13 09 2014

My Coast Guard Buddy, Rob Berry, shared this story with me the other day via email. He knows that I have spent most of the last two months battling many physical ailments and various health issues. It has been such a bumpy ride for me recently that there have actually been days along the way where I have openly wondered, “Lord- Am I ever going to get well again?” Designated to the green pastures that our Shepherd makes us lie down in, I have only been able to perform the absolute necessities of my ministry at the Lighthouse Church. I have spent the majority of August and so far early September as a shut-in. It has given me a new compassion for many of you readers who also face this less than luxurious assignment on a daily basis! I would describe it as being like a caged lion stuck in the Zoo when he longs to roam the open wilderness- all he can see are the iron bars hemming him in. I have roared lots these past few weeks- but more out of discontent than out of delight!

But the beauty of my relationship with God is while I feel like I have many times been pushed to the very edge of losing my sanity- the love, mercy, grace and never ending promise of the presence of my Heavenly Father has kept me from free falling over! God’s will does allow us at times to experience what seems like a steady diet of pain and suffering, but he does so not because He is disinterested or doesn’t care but because anybody who lives this side of Glory is susceptible to the cranky conditions that go along with the territory! Even our Lord Jesus knew how awful it could be having to face the daily doldrums of disappointment but Scripture tells us that he pressed on driven by a fearless faith that God had a purpose and a plan even in the pit!

All of this brings me back to Rob’s story. He shared about a donkey who found himself stuck in a very deep pit and because of his position was about to get buried. The men above were already preparing to shovel the dirt over the burro because they assumed that he was dead and done! But that was not the case. Panicked by the process- the donkey did the only thing he knew how to do – he began to do some serious stepping and some steady stomping! He hee-hawed as loud as his vocal chords would carry. He longed for those above to notice that while he may have been down, he was far from being out! The moral of the story is that we human beings must not quit or cease turning and yearning while there are still signs of a pulse and a purpose! We must not allow this place to pronounce a death sentence over us especially when there are many words that still must be spoken!

Thanks Rob for the well timed reminder! In spite of the truth that many of us are being dealt cards that we would much rather do without- life is still an amazing gift! We have been offered the opportunity to shine our lights even in the dungeons of darkness! And while the calendar might not always be kind to our bodies, our spirit is still what matters most! God has given each and every one of us a talent that should not be buried under a bushel but offered to be used no matter where any of us may be!

I have to be honest; there are too many days I feel like a jack-ass! There are many moments that I almost wish that the hard day’s nights would be finished! I want to be free from the trials and tribulations and I almost wish that I would just cry, “I give up!” But I can’t and I won’t! I might bend but I won’t break! God has put eternal and abundant life within me and I almost against my own will- decide to fight on! So I kick and I stomp and I cry and I sing and I make very sure that this world hears my voice when it thinks that I am over and out! God fills us with hope at just the right moment and literally we come back from the graveyard! You can nail us to a cross and you can put us in the ground but you need to know that you can’t keep God’s children down! Go ahead and count to ten but know this- we will rise again and again and again!

I close with the words from another fighter named Paul. He wrote this in the midst of very tumultuous times! I pray that the truth from the Bible will be applied to your battle here on the pages of real life. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” Keep stomping!!! You still have lots of scenes in your story left!



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