun is still shining and rainbows afterwards. I will focus on trips to the zoo with my family now and my love of zoos growing up. I will see that there is always a silver lining in the darkest clouds and sometimes even a gold one. And when the ugly tries to push me around, I will look up and have my heart warmed and refreshed by diamonds the Lord drops down for me from Heaven. And no matter what filth rises up against me or my family, I will purposely choose to rest assured and in perfect peace that even if I can’t see with my eyes or even feel with my heart at the moment, God has everything under control and is working it all out for our own good and His glory. So, why have bad days? Why not choose to have good days? Why not allow your mind’s current realities of peace and joy, beauty and tiny treasures, love and hope talk your heart into feeling better and having a good day? Build a new good memory rather than wallow in yesterday’s defeats or ugliness. Choose beauty of creation rather than wrecking ball damage. Focus is the difference between a good and bad day. Focus is it. God can help you focus if you need help. He is just a thought or word away.
Most people know my Dad as a farmer, and he was. Some know him as a machine repairman for Whirlpool, and he was. Some know him as “Pudge”, and he was. Some knew him as a Marine, and he was. Some knew him as a great tenor singer and church song leader, and he was. Others knew him as Sunday School teacher and church deacon, and he was. However, I had the privilege of knowing him as Daddy, and he is. Still with us for a while longer, I see him in his state of less and cannot see the physical degeneration. I see the man he was and I thank God I had a Daddy that loved me unconditionally and that I could respect and admire unequivocally for his faithfulness to my Mom and us and integrity of spirit and soul. He is and has always been the strongest man I know and was always willing to do for anyone who needs it. Generous to a fault, he gave even when we had little until we had more and still he gave. He lived his life as I knew him in truth and dignity and respect for his parents and care for his wife and us. Tender to animals and in his heart, he felt much more than he showed when others hurt. If anyone harmed us in any way, he was a bear towards the offenders and defended us no questions asked. Many moves, he was there helping me move. If my car was making weird noises, he knew what was wrong by me making the sound and knew what I should be paying for the repair. He wouldn’t let me drive until I had learned from him and proved that I could change a tire and change my oil and fan belt. He made sure that we took a family vacation together every year, no matter what. A true patriot, Independence Day was celebrated right up there with Christmas and Easter, but all three were celebrated to the hilt! And the man could cook! I still have my Daddy today but we are not sure for how much longer but I just want ted to celebrate this great man that I love and respect so much! I think we should tell people before they are gone because it can happen any time. I love you, Daddy!!!