Tag Archives: survival

Daddy Is Strong Enough

I was on the plane from Naples, Italy to Athens, Greece. I had the pleasure to sit next to a couple and their daughter who was about two years old. In the few minutes around take off she was a bit fussy. Her parents tried many things to calm her down. Soft words, toys, and whatever else they could think of. Finally, her dad said the, “I’m going wrestle you down (for the sake of her safety) and I don’t mind doing it because I am significantly stronger than you.” Thank you, Holy Spirit. This is what Daddy says to you, “I don’t mind loving you even if it is wrestling you because I am significantly stronger than you.” Papa doesn’t steer away from Love even at its hardest. Keeping you from what you want, to protect you from what is best for you. You may want to wander about the cabin, but when turbulence comes He knows you need to be in His lap.
 
I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him. Hosea 11:4 NLT
 
You might look back on your year with frustration. Have you gotten all that you desired out of the year? Maybe you got more turbulence than you expected. Though when you look back, you can’t help but see His faithfulness. What He has kept you from or brought you through, has it not been for your good? You have been lead by the ropes of His kindness and love. Even when it felt like you were being held back for no reason. We too often mistake His kindness for suffering. When we are being wrestled into the place where He wants us, rather than where we want to be. You can’t have it because He loves you too much. Either you’re not ready for it or it is not ready for you. This is why God requires faithfulness in little things before there is trust in greater things. Little things are made great through faithfulness. When something is placed in your hand it always feels small, because it fits in your hand. We mistakenly drop what is in our hands to go after the greater things, but miss the greatness already in our hands. Complaining about what is placed before you will keep you from seeing God’s faithfulness through it. He works everything out for the good of those called according to His purpose. (paraphrase Romans 8:28) We must not forget if we are walking according to His purpose for our lives. What is happening to us is good. His plans are for good. Whether it is to teach you something new or to help you align your desires with His. What happens to you is good, no matter how bad the world says it is. Yes, it sucks to go through, but the results are what matters. What He is doing in you is to draw you closer to Him. Closeness to God is the greatest good there is. Paul was made blind that he may see, the persecutor became that which he persecuted. Your perceived hindrance just may be your deliverance.
 
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10 NLT
 
What you are going through or have gone through, is not painful for the sake of knowing pain alone. It is so God might be glorified in your restoration. To help you find where your support comes from. Ultimately it is from the Lord, but practically it is from the community. Those that stick with you through pain, will be the most cherished in the celebration. It is to strengthen you. Faithfulness in the small things is a principle for what you desire and the trail. Remember the next trail may be more difficult, but our God never changes. Neither does His faithfulness. Lean on Him now in this trail, and do the same in the next. When you lean on the faithfulness of God, He places you on a firm foundation. One that cannot be shaken. Suffer for this little while, and share in His eternal glory. Being with Jesus is what makes suffering worth while, it is not suffering that makes being with Jesus worth while. Suffering sucks, let it be what it is. But go through it with the hope of being with Jesus as your anchor. Suffering is not to glorify one’s self. It is to bring greater dependence on the sovereignty of Christ. Knowing that the majesty of being present with Christ will far outweigh your present suffering. You will stay in your suffering so long as you see it as greater than the sovereignty of God. When the glory of God becomes greater than your pain, you will have been faithful in much. Turbulence alway seems more dangerous to those that haven’t experienced it. Daddy is strong enough to get through any storm. Don’t wait for Him to wrestle you into His lap, rest there for the entire journey.
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OMG I Need Direction

On the day the Tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered it. But from evening until morning the cloud over the Tabernacle looked like a pillar of fire. This was the regular pattern—at night the cloud that covered the Tabernacle had the appearance of fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. In this way, they traveled and camped at the Lord’s command wherever he told them to go. Then they remained in their camp as long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle. If the cloud remained over the Tabernacle for a long time, the Israelites stayed and performed their duty to the Lord. Sometimes the cloud would stay over the Tabernacle for only a few days, so the people would stay for only a few days, as the Lord commanded. Then at the Lord’s command they would break camp and move on. Sometimes the cloud stayed only overnight and lifted the next morning. But day or night, when the cloud lifted, the people broke camp and moved on. Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on. So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses. Numbers 9:15-23 NLT

