Sam called from work to say that it was a little cooler out today. He knows I love to write on the back porch. God gives us people in our lives that either build a platform under us, or those who would tear us down. When we try to do things on our own, it must look ridiculous to God. Makes me think of "Stuart" clips on the internet my girls watch of a grown man who talks and acts like a petulant little boy. In between his mother's corrections, Stuart jerks his six foot body in a silly dance and squeals, "look what I can do!"
Come on, you know when things are going well, we think we are somehow managing our lives pretty well. Then the stuff hits the fan as they say, and we wonder what happened to our "control". Who said we ever really had it? It's those hard times when God allows us to see His hand on our lives all along.
It's the "Job" times when the finances dry up, our health becomes a problem, age sets in, children decide to "test" the principles we taught them, a good marriage turns sour, our friends walk away. If we are smart, we ask God to "take" us away, not Calgon.
For fifteen years, my family and I endured cancer, betrayal, mental illness, job demotion, slander, car accidents ~ you name it, we went through it. Do you know what is on the other side of those long tunnels of suffering? Freedom.
Freedom from fear. What is there to fear when you have faced death itself? Fear of suffering. If you have suffered over the pain of watching your child self destruct and see them come out the other side, then, what can touch you after that? Freedom from the opinions of man. If you have endured an attack on your reputation, and God publicly vindicates you, then, what can a man say to hurt you? Nothing.
Troubles in this life strip you of self protection, they strip you of a high opinion of yourself. They teach you the things that really matter ~your relationship with God, your family, the blessings that God has given you. I'm talking about heavenly blessings.
Do you know that you are forgiven of every sin you have ever committed? Past sins, present weaknesses, future failures are all covered by the blood of Jesus. No matter what you have done, God has forgiven you of it all.
All we ever need do is ask. Ask and God will supply. If you need salvation, ask for it, God will give it to you freely. No one or nothing in this life can save you from yourself, except the God who created you.
The Message (MSG)
28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Only Jesus knew the path to true freedom. It's a narrow path for sure. There are persecutions that belong only to His children. But, when this life is over, we can spend eternity, resting in Him.