I Can See Clearly Now

When you look through a monocular, or what I remember in movies as an old-fashioned  “spyglass” that pirates used to use, you look at a particular place. While you peer through, you cannot see the entire field of vision, only the space around the focal point you’re looking at. What does this create? A partial view of your surroundings or tunnel vision!

When you’re up against a problem, we have a tendency as humans to only look at the thing that is disturbing or harassing us. We fixate on it really. We worry about it, lose sleep over it, and otherwise just keep looking at it over and over. What is it we think will happen by looking at it and only it? We want, more than anything, for it to just go away.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.

This scripture is a good reminder of the nature of our walk with our Lord, one we tend to focus only on the beginning, forgetting the promise made at the end of the verse! The enemy of our souls is here, in this world, and he brings suffering and negative into our lives. But. God is also with us and He’s always working for us, helping us to live well in a hostile surrounding.

“Oh that mean old devil messed up my life because he means to steal my blessing!” Or how about, “I can’t believe I’ve been having all these awful headaches; I’ve been prayed over for healing, but they’re still hurting me!” Or perhaps, “we’re in financial messes because of the enemy!”

I think we’ve all been guilty of such statements, concentrating only on the dilemma at hand, that thing we’re focusing on that is causing us so much angst. But the truth of the matter is that if we would but shift our spyglass upwards, we might begin to “see” in the ways our Lord has intended.

Let’s look once again at the scripture.“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. Our tunnel vision tends to look at part a of this scripture; God’s intention is that we might look at part b!

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Are you a follower of Jesus? Have you invited Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior? If yes, then this promise applies to you! He came so we might have abundant life!

As we fumble around with only seeing the narrow view of our predicament, He sits in heaven, longing for us to shift our sight to the heavens. He always has the solution to our situation, for He knows the end from the beginning. The solution may be sitting right there in plain view but the problem is we’re not even looking for it because we aren’t looking to Him!

I am guilty of fixating on the problem. So what’s wrong with that picture? As I focus only on the problem, the negative thing occurring in my life and not looking around for His solutions, I miss His answer. Oh, so much time wasted!

This tunnel vision of mine is a trait I’m currently asking Papa God to help me with. I’ve learned, through hindsight, to see His provisions every single time I have a problem. I am now, finally, learning to not react to the problems that present in my life. I’m learning to say to myself when the next thing shows itself, “don’t react! Don’t react!”

Instead, I try to take a deep breath, pick up the monocular, and take another look, this time upward to see if I can identify His solution waiting there for me to discover. And as is so true of our loving Father, when I then shift focus back down onto my problem, I suddenly see the solution…right there in front of my eyes!

As growing Christians in a hostile world, it is important for us to remember that God has our back…always! And, according to John 10:10 above, He promises us that in the end, our problems are going to be turned to our good, full of abundant life. What is abundant life?

Webster’s defines abundant as: plentiful; in great quantity; fully sufficient; as an abundant supply. In scripture, abounding; having in great quantity; overflowing with. We might tend to look at “abundant” in the verse as, “oh, that’s nice.” Abundant in the original Greek is the word perissos. It means: Super-abundant! Superior! Beyond abundant! This is no small promise.

I invite you to attempt to turn over a new leaf with me. Instead of looking at life and its problems as a tunnel-visioned, “oh no, here we go again!”, let’s try to focus on the One, looking for His promise and provision. Put down the monocular, stop looking at the problem, and instead, look for His provision in the bigger picture.

Lord, help us to see this life through Your eyes. Yes, there are problems we face but there is no problem bigger than you, Lord! I pray blessings over my brothers and sisters reading here today and I pray your heavenly provisions of abundance will pop into our line of sight in brand new ways.

I’d love to hear your comments as you attempt to see things clearly now!

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Patience is a Tough Nut to Crack!

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I feel badly that I haven’t been very reliable in writing lately. The past three weeks plus have been a challenge. I am still with my parents, away from my husband and church home.

Uncharacteristically, it has been raining – a lot while I’ve been here. So much for walking off pent up feelings and frustrations.

My mom has been in the hospital for a week, then two emergency visits in the span of these twenty-one days. So much for routine.

My Dad’s declining hearing has made for challenging exchanges. So much for flowing conversation.

Life is unfamiliar right now as all my routines and responsibilities changed in the matter of a few hours, as long as it took to make a reservation, get on a plane and fly to my childhood home.