As we come into the new year it may seem as though everyone around us has such clarity of what this next year will look like. While you’re in a fog. The new year always brings some sense of hope, even to the most hopeless. A chance to start fresh. A resolve to make things right this time around. While at the same there can be a sense of uncertainty. But uncertainty does not have to be hopeless. We are able to go into the unknown without fear. Maybe you haven’t set your goals for the year or made a list of resolutions. Perhaps you’re at a crossroads, and you’ve been there a while. This entire season may be the culmination of your frustrations; waiting on a word from God to move one way or the other. He’s been telling you many other wonderful things…accept the direction you need to go. In this season the work in you is of greater importance than the work through you. If He hasn’t told you to move, maybe He wants you to dwell. The children of Israel did not move until first, the cloud moved. And when the cloud stayed, they continued their work or duty. Continue to be faithful in the work He has put in your hands. His silence is not His disappointment. He has not moved you into your desire because He is restructuring your desire. Your waiting on Him is an act of obedience. It says that you don’t want to be in a place that He is not. In this time are you waiting well; are you settling deep into His presence? Even though you want it to be a transition, are you allowing it to be a transformation? Until the fog lifts stay. Resolve to allow Him to change the way you think. Become the person He wants to move into great things. Be before you do.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34 NLT

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT

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My Last Hope

Have you ever wanted to kill yourself? I must admit I have to answer yes to this question. Though those thoughts were very brief for me, they still went through my mind. I can clearly remember the thought of ending my life, but not the reason why. I can say for a fact that the situation I was up against passed and I lived through it. I say this not to gain the sympathy of the reader, but to bring to light an attack that has been forged against our generation. I never went through a period of depression or did anything to cause concern among friends and family. I only have a minute understanding of what someone being oppressed with suicidal thoughts goes through. If only your battle was as easy as I make it sound. I say all this to share who helped me though this small battle and my big battles as well.

“A single thread of hope is a very powerful thing” – Author unknown

I saw this quote and immediately thought of Rehab on the wall of Jericho. The only hope she had, was in the faithfulness of God, when she put the scarlet rope out of her window that her house would be protected. The rope itself was not what saved her, but the belief that in doing so God would see her faith. I’m sure she had her doubts. How is a rope going to save my house? This seemingly small act proved to be exactly what God needed to see and to move on her behalf. She had a small glimmer of hope that she would be seen. She believed that if God was big enough to tear down the walls around her, He is big enough to keep her house intact. She knew that even though everything around her fell apart she would be kept intact. This was the security of an entire nation. In putting the rope out there she not only said God would protect her but acknowledged He was going to tear down the walls. She moved her hope from the walls that had been put up to a God that could tear them down.

“No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!” Job 17:16 (NLT)

Rehab had the same mentality of Job. If the world falls apart or I even die, I will die with Hope in my heart. When everything I have has turned to dust, when my hearts desires seem to slip from my fingers, when the world tells me the darkness is light, it is Hope that I hold on to. When we have nothing to hold on to and we think all is lost hold on to Hope! Not in the hope that my situation will change but in who Hope is, the Hope that conquered the grave. The Hope that gives you a reason to live! Job is not professing that suicide is his only hope, he is saying I will lie down with Hope. I will rest is in knowing that Hope has me in His hands. That until the day I do die I will rest in the confidence of who Hope is. I will rest in Him until the dust settles. Who cares if all is lost? A life without the desires of my heart is livable, but a life without Hope is no life worth living. Find your value in who Hope is not in what you long for. Here’s the deal though, Hope cannot be contained and walls cannot come down without Hope. If we will open the door to Hope’s knock, we can allow Him to knock down our walls and be seen. Asking someone to bring their walls down without Hope is like asking a building be demolished with a pack of toothpicks. No matter how much you poke at it every toothpick will break before the building does. You have to be exposed to Hope before you can be seen. Allow God to see you and He will know your desires, allow yourself to see God and you will know His desires, allow yourself to see you how God sees you and you’ll desire what He desires for you.

