That ‘s the way I’m looking at life these days. I want to survive the ride and land on my feet.. like a cat. Having spent the last few days with my grandcat and my grandkids I was reminded of the amazing way that cats live their lives. They can be found on the edge of almost anything..then suddenly they are under something and no one saw it happen. They flip up in the air and land with grace. They play hard..purr loudly and bring joy everywhere. Not a bad role model 🙂
This particular siamese cat is very lovable. He shows you how much he cares from the minute he gets up in the morning until the lights are turned off at night. He lives life fully and seems to find a way to entertain himself without doing much damage. The worst thing that happened was the moment when he brought a tiny frog in the house..in his mouth.. the kids screamed. Within seconds he was out the door and playing happily with his midnight snack. A simple life..but a good life.
So.. having studied him.. I think I am going to live as fully as possible..taking risks..enjoying each day..probably not hiding under the furniture or eating frogs.. just making every day count in my own small world. At the end of the day.. all I really want to do.. is land on my feet.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
The whole one another thing is difficult. We are to love one another..to bear each other’s burdens. It is difficult because we need each other and yet we must have boundaries..places where we stop. The trick is to learn what this means. Where does my world end and another person’s begins? How much should I give? What is God saying about all this? Our world is an unhealthy place..privacy is hard to define now that we have the internet. What is our own personal struggle and what do we want the whole world to know? I’m a blogger so I certainly don’t have it all figured out.
So much of what I write is based on my struggles and trials..yet most of the details remain hidden. I believe that there is an art to sharing without over sharing. Not just online but everywhere. There are some places where it is safe to open up completely..others where that is way too risky. We need wisdom to understand the difference. God is clear when He tells us we need each other..there is no confusion there. At the same time we need Him more. He is completely safe every single moment of every single day. He won’t use what we bring to Him to hurt us or someone else. People may..not always intentionally..but people are people..imperfect and flawed. (myself included)
So..be real.. be authentic..but be careful. Trust God..take risks and ask for help when you need it. Remember that we were created for Him and for one another. No one can take His place in our hearts but there are those around you that He has placed there for ” such a time as this.”
“So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart.. I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding”
Sometimes it seems to me like God is issuing secret orders..or directions. They appear in different ways in my life when I least expect them. They are not especially complex..in fact they are often simple. He will tell me to go somewhere or call someone. It happens through ideas from other people or just a simple thought that surfaces when I am alone with Him. I usually wonder why I need to do whatever it is.. sometimes it makes no sense at all.
Later I may realize that it was a secret directive..a step in a new direction. There is something on this path..an unexpected turn in the road is leading me to a wonderful blessing that only He knew about. These times help me to appreciate more fully the truth that God is intimately involved with us. Not only is He ahead of us..He likes to surprise us by not revealing the bigger picture and leading us step by step.
I am reminded of the feeling I get before Christmas when I look in my closet. There are presents in there..each of them picked out for members of my family..surprises. I can’t wait to see the look on their faces as they open their gifts. The delight in their eyes..the amazment that someone took the time to know exactly what they might want. Now that I am a grandmother..I have sharpened the skill needed to do this.. I enjoy it more and more each year.
Do you believe that God feels the same way about us? Each year that we spend in relationship with Him.. He knows us better. He has a file on us that tells Him what will totally surprise us. He keeps the details secret until just the right moment. Suddenly He beckons us forward to an unknown place..a turn in road that will lead us to life-giving moments with Him. He plans our route and directs us in unique ways..teaching us to trust Him and to follow Him.
We are on an amazing journey..following our great God..what will He do next?
“I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”
Another big one. So subtle and so toxic. Legalism masks our unbelief. We may appear to be performing perfectly..reading scripture..praying..serving..giving..but something big is missing. Beneath the surface of our lives is unbelief. It works its way into our hearts..constantly questioning God’s intentions toward us..helping us doubt and worry.
It is insidious because we can seem so ” Christian” or so pious.. so right..when the truth is we are very troubled inside. Our hearts deceive us..our behavior is a mask that we hide behind. God sees all this and He grieves for us. His promises become memorized passages or empty words. Our future may look bleak and empty. Our hearts are weighed down..we are diagnosed with depression and anxiety.. the doctor prescribes something to fix us.
The cure is not going to be found in behavior modification or medication. The only solution is to return to our first love. To bring our unbelief and doubt to the one who can turn it all around. He holds the keys to our hearts and wants to renewour faith. He asks us to confess..be real..authentic..and transparent. He wants us to stop playing games..to stop faking it.
