God's been speaking to me.... through my readers, through sermons and through music and His Word.
You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and it’s gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small and the road is narrow and only a few ever find it. Matthew 7:13-14
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the flood-waters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. Matthew 7: 24-25.
When I look back over the last several months, thinking about Bruce’s lack of wages, there is a real urge to panic. Instead of paying jobs coming his way, there have been many opportunities to serve without pay. There have been lots of opportunities to share his time and talents to help others. It’s been about sacrificial giving. Each time Bruce goes to help someone in need, from the Tsunami ravaged village in Japan, to the neighbor who had a heart attack in the middle of adding on to his home, it’s been a response to the call of the Holy Spirit. It’s not like there has been this conflict of “should I stay home from work today so I can help this person in need?” There hasn’t been paying work to go to. So in some ways it’s been easier to answer that call.
We are learning to give thanks for this.
It’s when we look at the bills piling up and we think about disconnect notices or cancellation letters that we start to wonder if we are doing something wrong. Bruce will ask, “Should I be out pounding the streets till I find work instead of lending a hand to the one in need?” How many hours a day should he spend looking for work when people who need help are right in front of him? It’s a conundrum of epic proportions as he weighs the cry of his heart against the responsibilities he feels he should be shouldering.
And then I read that verse from Matthew about the way to righteousness being narrow. And hard. The easy way would be to turn our faces from the ones in need saying, “We have needs too and right now our needs are more important than yours.”
But then God says “Define needs.”
I think something the Lord is teaching us right now it how to really praise him in the midst of the storm. Be thankful that we are facing challenges and difficulties because we know we are in them for a reason. We are defining and refining our calling, our purpose. Be thankful that the road we are on is difficult for it means we are on the right path.
Jesus wants us living unshakable lives even as we face personal storms. When we do what He says, we can endure through any storm.
Storms are inescapable; they can come at us from every angle. Physical storms of illness and death, financial difficulties, relational and emotional struggles and spiritual attacks are all part of living in the broken world. But those storms don’t have to destroy us. We have a Living Source we can go to again and again and again.
I am humming that beautiful old hymn right now, On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.
This battle of standing firm and victorious in the face of difficulties is far from over. I am sure we have more to endure and much to learn. But thank you fellow bloggers/readers/friends for your supportive words. We do have resources we can turn to, people who will can and have helped us. We know that. We are not alone. I think the real battle going on here is to never give up, never lose hope, never stop putting Christ in the center of all we say and do. I will not be afraid. I will trust in Him.