I’ve heard the phrase that the baby-boomers are now called the sandwich generation. I’m not quite sure I get it. While we are quite involved with our son and his family, we do not have responsibility in his life, other than we are doing our very best to be good examples for children and grandchildren. I do, however, understand the vagaries of being available for elderly parents. Hmmm, I guess that’s the point; sandwiched between two very different generations, attempting to make connection and sometimes provision, with the folks we love most.

I’ve been here just shy of a month now. There have been mostly daily battles, rising and falling emotions, not unlike the tensions of the tides, rushing in, pausing to determine whether to push forward or to retreat, only to eventually fall back and allow myself to rest in the deeper pools of known waters.

I’ve learned some things about myself. I’m not by nature a caregiver sort of person. When God gave out the gift of hospitality, I must have been off playing somewhere and missed notice I was to be there in line! I did, however, receive the gift of administration. Ample dosages. Maybe a double portion! I can get things done and I’m a fixit person to the depths of my soul. I’ve come to the conclusion the Lord needed me to, once and for all, hear Him in the fact that just because I can orchestrate and line things up, not all things are to be fixed by me. Yes, it’s been an interesting month.

I’m here this morning in an uncharacteristic lull. Savoring. But it’s going to change in a few minutes as the troops are moving in the background and a grocery shop is on the agenda. Once the ship is in motion well, I might as well give in and go with it.

God is good…all the time! While this has been a challenge, I’m alive and well and forging on. My Lord has provided even when I’ve lost sight of my own abilities to cope with these fast-changing hurdles. I’ve failed, but fairly quickly I’ve realized He’s been here through it all. Humbling. That’s ok, I’ll survive.

The grocery store calls. Off we go once again into a day of unknowns. Remember awhile back when I confessed I didn’t like change? God had a good laugh over that one. And this particular morning I’m kind of snickering with Him. I’ve learned I can make adjustments, and quickly if I need to!

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Thanks Lord. The patience nut has been cracked!  Blessings on your day.

I Can’t Change, Can I?

imagePhoto by Pixaby.com

I’ve written before about my attitudes in the past about change.  I didn’t like it.  There was nothing about change I liked.  It was disruptive, it usually wasn’t friendly, and I spent a lot of my time avoiding it.  Funny thing was that no matter what I thought about change, it still happened.

I wonder what would happen if us humans were to embrace change completely.  I believe the Lord wants us to change our minds about change because, well, things are changing all the time.

Take my parents for instance.  They were born in the 1920’s.  My goodness, think about all the change that has taken place in our world since then.   Airplanes and flying were still in their infancy.  Television hadn’t come onto the scene yet.  Movies were still black and white.  Computers hadn’t been thought of (well, perhaps someone was thinking about it, but they didn’t make it onto the scene until much later).  Folks were still dying of measles and smallpox, routinely.  Food was all prepared in the home because there were no prepared foods.  I could go on and on.

When we come face-to-face with change we often balk.  I can’t quite figure out why this seems to be the go to attitude for so many of us but I see it over and over. We just don’t seem to be very friendly with change and yet change is all around us, day after day, as a regular part of our lives.

Today I had occasion to talk to a banker about the ways we can get our money to another person.  I wanted to know if there was any way I might not be aware of that we could receive cash without actually going anywhere, as in without leaving our home (it’s a long story!).

We are indeed quickly becoming a cashless society.  We can have our checks direct-deposited into our checking or savings accounts.  We can, if computer/Internet savy, pay our bills via billpay.  We can wire money to others.  We are now able to text money to others – I didn’t know about that one.  We can also email money, another version I’ve done only once.  It seems we can get money to people fairly easily but you must still be able to get to a bank or at the very least to a cashier at a store to be able to receive cash for yourself.

The point is, the world is an ever-changing place.  We see it all around us, we live with it everywhere, and yet we fight it’s existence and get downright testy sometimes if we perceive we are expected to change in some way!

In my last post I wrote about my choices.  If change is inevitable, and everything about life seems to indicate that is true, then I have a choice to make.  I can either go with the things that are changing around me and learn from them or, I can hang onto my old ways.  In my past, I hung onto my old ways.  Sometimes I hung onto them until it hurt.  Sad but true.  I spent a lot of time hurting back then.

Once again I come to the fact that when I’m facing a change, I get stuck in my ways because somehow I don’t believe God can help me.  “This thing is way too big for you God!  I certainly don’t know know what to do with it, so how could You?”  When I state it in this way it sounds just ludicrous!  As I wrestle and fight over this thing that I don’t know the answer to, I find I’m actually holding the problem hard to my chest and I seldom allow anyone into the problem.  Even as I write this, I’m realizing just how stupid this attitude is!  And yet I’m guilty of this thinking.

