That kinda means I haven’t planned this…so…
2014 has been difficult. I guess I should probably expect this since I am aging…but more people I know and care about are passing away. And, maybe it’s just me but at a younger age. I could get all political on ya, and start blaming the government for backing a poisoning giant like Monsanto but let’s not obscure the facts here. I’m not even 51 yet (a few weeks…so, cut me some slack) and I’ve lost a friend who was younger than I am AND a friend’s husband just passed who was 50 (he’s the gentleman in my FB profile picture).
As I get older (yes, I admit it), I struggle with facing up to the fact that I was created for a purpose and I should be living into that purpose. God created me, put me on this earth, shaped me, formed me, and He did that with a … well, purpose in mind. It’s been difficult for me to open my heart to him and have him fill me with the desire to follow his direction.
When I was younger, I was headstrong and thought I knew what was best for me. Although I grew up God-fearing, I really didn’t know what that meant and I didn’t know how to reach out to him and HEAR his instructions. (Not to say I’m very good at it now but…I at least acknowledge I am not good at it and am TRYING to hear and LISTEN more effectively. Anyway, I know that I probably missed a lot of “clues” that could have guided me in the right direction.
Here it is, 2014, and I’m just now figuring out that my life should be guided by prayer, and that I can actually live a good, fun, interesting life but still fall to my knees and praise God for the goodness, fun, and interesting stuff in my life. (Actually, I’ve been figuring that out for a couple of years – not just this year)
So, back to the original thought (see, stream of consciousness). In my daily Bible reading OLD Testament, there’s a lot of vengeful death – I’m in 1 Samuel, and Eli and his sons just died. But then, I move to the New Testament and in John 5, I read:
which says basically that in death, we will have eternal life – which we know because Jesus died so that we COULD have Eternal Life. It’s almost as if I’m being told that these who have died have NOT died and are buried and gone. They are where they need to be – with Jesus, who turned this dark and somber event of death into a celebration and resurrection.
Jim said to me the other day that lots of people misunderstand that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are two different beings. They aren’t. He’s right. The God of the New Testament redeemed Israel (and us too) by sending His Son to take on the sin of the world since we could never fully repent that sin. Thus, He (Jesus) died that we may live…and live a life that is abundant and fulfilling – especially if we turn our hearts to him and LISTEN to his direction.
If you’ve read this far, I hope something has resonated with you. Here’s what resonates with me:
- Death is not forever, and for those who believe…it is a resurrection to eternal life – thus, we can look forward to seeing all those who have gone before us in the end-of-days.
- Listen as you pray. Open your heart and listen for God’s directions. BTW, Jim also said that God speaks as LOUD AS THUNDER but soft like a whisper to your heart…so listen with your heart too!
- Remember that in Christ Jesus we are redeemed.
As always, I like to leave you with a song…This one is Big Daddy Weave “Redeemed”.