God is our Father. He is the perfect father and yet many people still blame him for the ups and downs and injustices of life. When they pray and they don’t seem to get the answers they want right away, they may get angry or may even doubt God, his love and existence.
As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God, because he was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him, in peace, to work alone;
I hung around and tried to help, with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back and cried, “How can you be so slow?
“My child,” He said, “What could I do? You never did let go.”
God does so much better than we could imagine and as we grow, we learn to yield to what’s best. Yielding to God’s love brings great peace to our lives.
There are some things we hang on tightly to for a lot of different reasons. Our environment and culture exert certain pressures on our minds to cause us to be unsure, lack confidence and commit to ‘quick fixes’. The bottom line is fear. But!:
18 There is no fear (terror, panic flight) in love (Godly love) ; but perfect (mature, completed) love casteth (with force and effort) out fear: .1 John 4:18a
The “toys of this world” come and go. As we mature, some things get old and we move on hopefully not clinging to the childish things that need to be left behind. God replaces our fear with power, love and a sound mind which are the faithful solid tools of life and with these tools we have peace that exceeds our expectations.
This past week has been rainy and cloudy. It can feel gloomy when weather like this drags on so long. The dark gray clouds seem to exert a heavy pressure on the air. Finally the sun blew it all away yesterday. It was so nice to see bright light again!
Light can be physical and it can be spiritual. In John chapter 9 there is an interesting record that seems to parallel both:
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Jesus and his disciples passed by a blind man and the disciples asked an interesting question about how this man’s blindness originated. They wanted to know if it was caused by sin. Sin occurs when a person ignores God and sets out to do something he shouldn’t do. They wanted to know if it was his sin or the parents sin that was responsible for the blindness. Jesus said ‘Neither’.
There is one main reason that bad things happen in this world and that is because there is evil in this world. God doesn’t cause blindness so he can show a miracle. Since Genesis 3, the adversary has had opportunity to mess up God’s original creation in many ways. Sickness and disease entered after Adam and Eve transferred power to the adversary and he has been messing up everything ever since.
Jesus explained that he was to work the works of God who sent him (it is interesting that Siloam means ‘sent’). The blind man received his sight. Darkness turned to light for him.
Spiritually when things get bad, dark and gloomy, Turning to God’s word turns on spiritual light. Spiritual light causes spiritual gloom to flee!
This is a repost from 2017 that I still think is very timely:
This morning, I got to thinking about a wonderful verse in Ephesians:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18
It had popped into my head when I was pondering a phone conversation I recently had with someone when she called me back after I left a message to have her call me. When she called back, she immediately started talking to me about something I had no idea about. All I could figure out was that she was worried about what I was thinking in regards to something that she was handling. It was not what I was thinking about at all! When I realized what was going on and a significant pause opened up, I stopped her and explained what I wanted and assured her that my brain had not gone that way. In the end each of us was blessed. It is great for relationships to work things out like this when there is misinterpretation. Too often people run to others who don’t even know what is going and unload and cause further chaos and division. Many situations can be solved by talking to each other personally and not about each other. (Matthew 18:15)
‘Projection’ is an image in our mind that we ‘project’ on a situation when dealing with others based on our own thoughts within ourselves. It happens a lot since we humans have busy minds. We can do it in both a positive and a negative sense based on the way we are feeling at the time. It is a form of mis-“judging”. It is very prevalent in our news cycles, and all over political and religious circles. You can find examples of projection everywhere.
This is a great reason to listen carefully to what people are saying and help free them from misconceptions about what they might be thinking if you get the opportunity. Sometimes people are so busy thinking thoughts they don’t really have time to listen. What a great thing to pray for!
People often project their thoughts on God too! It is something to watch out for. It is possible to think God is mad at us, when he isn’t. It is possible to think God doesn’t even think about us or that we have no place in his heart. All you have to do is look at the beautiful spring gifts he has made to remind us of all the loving touches he put in this world to bless our lives.
The verse above in Ephesians came to mind and is very apropos to the spring cleaning that needs to go on in our minds periodically. (It’s the first day of spring! Yea!). It is actually a prayer and it is a good one. In fact it is beautiful! It is an effective prayer to pray and believe. Let in the light, open the windows, breathe and clear the cobwebs of our minds out!
Recently I saw a quote on line that read ;”Be the person your dog thinks you are”. I have known a few wonderful dogs in my time and the dogs I have known have been loving, loyal friends. One thing I remember most about the dogs we have owned was seeing their eyes light up and their wagging tails that always greeted us when walked towards them especially tough, tiring days. It was so heartwarming. Our Katy and Maggie could always make us smile.
