13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
Morgan rushed in the room this morning and sort of asked but said, "Mom, this is not our home!, right?!" Right I told her. I just saw the phrase on a blog that said, "As good as it gets!" Well, I sure hope this isn't as good as it gets because if it is we are in for some trouble. I follow several Caringbridge sites and keep up with people who are ill with cancer and various other things. Most of them are strangers to me but strangely enough through their sites and updates, I feel like I know them. Some of them are terminal...but aren't we all. One little precious boy is on the verge of dying as he battles cancer. It is really sickening. My heart breaks for the family and the boy. Another girl is awaiting yet another lung transplant. She is such a fighter and a godly woman. I can't even begin to imagine what she and her family are going through. Especially when I struggle so much to just not pass out when I am in a hospital. I can't imagine living in one daily. Then, I got word of a precious woman whose husband is having an affair. Two children and he has no plans to stop the affair. I mean what in the world are you going to do with this stuff? Christians can mean so well as they rattle off Romans 8:28 which is a wonderful verse but not the best one to throw out there in the middle of someones personal crisis, at least not in my opinion. Here it is if you didn't know it already: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I think sometimes we just want to say something, anything that could offer perspective or a word of comfort when the hearer really just needs prayer and maybe to be told how deeply sorry we are. I remember so well some of the well intended things that were said when Shelby died that I really hoped I would never say to someone else in their hour of trial but we are all a work in progress, amen!
My little sister called me about a sweet baby girl that was the same age as her little girl that just went to be with Jesus. She died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I saw a picture of the mom holding the lifeless body of her precious dead child in her arms and it was more than I could take.
All of this is to say I am SO thankful that this is not our home, for those of us who are in Christ. I can honestly say now after years of walking with Christ, of testing and approving, of studying Gods word daily for 13 years now...I can say that He is more real to me than anything. I am more sure of Him than I am of the reality of my being. He is true. I can't make anyone know that but I would plead with anyone that if today You hear His voice calling you that you would not harden your heart. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. We are not just going to go on and on in these mortal bodies. We will pass from this earth.
10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
What really brought me to this post tonight was all of the change I have had lately. It is good but it is change. I moved and had sweet Blair all in the same week. He is six weeks old and I still feel so unsure of myself as a parent to both of my kids. More than anything I have had an aching reminder in the form of a feeling that this is not my home. In moving I still don't feel settled but I thank God for how He shakes us up at times because we have gotten too comfortable and maybe even complacent with where we are. There is a contentment in each of us that can be sinful if we are just content with less than God's best. For me I was content to stay in our old house for the rest of my life so I wouldn't have to change anything.
So tonight as I was walking the neighborhood and felt that tinge of discomfort I thanked the Lord for the reminder that in whatever area of life you and I are in, He is "El Roi" the God who sees me and who sees you. He is our comfort no matter how hard we try to find comfort in this world. He is the Rock that we can stand on and the stronghold that will protect us from the enemy when we feel like laying down and dying would be better than taking anything more. I was reminded yet again this morning at how Hagar was mistreated and ran away and was then sent away. This world is going to flat out mistreat us. It just is. I am so thankful that even when we run in our driest land to get back to something familiar, that God opens our eyes to Him and the Well of Living Water that He longs to give us in the wilderness. Life still may be a wilderness but He will meet us there. He will change us if we let Him. So let us not get too comfortable here.
A few ways we get comfortable with less than Gods best:
1. Avoid tribulation at all cost. We try to dodge anything in life that could potentially be the very thing that would drive us so much closer to Christ. We do not get grace for things we haven't faced yet...but I promise you we get the grace to deal when we need it. Not before.
2. We are so polluted with this world and what it has to offer that we lose our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
3. We haven't kept our eye on the prize and truly treasured Christ as the pearl of great prize!
So how are we to live?
1. 1 Peter 2:11
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
The enemy is all about us becoming not only carnal Christians but what I call chameleon Christians where we blend in because we have lost our fear of the Lord and we begin to live lives of comparison with others which leads to becoming a fool. He wants us to do the opposite of what Christ commanded us. The Lord wants us to stand out and be like a city on a hill. He wants people to take note that we have been with Jesus. So I will just let the word speak for itself.
2. Fix your eyes on Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:18
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
My mind wants to break verses down and get into the original language to find out what it is saying but you and I have got to make it a priority to spend time in the Word and in Bible study and in a bible believing Church. Those things will change us. There is no real freedom or change apart from the Word of God and us obeying! So fixing my eyes on the unseen is fixing my attentions on the Word and allowing it to dwell richly in my heart, mind, and soul.
3. Then maybe we need to walk through some scenarios that are bothering us or causing us to wig out in fear. Maybe we need to take our worst fears and put them out there before God. He already knows. But somehow I think that if we do that we think that everything bad we have ever thought is going to have to happen. No. But I will say God will meet you where you are when you are there. So if he is even calling you to get uncomfortable because maybe you like me were getting too polluted by the worlds trinkets...maybe you should throw yourself at His feet and just go with Him. We don't want to stay if His Presence isn't staying with us!