Tag Archives: joy

Just Go!

sampsons-new-friendNestled in one of my favorite places I rediscovered the old riding stables at our state park. I hadn’t driven up that road in years and had forgotten how beautiful that spot was.  On that day, no one was there but me and my dog so I parked and let him out to run and play next to the water.  The stables up the hill brought back a flood of memories.

I kept looking up the hill at the stables thinking about how sad they were no longer being used.  I saw no point to walk up there but Sampson had different ideas.  Up the hill he went and I followed him.

We got up to the stables and the smells of the area ignited his hunter instinct.  He was going to each closed stall, sticking his nose in where he found the opportunity.  He was onto something but I thought it was the smell of what used to be there that enticed him.  He went to one particular stall and started whimpering, scratching the ground to get in.  When I got close I heard why.  The stables weren’t abandoned at all, there were horses there!

I have always loved horses.  Imagine my delight (and Sampson’s) when we saw them.  I opened the top gate of the stalls, petted all of them.  It may sound silly to you, but I was so happy!  Few and far between are my opportunities to be close to these beautiful animals I love so much. I consider that a very personal blessing from my Father, who knows His girl so well.  By just walking up that hill I received a tremendous, custom-made blessing, just for me. #perspective

That’s my point.  Based on what I SAW, there was no reason to even trudge up that hill. I had convinced myself there was no reason to go.  I could have called Sampson back to me, gotten him in the car and missed a great blessing.  Instead I went and oh, the pleasure in the time we were there was wonderful.

That’s your word, friend.  Just go! Don’t sum things up based on what you see.   Don’t look for reasons not to do something (we always find plenty of them); look for reasons TO go.  Do it just for you.  You’ll be glad you did.

1st Corinthians 2:9:  “but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.””

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The Other Side of Terrible

After my last blog, I felt “nudged” to add an addendum.  Just because terrible visits, doesn’t mean it has to be a permanent guest.

I’m here to tell you wonderful and beautiful things come out of the worst times in one’s life.  Sometimes they’re glaringly obvious; other times we must search for them with the same passion we look for our lost keys or cellphones.

With all the loss and pain, God has more than proven Himself true to His word about recreating beauty, solidifying His love for me, giving me brand-new relationships with people to the extent that I no longer mourn over what and who is gone.  Sure, there’s a season for that – a time when we grieve and hurt, but as promised if we’ll “let go and let God” I assure you, healing and refreshing will come.  Loss can’t compare to the joy of healing, believe it.

Pain sometimes becomes our best friend because if we stay in it, nothing’s required of us.  It’s easier to dwell because climbing out requires a lot of effort and even more faith.

Choose with me to believe He’s working on our behalf in ways we can’t even think of.  Choose to focus on Him and His goodness; His promises that if we’re reading this (or typing it, as the case may be) He has lots of lessons and even more love, personal touches and provision for our future; we’ve survived the past.  We choose to learn from it and seek Him through it all, and He’s working it all out for our good.  For our GOOD…no matter how terrible it’s been, there WILL be good in it all and we will see it.  When we see it, then we will KNOW differently than we did before His great love, grace and mercy for us and we’ll actually be thankful we suffered!

It may be a stretch to believe like that if you’re “in it” right now but if you hang on and hang in, trust me, you will.  At this point in my life, my faith in Jesus is more solid than it was nine years ago…more solid than it was a year ago.  I KNOW HIM…and want to know Him more than I did even an hour ago.  No longer can I be made to doubt – even in the worst times – that He has a glorious plan for my life.  I can’t even make myself doubt what a wonderful, loving, personally faithful and providing Father-God I have.  So.  Hang on and believe.  Anticipate what beautiful things will come from the ashes. It’s coming, I promise.

It’s Him!

It had been three days since their Messiah was crucified. Knowing nothing would ever be the same after their time with Him, the only thing they knew to do was go from there.  So walking down the road to Emmaus, two of His followers were trying to make sense of it all, replaying the events that brought them to that dusty road.