Our God is the redeemer. He has turned the world upside down and He wants to do the same in our lives. His desire is to infuse us with a passion and faith so strong that we can’t stop thanking Him. His heart longs to transform us into His people..a people of great faith who long for more of Him. We can’t experience any of this unless we are ready to let go of unbelief..He won’t rip it our of our hands.
Do you want to walk with Him in safety believing all of His promises? Do you want to be an encourager..speaking faith wherever you go? Do you want the abundant life with hope for the future? He wants to give you all this.. He is waiting for you to desire all of this more than life itself. Take a risk..live life for Him and with Him..you will not be sorry.
“Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying Him and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life!”
What does this mean? It means that the world we live in is not all there is. There is another reality that encompasses our everyday life but is far more mysterious. That is the reality that we call the Kingdom of God. Are you aware of it? Is this concept meaningful to you? Maybe not. We get so used to taking things at face value..to seeing things superficially.. that we miss out on the amazing things that God is doing. We fail to see how He is at work in our lives on a daily basis..at this very moment..in our present circumstances..wherever we are.
He is not at a distance watching us live these lives..He is here with us..actively involved in every single thing that happens. His plan is unfolding for us..one day at a time. God is right where you are. He does not miss a thing. He is attentive to your voice..Are you attentive to His? He desires to connect with you..to speak to you..to reveal truth to your heart. We forget all this and live as though He is only found inside the Bible or in our church service on Sunday. We limit our own ability to experience Him by making Him too small and too far away.
Do you need something to happen between you and God? Do you want to have a deeper more meaningful relationship with Him? Are you tired of the same old life? Sick of being stuck? Tell Him. Of course nothing will happen unless you are ready to take the next step. It may be your move..your choice that is keeping you from experiencing the abundant life. God is always ready to move closer to us..He is not slow in reaching out to us..but we may need to take a risk..to move our of our comfort zones and decide that He is worth it. Is He asking you to do something difficult? To trust Him in the dark..don’t be afraid. He will not let you down.
“The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.”
You will find this word in many of my posts. Over the years I have become convinced that God is a huge risk taker. The fact that He gave us free will confirms this. He certainly could have created us without the capacity to choose. He did not. Not only did He give us choices, He gave us the ability to reject Him totally. Think about that. The creator of the universe took the risk of losing every one of us..His beloved.. His bride.. His chosen ones.
Once we choose life with Him..we begin to live on that same edge. Life with God reminds me of what it must be like to ride waves on a surfboard. The sea is glassy and calm and then a wave comes..you have to catch it and stand up to ride it in to shore. As you ride the crest of the wave you can see the coastline and the beauty of the ocean. Your heart expands as you get your balance. You did it.. you made it.. Wow! Then you do the whole thing all over again and again and again. Ride after ride after ride.
Are you willing to take that next ride? It may not be safe..but it will be an adventure. It can’t be done without Him. It requires faith and trust in His goodness. Your next move may look crazy to anyone but God. In fact others may not see it at all. Only you know what God is calling you to do. You are the only one who hears His voice for your life. If you are waiting for Him to show you the next step..stay hopeful. You are not forgotten. He will speak and He will reveal all that you need to know in His time. Prepare yourself for that next big wave. It is coming. The sea cannot stay calm and glassy forever. Trust Him to carry you to shore.
Life is full of them. Moments that we never expected to experience. Moments that take our breath away. Some of these may be moments of obvious blessing..a new baby is born..an old friend shows up unexpectedly..a gift appears when we need it most..a book speaks to our deepest needs. Other moments may not seem so wonderful when they first appear. We could be asked to confront a challenging relationship or to speak truth when it might cause pain. God may surprise us with opportunities to do things that we would never embrace without Him.
He is not predictable and neither is our life with Him. We can always take the easy way out. If we are writing our own story than that is exactly what we will do. He never forces us to do anything. Our natural tendency is to protect ourselves from pain. We can become very good at avoiding any situation that will stir up unresolved grief or open old wounds. We believe that we are protecting our hearts when in reality we are running from the healing that God is eager to bring into our lives.
The road that leads to healing is filled with moments that don’t make sense to our human minds. God speaks to us in a quiet voice telling us to do the very thing that scares us to death. He orchestrates the very circumstances that will cause us to re-visit the past and open up those unhealed wounds. He tells us to be courageous and to trust Him when our well-being is threatened. He promises to comfort us and to strengthen us as we face these challenges.
God is not timid and He calls us to take risks with Him. As we are willing to venture out into the unknown with Him, He is protecting us. His Spirit is surrounding us. He wants us to embrace these surprising moments with faith..praying for wisdom to receive all that He has for us. Are you facing one of these challenges? Which path are you taking? The one of least resistance? Are you reminding yourself that He is with you? Follow Him..Receive healing..Don’t be afraid.
” Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”