God loves you, and He loves me. God gave His Son for you, and He gave His Son for me. God gave a second chance to you, and He's given a second chance to me.
Jesus loves you, and He loves me. Jesus gave His life for you, and He gave His life for me. Jesus conquered death for you, and he conquered death for me. Jesus offers a second chance to you, and He offers a second chance to me.
What in the world could you and I EVER offer in return for such a love, such a sacrifice, such forgiveness, and such a gift? What could we offer to rival the depth of such matchless love shown for you and me? We could start by doing that which we've been asked to do in return: to trust God; to serve God; to love God.
--- "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
--- "Since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." (Hebrews 12:28)
--- "But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Joshua 22:5)
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
Hurricane Ike recently devasted a good deal of the little corner of Southeast Texas I have grown to call "home." It is strange to see pictures of towns I have lived near all my life being 4-8feet under water. It is so sad to have so many friends who are out of their homes, that is, if they were lucky enough to have much of a home to return to. And it is just devastating to see what has been thrown on the shoulders of some; a sister in Christ where I attend had seven relatives - ranging from siblings to cousins - that lived in Galveston, who decided to "ride out" the storm, and they perished in the storm. This has been, is, and will continue to be a trying time for many in my area. All the recent events that tie in to the storm and it's aftermath have had me thinking, and generally, me thinking leads me to writing...
Our lives are so very fragile. All too often we allow ourselves to feel as though we are in control of our own lives, when in reality there is so little we have power over. It never ceases to amaze me that God created us as beings with so much power over what we as individuals will choose to do, yet outside of that, we are almost helpless to His Will.
I can choose to marry eventually, but I cannot decide whether or not someone will love me. I can choose a degree that will hopefully lead to a desirable profession, but I cannot ensure that I will have a "dream job." I can pour my heart and soul into running with the hopes of one day participating in something such as the Olympics, but I could very well spend my life chasing a dream only to be injured in an automobile accident the day before "the big race" and never run again.
This Hurricane has reminded me that no matter what I do, where I go, or who I try to be, I am always at the mercy of God's Will. The Hurricane has reminded me that we have little power over anything in our lives other than how we each individually react to the circumstances laid before us. I love the story of Job for that very reason; the heart and soul of that story lies, I believe, in a simple message that is two-fold: 1) we cannot change what happens to us, only how we will react to it; 2) God is in control.
I think I've already exercised the importance of point number one, but it's point number two that is of utter importance. God is in control. Have you ever really contemplated that thought? It seems only natural, for me at least, that the realization that God is truly in control causes two extremely poignant sentiments that are polar opposites: fear, and comfort.
The Creator, the Sustainer, and the Giver of life - both physical and spiritual - is directly involved in my life. He knows when I choose to react to circumstances laid before me rightly; He knows when I choose to react to circumstances laid before me in a manner that is undeniably wrong. That scares me. A Being so Powerful, so Mighty, so Pure, Righteous, and Holy; and They hear, see, and know my every action, thought, and motive, whether good or evil.
I find that when I am living with my focus on the "here and now," with my eyes off of God and His eternal promise, and when I am just not living up to what and who I should be - the thought of the Lord Almighty being in control is a fearful thing. However, when I am focused on, striving towards, and living for glorifying God, the fact that He is in control does not scare me at all.
God is in control. I can think of no other words that are so comforting to the ear of one who seeks to please the Lord, our God. One thing I have seen in both my life and the lives of others is that no matter what happens, things will be alright; God is in control.
When you lose your job and don't know what to do - God is in control.
When you lose your home and everything you've ever worked for - God is in control.
When you lose your loved ones - God is in control.
When your spouse of __ years decides they don't love you anymore - God is in control.
When you find yourself confused as to how to plan you're future - God is in control.
When school, work, family, or life in general has you stressed out - God is in control.
When loved ones grow sick or battle disease - God is in control.
When the world comes crashing down around you; when you find yourself at the end of your rope, crying out for help, yet nobody seems to hear; when you feel like giving up because you do not know what to do...God is still in control. What more could you and I ask for?
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding."
Never before has that passage been more applicable in my life than in this past year; and never before have I neglected the meaningful wisdom within that passage so poorly. Through everything that's happened, through the things I've tried to work through, I felt I was just finding myself in the same rut over and over again and kept trying to get myself out. This past month though, things have finally begun to look up, but for one reason alone; I have finally started looking up again. I've finally stopped trying to do it all alone, and looked back "up" to God; I'm re-learning what it means to not lean on my own understanding, but to trust in God the way I should have all along.
"I'm still learning how to pray,
Trying hard not to stray,
Try to see things your way;
I'm still learning how to pray.
I'm still learning how to trust;
It's so hard to open up...
I'm just trying to understand,
It's all in Someone else's hands.
There's always been a bigger plan,
But I don't need to understand.
I'm still learning how to bend..."
~"Still Learning How to Bend" By: Gary Allan
Well all my fellow pleonast'ers, I must say it's been far too long since I've posted on here. I know very few, if any of the people I know on here will even come across this or read this, but I feel like "updating" this considering my last post is well over a year old.
The past few months of my life has been a roller coaster ride. I've been up, but more often than not I have been down. For whatever reason I have always let things get the best of me too often, and the past several months have been no different. I guess some times it's just too easy to get so caught up in your day to day life, the "demon's of your past," or trying to map out your future that you forget to take time to look around, smell the roses, and realize how wonderful life truly is and how blessed we all truly are. Those thoughts are things I have often forgotten in the past several months, but as I find myself now working to move forward, I'm realizing more and more the good that is around us, bestowed upon us, and within us all. A slightly older friend of mine recently helped bring those thoughts back to me. Like I said, I tend to let things get the best of me and focus too much on the 0.01% of my life where things maybe aren't going well and easily forget about the 99.99% of my life that is so wonderful because of the many blessings we all have through such a wonderful God. That friend I was talking about left me with a very small, insignificant, simple, yet profound thought that I've had rolling around ever since:
"The only thing that you have to do in life is be a Christian and pay your bills. It's really easy, but [it's also] easy to let worldly truths and expectations get the best of you."
Some times it's small things like that can mean so much; some times small things like that can make a profound impact; some times small things like that can change your perspective; some times small things like that can help when you need it most.
My point of writing that is two-fold: first, never hesitate to offer a kind word, smiling face, or helping hand to someone because you never know when it will make all the difference to them; second, always remember that you're a Christian, and that is what matters. Everything else in life is secondary to that simple fact; I am a Christian.