Thursday, February 21, 2019

Where Do You Look?

       It is our natural tendency to look for answers to our questions, but where do we look?   "Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, but Faith looks up." by Ralph Waldo Emerson  It's sad but often true, that God is our last place to look to.  We find it easier to search in what we can see, than to trust in what we can't see yet.  God is always with us and waiting for us to seek Him in all things, circumstances, and in the questions of life.

       I found the quote above by accident, coincidence, or by God's leading.  However I found it, the quote describes my feelings as of late and put it into words for me.  As I have progressed over the past 3.5 months, I have realized there is a new me.  The new me struggles to get back physically, as much as possible, but I am forever changed in many other ways.  I have more empathy with those in chronic pain.  I have gained wisdom on the importance of knowing what you want or don't want on your last days.  I have gained strength in my faith, trust, and convictions with respect towards God and His sacrifice for me and the world.  I have increased my level of courage in what I am able to endure with God carrying me through various unwanted trials. 
       I have also lost some things along this trial too.  I have lost patience with negativity in my life, through words and actions of others.  This is highlighted by one of my doctor's perspective on me and his words of little hope for my wellness.  I have lost strength in my abilities and the little independence I had in a few matters.  I have lost a love for some worldly things and traded that in for a desperate longing for the Heaven that awaits me.  I have lost interest in politics and worldly matters, but I remain invested in my participation at the level I can be involved in.  I've read the end of the Bible and know that hard times are part of the end times, but God is sovereign and wins victoriously in the end.
      "Our world offers a multitude of ways to compromise on what we know is right, but if we’ll make up our minds ahead of time, we’ll be able to stand firm in our obedience to God. Although a world that does not believe may mock our values and lifestyle, their respect for us actually lessens when we waffle and give in to temptations. What’s worse, our witness for Christ is damaged.Conviction about God’s truth is like an anchor. When the winds of opinion blow and the waves of temptation pound us, we can know with certainty the right way to respond. Don’t vacillate in your obedience to the Lord. Your unwavering stand for what’s right can powerfully influence others." []
       I have gained and lost all of these things, only by looking upward to God.  God gives and takes away, blessed be His name forever and ever.

      What a great quote on the valleys of life.  There would be no hilltops without the valleys and the view from the hilltops wouldn't be so magnificent without the valleys either.  The valley you are in may seem like the lowest point in your life but if you look up to God and ask Him to help you find His purpose in this trial then He will answer you according to His will.  Don't dwell in the valley, but climb out with purpose and as a better you.  Grow, mature and multiply the blessings you've gained and learned during this time God has been at work in you.
      "In retrospect, I can see that “wait” is the most precious answer God can give us. It makes us cling to him rather than cling to an outcome. God knows what I need. I do not. He sees the future. I cannot. His perspective is eternal. Mine is not. He will give me what is best for me. When it is best for me. As Paul Tripp says, “Waiting is not just about what I get at the end of the wait, but about who I become as I wait.” [DesiringGod]

When we know what God wants us to do,
But then we refuse to obey,
We’re ignoring the voice of the Lord,
And sinfully choosing our way. —Sper