The running theory on the fall of Jericho is that there was an earthquake that caused the foundations to give out. To the skeptics, earthquakes are considered an act of God. If we will simply allow God in to shake our foundations, strongholds will fall and the enemy will be defeated. Wait, isn’t Jesus supposed to be my strong foundation? Well I’m glad you asked. Yes. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (NLT) The foundation of Jesus is laid by Grace, by Hope, not by our works. We have all laid foundations of our own, that is what the Father wants shake. So that when the dust settles we are left holding onto Hope. Build your foundation on Hope and others will be able to build on that same foundation; there are others that depend on the foundation of Hope that you build.

The greatest story of Hope is when God shook the foundation of Jesus Himself. The night that Jesus put all of His hope in the human race. I say this in the sense that He went to the cross with no guarantee that anyone would accept Him, that the plan of God would even work. This is the real beauty in salvation, we get to choose it. God took everything from Jesus even though He did not deserve it. If anyone, Jesus had the right to curse God. He was betrayed by a friend, deserted by the rest and wanted for a crime He did not commit. On top of all that He was rejected by His Father. In the end all Jesus wanted was to be seen by His Father and accepted by His friends. Knowing all this would happen He still submitted to the will of God. He became the foundation of sin and allowed God to shake it till all that was left was Hope. Jesus could not become the Hope of the world until He answered the knock of sin. The knock of sin is not the act of sin but the consequence, to answer that knock is to open death’s door. He answered so we would not have to, He now waits knocking instead. To answer the knock of Hope is to open Life’s door.

Your Father is knocking
Faithfully knocking
Waiting knocking
He knocks again
This time will you let Him in?

If are having suicidal thoughts please put out your scarlet rope! Call a friend, a family member or a pastor. At the very least call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255. Talk to someone, find Hope!!

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Mountaintopper

Almost two years ago to the day I was in California doing fabrication for a design studio. I was living with the guy who was directly over me. It just so happened that this was the time of the year that the men in his family go on an adventure trip. He was kind enough to ask me to join them, and I was naive enough to say yes.

This years adventure was to climb Mt. Langley. We drove up to 10,000 ft. and hiked in 6 miles to make camp, with a 90 lb. pack. The next day we took the summit with a day pack. It was a 4 mile trek to the summit which was 14,042 ft. Once we made the peak, we signed the book at the top and immediately turned around and went back to camp for the night. I did play Imagine Dragons: On Top of the World before I made the decent. It was 8 miles, up 4,042 ft. and down 4,042 ft. in one day. As daunting as it was at the time, I wasn’t going to turn down the chance to go. It was worth the experience and the lessons learned.

  • Sometimes God will keep you valley because you are not ready for the mountain. Just because you look fit for the task ahead of you does not mean you’re ready for the task ahead. Knowing you’ll look good on the mountain top doesn’t mean you’re ready for the journey. Having the charisma of mountaintopper means nothing if you don’t have the integrity of a journeyer. I was not ready for the trip up. I would have to stop every 2O paces or so to catch my breath. This slowed the whole group down. Eventually they all went ahead, I slowly made the summit…45 minutes behind the group. Thank God for their patience and the graciousness of the guy I was living with to come back down to guide me up.
  • There is something new around every corner. No matter what corner I turned I never found what I expected. Even though it was rocks at every turn it was always a different rock. We may face things that are the same at face value, but they are an entirely new set of circumstances. Instead of going up the mountain saying “Great! More rocks”, we can say “Great! New rocks”. We have to understand that no matter how we look at it our perspective has changed. We are further along than we were yesterday. If we don’t allow our perspective to change according to where God is taking us then we are living in the past.
  • Keep eye on the trail in front of you. Sometimes you have to put your head down and just watch the trail. Sometimes you have to look up to the goal to remind yourself why you are going the direction you’re going. We can get so focused on the summit that it seems impossible to get to, no matter how long we walk it is still so far up there. Likewise we can get so focused on the trail that it seems wherever we’re going we’re never getting there, no matter how long we walk the trail never ends. We have to keep the balance of keeping our eye on the goal and on the trail. That we are on this trail for a reason not just to be walking. Remember why you’re on the trail, while keeping in mind that you have not arrived.

These are the few that I wrote down. If we just keep in mind that the journey is just as important and the destination, I think we’ll make it there without killing ourselves. I learned so much that day. There was a point where I faced the decision to continue or to turn around, I decided not to quit and will never regret it.. Even though its was one of the most physically difficult things I’ve done, it is something I long to do again. Though next time I will prepare myself.

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