It’s funny, isn’t it, how we can be so independent and self-reliant and then when our whole world comes crashing down, we run to Jesus. I have a very strong relationship with my Savior, but I still struggle like most to make the time to just sit at His feet or discipline myself to turn off media, let the phone ring through, or not get distracted with busyness. However, this tragedy has propelled me into a new dimension with Jesus. I am thankful! That does not mean I wouldn’t take Clint back in a heart beat! It just means that death comes to all. In Clint’s words, “We all have a 100% chance of death”. The issue is, if we all are going to have to walk through the fire, Who do we want in it with us? That’s a no-brainer for me!
Early on, after losing Clint, I immersed myself in nothing but Christian music, God’s Word, and Christian books on grief. I knew that I was vulnerable to the enemy’s lies. We Christian’s trust ourselves too much! If we would take the spiritual battle we are in as seriously as the military trains soldiers to physical battles/wars here, we would not get “slaughtered” the way we so often do! We forget our propensity to sin and we drop our guard! We make friends with the enemy. The enemy has been around a long time and he has perfected his tactics! I knew that I could not leave ANY room for anything other than Truth, practically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
One day, close to Christmas, I began feeling angry at God. Everyone was telling me I could be angry at Him…that He was big enough to handle it. And, He is!! But, being angry at God seemed silly to me. I am not in any way putting anyone else down for their struggles…just that it felt to me like shifting blame. But, as I lay in bed one morning feeling upset at Him and not wanting to read the Word, I just felt Him whisper to me, “You know, I’ll never leave you or forsake you, but if you push Me away, you’ll feel more alone than you do now. Let Me close so I can help you.” I laid there knowing He was speaking Truth to me and didn’t want to push away the Only thing I knew would give me life!
As time has gone on, I’ve become busy. How in the world does this happen!?!?!? I really thought losing Clint would permanently change me forever! Maybe I thought this would finally make me “perfect”. Not that I consciously thought that, but it was an underlying belief that was settling in me. Death brings so much into focus. Surely, I would never go one day without spending real time with Jesus!
Then last night, I could feel the cloud settling over me. This is normal and not always necessarily “because” of something. But, in this instance, I knew I hadn’t been spending real time with Jesus. Doubts started creeping in. I laid on the couch, in the dark, by myself, knowing this wasn’t “just” grief. It was a “lost” feeling. A “being out of touch” with the One Who breathes life into me. Without Him, I’m done for! And, yet, I felt too tired to do anything about it. Oh, Jesus, save me from myself!!
About that time, a friend texted me. She let me know that someone had read some of these blog posts I have felt the Lord leading me to write and had accepted Jesus as their Savior!!! Oh. My. Goodness!!! Immediately, my heart began to warm! There’s a purpose in this most terrible pain!
Many people are confused about why we are here on this planet at all. It’s the big question that seems to stump a lot of people. I was one of them! I’ve spent a large part of my life searching out what I believe and why I believe it.
Here’s the answer: Westminster Catechism — Q: What is the chief end of man? A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
I used to have real issues with that before I took the time to understand it. I may have blogged about this before, so if I have, please excuse the redundancy 😉 The thing is, the first of the 10 Commandments says not to have any other gods before God. I always felt like that was slightly “big-headed” of God. Then, I became a parent. I would think it odd if my children went to the neighbors to have their needs met. They are my children and I take joy in providing for their needs and many of their wants. It would be offensive to me if they continuously rejected me in favor of some other mother’s care. But, it get’s worse when we do this to God. You see, He knows there aren’t even any other gods out there that can help us. It is an absolute hopeless situation! He KNOWS He is the ONLY One able to save us! There is NO other!!
The 10 Commandments have been given to us out of love and to show us how lost we are. The first 5 commandments deal with our relationship between us and God and the last 5 deal with our relationships with others. Because God loves us so much, He doesn’t want us to get hurt or hurt others. When we hurt ourselves, that hurts others and God, and this is sin. When we hurt others, we also hurt ourselves and God and that is sin. It all comes back to love! So, the very first commandment about not putting any other gods before God, is because it leads to a dead-end! We are only going to get hurt and hurt others when we stray!
So, now that I’ve gone way around, let me bring this back. When I received that text last night, I said “my heart warmed”. The Lord so sweetly reminded me that He wants to walk this with me. He knows I want to live my life bringing Him glory and enjoying Him forever. I can’t do that when I’m not staying close. When I get too busy to spend time with Him, I begin to feel sorry for myself and I slide toward being self-focused. I have to continue leaning in to Him and showing others His great big arms of love with enough room for everyone that wants to be His child. I CAN NOT do this without Him! Not successfully at least, and I don’t want to just exist on this planet. There’s a job to do and I want to do it!!
You see, I am nothing without Jesus and can accomplish NOTHING without Him! At least not of any eternal significance. I could do lots of things on my own: get a job and make lots of money — but would this be the job God wanted me to do? Is making lots of money His will for my life? I could decide to do a great many things…and maybe even find lots of earthly success…but would it have any eternal significance? That’s the point! Without God, I lack wisdom, understanding, the ability to truly reach others for Him! Without Him, I CANNOT achieve HIS purpose for my life! Without the power of the Holy Spirit, I can not reach one person’s heart! I can not even be successful at reaching my own children!
Who is God leading you and I to in their own dark place? We CANNOT do in our own strength!! We could offer a cup of cold water, a hot meal, a caring look, but without the Holy Spirit moving, it WILL end there! That is all they will be left with…what WE gave and not Jesus!
Do you lean in to Him in your pain? Are you intentional about working to discipline yourself to spend time with Jesus regularly? How prepared spiritually would you be if tragedy struck you? It doesn’t matter where you are in your walk with Jesus, it’s never too late! Whether you’ve ever said “yes” to His offer of salvation or you’ve been walking with Him for 50 years, now is always the best time to say “yes” to Jesus or strengthening your relationship with Him!