Then I began to write this post again a week or so ago when a friend of mine left for Joplin, MO to help with the victims of the massive tornado that all but leveled their entire town. But again, it just didn't feel like the words were right....and I was afraid that it might come across as insensitive (totally not my goal!!!).
Over the years, I've discovered that when I have a compelling desire to write about something but can't find the right words, I shouldn't force it. I need to wait until God nudges me forward. I need to wait for His words to fill my heart...my mouth...my fingertips. I pray that I am moving forward in the right timing now. (Then again, I suppose if I have great difficulty writing this, you'll never see it! If you're seeing it, I got some Holy Spirit guidance & pressed forward.) So here it is.
The big message of this blog post is:
God never changes.
God never changes.
Those may not be shocking words for you, but I've been reminded over & over lately of these things.
You see, from where I stand...
I can't think of a time in my life when there weren't any wars going on.
Vietnam, Indochina, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Rwanda, Croatia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Bosnia...and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. There are plenty of others.
And I can't think of a time when there had been no recent floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis or earthquakes.
Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahom, Alabama, Japan, New Orleans...and these are just the ones I can think of from the past few years. There are plenty of others.
I can't think of a time when the world (or even just America) was completely comfortable with their leaders.
Papa Bush, Clinton, Baby Bush, Obama...and those are just our last 4 Presidents.... the previous 40 weren't unanimously liked either.
I can't remember a time when there weren't hungry or homeless people world wide.
...or a time without orphans who need a family.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
I can't remember a time when there wasn't a national, state, local or personal budget crisis going on.
I can't remember a season or a day when I didn't know of someone who was suffering & dying.
I can't think of a single day of my life when I was completely, utterly, blissfully at rest...totally at peace with every person & situation in my existence.
Gosh, I can't even remember a day of my life with I was 100% calm and at peace with myself.
So are you depressed yet?
Seriously, think on those things. Have you ever experienced a time without troubles?
At a church we attended a few years ago, there was a night when the members of the congregation were asked to stand & give a testimony of things God had done in their life recently. There was a couple in attendance that night who were traveling and just happened to choose our church to visit as they passed through town. Something struck me that the man said when he shared his story. I can't even remember what his testimony was about, but the things he said that stuck out to me were--
You are always either just finishing up a major battle in your life, or you're just about to face one.
You are always either on the mountaintop or you're in the valley. If you're in the valley, you know there is a mountaintop coming, so hang on. If you're on the mountaintop, get prepared because you're heading into the valley.
Those two statements have made me think so many times about our lives. They're so true. The reality is that we are ALL living a roller coaster ride. Things may look great, life is good, everyone's healthy...and then BOOM, the rug is ripped out from under your feet. We've all experienced that. And the reverse is true as well. Things are horrible, it feels like your world is falling apart and no matter how long that season seems to last, a day comes that you realize you've reached the 'other side' of a serious crisis in life and you relax & get comfortable in life again.
Those big crises may look different for us all....financial problems, a divorce, losing a loved one, a sick child or spouse, a house fire, a flood or tornado or hurricane or personal emotional/mental/psychological turmoil. But despite the differences in our trials, the fact remains that they are the valleys of life, but there WILL ALWAYS be a mountaintop on the other side of those valleys. Even if it's not in sight at the time.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not making light of ANY of those trials because they are all very real. I am not brushing off the seriousness of any of the things I mentioned above. Quite the opposite. They are all very serious & very painful. I don't have any notion that some are better or worse than others. Really...life sucks sometimes & there's just no way around it.
But that's where the reality of that 1 unchanging thing in life comes in.
When you're on the mountaintop, God is there.
When you're in the valley, God hasn't changed.
When you're fighting a battle that doesn't seem to be one you could win, God is there wielding a sword with you.
When you're suffering & crying, God is still the same.
When you're in the middle of a nasty divorce that you never saw coming, God is still on the throne.
When you're fighting to save the life of your child from drug addiction, God is still the same God who created the foundations of the earth.
When you find yourself in the bottom of a bottle and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, God loves you.
When you're alone and weary of the fight ahead, He is there.
When your home burns down or is carried away by a tornado or is washed away in a flood, God is your shelter.
When your child dies, God is your comfort.
When your world is collapsing at your feet, He is there to pick you up.
When your bank account is empty and you aren't sure where the next meal will come from or how you'll pay your rent, God provides.
When your parents pass away suddenly, He holds you close.
When you find out you have been layed off, He fills in the gaps until you find the new job.
When you move cross country, He shows you that all you need is Him.
The same God who made the widow's oil bucket bottomless will meet all your needs. The same God who healed the blind man, the leper and the crippled man is watching over your husband who has cancer. The same God who created the stars & pinned them to the heavens is holding you while you rebuild your life after loss. The same Spirit that swept through the crowd at Pentecost lives in me today. The same God who spoke to Moses face to face speaks to me as well. The same Jesus who gave up His life on the Cross lives in me.
He is faithful.
People have a tendency to want to interpret God according to their circumstances, but they should do just the opposite---interpreting their circumstances according to God.
The truth is
our homes change.
our families change.
our bodies change.
our circumstances change.
the vehicle we drive changes.
the seasons change.
We lose people. We lose our health. We lose our financial security. We lose our lives.
But God never changes.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8
If you are standing a crossroads in life, not sure what to trust, which direction to follow or what to hold onto while you fight to stay on your feet, email me. I'd love to introduce you to my closest friend. He never changes.