Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Bible Verse of the Day: 1 Chronicles 4:10 ” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ” Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”
I was doing some reflection recently on my life and my path up until this point. Like all of us, there have been lots of peaks and valleys. There have been some things that I wish I could do over, say over or get another crack at, but that’s not how life works. We must move on and learn from our mistakes. There have also been some things that I wish I would have tried to do, but because of my personal fears or doubts, I didn’t do them. Those things sting even worse. Most of my 57 years on this earth were spent without walking with the Lord. Those days, in retrospect, were lonely and fearful. I was searching for my path and was constantly aware that I didn’t have the strength to measure up or to make it on my own. The pains and disappointments were too great, the failures too numerous and recent, the lack of confidence covered over by a facade of false pride. I was barely hanging on, using many different instruments to try and dull the pain and survive, wondering if I could make it one more day.
I started to feel a calling on my life about 25 years ago, that there was someone or something out there that was trying to reach out to me and offer me a lifeline. It was a feeling in my soul and in my heart that someone was looking out for me and wanted to pull me out of my malaise. I didn’t realize at the time that it was Jesus Christ, and that He truly had a better path for me. In fact, I was fighting the thought that I even needed help in my life, because on the surface everything looked fine from the world’s perspective. I had a great job, made great money, had lots of great friends and life was an endless party. But deep down in the depths of my soul, I was empty and hurting. I had lived most of my adult life without a relationship with my father, and I was desperately seeking the world’s approval, mostly from a performance standpoint. I wanted people to validate me and tell me I was good enough and that they cared. But the enslaving chords that wrap around you when you live for other people’s validation began eating away at me. I began to resent their approval because frankly, they didn’t even know me or what I wanted or needed. I needed my dad’s approval.
That is when Jesus Christ broke into my life and filled in all of my missing pieces. He showed me the love of my Heavenly Father and how I was forgiven of all of my sins through His atoning sacrifice. He showed me what true love felt like, from an eternal perspective. His grace began to permeate my soul, and we have been on a journey together to create a new path for my life ever since. It is in fact difficult to explain, but I am sure that I have been given a new life, a life that has less pain and more love, that continues to learn and grow in leaps and bounds and that will continue to do so until the day I die. I have a path that leads to life, abundant life, as Jesus promised in John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” I have found that in my quiet time, when I am home alone and spending time one on one with my Savior in prayer and relationship, that I am learning to hear His still, small voice and it is leading my steps and filling my heart with an overflowing of joy. It is the type of joy that Peter expressed in 1 Peter 1:8-9 when he says ” Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” The path that I am on now is filled with wonderment and anticipation in the hope of the glory of God. There are still many potholes, and pain in this life, but the light is now enveloping the darkness, and I know that through Him, all things are possible. I crave the time spent alone with Him, as he prepares me for my next assignment or trial.
True wisdom is found in the everlasting truth of scriptures, but practical application of those truths in our lives is only found from relationship with Him on a daily basis. Without that practical application, there would be no power or chance for lasting change. The peace that surpasses all understanding is the end result of our time spent alone with Christ, but the glory is in the path that He takes us on that leads to fulfillment in our life. When we pray for big things, like the prayer of Jabez above, we must expect Him to answer it and anticipate that it will happen,only not in our time but in His perfect timing. He wants us to ask, and then He wants us to believe. James points out in James 1:6-7 that ” when a man asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man shall not think he will receive anything in the Lord.” Anyone plus God is an unbeatable army and through faith, is a force that can move mountains. God loves impossible odds and using underdogs to bring glory to His name. Just see David vs Goliath, or Gideon vs. the Midianites, or Moses vs. his own doubt and fears. Home alone with the Lord is where those big dreams begin, deep in a man’s heart and soul, where the Holy Spirit enters in and redirects our path. My life has never been the same since I answered his knocking on the door of my heart. It was the best decision of my life and set me on the path to eternity knowing how much I am truly loved and cherished by my Creator. It has freed me up to do my best work for His Kingdom, for which he has uniquely designed me, with whatever time I have left on this earth. Amen!
Prayer: Father God, let us seek You above all else, for nothing else can ever satisfy us, compare to You and Your amazing grace, mercy and love. Amen!