How Often We Forget…

A passage that was read in today’s sermon.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

I think I need this truth engraved onto my heart! O me of little faith.

When you wake up in the morning, what are the first concerns on your mind? What to wear? What to eat? Money? That meeting? Job? Interview? Dreams? Facebook updates?
Do you wake up and concern yourself with how to live kingdom first?

Advertisements

“Even If the Healing Doesn’t Come…

… And Life falls apart; And Dreams are still undone.
You are God.
You are good.
Forever Faithful One…”
(Kutless – “Even If”)

I heard this song just the other day. And then, the following Sunday, the pastor taught a sermon from Matt 20:29-34; about the healing of two blind men, who had called out to Jesus, ” Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
As our Pastor pointed out, it takes some level of humility to admit you’re struggling; to admit you can’t do it alone. To recognize you have no pull. You have no power. The situation is out of your hands.
Jesus and his disciples had been on their way to Jericho, followed by  a large crowd, when Jesus stops and calls out to the blind men, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, we want our sight.” They answered.
Jesus had compassion on them, and healed them. (Paraphrased based off of NIV version).
Compassion.
Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it as: ‘sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it’.
The Pastor described it as a feeling of one’s Guts being Twisted. (Quite the image, eh?)
We serve a compassionate God; a loving God from which everything good comes. He hears our prayers, his heart breaks with our hearts.
” I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.” (Psalm 116:1, NIV)

Admittedly, at times, it gets tough to trust in God. Prayers hover unsatisfied. We seek, but do not find.  Nothing has changed.
And sometimes I wish I knew why this is so. Sin? Bad Choices? Not righteous enough?
However, the focus should be on God. Loving, compassionate, good. It is in contrast to our shortcomings, that His glory can burst forth so radiantly.
I don’t have the answers. My Pastor sometimes admits he doesn’t have all the answers.
But as for this faith-journey, I’m in it for the long-haul.
Rain or Shine.
Because He Loves Me.

( Here’s the music video, for those who want to check it out!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqOkZiOb9u0

The Time I Prayed the Hardest..?

Despite my efforts, there have been days in my years of being a Christian, where I wasn’t as close to God as I would have liked to have been. Not exactly a deliberate rebellion, just a passive straying, from time to time. (Does that really make it any better though?) Such as the case when I travelled two months in Europe. Surely God was there, but I kept him packed up in a little box, and tucked away into a back corner of my mind, for when I would really need him. But otherwise, this trip was for my enjoyment; to enjoy being young, being free.
However, when there came a time that my heart quickened, my mind started racing, and those little red flags started popping up, who then did I turn to?~~~~~~~~
Here we are, two young Canadian girls in the foreign country of Poland, pacing the train station carrying a large Canadian flag. We were waiting for a gentleman who would pick us up and drive us over to the Auschwitz tour that we had booked online. The Canadian flag was so that he could pick us out from the crowd. (‘Cause of course, we didn’t already look out-of-place!)
An hour passed. No ride. My friend is having little luck contacting the tour company.
Flag One.
A not so restful night on one of the last cars of our jerky train may have been a contributing factor to the jumble of thoughts now occupying my mind.
We booked online…
We paid online…
We are totally being screwed over.
The attempted phone calls continue for a time, as do my doubts, until finally, she gets through. Our supposed ride is where we are, but cannot find us, we are informed.
The ball of yarn continues to unravel, as we endure painful minutes of more miscommunication. To the extent that this “tour company”, ( I was still suspicious of its legitimacy) had contacted the number we left upon booking the tour.
(My friend’s folks’ home number. Thousands of miles away. In a whole other time zone. Oh dear.)
Finally,  a man approaches us – perhaps in his late 30s – and in his very limited English, manages to communicate to us that he is with the tour group. And we follow him out of the train station…
Flag Two.
…Across the center, a short way down the street. And there is a plain white van parked at the side. No writing. Tinted windows. We climb inside, then quickly depart.Flag ThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTen…
Despite my earlier suspicions, it had not occurred to me NOT to get inside that van.
Have Hollywood movies not taught us anything???
Perhaps it was then, I realized what real anxiety was. My gut knotted over and over again, and I was nauseous at the idea that we may have walked all too casually into our death beds. We followed so blindly. I don’t even remember where in the van we sat, just that, upon entering it, my mind didn’t cease in its repetitive prayer.
God, please let us be okay. Please don’t let us die. Please keep us safe. Keep us from harm. Please get us to the tour safely. Please protect us God.
I stared out the window, wondering if we had just done the stupidest thing in our lives, with entering this unmarked, travelling trap. I nearly pleaded with God for my life. And while doing so, did not utter a word to my friend.
Though our driver did not appear threatening, I knew that looks could be deceiving. Who knows where he could be taking us?  I didn’t have time to theorize about such things however, what with pleading for my life, and all.
And then the van stopped. My curiosity peaked.
The driver leaves briefly, then returns with two more people; an Irish man and his teen son.
And for some reason, it was then a wave of relief flooded over me.
At least we were no longer alone.
And, it turned out the tour company wasn’t a fraud.
And, as you may have suspected, we made it both to and from our tour destination A-Okay.
My fear revealed where my hope and trust lie, should times become desperate. It’s not always easy to trust him whose face we don’t see. I try to turn to God when I hurt, when I’ve had a bad day, a bad dream, etc.
It’s easier to cling to something when we are desperate.
However, I’m guilty of not thanking God enough on the days that are good. The days that are blessed. For life in general
I should be praying – talking – to him diligently everyday.