These days I’m attempting to have a looser grip on change.  I don’t want to hold onto my ways so tightly that I’m stupid about the changes coming.  God is so much bigger than me and He knows the end from the beginning.  If that is true, and I believe it is, then He knows the best route out of this dilemma.

Just like that, what pops into my mind but the children of Israel wandering around in the desert.  They didn’t like the changes going on in their world either.  They started grumbling to Moses almost from the outset.  Here was God providing for them in new ways (manna, water from rocks, the promise of a new land) and they were holding hard to their chests the old ways.  “We want to go back to Egypt.  We may have been slaves but at least we had garlic and onions to eat!”  They were an ungrateful bunch.  Funny, it’s so easy to see it in them, so hard to see it in myself.

Now let’s look at the truth of the matter.  God had a place for them.  It was a fertile land and they would be free from captivity.  They would be able to thrive in this place.  All they had to do was trust God.  The problem was they couldn’t see His provision any more than we can when faced with change in our lives.  But God hasn’t, nor will He ever, change!  What we so easily see as His provision for our ancestors, He certainly has the same in store for us.  The provision is there, waiting for us, we just have to go with the change and trust Him!

God wants to show us marvelous things!  Did you hear me?  He has absolutely wonderful things in store for us – because He loves us!  But the catch is we have to go through the changes in order to realize them.  Just as the children of Israel had to get to the promised land before they could realize the wonderful place it was, so do we have to get through the change before we’ll see His provision in our lives.image

 

If we’re ever going to become a butterfly, we must stop crawling around, go into the pupa stage and allow the wondrous change to occur!  It will be a marvelous change.  It will be a brand new day.  Help me Lord, I wanna fly!

He Has a Lot of Provision!

I came across this from my blog awhile back and it spoke so LOUDLY to me tonite, I just had to re-post it. I hope you get as much out of it as I did again.

Just Encourage

Haven’t had a cell phone for 6 days now. It’s interesting. I am missing a few people, but I don’t miss the intrusion that being connected brings. At this moment, I’m sitting in a screened porch and the only sound I can hear is that of the wind blowing through the trees. Ahhhh. Longed for silence.

I’m taken to Psalm 62:1-2 (NKJV):
“Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.”

I like the Amplified version: Psalm 62:1-2 FOR GOD alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be greatly moved.

I go to my concordance and look up the various words; this becomes my interpretation: Truly I myself wait…

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He Has a Lot of Provision!

Haven’t had a cell phone for 6 days now. It’s interesting. I am missing a few people, but I don’t miss the intrusion that being connected brings. At this moment, I’m sitting in a screened porch and the only sound I can hear is that of the wind blowing through the trees. Ahhhh. Longed for silence.

I’m taken to Psalm 62:1-2 (NKJV):
“Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.”

I like the Amplified version: Psalm 62:1-2 FOR GOD alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be greatly moved.

I go to my concordance and look up the various words; this becomes my interpretation: Truly I myself wait in silence for God, because from Him alone comes my salvation (saving grace, aid, deliverance, victory, health). He only is my Rock and Victory; He is my high place, refuge, secure height; I will not greatly slip, shake, or fall.

Note the last sentence; I will not greatly slip, shake, or fall. God’s Word is truth and so from these root words I learn that “I” will not greatly slip, shake, or fall. His truth tells me that I as a human will slip, shake, or fall…just not greatly. The root word for “greatly” is rab which means abounding in, exceedingly, much. While it isn’t necessarily comforting to know that I will indeed slip, shake, or fall, it does speak truth to me because I know me, and I do mess up. But the comfort comes from the Hebrew root that assures me I will not abound in this messing up!

Sometimes reading the Word is, well, just reading the Word. But when I take the time to dig a little into what the original language meant, out jumps a truer or deeper meaning, one that comforts and gives me hope. This is His hope and desire, that His Word will bring truth, comfort, hope, and transformation into our lives as we abide (live) in His Word.

I urge you to get with God. Sit there and be quiet for a time. We don’t have much silence in this day and age, but God knows we need it. As we sit with Him for a little, His truths come. I don’t know what you are facing today, but my hope is that this particular truth will speak to you today as it did to me. He is waiting for us all to come into His throne room, to lay our burdens at His feet, and allow Him to bring provision into the situation. After all, He’s God…and He has a lot of provision!