A Life on Faith Support

A Life on Faith Support

Dear Reader,

pexels-photo-695963.jpegIf you’ve been following, you’ll have read about my disastrous hernia repair this past November. Today, six months later, I think I’ve finally reached an understanding about why it’s been so life-threatening.

You see, since that incident, my Faith has been on Life Support.

It’s a combination of things that’s left me like this.

Obviously, there was the excruciating physical pain I experienced, and, now, fear of risking that agony again, even (and especially) by undergoing the elective, “normal life-restoring” kidney transplant.Image result for bible verses god's big picture

Then there’s the absolute irony of “sailing” – so to speak – through several serious surgeries (i.e. open heart, having part of my colon removed) – only to be sunk by a routine, out-patient operation.

small crossMostly, though, it’s been emotional and spiritual stuff.

I’ve had a lot of doubt and anger at God for letting it happen to me, for putting me through it. I’ve lost my trust in Him. Doesn’t He promise not to harm me?

And I’ve been fretting over our financial future. For the past four years, I’ve been on disability. I’ve done some part-time, sit-down rideshare driving, but, otherwise, I haven’t had to work, to labor.
That would change a year after successful transplant when benefits would end.

And what about His plans to prosper? Three years of blogging for a mere two hundred followers? That’s not the fruitful ministry I envisioned for Sharing God’s Story.

I think I’ve found the answer in that last sentence – and it’s something that’s tripped me up many times before.IMG_4207

My Life is supposed to be on Faith Support.

See the source image

Father God,
I’ve been crying out about where You went, where You’ve been. But I took myself off Faith Support.

I’ve wanted to know how You will work this for my good – what are Your plans to prosper and not to harm me? 

But that’s not how You work. My plans and Yours don’t always agree. Neither does Your timing. And which always ends up perfect?

I forgot the lessons You’ve brought me through these past ten years, and the absolute trust I had found at a few precious milestone moments along this crazy journey.

That is the kind of faith I need again: trust instead of fear, in spite of fear.

Help me to let go:

  • of fear,
  • of expectations on how You will work all things,
  • of my plans for how You should work things,
  • of life itself, (O yes, I do know how to do this)
  • of the need to be the one to plan it all out
    (that’s Your department)

Mine is to simply take one step – the next right step, by Your guidance – at a time.
Please shine Your light extra-brightly on what that is for today.
Like You always have.
Help me to see it, to be still, and to look and listen.

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Fear, Obedience? Choice?

Fear, Obedience? Choice?

I have a quote and two verses on my mind this morning.

baby-hand-infant-child-451853.jpeg“Obedience is the outward evidence of the true fear of the Lord.”
– John Bevere

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.
– Provebs 1:7 (GW)

…the one who makes a promise and does not break it,
even though he is hurt by it.
Psalm 15:4b (GW)

These all serve as reminders for me that, really, the whole deal here, the big tamale, the be-all, and end-all, is fear and obedience- by choice. Not the one because of the other.

It’s an attitude thing, I think. Actually, I do like the word “awe” instead of fear.

awe noun “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”

There’s a lyric from a Fike song, “I know You’re good, but safe I’m sure You’re not.”

pexels-photo-424517.jpegI guess what I’m trying to say is not that I want to obey because I’m afraid of You, but because I believe You do have plans to prosper and not harm me BUT if I refuse, You are quite capable of … ____?

What’s the right word? Justice? Correction? Discipline? The discipline of a Father for His beloved children – maybe that’s it.

I like the way The Passion Translation (TPT) puts it:

How then does a man gain the essence of wisdom?
We cross the threshold of true knowledge
WHEN we live in obedient devotion to God.
Stubborn know-it-alls will never stop to do this,
for they scorn true wisdom and knowledge.

pexels-photo-269334.jpegIt’s a “which comes first” thing; TPT says plainly that obedient devotion is the prerequisite for true knowledge.

I’m a smart guy (or so they told me), and I was raised thinking you have to know what you’re doing before you can succeed in doing it. I sense a setup for stubbornness and foolishness in that perspective.

Ah, yes, forever I’ve been a “have my cake and eat it too” guy; always trying for a win-win (for me) situation. That’s why Psalm 15’s verse is included. pexels-photo-227432.jpeg

Obedience just has this sense that stresses doing something one doesn’t want or really like doing. Something contrary. Integrity can hurt, or be uncomfortable, at the least.

I checked out all English translations of the Proverb. Here are some of the words used in place of “wisdom and discipline.”

  • pexels-photo-265076.jpeginstruction
  • self-discipline (my word)
  • good advice
  • a willingness to learn
  • chastening
  • teaching
  • knowledge
  • guidance

Aren’t all these things “good?” Aren’t they all things a “smart” person would do, without question? Aren’t these inherent? Common-sense? (In which case, we don’t need to be taught to do them, right?)

Or did we?

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Some toddlers will bypass the stairs as soon as they notice they can climb instead

 

‘Tapping’ into “It’s Not About the Nail;” Everything or Nothing

‘Tapping’ into “It’s Not About the Nail;” Everything or Nothing

It’s Not About the Nail

Screenshot 2017-10-13 04.31.46

A few years ago, this video, “It’s Not About the Nail,” surfaced on YouTube. I find it amusing.

Screenshot 2017-10-13 05.29.37
It depicts a supposed difference between men and women: that women like to (or need to) just talk about problems and issues (like going on about a nail stuck in your forehead), while men just want to “fix” it.

small crossBut this morning, I realized that it summarizes another, non-gender relationship; the one between God (the Creator) and humans (the Created).

(And I also recognize another symbolism in a nail being the physical object.)

Continue reading “‘Tapping’ into “It’s Not About the Nail;” Everything or Nothing”