God made animals to bless us and they do offer us amazing lessons in life. All of God’s creation teaches us about how much he has provided for us and loves us. Getting back to the quote, I chuckled at the the spelling of the word ‘dog’. It reminded me about being the person God thinks you are. God looks upon us as sons and daughters. Ok, maybe he doesn’t wag his tail when we enter the throne room of his love, but he is certainly happy, loyal and excited when we do.
I didn’t always know God as I do now and I’m very thankful that I know him now better than I ever did. Last night, I read a few of David’s psalms after a very long day. Now don’t get me wrong, the book Psalms is filled with beautiful prayers to God, but the ones I was reading didn’t light up for me or chase away the gray cloud that was hanging over my head. David lived in Old Testament times, we live in the times of the New Testament which is all about Jesus Christ and what his life means to us in our connection to God. If you really want to know who God thinks we are, read the book of Ephesians, Colossians or I, II or III John! just as a start.
God is faithful, loyal and he invented love! If we focus on our shortcomings, failures, and downright sin, we tend to run away from God and hide like kids do when they mess up. Well, God even tells us that we all sin and come short of the glorious life God has for us. We should never hide from God because the minute we step into his light our lives change and he remembers nothing about our sin. If he had a tail it would be wagging faster than a helicopter blade on a supersonic jet!
How do we step into his light? Read Ephesians, pour your heart out to him and make a list of things he has done for you. One day when I was feeling schmucky, I bought a little yellow spiral notebook and wrote down all the things I could remember of how God had blessed me. The list grew and grew and grew. I started remembering things from my childhood (and that was long ago). I remembered people who specifically taught me how much God loves us. Other things kept popping up and I’d write them in my book. Everyday something pops into my head. It might occur while reading a record in the Bible and reminds me of an incident. I get my yellow book and write it down.
There’s a lot of garbage floating around this world to try and push us to forget God what he has done for us, so it is good to go back and read these lists. When I reread my list, I am amazed at the miraculous life I have lived! Forget the sin, the negatives and ask God to remind you of his work in your life. The only thing sin will remind us of, is its utter futility and distraction and traps. God himself, on the other hand, constantly reminds us what he thinks of us and lifts our heart.
Have you ever just come to the point where you have felt where there is just no solution in sight to where you are headed. You might even blame yourself for being just so stupid and deserving to have the word ‘failed’ stamped on your forehead. Probably everyone has frequently experienced such pressure. That’s why we needed a person who felt all our pain to lift us up and out of this trap. That man is Jesus Christ. He is not a fairy tale, a myth or fable. How do we know that? We can know it by what is written and by experiencing it in the here and now because he still lives and he is God’s right-hand man..
6 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Have you ever noticed in the bible when Jesus is referred to, he is Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus. Christ is not his last name. It is a title. When the title ‘Christ’ is first it emphasizes his risen Messianic position meaning he delivers and rescues as an agent of God. He is a savior.
We have been given the gift of holy spirit as a result of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. We have an internal receiver that can hear the voice of God deep within our heart. In that gift are included word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, faith, miracles and gifts of healings among other things. Evil can stealthily dish out vision that can be quite deceiving, but God’s spirit in us can separate good and evil. Worry and fear can be pretty noisy, but God’s quiet calm will shut them up. That’s a miracle.
So how does we get us out of trouble and anguish, even trouble that we deserve? We have to look to God’s word for our answers. We can also pray to God to know what to pray for and then we have pay attention for the answer. God provides answers many ways. Things may just happen right away or it may take some time. God can give us vision to see ahead and have that peace that passeth understanding if we have to wait. It may be in the form of assurance or comfort. It is supernatural light piercing through darkness and settling a new calm on the heart. We may not have all the specific details (just the details we need), but the peace is so different than just ordinary ‘chillin’ that it guards you from anxious thoughts. All you have to do is ask:
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally (generously, simply and sincerely), and upbraids not (without rolling his eyes -my definition); and it shall be given him. James 1:5
The more we do this and experience God’s peace that passes understanding over and over the quicker, we will ask each time when we are presented with a negative situation. God’s peace will cause us to thrive and excel.
Lowliness, humility and meekness mean rising up to God’s vision of ourselves rather than bringing God down to our level.
Through the years I have been involved in several groups and have taken many classes in biblical studies. I enjoy looking at God's word as shared by others. God has a way of connecting us and providing the fellowship we need at just the right time. We can have wonderful, rich connections on a daily basis. Ultimately, however, we each need to take responsibility to get to know God and how much He loves us. Since having started to slowly read and study the Old Testament, I have been amazed by the simplicity of truth and the envelope of love and grace throughout the whole bible. God's son, Jesus Christ is alive today and building his church. The real church is not a building made of bricks and mortar. Instead it is made up of people who believe in God and what God has given us in his son . The Word of God is a rich and powerful because of the gift of holy spirit that inspired its writers and inspires today those who read it.