I am sure you have heard the saying ’existing and not living.’ It conveys this idea of a life not having a purpose, a sparkle, a reason to wake you up every morning. Safe to say that something we do in life is monotone and routine, but is there light in our lives?
What is the reason for doing everything that I do? What will be the sum of my life at the very end? Why do I do what I do? I know this might sound deep, but we need to ask this kind of questions? It’s good to stop being super busy and inquiring about our lives.
In the first chapter of the Gospel to John verse 4 we read that:
In him ( Logos – Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of mankind.” John 1:4 NET
What John is saying to us is that ’Light, meaning, the reason for living is found in Jesus.’ To get the best of my computer I need to read the manual of the maker, only that way the computer is ’happy’ functioning. For us, to live the best possible way we need to know and love of our creator. Only that way we can know ourselves better and function in a way that fulfils us and gives us purpose.
He is the light of all life by which we see everything else.
I am not asking here what do you notice, but more about what do you know. Notice and knowing are two different things. To notice Justin Biber in the crowd for example and know him tell two different tales. To notice is impersonal, to know is personal. To know someone personally means that there is this active life sharing going on. Not just information exchange, but intimacy.
Knowing about God and knowing God are also two different things.
There is so many of us who call ourselves believers that know a lot about God, but only a slim proportion of us know God and walk intimately with him. GOD has judged us worthy to be his friends, he send his son to bridge the big chasm between us to make that possible. Therefore, to trust himmeans to know him, not know about him, but know him.
He has come to us in vulnerability and openness, can we? When we receive him like that when we know him like that we would be able to stand strong in the face of any enemy. Knowing God means knowing he will never leave our side, never.
An old proverb says that: No one else can really know how sad or happy you are (Proverb 14:10 CEV) but I believe God can.
He knows the depth of our despair and delight. A lot of time what people see in us, what we allow them to peek into is but a puddle compared to the ocean we are carrying inside us.
On the other hand, God sees our pain leaking out tear by tear and takes notice. For some sorrows are too deep to share, some agonies are too vast to put into the open, but not for God. He knows our tears and he helps our troubled hearts. Whether our heads are on a pillow or a stone, God is with us. There are no tears that are neglected, there is no pain that has been ignored, there are no sorrows that are forgotten. All noticed, cared for, worked for our best, treasured in his sight. You are his pride and joy my friend, the apple of his eye. His gaze is upon you, always.
To do one, we have to halt the other. It’s the same with fear and trust, we can’t support both at the same time. To give in to fear it means to lose trust and to focus on trusting we will need to tune out fear. Now don’t get me wrong, we can trust and still feel fear, that’s ok, as long as the trust has our attention and not fear. This is possible you know?
It’s possible to be in fear and fear not to have all your attention and heart. We don’t wait until fear as ceased to do the right thing. We do the right thing until fear ceases to be. Worship and the Word are the right things to do when in fear. Through praise and meditation on the Word, we remind ourselves of the goodness and the faithfulness of God and we keep on rolling the word of God into our minds and hearts until fear is rolled away. Some days we need to be persistent on this and some other less so, but what we focus on that will fill our hearts.
If we focus on him, fear might come to shake us, but never uproot us.
“In God – I boast in his promise – in God I trust, I am not afraid. What can mere men do to me?”
My husband and I were watching a program about the WW2 the other day and The Battle of Stalingrad (now called Volgograd) was showing in detail.
For over 5 months the Red Russian army and the german nazi army fought a constant battle now referred to as the bloodiest combat in the history of wars with more than 2 million deaths and casualties.
It was an endless battle that had fear, fatigue and terror at its core. Our spiritual battles can feel that way too, endless and fierce.
True, that often there is no blood to be seen but tears, tiredness and torment are real. Sometimes it feels like we are living in that combat day after day after day. It felt that way for David also ( see Psalm 56:1-2). Hunted by Saul daily and tormented by death always the only comfort comes from him trusting God (When I get really afraid I come to you in trust -verse 3). Fear will push us to cling to something, someone, but God is our help and tower, he offers safety and refuge for us day after day.
The battle might be constant, but so is the help and the faithfulness of God.
We often have this idea that if we prayed and asked God to remove our burdens away and he only removed some of them, it means that we are supposed to carry the remainder.
The truth is that when we ask God to carry our pressures in life what he does with that weight that is crushing us is that which will bring Him glory and make us more like him.
It’s the way he chooses to deal with our burdensome situations that makes the difference. Whether he decides to remove them totally, or partially or allow the weight for a while, our job is to ask him first and then rest assured that every weight we sense and carry he will do with that the very best.
We need to ask God often how to release the heavyweights we carry that we shouldn’t and how to be patient with some burdens in life in order that his deep work in us can be completed.
When we don’t do that we carry weights we shouldn’t that are crushing us and we neglect to pick up obligations that strengthen us and make us more like Jesus.
The invite is always -come to me all you who carry heavy burdens and find rest……
The Hebrew people began their day in the evening, in the dark.
They start each day with hope in the dark.
Prayer is all about that, calling upon the Lord who makes our darkness light, and doing that from the start of each day.
Prayer is about calling his name and presence in the middle of our darkness, disappointment, dismay, dread, distress, depression, divorce, and death threatening experiences.
It’s the invitation we send to God every part of the day to be with us.
That invite might be in writing in the morning, so we write the words to express our concerns to God and then perhaps we speak our prayers in the noon but when dusk arrives and the wrtining and talking are not help, the groaning and cries, utterance and deep wordless expression are just fine.
What matters is that God hears us and that should comfort every praying heart.
It was as dramatic and as painful as it sounds. Anna could have expected this from anyone else, but not from her best pal, from the person they had shared joys and had cried together. From somebody, she had trusted her heart and her deepest aches and pains.
’She knew the damage she would cause my family, and still, she did it anyway. That is something I will never comprehend and forgive” she concluded.
That is a real-life story and drama. It’s hard to try and manage pain caused by people we don’t know or know little, but the betrayal of a close friend is a wound that does not heal quickly. There is no easy way to mend from that constant throb apart from constant prayer.
When the pain is persisting, persist in prayer.
Jesus, our Lord and Saviour was kissed and let to his death by his best friend through a kiss. He understands our anguish and disappointment and offers the best comfort and help.
Have you been betrayed by your best friend? What is your way of moving forward? How Jesus example of treating Judah helps you?
I have run away a couple of times in my life. It felt easy to avoid what felt like an imminent torrent of pain and some unending suffering.
Checking out mentally, emotionally and physically is so common these days, I understand that, I really do, but the truth is that that takes us nowhere.
We all crave some peace and quietness, who yearns for problems hey?
The truth is that there is no place on earth problem-free. The only place where we will not drag our troubles is heaven and we are going there, but for now, what its offered to us is Jesus who fled Heaven to bring us a slice of heaven here.
Through his presence, he assures us with the help we need to stay and face life’s troubles with him. We then run not aimlessly, but with purpose to finish the race set before us.
Don’t you find in your own life that a soon as one trouble goes the other knocks on the door?
This is the nature of our life on earth. All troubles that each one of us faces look different but what’s important to know and remember is that God promises to deliver us from all our hardships.
David looks at his future trouble in the light of the present ones that God has delivered him. We know that Jesus said that in this world we will have troubles but that we are to take heart because he has overcome the world.
Jesus has overcome for us. We look at the future with him on our side and we declare that: He will deliver me from all my troubles.
What troubles God has delivered you from in the past and how that gives you the confidence to face the future?