Path of Miracles

When you face giants, and all God has left you with are tiny stones,
 
When you face an army, and God keeps sending the strongest allies away from you,
 
When you want to save your companions, but God places you in the hands of your enemy
 
Remember…
 
It was never your plans that would save you but His
It was never your logic that would save you but His
It was never your strength that would save you but His
 
Do not ask for miracles in your life, then be surprised to be led down paths beyond your strength. It is on these paths that miracles happen most!

When Prayers Aren’t Answered

As prayers go unanswered, and trials pile one after another… As you strive to follow God only to have the paths forward cut off one after another… It is easy to let your mind wander to what you have done… “Did you do everything you could? Could you have done more? Should you have done things differently? Did you fall short?” And honestly the answer is… “Yes…”
 
I’ve never really liked giving the advice “Well is there anything else you could have done?” because we use it in the wrong context. Of course there is things we could do differently. Of course there is more we can do. Of course there are mistakes we made. Of course we didn’t do everything perfect because we AREN’T perfect!
 
This is good to recognize as we analyze and grow… but beyond that, what good is it?
 
We tend to treat it as “God’s plans fell through because you faltered in your faith at the last second… God didn’t let you move forward because you take 15 minutes in your preparation instead of 10. If you had given up drinking coffee as well I’m sure your life would be much better right now.”
 
POPPYCOCK!
 
If God’s plans relied on our ability to do everything in our ability at every given second, what would be done in this world??
 
YOU are imperfect. YOU will fail. But newsflash. God already knew that!
 
God KNOWS you are weak. God KNOWS you are human. God KNOWS you are going to fall flat on your face an innumerable amount of times. If things are getting tougher, and everything is falling apart in spite of you chasing after God… don’t go kicking yourself up. You’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re following God! All the rest is a matter of His timing and His methods… and trust me… just ask Gideon… He likes setting up a losing situation first.
 
So then… should we sit back and live life as we please, because God loves us and is ultimately in charge of what works and doesn’t??
 
Replacing one extreme with another rarely works…..
 
God calls us to follow Him… not to make His plans work… Not to do miracles so we can get to Him… God knows where you stand. God knows who you are. God knows where you are strong and where you are weak. He wants you to grow through this journey, but you have to be willing to follow… and believe me that’s scary enough!
 
Are you following God? Are you trusting in Him? Are you praying? Are you reading the Bible? Are you asking others to pray for you too?
 
Unlike what society may say…. results do not necessarily show if you are doing what’s right or wrong… because all we can see are the results in this moment. We can’t see the path that lies ahead.
 
Learn from your mistakes. But do not feel you have failed God…or are too weak for Him. He knew where you stood before He asked you. You cannot let Him down as you were never holding Him up to begin with. The road ahead is treacherous and scary… but your safety has already been looked out for. Walk in confidence

Moving Forward

What is our role in this life?
 
If there is no God then what hope is there? The world will rest on your shoulders alone. And what hope do we have of handling such a responsibility?
 
If God is nothing but a good luck charm and a lesson in good morals, then how are we expected to handle the fear and stress? How heavily would the mistakes you make weigh on you?
 
What future would there be when we’ve destroyed all our chances? What would be the point of continuing on when there is no longer any options to go forward? If there is no God, and the success of your life rested on your shoulders alone… what would be the point of fighting on?
 
But there is a God, so what is there to fear? Though life is out of my hands. Though the mistakes of my past weigh me down and close off all paths forward… what do I have to fear? Because it is not about what I can do, but about what God can do through me as I follow Him.
 
It is not because we deserve God’s grace, but because He loves us that we can ask for a path, for a chance, for a life forward. And so, though the world I currently stand in may collapse around me, and all my attempts to escape were all for naught, I shall not waste my life in fear and stress, but instead focus on following Him as best I can.
 
If there is no God than to put faith in Him would be viewed as foolhardy and putting off responsibility…. but it is because there is a God that I can cry out…. no matter how undeserving I am, no matter how much of my current problems are my own fault… no matter how scary and confusing the future may look… it is because there is a God that I can beg of Him to lead me, and find peace and comfort in the knowledge that He is in control and even my greatest failures He can use to make me stronger.
 
