1 life colliding into an intimate relationship with our Creator

Slamming the door shut.

God’s peace.

You’ve heard about it.

But you cannot grasp on to it.

Anxiety walks in the door,

no, more like, runs in.

You can’t breathe,

the fear is literally taking your breath away.

I think that the opposite of peace is fear. Fear is defined as… to be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening. Peace is defined as freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. 

I’ve struggled with fear.

I honestly think that most people at some point in their lives have dealt with fear. But then there are people who have dealt with fear on a daily basis. With me, it was like I really couldn’t pinpoint exactly what I was afraid of, I was just afraid.

Afraid of my future.

Afraid of my past.

Afraid of things that might happen to me or the people I love.

Recently, I had an epiphany.

It was one of those moments when my perspective did a 180.

I do not have to be afraid.

I do not have to be fearful about my future, my past, or the things that may or may not happen in my life.

I do not have to be anxious. ever.

I don’t have to worry. ever. again.

Jesus! He gives me peace. He slams the door shut when anxiety and fear try to come in to scare me.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6

“But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” -Matthew 14:27

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7

Anytime anxiety and fear try to overwhelm my thoughts, I know that I do not have to be afraid. Because God is always with me. Always. And I experience a peace that cannot be understood. but man am I grateful for it.

The underdogs.

“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” -Philippians 2:1-4

When I read, “Put yourself aside and help others get ahead,” I instantly imagine people putting aside their reputations and sticking up for the underdogs, those people that everyone looks down upon.

But then I also imagine people serving each other. People doing things for each other without expecting anything in return. People giving their lives away.

And when I imagine all of that, I think, “That’s the kind of person I want to be.”

When you really think about it, life is not about you or me. It’s about others. Helping others. Giving to others. Serving others.

Why not help feed the people who are starving halfway across the world?

Why not help others out?

Why not give?

If it was about my life or your life I could understand.

But it’s not.

We need each other.

In this huge world, we’ve got to show some people some love.

We need each other to lend a helping hand.

Generosity, love, selflessness are good for the soul.

“Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.” -Isaiah 1:17

 

 

The longing is great.

The longing is great.

I see it in the faces around me.

Hunger, desire, want.

With hands raised,

We scream “Come Father!”

Our desire is to see You come.

Come and let Your kingdom reign.

Where Your perfect plan is acted out.

Wholeness, restoration, healing, joy.

Come Father.

Come now.

Bring Heaven here.

 

B-I-G.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you are literally taken back in time?

I’m talking time travel ya’ll.

No, not really.

Just a moment ago, I was sitting in my living room listening to Pandora and the song How He Loves came on. I was singing along to it and near the end the singer began to sing the lyrics “Heaven meets earth like a…” and I paused. I waited to see if he would sing “sloppy wet kiss” or “beautiful kiss” or whatever other version of that lyric there is.

AND then. I had my moment.

I wasn’t literally taken anywhere. I’m not a weirdo.

But I did begin to reminisce. I thought of Belize.

At a youth service in Belize, a huge group of us (Belizeans and Alabamians) were singing to God. We sang the song How He Loves. In that moment, in a totally different country, we joined with people we had just met and sang about God.

I know it doesn’t sound extraordinary. BUT IT IS.

I hate it because I cannot describe in words the absolute awesomeness of singing about God with people from another country…in their country!

It’s just eye opening to see how BIG God is.

He isn’t just in America. He’s in Belize. He’s in Indonesia. He’s in China. He’s everywhere.

People ALL over this world are singing to him and worshiping him.

And that is mind blowing.

BELIZe (Photo by Kenzie Greer)

I ain’t no caterpillar anymore.

Caterpillars.

They are ugly little creatures.

When my siblings, Ben and De, and me were kids we used to ride our bikes and squish little innocent caterpillars. Poor creatures had no hope for life when we were around.

I had a God thought about caterpillars a little over a week ago.

Caterpillars seem to have nothing going for them. I mean it looks like all they do is crawl around on their tiny legs and wait to be killed by a conniving little kid on a bicycle.

I wonder if they know what is coming. I really do wonder if caterpillars know what they are going to be transformed into.

A butterfly, of course.

Butterflies are absolutely beautiful to me. Any and everyone will stop and stare, at least for a second, if a butterfly flies by. They are simply majestic.

I see myself as a caterpillar.

I see some people around me as caterpillars.

I tell God, “Eh, I’m just like a caterpillar. I have a lot of ugly things about me, You could never make me into something beautiful and new. Like a butterfly.”

I even think stuff similar to that about other people.

And sometimes I focus so much on my own thoughts that I don’t hear God’s thoughts.

God sees the end result.

He knows that a caterpillar WILL turn into a butterfly. God doesn’t sweat about it, or doubt that it will happen. He knows it will.

Yet sometimes I think that I cannot be a new creation in God. I am simply like an ugly caterpillar.

BUT.

He is working on me.

Like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, God is making me new.

I can’t see it, but just because I can’t see it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t trust the process.

God is cool in the fact that He sees our full potential.

I see myself as a unchanged.

He sees me as a brand new creation.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” -2 Corinthians 5:17 

Father,

Jesus had made me new.

Teach me how to see people as you see them.

Let Your truth sink deep into my bones.

Flip out, yo.

“But now the Lord who created you, O Israel, says, Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up– the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel… I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me and honored and I love you. Don’t be afraid for I am with you.” -Isaiah 43:1-5

Have you ever read something from the Bible and had the thought, “This is for me.” ?

It is so absolutely crazy that the Creator of me and you and everything around us… claims us as His own. AND. It’s not just a “claim” that groups all of us together as one. He calls me by name. He calls you by name.

He knows me. He created me. He RANSOMED me.

I have done nothing to deserve this; and I am pretty positive that I can never pay back what has been given to me.

I was a prisoner to my own sin and He paid the large debt off that I owed.

“I, yes, I alone am he who blots away your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” -Isaiah 43:25

Why?

Why did the Creator of everything do this for me? for you?

Because He loves us.

And not the typical love that we are all too familiar with… The “roman candle firework, Hollywood hot pink love”- John Mayer (what can I say.. I’m a fan of Johnny Boy ;) )

But real love.

Patient love. Kind love. Love that NEVER EVER fails.

I am precious to Him.

“”How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!”-Psalm 139:17

So then, how should I react when I cannot feel His love? How should I react when I go through tough stuff in life?

Should I flip out?

Maybe a little… jk.

God promises to ALWAYS go with us and be with us and love us, even if we can’t feel it.

And God doesn’t go back on his promises; and that is something to flip out about! (in a good way)

He will always come through for us.

 

The dots.

I am in the middle of the story of Moses.

Of course most people know that the story of Moses is about how the Israelite people were in bondage and slavery to the Egyptians. AND God used Moses to  set them free.

BUT did you know that the Passover originated during that time?!

I was reading through Exodus and I came across why the Passover originated… it was really a way for the  Israelite’s to praise God because they were FINALLY going to be free from the many years of slavery.

And after I read that, I began to connect the dots.

In the New Testament, Jesus celebrated the Passover right before His death on the cross and then resurrection three days later.

Jesus’ death and resurrection insured our freedom from the bondage of sin.

I just think it’s cool how the Passover showed the Israelite’s that God was going to free them; and then hundreds of years later Jesus celebrated the Passover and then freed us.

 

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