Preparing For rapture – #8 in series

For All Other Inquiries…

Do you get as tired of and frustrated at calling a phone number and getting an automated response, as I do? “If you are asking about…..press 1, if you are asking about….press 2, for all other inquiries, press 3.” I most always end up pressing the “for all other inquiries” number because what they offer me on the other selections is rarely what I want to know. Then music is played while I wait. Sometimes the music is not at all what I enjoy, but at other times, I’m singing along, even bee-bopping around a bit, to the point that when an actual human speaks to me, I have to quickly regroup my thoughts to remember why I’m calling!

I’m so thankful that in our spiritual worlds, “for all other inquiries,” there is no frustrated hope that the person on the other end of the line has the answer we seek. There are times we know precisely what we want to ask God. We feel we know exactly what we need, so we ask in complete assurance of His care for us, and that He has the answer we seek. When we call God, He is immediately on the receiver; we are connected to the heavenly helpline.

Of course, there are times in all our lives when trouble is brewing and we can’t think what to ask God! Words don’t come! We are upset, in sorrow, frustrated, feeling hope has been lost! We need something and want something from our Heavenly Father — but what? Turmoil of heart dulls our thinking and reasoning. That’s where the comfort of Romans 8:26-28 comes into play. “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together fo the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Isn’t that an amazing passage of Scripture?

We all have times of being tongue tied as we consider what to ask God. We can’t figure out what we need so how can we ask? Isn’t it comforting that the Holy Spirit, who resides within each child of God, knows us so intimately that He always knows what we need. Never fear coming to your Heavenly Father for lack of words to express. Just come, wait before Him in trust, knowing He is hearing your needs. The Holy Spirit is telling Him and He will always answer.

Everywhere, Dust!

I’m one of those people who adheres to — a place for everything and everything in its place. I don’t mind at all if others are not that way inclined, but in my own home, this is my motto. Also, I actually enjoy cleaning the house. My nieces like to tease me by calling me “Aunt Monica.” I’ll leave you all to figure that one out. However, as much as I do like cleaning, it amazes me that dust is never ending. I wipe it away and sometimes, within the hour, there it is taunting me again! I do not find ever present dust comforting.

As I was glaring at this grey enemy the other day, another, more pleasant thought came to me. The amazing and joyful reminder that Almighty God is also ever present. We are told in Jeremiah 23:24, “Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth? says the Lord.” Unlike wanting to get rid of dust, I would never want to be without the presence of God. Let’s think about that for a moment.

Since God is always with us, His care is always with us, His love is always there, His compassion fails not, His guidance never leaves us, His wisdom is there to help us, His courage and His own peace is always available to us. The Spirit of God is within each one who has become a child of God. Wherever we go, God is there and nothing takes Him by surprise, startles Him, or weakens Him. He is the epitome of strength, just as He is pure love — and none of that leaves us. It’s always there.

I often say, God is our everything to get us through anything. How could He not be? He is always with us. His whole being surrounds us and His Spirit fills us. Are you feeling lonely today? Are you downcast? Focus your thoughts on God, His love, His ever presence with you. Reach out. His hand is always ready and desiring to hold you, pulling you up, leading you forward. Just reach out and call to Him. He always answers.

Preparing For Rapture (#6 in series)

Search and Discovery

Every scientific discovery only came about because of someone searching. Moon rocks were discovered because astronauts searched for them. Miners trapped below ground are only discovered when an expert team searches for them. Hikers lost in the mountains are discovered when rangers search for them. We discover the goodness of God when we search for it. Searching leads us to the truth and freedom.

Jesus told us Himself to “ask, seek, and knock,” in Matthew 7:7. One of my personal favorite verses is found in Lamentations 3:25, “The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him.” This verse is not suggesting that God will behave in a good manner toward us if we search for Him. It’s all about our own discovery of who He is. When we search, we will discover that God is good. As the praise song goes, “God is good all the time, all the time God is good.” The goodness of God is eternal and never changing.

