Adventure

Adventure
Sunshine

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Journey

     Have you ever read those verses in James that talk about being joyful in hard times because in the end they will make you stronger and build character. Well I have, and I always thought that if that was the case then I didn't really want any more character. But something has been stirring in my heart the past couple of weeks and I'm learning something.
    All of my life, I have been a worrier. From the little things to the life changing moments, I have allowed worry and fear to play a role in every aspect of my life. And sadly, I allowed fear to cloud my perception of God and how He sees me. The past months I have been going through some very hard times. Call it fear, call it depression, call it a lack of trust. Whatever you call it, it has been taking me apart and invading my life. And through it, there have been times when I have felt like God has deserted me. I've begged God to take it away and time and again He's asked me to trust Him. And I start to cry and say,"God I'll trust You, if You make me feel better. I'll trust You, if you make Yourself more clear to me. I'll trust You, if you come stand in front of me and talk to me in person." But I've been learning that that is not trust. Trusting means believing even if the lies and fear feel so very real. Trusting means knowing that God is right there beside me, even if it feels like He is miles away. Trusting means not always knowing it or feeling it, but believing regardless.
    God has asked me to trust Him on a couple of things and when I haven't, I've begun to spiral down into fear. Through these months, I've asked why this is happening to me. And finally, something has been occurring to me. I could have gone on the way I always have been. Allowing little fears and worries to have control. I could have gone on knowing God and loving Him but always having a slight fear that He was mad or that I just didn't measure up, and I would have survived. But you know what, God didn't create us--you and me--to just merely survive. He created us to thrive in Him. To know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves us and delights in us.
     And I truly believe, that If I can learn the lesson of trust and deeply root it in my heart, that I will get through this time and that things will be forever different. Maybe, just maybe God is using this time in my life to shake me up and teach me something beyond my wildest dreams. I'm tired of settling and I'm tired of fear. And as I've been going through these hard times the words of James are slowly becoming more clear to me. God is for me, and God is going to bring me through stronger than ever. And you know what, whatever your story is, He's got big plans for you too. Trust in Him.

James 1:2-4
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." ~Richard Bach

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fear

    Do you ever struggle with fear? Maybe you don't even always realize it but somehow a doubt, fear or worry works its way into your mind and before you know what happened you are sharing your life with a dark cloud that just won't seem to go away. I know that I personally have fought with fear all of my life. The worries have changed over the years, but the root of the problem has not. I was thinking about this the other day and it occurred to me that fear is like a cancer. When you least expect it it sneaks in and begins to sap your strength and take over your life. The sad thing is that we all to often except this as something that we just have to deal with. Thus, we end up giving it more control by thinking that the fear is true and right. And when we look at a fear and say that it must be true, we hand it the controls to our lives. The more power that we allow the fear to have in our lives the stronger it will become and the deeper its roots will grow. This is starting to sound hopeless and depressing, but it doesn't have to be. Jesus, the One who loves you more than you will ever know, is the Master Healer. If we will allow Him, He will begin to cut away the fear and bring restoration and healing. The key here is that we have to let Him. If we continue to believe that our fears are true and give them power over our lives, we are not fully trusting that the God of the universe loves us, wants the best for us, and will never leave us. And, when we don't trust Him, we shut the door to letting Him help us. Another thing that I've noticed in my struggle with fear is that I sadly don't always know what to do when the fear is gone. It's like I've lived with worry so long, that when I feel that reassuring peace of the Father seep into my heart I question if it's real. I'm so accustomed to doubt and fear that I've sent them up as the truth. But there is so much hope for you and for me. Because God says that there is no fear in Him. So my challenge to you today is to open your heart and let it go. Allow the healing hands of the Father to hold you close and touch your heart. There is so much more to life that is just waiting for us to trust in God with our whole hearts. Those fears, they are not from God. Let them go.

1 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Beauty

Today is beautiful. If you can't see it yet, start looking. The sun is shining, the air is crisp, it's the start of a brand new week. Can you see it yet? You are surrounded by people, and everyone of them is different and unique. There is music in the air, open up your heart and let it in. Can you see it yet? You are blessed, you are loved, you are important? Can you see it yet? The beauty is there, you just have to look. And most importantly you are loved by the God who created all of this beauty. I woke up this morning and a verse ran through my head, "His mercies never end, they are new every morning." That means that today is brand new, yesterday's mistakes are in the past and the beauties of today are for today. So, stop living in yesterday and start living today. Open your eyes to what God has right in front of you. Can you see it yet? It's beautiful.

Lamentations 3:22-24
"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul. Therefore, I will hope in Him."


"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson