I am convinced that God deals with us in the valleys of life, in times where we need the most faith to move forward. Sure there are moments where we can clearly tell where God is leading us, those so-called “mountain top” moments. I would argue though that those moments of clarity are few and far between. In the darkness, we need the light. In the darkness we must rely/embrace God, trusting that He will see us through, that He has an ultimate plan.
Started reading Mike Erre’s Astonished the other day. Below is a quote I wanted to share:
God takes us to places where we can’t figure it out or depend on our resources or intelligence. He wants us to trust Him, nor our formulas, spiritual disciplines, or knowledge of the Bible. He draws us onward, using the acute sense of limitation and sorrow we feel, to bring us to the place where we “don’t know” and “can’t see” so that we’ll reach for Him and grab hold of Him, after there is no other place to turn.
In the Valley
Lately I’ve been in one of those places where the valley only seems to be getting darker and deeper. The crazy cycle/ negative atmosphere at work is eating away at my soul. I can’t seem to find the work eject button. A job I applied for a few weeks ago, a job that seemed like a shoo-in, panned out into the ether. I am not sure where God is leading me but the crazier I feel, the more I know that I need to be leaning on Him.
Even at the end of my rope, why do I find it so hard to just give up? Why is it so hard for us to just allow God to be our strength? Pride? I’m not sure. I do know that prayer is the answer. That trust in God is the key. I have come to a place where nothing else makes sense, where God has me. I just need to surrender and listen. So hard.
My church has been going through Experiencing God on Sunday nights. Unit 8 is titled “Adjusting Your Life to God”. Check out the story of Elisha below and then join me after reading.
19 So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. 20 Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!”
Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.”
21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant. – 1 Kings 19:19-21
In the above story, we read about Elijah calling Elisha to become his assistant. Notice that Elisha immediately slaughters the oxen, burns his plow, and throws a BBQ. With his livelihood burnt and eaten, there was no going back for Elisha.
No going back…
–> How is God calling you to adjust your life to Him? <–
Last year, my wife and I made the decision to keep her home with my son. This decision carried with it both a financial and personal impact. Yet we both felt, and continue to feel, that God was/is calling us to keep her home. Our decision required an adjustment that has been hard at times but good. Very good.
Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Surf Report.
Sunday morning I listened to a great discussion in small group. The topic was on evangelism and how there are different roles in bringing others to Christ (sowing, watering, reaping, etc.).
Saturday, my father-in-law came over and helped me take down the handicap ramp out front. Looks much better now.
Phase I of our front entry project.
Friday night I had some time to myself. So I fired up the PlayStation 3 and decided to pick Tomb Raider back up. About an hour and a half later, I found that my opinion of the game has not changed. Tomb Raider is a videogame that basks in tension, torture, and somehow female empowerment. The entire time I was playing I kept thinking, “I wish this was an Uncharted game.” I wanted the fun of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark versus the seriousness of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Six missions left until the end of the game. I will persevere.
- LINKS -
- “But man, if you’re looking for some deep philosophical themes or life-changing experiences, Chrono Trigger (or most any game, for that matter) will not be the place to look at all.” – Adults Playing Chrono Trigger
- Also, I enjoyed The Theology Gaming Podcast #33 – A History of Healing. Great discussion! Would love to hear other topics such as: resurrection, circumcision (as mentioned), baptism, etc.
Came across this verse in Ecclesiastes this morning and wanted to share.
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind. – Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV)
If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success. – Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NIV)
When I first read the above verse, I immediately thought that the verse would compare the unsharpened ax to a sharpened ax. Nope. Note if an ax edge is unsharpened that “more strength” or effort is needed to complete the task.
*photo credit: Adam Baker, Creative Commons
We often give up when things are not going our way, when the tools of our mind/body are not up to the project we are working on. Perseverance, keeping at something despite the difficulty, is the key to success. We need to stop blaming our tools and instead keep moving forward.