Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hellos and Goodbyes

October leaves, many dying and falling to the ground before changing color and unseasonal warmer temperatures shroud our belief of a glorious, vibrant outpouring of Autumn. In late September I had been declaring;

     “The leaves are confused and late in turning”, only to be rebutted by many, leaving me asking (myself mostly),

     “Who is crazy, me or they?”

Now the authorities are pushing peak season forward into early November. I won' t say what I am thinking. God knows I have been in the “seat of the scoffers” and most likely will be there again.

Goodbyes and hellos that overlap have for me been in Autumn (second year in a row). When you are mourning the many goodbyes it is hard to greet the hellos properly. How do you let go and embrace at the same time? Perhaps we need to see that…

 “Farewells are often disguised as goodbyes, and are really bad lies.”

The thread woven throughout the Bible is the return of the risen Savior to collect His church, His bride. He never said goodbye but we saw Him die on a cross. He never said goodbye, but we saw Him ascend from the grave and again from this earth. His promise was to return and we still wait and it has been 2000 years waiting. We don't like to wait. And the longer we wait, sometimes the more we mourn what was or what might have been.

Have I mourned too long too many things and dragged them like weights upon my soul? Do I find a comfort in holding tight something or someone who is part of yesterday? Do I refuse to move forward away from them telling myself my own memory alone can keep them alive?

Jesus addressed the disciples when He preached  the sermon on the mount in Mt 5:3. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. While studying this with Bible Teacher Jen Wilkin, I realize what I am to be mourning is my neglect of repenting of my sin of self centeredness, not what has been stripped from me in what I think is an untimely manner.

There is a time and space to mourn.

Eccl 3:3 (KJV)  “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Rom 12:15 (NIV) “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

 Joshua 1:1,2 (kjv), “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the Land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

What would have happened if Joshua had not put an end to his mourning?

He would have been unable to lead the people.
The children of Israel would have no direction.

Compare this to Joseph in Gen 37:35 after he was told Joseph was dead .

“And all of his sons and all his daughters rose up and tried to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, “For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.

What is it that prevents me from going forward? Why are there areas of my life that are not being blessed? How many have been cheated because of my resistance to let go.

I take this as a time to consider what I have been carrying around, in some cases for years. It is time to say farewell, for who knows but God, when any shall meet again, be it on this earth or heaven.

And the seasons cycle. Summer will have its end. The leaves will fall, the snow will shelter and protect as a life growing in the womb, and summer will appear again at exactly the right time.

So also, the Lord will come again and His Holy Spirit is here now so lift your eyes and faint not.

May I continue to learn to live in the moment and not miss the blessings I have now.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Who is Writing Your Story?

I'm back with fiveminutefriday.com and the word is "story"

//If I could write my own story I would have written it differently. It would have successes and adventures. People would leave it at their bedside and perhaps dream to emulate it in part. There would be no endless chapters of sickness with no healing, death with no resolve, heartbreak with no mending. Questions would not be frayed, unraveling and hanging loose as a worn out garment. Of my cast of characters not a one would bear a stain for others to trace back to me and my folly. All this if I could write my own story.

But what stories do I like to read? The one I have described? No way. I enjoy the mysteries, the dramas. I like the distant settings, the eras before me and the unknowing fiction and imaginations of the future. If I wrote my own story the way I planned it, perhaps I would not even read it. It would have no taste, leave no hunger for even finishing it, never mind a sequel. It would lull my senses to sleep, not transport them to a dream.//

Controlled script is not really life. When we try to write it out, things go awry. The unexpected happens, the pages turn, bringing all the nasty, discouraging hopeless events into the story. My life is neither what I dreamed, planned or hoped for. Yet, someone else is writing on these pages. There is a bigger story than just mine going on.

NCIS, the popular crime solving show is on its fifteenth season. What makes it popular is not only the crime being solved. There are so many more stories they added into the script. Stories of relationships formed, developed and yes, some broken, just like my life. They are not all happy. But I know it's fiction and next week is another episode.

I, on the other hand, don't have complete control. How much I would miss out on if I did. I would not know what faith is, nor trust, nor forgiveness, given or received. I wouldn't learn that hate can transform to love, mercy can set someone free and a little understanding can change a life, possibly mine. All of these things are the elements of love.

I have a Savior who wants to finish writing my story. I gave Him the rights to it when I accepted Him into my life. He knows the ending and just how it will play out in other’s lives. You see, my story is not just about me, but about others. Those before me affected me, and those after me will be affected by me. God knows how, I don't.

What do you think of your life? How are you doing with it? If it's not in Jesus hand, maybe ou are trying to write your own story. If it is, then believe it is, following and trusting Him with it. He has His/story written for us. That's a true story to read!