So for those who feel you have lost… that there is no path for you… That you have messed up too much to be redeemed…. know that this life was never resting on your shoulders…. and that as long as your lungs draw breath it is not too late for God to do amazing things through you.
 
Amen

What Is Strength?

What is strength? What is weakness?
 
Compared to true strength, are we not all weak? Compared to true wisdom, are we not all fools? Compared to true power, are we not all hopeless?
 
Yet true strength, wisdom, and power are things humanity is not capable of. And as such we lower our expectations. We lower the transfer point between strength and weakness. It is hard to imagine what you have not seen and cannot comprehend so it makes sense that we do that.
 
So by human standards… what is strength, and what is weakness?
 
Some would argue that a strong person is one who goes through life without breaking a sweat. “That person gets all A’s… they pass every trial… they got the job they want, the family they dreamed of, everything is going their way… I wish I was that strong… I feel too weak to even cover basic survival in life… how am I supposed to have the strength to be ambitious as well?”
 
But is that strength? Is that person truly strong? Or has that person simply not faced trials yet like you have?
 
If that were all there were to being “strong” then there would be a strength to weakness the strong cannot imagine.
 
The weak face failure. The weak face hardships. The weak face tasks they cannot overcome. The weak are forced to adapt. The weak are forced to compromise. The weak are forced to think of new ways forward aside from the straight path that the rest have taken.
 
Life WILL have trials… no matter who you are. The fact that you face them while others does not mean you are weak… in fact, it means that you have a strength the strong do not have. To know your weakness, and to be forced to think of a way around it… is that not a strength in itself?
 
I would argue that it is not the strong who can keep moving forward in life. Instead I would argue the ones who keep moving forward are strong.
 
It is not about what strength you have to face the current circumstances that decide if you are strong or not.
 
If Usain Bolt ran against a series of kindergarten students and won…. who would seem stronger? The kindergarten kids who tried their hardest only to lose? Or Bolt who breezed through and won…. Now if the rest of their lives this match continued… who would BE stronger? The one who is simply breezing through on ability? Or the ones who seek to push past their own??
 
It is not strength that lets us move forward… it is moving forward that gives us strength. What matters is not how much you fail. What matters is not how much easier those around you succeed. What matters is that you never give up. Pick yourself up. And keep moving forward!

Distracting Desires?

There is a very strange belief in our world today, that we serve a God who created us with wants and desires (or that he created us and then was appalled to find one day we had developed wants and desires) and that he then demands us to ignore everything we want simply to appease His will. The more I think of this… the more I think this is a question of relativity than a question of cruelty.

This universe has constant… what is good is good, what is bad is bad. However, as humans, our interpretation of the world is very limited by the few parts of it we are able to observe.

To put it simply… there are things I want in life… and there are things I think I want…. What I want is a feeling… one that I’ve tried to find all my life… what I think I want is my current interpretation of that feeling based on how close to it I have been able to get.

When I was a kid it was simple and reactionary… as I grew… that opinion has grown… become more detailed… There are many things that come close to the feeling I am looking for. But looking back I realize how shallow and far most of them were.

I do not believe we serve a God who demands us to suffer to appease Him. Such a God would be in contradiction to everything said about Him. I think we serve a God who wants us to enjoy The world He created as much as He enjoys us His creation… and as such He doesn’t want to settle for shallow feelings when (even though we may be experiencing the greatest feeling we ever have) it pales in comparison to what he holds for us in the future.

I don’t believe God WANTS us to suffer… though there are some who disagree with me and believe He does so He can show how strong He is through us and through the suffering…. I think suffering and emptiness come from 2 reasons…

1. The consequence of not following what He tells us of. And I don’t mean as a divine slap on the wrist… I mean God gave us rules not so He could enforce them but to protect us from the result of going other ways. If you run out in the road as a kid and get hit by a car… it is not because your parents are angry at you. It’s because you disobeyed the instruction they gave to keep you safe!

