Sunny days make me feel fine

The warm sun on my shoulders, the feel of new grass beneath my feet… spring is here and boy is it wonderful. Spring always comes after winter, it’s a natural law, and it’s a biblical law. There will always be seed-time and harvest, heat and cold, summer and winter (Genesis 8:22). It’s always been that way and it will stay that way as long as the Earth remains. Isn’t it a comfort that something in our lives won’t change? It sure seems like everything else does.

But change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t have to shake up your world. It doesn’t have to leave you feeling defeated. Change can be felt, realized, embraced, and learned from. Never am I more keenly aware of God’s hand on me than when I look back at how situations have changed and how things work out for the best in ways I never could have imagined. I’m so grateful that He promises to never leave me nor forsake me, even though at the time of crisis, it’s all I can do to remember He’s there.

But He is there. Always. I think it takes a whole lot more than we think for us to be truly alone. God is not looking for ways to punish us for our faults and failures. He’s looking for ways to bless us and help us. And just because we may find ourselves in a giant mess doesn’t mean He’s not right there.

Whatever it is that you’re going through, hang in there, because things will change. They always do. And God will be with you no matter what.

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When it rains it pours

You know the expression, “When it rains it pours?” Why is that? When it’s raining good things, it’s coming faster than you can receive it. When it’s raining bad things… well, Katie bar the door. It just sucks. No two ways about it.

There’s nothing I love more than a good thunderstorm; a deep, earth-drenching rain. I love the heavy, humid air that lingers behind the storm. It’s a time where you can see the tail end of the storm moving away, and the black sky being replaced with glorious light. The grass looks greener, the dirt looks blacker, and you can see for miles again.

That’s how I feel when I look back after my own storms have passed, and I see how the hand of God has been on me the whole time. That’s when I realize what could have happened, but didn’t. That’s when I exchange my feelings of, “Where are you, God,” for “Oh, you’ve been right here with me, you never left,” and I cry with thankfulness at God’s mercy.

Why don’t we live in that peaceful and wonderful feeling? Why don’t we trust God like that all the time? Why do we choose to live in fear, anxiety, frustration, and depression? I wish I knew. It’s something else to add to my long list of questions I will ask God someday.

I imagine He will tell me that my sin-nature, my unrenewed mind, my worldly flesh has something to do with it. And He would be right. And I will apologize for being such a slow learner. And I believe He will fold me up into His arms and tell me that He loves me, and that even though I stumbled and fell during my earthly stay, my heart never turned from Him, and He is proud of me. At least, that’s what I really hope He says.

Faith without love is just noise

I loved these guys at the Oscars the other night. I love how Angelina is smiling her big, beautiful smile, and I love that you can almost see Brad’s hair being blown back by the wind they created. I love it when Hollywood gives me a blog idea served up on a silver platter… or in this case, on a gold cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:1 says, Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis banged their cymbals together and they demonstrated noise. Just noise. Loud noise.

Faith without love is just noise. You see, faith works by love. (Galatians 5:6) Unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, resentment, all of these can only operate in an environment devoid of love. And on the flip side, if there is love, those things cannot flourish.

If God is love, then that’s what I want to be.

The Bible tells me to abide in faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.

The Bible tells me to love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and love my neighbor as myself.

The Bible tells me to forgive others so that I may be forgiven.

I sure don’t want to be on the wrong end of that promise.

I want my prayers to be a pleasing sound in God’s ears, not a crashing cymbal. I want to bombard Heaven with true prayer that changes things, not just a lot of noise. That seems to be a much better use of my time.