Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Freedom to Trust God's Decisions for Our Lives

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

For many years, we lived within a few hours of various military bases.  I have often thought of the problems I would have experienced in that career because of my difficulty in following orders and directions without understanding their reasons. This attitude has created numerous problems in both my personal and spiritual life.

Over the years it has been hard to accept the ongoing pain and physical problems that God has allowed in my life. I have felt that if I were given an explanation of why this was happening and understood it, I could accept it much more easily.  Thankfully my faith and trust in God and His decisions is increasing, but many times I still struggle.

As we approach the Fourth of July, I am reminded of why many wars have been fought – for freedom.  In order to reach that goal soldiers had to follow orders and be obedient.  If they were like me they might have said. “Why can’t I go in that direction? Why can’t I be with that division?  Can you tell me the ultimate goal of the mission?” Chaos would have reigned, battles would not have been won, and freedom would have been lost.

My obedience to God brings me freedom and victory.  By yielding to Him and His loving and purposeful plan for my life, I experience freedom from fear, anxiety, hopelessness, discouragement, the need for control, and countless other negative emotions. But I must trust and obey, having the faith to believe that His way is best, regardless of how little I understand it or agree with it at the time.   My “commanding officer” has been through basic training here on earth.  There is no battle He has not fought personally, so He is well-deserving of my unwavering obedience.  Earthly freedom and independence may come and go, but my freedom from sin and its harmful thoughts and behaviors is an eternal independence that I can claim every day.  That’s cause for celebration!

Prayer:  Lord  Jesus, as I thank You for my earthly freedom, I also thank You for the spiritual freedom You give as I walk in trust and obedience to You. 




Wednesday, June 1, 2016

God's Traveling Mercies While on the Road of Pain

“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest’ ”
(Exodus 33:14).

Vacation time is here now. Many people pray for God’s traveling mercies on their trips, which may include a safe arrival to and from destinations and freedom from sickness and problems while away.

I recently read this quote from Andrew Bonar:  “If the Father has the kingdom ready for us, He will take care of us along the way”. I immediately thought of traveling mercies.

As Christians, we know that we are traveling through this life to reach our ultimate destination of heaven and eternal life with Christ. But this trip is long and difficult, particularly if we live with poor health. We need God’s traveling mercies.

God has shown His traveling mercies to me countless times. He protected me during a serious accident as child which could have resulted in a life-long disability. He was with me on the foggy roads of painful parenting and the treacherous roads of cancer and mental breakdown. And He has been with me during the 30+ year trip of back pain, showing me the right roads to take (when I listen!) and giving me perseverance and endurance on the ride.

I agree with Bonar’s quote. God has an eternal pain-free home awaiting me. He knows the road to get there is long and difficult – Scripture confirms that (I Peter 4:12). But I have His mercy and protection while traveling. Sometimes I make wrong turns and get lost. There may be some “collisions”. But God is there through it all. He has been and will continue to take care of me until this trip is over. 

There’s no doubt that this road trip is an adventure. So I will enjoy the days of good travel, trust Him on the frustrating and dangerous ones, pray for His rest in the process, and keep making my way home. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, this life of pain isn’t the road trip I wanted to take, but I have seen some amazing signs of Your Presence along the way. Even my “accidents” are ordained by You. As I make my way toward my final destination, I know that I am traveling under Your divine guidance and protection at all times. Thank you, Lord. Amen.