Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Am I lost?

When the road is long and the scenery doesn´t change,often one can become consumed by a sinking sensation that the road is not going anywhere.

If you have ever made a journey that took you hours across a monotonously, repetitive landscape, there comes a point in that journey where it´s easy to begin to doubt you are actually going anywhere... or that you will EVER arrive!

This usually happens after enduring miles upon miles of long road and unending fields. Along with the boredom you begin to wonder... you begin to doubt..... Is this really the right road? How long is th
is going to take?

I guess I feel like I´m at that point in my journey of this thing we call life. Things are starting to appear the same around me and I find myself on an interminable, straight stretch in the same direction and doubt if I am actually going anywhere at all.

Doubt is healthy. It tests one's convictions.

In an article entitled "The Long Straight Stretch
," written by Joni Ereckson Tada, she says the following:

"Someone once said that the challenge of living is to develope a long obedience in the same direction. When it's demanded, we can rise on occasion and be patient... as long as there are limits. But we balk when patience is required over a long haul. We don´t much like endurance.

Right now you may be in the middle of a long stretch of the same old routine. There are miles behind you and miles to go. You don´t hear any cheers or applause. The days run together-so do the weeks. Your commitment to keep putting one foot in front of the other is starting to falter.

Take a moment and look at the fruit:

Your life is not a boring stretch of highway. It´s a straight line to heaven. And just look at the fields ripening along the way. Look at the tenacity and endurance. Look a the grains of righteousness. You´ll have quite a crop at harvest... so don´t give up!"

These words encouraged me so much this morning on my long and winding road. Even though it feels like I´m getting nowhere... God is doing something, producing something in me. Hey, whoever likes to learn patience? I don´t see anyone ever standing in the "patience" cue, eagerly waiting their lessons!! Let alone the perseverance cue......

Our "instant" society doesn´t place much value on these things does it? Why am I all to eager to bypass these lessons ? Even though I am struggling right now with a feeling of being lost on my long road, I want to believe that God is putting some valuable treasure inside my clay pot!

"Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up."

Gal 6:9

Monday, August 28, 2006

In the storm


By Mark Hall and Bernie Herms.

I read this on Gail's blog and I just could Identify so much......)

I was sure by now, God You would have reached down

and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,

"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Saturday, August 19, 2006

No running water.....

Praise the Lord, O my soul; and FORGET NOT ALL HIS BENEFITS.
Ps 103:2

This week was a reminder to me of this very verse!

Growing up in the western world, it´s easy to take for granted so many things because we have
had them all our lives. Take running water for example. Even though the majority of the world does not having the luxury of running water and even less in the comfort of it in their own homes, having water at the ready 24-7 is something that we definitely take for granted.... that I take for granted.

This week we were without water for over 2 days and I had to become creative at showering and washing dishes by heating up water from our pool! I have the luxury of bottled water to cover my thirst so of course, considering the odds, my "suffering" is really not worth the mention. But for my standard of living, it was quite the headache and
it required more time to accomplish tasks that normally are done without even thinking!

Isn´t it true that as soon as these comforts are removed, we quickly begin to appreciate what we have?? Just as the old saying goes... "You don´t know what you got until it´s gone!" rings loud and clear doesn´t it?

Naturally, I prayed and asked the Lord would give me water again. Do you know what happen
ed next?


We desperately need rain, so naturally the sight of this desired product not only came as a surprize from those colder northern lands, but it WAS NOT the answer that I had expected to my prayer..... I´m like, "God, I don´t want water outside the house but INSIDE!" Maybe praying specifically would have been helpful here!!!!!

Actually I felt that God really spoke to me through this and I had the opportunity of sharing it with some dear friends of mine going through a period of transition.

God often surprizes us when he doesn´t answer our prayers to open specific doors in the way we imagine. You know, those "obvious" prayer needs we have: Lord heal my Mum, provide a job...etc....But often God opens a window instead!

These are the moments when our faith and trust really kick into action.

We s
tand there somewhat stunned at God´s response to our need and say, "Okay God, that isn´t quite what I had in mind.... cough & choke in disbelief , a few minutes go by to regain control, and then comes the classic question: "What did YOU do THAT for?

Admittedly when it started raining, and we continued without running water, I had to smirk at the irony of it all. I had all the water I wanted outside...but that WASN´T what I needed! Now try and tell me that God doesn´t have a sense of humour!!!!

I was reminded at that point, that so often we ask for things that we think we need, but God in his Love and Wisdom opens a window instead of a door. We usually don´t understand it at the moment BUT it´s always for our best...AND generally is accompanied with the later realization that God´s reply was the best thing for us although at the time it did
nt make sense.

In the bible God often challenges the "logic" and "commonsense" of our fragile human nature. The first instance that comes to mind is when God has the Joshua and the people of Israel march around the walls of Jericho in silence and then the walls of this ever so fortified city would come crumbling down to the ground.

Can you begin to imagine Joshua, the military and spiritual leader of the community, explaining this tremendously logical and powerful strategy to attack their enemies and see the walls come tumbling down by silently marching around this city? I can just hear a, "yeah right!" coming from the crowd... I mean really, how illogical can one be? Oh and one mustn´t forget the logic of putting the musicians first... now there´s a arrowhead to lead the nation... a bunch of singers to prepare the way...no military training, no armour... just a few guitars and harps to help those 1 mile think walls come to their knees! (Being a musician... I can say that!!!)

How about the disciples during the storm.... What´s Jesus doing? Is He their calming their concerns, explaining the science of the power of the waves and their distance from the shore so they don´t worry, NO, no, no, Jesus was SLEEPING!

Apparently Jesus is totally oblivious to the goings on, which just totally goes against the grain, like nails going down the chalk board. Our logic cries out in disgust and God encounters it with a completely different dimension, where everything and every law obeys God and the impossible becomes THE POSSIBLE.

God´s sense of humour is seen again and again in the Bible of illo
gical moments such as when God lets the sun stop still, the Red Sea opens, a donkey talks, an elderly woman gets pregnant...oh man the list is endless.

This reality surrenders us to our knees and we hav
e to acknowledge once again, that God truley is God and His Ways are not our ways and His Thoughts are not our thoughts.....and whatever He does is always WELL DONE!!