HERE IN THE MIDST!

23 01 2017

red-sea-moment

Human Beings run amuck when they attempt to create a theology that becomes based more on what a believer sees and experiences rather than stayed safe and secure upon the rock of the truth that God says. This is what causes us to misinterpret the signs of our present times. We falsely assume that if all is going well, then we must be doing something right and if there are lots of constant trials and troubles, then it must be traced back to some kind of bad behavior that we must be hiding in the closets of our hearts. Even I have cried out to Heaven in a voice of despair wondering if God had abandoned my building.

 Hard times don’t mean that God has left us!  Rather than accusing God of leaving us, maybe the better question should be, “Have we wandered away from him?” God never said that his followers would only be faced with sunny forecasts for the rest of their days. Even Jesus faced the worst of this earth when he was here on this planet. God’s actual promise in Romans 8:28 reads like this, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” No matter what may surround me, nothing can steal away the God who stays with me. In the midst of the mess, my Lord can be found ready to make a masterpiece. But more often we pray for God to take away what might very well make us stronger if we would only give God the room to do his work in us!

 Last October of 2016, my life hit rock bottom on a weekend where it seemed that I just couldn’t get out of my own way. One of the results of dealing with my many physical ailments that have gone way beyond my control these last eleven years has been what turns out to be a paralyzing anxiety that I hate to admit, but more than once, has gotten the best of me. In an unhealthy way, it has birthed the perfectionist tendencies within me to attempt to create my own obsessive compulsive ways that, no matter how hard I try, always seeming to come up short.  I have learned the hard way that when we turn to our own coping mechanisms to survive rather than wholeheartedly trust God, we will never find the elusive peace we are desperately fighting for.

 Unfortunately, over time things did not get better physically or emotionally. As a matter of fact, it got worse. I kept trying harder and harder and yet kept failing miserably. It got so pathetic that on a Sunday morning when I should have been at The Lighthouse Church preaching and pastoring, I was so terrified; I couldn’t get out of my bathroom. I was crying out to God in pure panic because for that moment, I believed he had abandoned me. I had never felt so alone. Feelings may not be truth but they sure can fool the best of us. It was at that moment, I believe God met me and made me admit to him that I needed outside help. I could no longer attempt to fix this on my own. God led me to see a Professional who has been helping me retrain my brain and work through and expose the lies that I have come to believe. It has given new wind to my sagging sails and for the first time in a long time, I honestly believe there are better days ahead for me and of course that affects all those around me as well.

 Hey Christians, God has given us his word that he will never leave us or forsake us. And we must not use our circumstances as a barometer of whether the Savior has kept his promise. If we want to become the men and women that he is calling us to be, we can’t be hesitant to give him absolute leadership within our lives. He may allow some severe times of testing to come into our world, but if we open the eyes of our heart, we will discover again and again that the Lord hasn’t left us to try to figure out our paths of promise on our own. Moses discovered his burning bush in the wilderness. David sensed the Lord’s presence when he took on a Goliath almost three times his size. Gideon was visited by God when he was secretly attempting to thresh wheat in a winepress because the enemy Midianites were robbing the Israelites blind. I was on my knees on my bathroom floor when God renewed my vision. How will the adventure pan out for you? If you want to experience the glory of God, then you must trust him enough to follow him even when you have no clue where you are going. There will be no miracle until you acknowledge him in your midst.

 The story of the Hebrews crossing the Red Sea was no coincidence. God literally took his people on a very indirect route. Goshen in the land of Egypt was due west of the Promise Land and yet Jehovah took them south to eventually go north. Why? It only made sense if the Red Sea becomes a literal teaching moment where the Lord made it clear that no matter what was before them or what was behind them, if they looked up to find their salvation, they would never be disappointed. The Red Sea happened because God was writing the script. And the Red Sea Story would become essential to the identity of the Jewish Nation.

 I don’t know what trials and tribulations you may personally be facing right now. I do know that it is tempting to try to take matters into your own hands–but don’t do it. God is with you right where you are. Ask him to reveal himself to you and offer him your committed allegiance. What will follow will be many songs to sing of how God made a way when you thought the road was a dead end. It isn’t over if you are still breathing. Look up and then look out and engage in the relationship of what occurs when you and I walk humbly with our God!


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