2. To help us grow closer to Him…. I think pain and suffering DOES make us stronger. But I think it is only supposed to last for a season. A time to draw us closer to Him. To realize our own weakness. To begin to understand His strength. To become sensitive and caring to those who hurt around us. Hard times teach us quite a lot…. but I do not think this means they are meant to last forever.

Now I will be honest… I do not write this out of knowing, for who can truly know and understand God??? In all honesty I haven’t hit that “Enjoyment of life” yet… nor do I know if anyone else has. I look at all that is wrong in life… I look at all that is breaking me from all sides…. I see how hard it is to see any kind of future before me…. and honestly it does make you wonder some times if what others say is true… that we really are just here to go through things we were not made for in order to show God’s strength…. But the more I read the bible, the stronger my faith grows that it can’t be this way.

Because GOD was the one who made us! God was the one who made us unique! God was the one who gave us desires even if sin warped them to convince us cheaper, easier to obtain knock offs would give us the same joy. That is why I have faith that God DOES give us these feelings, desires, differing strengths and weaknesses for a reason. Why I feel these aren’t just “Distractions we must learn to bury and ignore” but promises that God does know what we want and what we need.

We serve a God who loves us… and does all things for our good, not our harm. Have faith, Have strength, fight on!

As Strongholds Crumble

It is really a mistake when we view people of this world and think “Wow… That person is so strong.” or “Wow. That person was weak.” Is there any one strong enough that this life can’t tear them down? Is there really anyone out there who isn’t in some way giving life what they believe is their best?
 
Do not consider yourself superior because you can keep a cool head in a crisis, or won’t show your emotions. Do not consider someone inferior because they give into a different weakness than yourself.
 
Is anyone strong enough that God cannot bring them to their knees? Is there anyone too weak for God to raise up above the rest?
 
Even the highest tower of pride we have can be toppled so easily. Even the strongest fortress of confidence we have can be crumbled without a second thought.
 
The thought that Christianity is about us becoming strong, and improving ourselves to take on life’s troubles is wrong. We are human… and no matter what we do and how we improve that is all we will ever be.
 
It is about trusting in God… through the storms, through the sunny days, through the lonely nights…. and believing in Him. Not because of what we get out of it… but because He is God and we have chosen to follow Him.
 
“I believe that our God can save us, but even if he doesn’t, we will follow Him.”

Existence in Absence?

Is absence an existence?
 
We talk about things in our world, like evil, darkness, peace, health, hate… But when we think about it… these things are not things at all… they are simply a state with the absence of other things.
 
An action lacking good (even though it may contain SOME good) is evil.
 
A room lacking light (Even though there might be a little) is dark
 
A time without chaos (even though there might be a bit) is peace
 
A body without disease (though there is always some) is healthy
 
A life without love has hate
 
And yet we treat these as existing things on their own… Good vs Evil. Light vs Darkness. Wishing for peace. Trying to attain good health. What we view as two opposing forces butting heads, when really it is more like a glass of water which has both full and empty.
 
You cannot beat evil by fighting it, any more than swinging a sword at nothing will accomplish anything. You fight evil by filling the world with good. For if the glass is full with good there will be no evil.
 
You do not achieve peace by fighting. You can protect others by fighting yes, and there are times when I believe it is necessary to fight. But realize you do so at the cost of chaos. To attempt to achieve peace by fighting is like attempting to empty a cup by adding to it!
 
You cannot cure hate by hating it. For your cup is already dry, and doing so will only make you bitter. You fight hate by filling it with love… love even for those you hate…. and then even though people still hurt you… you do not hurt yourself because of them.
 
We like to stand up against the things we don’t like in this world. It makes us feel heroic and like we are accomplishing something. Our enemy seems massive and seems to destroy all we care about… but by focusing on it… and our attempts to “Conquer it”, we neglect to build and maintain… which only makes our enemy stronger.
 
Think of what you can give… not what you wish you could take away. It is a losing battle if you don’t!