Therefore, when grievous moments enter our lives, we cry our tears, we have a sense of deep loss, be it loss of momentary happiness, or earthly loss of someone we love. We feel the pain, but in the midst of our suffering, when we search for God, we discover that His comfort is always there. We discover that He actually holds our tears in a bottle because we are so precious to Him. We discover that He makes a way through the wilderness of our stress. He pulls us up from the waters of our sorrow, refusing to let us drown in seas of turmoil. When we search for Him. we discover all He has to offer. We discover that He truly is our everything to get us through anything. We must search to discover.

A Chimney in the fog

I love weather, all the seasons of the year, sunshine, rain, snow. That being said, even I am now tired of rain, rain, and more rain. Fields are large puddles of water. Mud is sticky. I watch other dog walkers. They, like Jack and I, are slogging through, one heavy foot at a time. Oh, for some consistent dry days!

A few mornings ago, I dressed and took Jack out for our first trudging in the rain. Back inside, my hot, steaming mug of coffee cheered me, but when I glanced out the window, all I could see was a pale grey, misty fog. I just stared while letting out a slow sigh of resignation to another day of wet, wet, wet. But wait! What’s that appearing on the rooftop across the road? An object of some sort? Curious, I keep my eyes locked on the object. Suddenly, I see it! I know what it is! A chuckle escapes as I realize my curiosity has captured the sight of a chimney!

As I kept my gaze on the chimney I thought of the verse in Hebrews 12:2 that says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” I thought of the storms in our lives: storms of uncertainty in what the day will hold, storms of grief when we are hurting over a dear one absent from our lives, storms of anger when an injustice has been done, storms of frustration, disappointment, and fear. Life holds so many storms that churn up the otherwise peaceful waters of our minds. Storms distort our view.

As I kept staring out the window at the chimney, it became clearer. Fog was dissipating around it. It’s the same in our spiritual worlds. As we keep staring at Jesus’s words of hope and direction, His truth comes clearly into view. When we see Jesus through the rains of despair, we see someone who is stronger than our fears, bigger than our dashed dreams, able to overcome our grief with His own peace. We may not recognize Him at first, as the thick fog of melancholy distorts our view, but keep looking. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Look to Him. His love for you will penetrate and shine strong through any pain this world hurls at us. David said it so well in Psalm 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”

May the light of Jesus shine clearly in the foggiest of your days. Keep looking at Him until He comes into view. Then bask in the light of His love for you.

Preparing For Rapture – #4 in series

Don’t forget the P.S.

There is a story of two little girls playing together. One little girl said she didn’t feel very well. The other little girl said she would pray for her to feel better. The following conversation took place:

“What does pray mean?”

“It means talking to God.”

“Is God listening?”

“God is always listening. He loves you. God loves everybody and He wants to help everybody, but not everybody lets Him.”

“I want to let Him. I want to talk to Him but I don’t know what to say.”

“That’s easy . Just say, ‘Thank you for loving everybody. Thank you for listening to me. Please help me. Please help everybody.’ Amen.”

“What’s Amen?”

That’s just like saying, ‘The End.'”

“Okay. I’ll do it. ‘God, thank you for loving everybody. Thank you for listening to me. Please help me. Please help everybody. Amen. Oh, P.S. I love you, too.'”

The first little girl smiled. “That’s nice,” she said. “Probably not everybody remembers the P.S. but that’s like the most important part. Everybody likes to know that someone loves them.”

“Yes,” said the second little girl. “If I ask God for His help, and if He is listening to me all the time, and if He wants to help everybody, then I can at least tell Him ‘thank you,’ and ‘I love you.'”

“Yes,” said the first little girl, “Let’s never forget the P.S. It must make God feel good all over. It surely makes me feel good all over, too, just thinking about it.”

“Yeah,” said the second little girl as she smiled, looked into the sky, and shouted, “P.S.P.S.P.S.!”

Preparing For Rapture

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