28 July 2009

Storms Will Come!

The other day, while driving from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Indianapolis, Indiana we ran into some difficult situations. About a hundred miles into the trip the truck stalled while cruising down the highway. We called for a wrecker, were towed into Joplin, Missouri to a Firestone shop and spent $400.00 to get back on the road. Hours later, in St. Louis, Missouri, while on an overpass with no shoulder, we blew a tire on the camper. I had to drive almost two miles to a safe spot so I can change the tire. With the two incidents, we are now 7-1/2 hours behind schedule. Finally at 2:35am, Indy time, we arrive at our destination. This, together with blowing a radiator hose, which delayed us 2-1/2 hours on the trip from New Braunfels, Texas to Tulsa, Oklahoma sparked an interesting question about my current path in life, "Do you think maybe you've missed God?"

At first thought I would have to say a frustrating "YES, I missed Him. I had to have missed Him for this to happen," but upon further evaluation I have to change my position to a resounding NO. Many people I know would say this is God telling me I missed it, but I have to disagree. I am not sure why so many think that when you choose the path God wants you on that you will not meet any obstacles and that it should be the easiest thing you have ever done. So many times people assume this and end up leaving what God wants for them, assuming that they missed it because of difficulties and struggles that came up. I am reminded of a scripture in 2Cor 5:7 which reads, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." I cannot make a decision based on what I see. As I contemplate my situation, I realize that if I always go off what I see then I would never do anything. I know that I heard God and I know that no matter what comes up that He is with me. People will ask, "Then why are these bad things happening?" And the only answer that I have is found in John 10:10 "The thief comes not but to kill, to steal, and to destroy, but I have come to give life and it more abundantly." The enemy comes to make things difficult in our lives, but the good news is that Jesus came to give us a better way. This doesn't mean that we won't experience difficulties in our path, or hard times won't stare us down, but when they do we have a better way if we just trust in Him.

Jesus told a parable about two men who built a house. The first built his house on a rock, and when the winds blew, the rain fell, and the floods came, his house stood strong. The second man built his house on the sand and when the winds blew, the rain fell, and the floods came, his house was washed away. In this parable, Jesus is describing a life built on His word as apposed to a life built without it. He tells us in this parable that storms will come in life, so when they do you want to be standing on the rock. That rock is Jesus!

On two separate accounts Jesus told the disciples to get into a boat and go to the other side of the sea. I don't think you can be more in God's will than to have Jesus tell you to get into a boat and go to the other side, yet in both stories a huge storm hits them. The storms are so bad that the disciples fear for their lives. In both accounts Jesus comes in and calms the storm. In one story He is in the boat and the other is when He walks on water to get to them. Based on these accounts I find it hard to believe that we are suppose to have an easy, peaceful walk if we are in the will of God. God does not cause the storms that we come up against, but when we come up against them God is there to calm the storm and bring us to the other side.

I find in these times of strange occurrences and uncertain happenings that when I call on God, He always shows up. It is so easy to sit back and look at the negative while broke down on the side of the highway, but the truth is- it could be a whole lot worse. I know that saying can be an irritating cliche at times, but during the storms in life I find great comfort in it. I know that God is on my side and that He is working to create a peace in the storm that I will only experience if I let Him deal with things. I also know that the only way to get to the other side is to let Him be a part of what is happening. The Bible says to not worry about this stuff, let God take care of the worries in life. This is how I can leave a job and travel the United States during a time of recession and not worry about the who, what, when, where, why, and how's of life. I know that if I can bring myself to a point of not worrying, then I will see God do the miraculous, even in the ordinary! I will see God turn the rubble in my life into something spectacular that no one else can take the credit for other than God.

God has a plan for you (Jer 29:11), so don't be discouraged if you hit some bumps in the road. God is faithful and will finish the work that He has started in you. He will equip you to be able to finish the race that He has called you to. He told the disciples to "go over" and saw them through to the other side. If He will do it for them, He will do it for you. I promise that if you look at your situation agian you'll find God right in the middle of it working things out for you.

19 July 2009

Small Beginnings

This is the beginning of an interesting journey to find God in America. I have been fascinated with what Americans think about God, Christianity, and so called "traditional values" and have set out on a journey of discovery. A journey of discovering what connection ordinary, everyday Americans have with God and how God is influencing their lives. So many people have this view of a harsh, unloving God who doesn't care about them, or anything for that matter. Some have no concept of God whatsoever. My goal is to travel America in search of real people with real experiences that have shaped who they are. This blog is an attempt at having an equal playing ground for those to share where they are and what they are experiencing, and what, if any part is God playing in that. I will share my experiences during this trip and open up my intimate relationship with God for others to read. Hopefully through this we will all come to better understand our role in life and this world which we live in. I believe we all have a vital role to play in this world and I would love to see all of us find our God given place in it. This is the small beginning to what I truly hope becomes a much larger project- "Finding God In America"

Finding God In America's Blog