Someone asked me not long ago…”How do you think?”
How do I think? It felt like that was asking me how I write or eat or wash my face. At first…at first I almost thought it was silly. Until I realized how serious a question it was – and remains
I have struggled with needing to write some blog posts. I’ve received some Words of Knowledge I’m believing I’m supposed to share but that is not something I have ever done on this blog. (Sorry for random spontaneity…)
Tonight, reading Day 117 of Book of Mysteries – the scriptures the lesson referenced was from the book of Matthew 6:33. Which says in essence that He will give you all you need each day – day to day, if you live for Him.
To say that the last month has been difficult would be an understatement. I have had to take enormous amounts of time and reflect on life; 33 plus years worth of time. No joke. (and not coincidentally I just noted the scripture reference of Matthew 6:33 and reflecting on 33 years of life….Hmm: Confirmation.)
It turns out it this journey in the wilderness the past month was a Self-Evaluation of sort provided as a means for God to show me that He is not just Sovereign and Holy and Righteous – but Wise and Loving. He possesses an all-consuming Love that swallows up anything that doesn’t reflect HIM. In essence, He was showing me His “God Strategy” for life.
The “God Strategy” is really simple. Not easily followed…nor replicated but simple to identify, at least in theory. God gave us Jesus and we were to follow His example as we journey through life. It sounds easy- right? It’s anything but.
The God Strategy runs counter-intuitive to EVERYthing we are as human beings. Whether saved or un-saved, we have a tendency to want to lean on our prideful, arrogant, self-centered hearts and minds.
Jesus was none of those. He came to show us what we COULD be:
Selfless-Humble-Empathetic and loving others with Agape
In the past 33 years, I buried both parents and witnessed funerals of countless relatives and friends… the young, the old.
I have witnessed how bitterness can swallow up everything that is good in man as well as how un-forgiveness can lead to utter destruction.
I have witnessed the effects of what alcoholism can do to a person – not just one person, but two…as well as the life long effects of everyone to whom those persons came in contact.
Through everything, the good, the bad – the heartache…the tears. I have almost gotten to the point of being “cried out” where I have almost no tears left to cry. And that’s when Jesus told me…that was not by accident.
Through the decades, you’ve cried and cried and then cried some more.
Mankind looks at tears as something to flee from. As though tears will weaken the human psyche. But truth may seem stranger than fiction.
Keeping physically fit is paramount in the minds of many…but like anything good, some motivations (without balance) can become an idol. When men and women exercise, the body sweats. The overall benefit to the body is an increase in strength within the body muscles: “Strength training” it’s often called. The same holds true for building your “spiritual muscles” and “empathy empowerment” when you cry. So, where physical fitness is admired and sought after, showing our emotions is looked at as anything but…
What most have never bothered to ponder are the strength in crying tears. Tears aren’t just an outlet for emotions. Tears are a powerhouse method for the building up of the person within.
This might sound counter-intuitive but think about it. Every time you’ve cried, it seems to cause a release in the body. In truth, tears are The Father’s formula to build strength.
Consider Maundy Thursday…when Jesus went to Gethsemane. He went with his disciples to pray. While Jesus was there He found himself in the fight of His “carnal” life. That night was a “Macro” snapshot of His life. He had come on a selfless mission – as a tiny baby destined to eventually be the ultimate sacrifice of Agape Love. That Thursday night in the Garden He fought his flesh. His sweat fell to the ground like they were great drops of blood (Luke 22:44) and He asked His Father for strength.
Jesus knows our plight. He knows our hurts and what makes us tick, happy, frustrated…even content.
I’ve spent the last month contemplating “The how do I think” question…and the answer is that I don’t know because I’ve always HAD to turn to God for direction. He wrote the book of my life and I’m just “walking it out.” That’s how I look at each day, it’s how I’ve had to look at each day since 1983.
Yes, I have a calendar with appointments on it but God is really the controller. I recognized this a while back. I go where He leads…I wouldn’t want to navigate these waters on my own or by myself. That wasn’t His intention anyway.
The truth is, the “how do I think” question is an everyday, hour by hour struggle of Ephesians 6:10-18. From an early age, I faced unusual circumstances that left me confused, shaken and orphaned. Before I was even a Senior in High School I was asking more questions about the “obscure” things of Life and Heaven than anyone on earth had answers for. There finally came a point I stopped asking people around me anything – because no one could relate.
Everything about who I am – how I think and feel was shaped by The Father’s plans for my life; to quote Bethany Hamilton from Soul Surfer (1:31 seconds)
(To paraphrase and emphasize her point: “I wouldn’t want to go back and change what happened to me because, it happened for a reason, it provided a way for God to work and show His Glory….”)
Before I close for the night, here’s one more memory to share. I remember attending an Irish Wake with my Dad when I was 16. It was weird talking to the guy for whom the Wake was being presented but before he moved on to talk with another guest he said: “It’s been a pleasure talking with you…you have an amazing attitude and perspective. You’re gonna do great things.” Well, whatever I’m gonna do in this life is really on God’s To-do list — and I’m just watching it unfold.
The very first link I included in this post was the Bethany Hamilton re-enactment. I have been led to watch several sections of this movie since March. The Father needed to remind me that though we can’t always see HOW He is working – we have to know that He is working ALL things together – to give us Hope and Purpose: (Soul Surfer RAD Night ) (1min in length)
Now, it’s time to share the finale of the movie (or at least a snippet) – Soul Surfer – Final Wave (2:18)
(I should add that while the final wave scene is really cool in itself, the close up scene of Bethany’s face while surfing “the barrel” is pertinent as it relates to an earlier scene right after the shark attack during her emergency trip to the ER.)
May all of God’s Blessings be yours and May you be a Blessing unto others….