An Old Hope, A New Reminder

 My heartbeat on this earth

I arrived at my office approximately (and ever-so-consistently) 10 minutes late this morning.  I took off my running shoes and tossed them in a corner behind my desk and then fished a favorite pair of boots out of my backpack.

Once I was fully attired for my work day, I decided to go make myself a cup of coffee from the office Keurig machine, so I popped in a K-cup, pressed a button and walked away because waiting that 45 seconds for my cup to fill feels like an eternity, am I right, gang?  Okay, then.

Ten minutes later, I recalled that I had made a cup of coffee and proceeded to retrieve it.  Upon arrival, I discovered that my cup of coffee had, indeed, brewed as evidenced by the coffee pooling all over the counter.

Momentarily confused, I soon pieced together the evidence and deducted that I had forgotten the “cup” part of the brewing process, hence, the coffee that freely flowed all over the machine and onto the countertop.

AND that’s not even the first time I’ve done that, sad to say.

Sooooooo, where I have been lately, you may be wondering?

Well, between the I-have-no-idea-what-I-did-two-seconds-ago moments and the information overload I’ve subjected myself to (shhh…I’m trying to be healthy, and I’m actually researching all about it), I feel pretty overwhelmingly thankful today – thankful for my husband, for our beautiful daughter, and for the little moments that fill in the gaps of me spilling my coffee all over and everything else in between.

Oh, yes, I’ve been a busy girl, but I’ve also been looking deep within myself asking some very tough questions lately.  It’s usually these reflective times, when my blog gets quiet.  I tend to shut things down somewhat, and just be still (well, as still as reasonably possible these days).  I often have to dig deep and and really ask, “What am I living this life for?  Who am I living for?”

The more I think about it, the more I begin to acknowledge that I will spend the rest of my life needing to remind myself of those very questions.

This is what I’ve concluded…

In a modern culture that praises self-indulgence, I’m constantly fighting the urge to buy more, to achieve more, to improve me, me, me (like I’m trying to do at this very moment).  Sure, I feel equally committed to doing all those things for my family too, but I feel like something or Someone gets lost when these things becomes my focus, and I have to wonder if the answer isn’t that I just simply need less of me and more of the Lord.

Just a side note, if you haven’t heard Zach Sobiech, the amazing 18-year old from the Twin Cities who passed away yesterday from a rare bone cancer, please grab a kleenex, and watch this video.  This kid loved the Lord and has been an inspiration to millions around the world.  His is truly a beautiful legacy…

As I’ve followed Zach’s story over the past couple of months and even yesterday as I saw the mass destruction of the Oklahoma tornadoes, I was reminded that this one shot at life is so incredibly brief.  I was once again reminded that we, as a society, need more of God in this world and less of our own self-obsession.  We need more people like Zach inspiring and loving others.

We are here today; gone tomorrow…so how are we going to live for today?

You see, I’ve been doing the mommy and wife gig for awhile now, which is, undoubtedly, the most precious part of my life, but even those cherished roles, don’t protect me from the heartache I feel at the thought of any one of my loved ones being lost or hurt.  The agony that accompanies that thought process is torture for me, and what I can only imagine to be an unbearable reality to those actually experiencing it.

So, I need to let you in on a little secret (or not so much a secret)…I pray a lot, A LOT, A LOT, A LOT, and I find comfort in God’s powerful Word because in the middle of my normal blah-blah-blah kind of day, there a people all over this world suffering the unimaginable.

The Oklahoma tornadoes and the wake of devastation they have left behind not only breaks my heart, but it reminds me that this is just one devastating event in the midst of countless tragedies that have rocked our nation.  It reminds me that when all else fails, there is ONE and only ONE who can bring healing to the hearts and homes of this broken nation.

You know the old saying, “What is insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Let’s try something different today, gang.

Do you know someone who is hurting?  Someone who is trying to hide it?  Someone who’s looking for the peace that only the Creator can give through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?  I do.  I know a lot of people who hide within themselves, coping the only way they know how and that breaks my heart for them because there is freedom, and there is hope to be claimed.  There is peace beyond the pain.

As a matter of fact, often times I’m mocked for standing firm in my faith.  While it’s never comfortable, I’m okay with that part of it.  I always have been, and I expect it, actually.  The part I’m not okay with is watching people suffer if I can offer any assurance of hope.  I know pain, and I know peace, and let me tell you, the latter is far superior to the former.

The most devastatingly beautiful moments in my life have been when, in the midst of pain, I have chosen to open the door of my heart and let peace come in.

Here’s the cool part…I don’t have just any assurance of hope, I have the map and directions to THEE hope, and they are yours for the taking, friends.

So for those out there hurting today, I leave you with a new reminder of an old, but ever present hope…

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:24-28 KJV

Remember how I mentioned at the beginning of this post (or did I lose you already?!) that waiting 45 seconds for a cup of coffee in our me, me, me world feels like an eternity?  What if there was a very real eternity, as in the kind where you don’t get to go back and do life over after a forgetful 10 minutes.  What if, after we take our last breath on this earth, there is a very real eternity waiting for us?  Either eternal glory in the presence of Jesus or eternal separation from God and all that is light?  What if?

The choice is yours for the taking.

Here’s a little something extra from the hand of a far younger version of myself…the truth of it still stands today.

 

In case you can’t read the verses, here’s what they say:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 KJV

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 KJV

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 KJV

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10 KJV

Blessings,

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