All of a sudden, another joins them.  “Hey guys, what are you talking about?” They look at him like He’s from another planet “Really.  You must have been in a cave if you don’t know what’s happened!” They indulge His questions telling them their reason to hope had been crucified which must’ve been hard.  Knowing something happened then saying it out loud kind of rushes reality in and makes it real.

The Stranger starts reciting scriptures and asked them “All that had to happen didn’t it? I mean that’s what Scripture says, right?”  Then He proceeds to tell them every prophecy related to Messiah.  They still didn’t get it.

The Bible says they were prevented from seeing and I’d say grief and despair played a part, too.  In our lives, tragedies happen and even though we know the truth(s) of God’s word, we forget.  We’re sometimes too consumed with how we’re feeling to let reality touch us.  We’re too busy trying to understand the course of events to allow truth to penetrate our broken hearts and distorted minds.

The Stranger prepares to go His own way but they ask Him to stay the night with them so He agrees.  Once in their home, they are dining and He picks up the bread and breaks it and all of a sudden, the ones who walked with him see.  It’s Him!

Perhaps it was the way He held the bread that brought back the memory of their last supper together… “This is My body…” and helped them to see Him.  Perhaps when he took the bread they saw the scars on his wrists from the nails that had pinned Him to the cross.  Jesus really was alive and He was with them.  Sorrow turned to jubilation and comfort and joy invaded the house.  It’s Him!

They were so lost in their sadness on the road, I doubt they would have believed Him had He told them who He was while they were walking.  We get that way too, don’t we?  We get so consumed we don’t even look for Him let alone believe He’s with us through it.

When everything is falling apart and grief has snagged you, look for Jesus.  Expect Him.  Remember how He’s gotten you through and know…it’s Him!

Luke 24:13-21

 

The Heavenly Prescription

Sometimes things don’t make any sense whatsoever from this perspective. I just don’t get it. I don’t get the why so often. For some reason we think as we live with God here He’s required to let us in on what He’s doing. When He does give us a glimpse of His “view” of what’s going on around us, we still tend to try to figure it out and while we ponder and persevere, the whole reason for the insight gets distorted and we are more confused than ever.

Spiritual things seldom make good common sense. That’s hard for us isn’t it? We have to have a reason for everything. Spirit defies logic. Flesh and Spirit are in constant conflict and when the choice needs to be made, we side with or go with what makes sense; we settle for a flesh reason and miss the Spirit reason.

I had the privilege of speaking at my church yesterday. While standing in front of the very few people who were there I was more than a little surprised at what I saw. I’ve been associated with these people for months. I’ve come to know them and love them but I must tell you, I didn’t like what I saw at all.

I saw lots and lots of pain. I saw them wearing their battles. I saw fatigue, sadness and evidence of their lives all over them.  To be honest, we’re a brand new church; we don’t have many who worship with us and I couldn’t figure out why in the world the Lord prompted our Pastor to ask me to speak. It didn’t make any sense. I almost said no! Then when I got to the front and saw what he sees every time he stands in front of us, I got it.

I know how hard life is. I may have not faced what you face, but I have had some serious battles. I know what it’s like to be wounded, even hurt down to your soul. I also know the best remedy or the feel-better solution for pain. His name is Jesus. Want to know how I fight and keep the joy in my heart and the smile on my face? I keep the Lord front and center…or at least I try. My escape is spending time with Him. Every day, no matter what is going on in my life, He is my ‘first thing’.

I don’t make light of anyone’s suffering. I know what it’s like to wake up consumed with a heavy load of sorts, to have the first thing that pops into my mind something about me or someone I love and what they/I am going through. I have to choose to divert. I can stay consumed with trouble, fear, worry, or I can choose a diversion.

There are many choices for diversion too. Have a drink, take a pill, eat something that will make you feel better, watch something on TV to name a few. OR, you can talk to PAPA and ask Him for comfort and strength,  pick up His Word and dive in.  I have found this to be the key to unlocking my joy that is sometimes buried deep under pain. When joy is touched, I find it has to manifest itself. It has to show; to come out in some form.

May sound silly and simple but I dare you to try it.