Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:23 NASB
NOTE TO READER: Sometimes I ask myself why I blog so many personal things? My answer to myself is, there just might be someone else out there going through this, too. If exposing myself, and showing what God is doing through my circumstances helps someone else, then I am glad to be laid bare so that God will be glorified. God is doing a great work in all of us.
My mom wrote me, recently, and asked me if I have any good news to report. I don’t want to lie to my mom, but I don’t want to go into a litany of how hard things are either.
So, I thought about it for a few minutes.
I can say with great joy that a sink hole has NOT sprouted underneath our house. THAT is very good news. I actually feel like I dodged a bullet there.
What else is good news? Let’s see… … OH! Here is another bit of good news. So far, the Bubonic Plague has avoided our neighborhood. I can’t tell you what a relief THAT is. Nothing like a flood of rats invading your neighborhood, and starting a plague, to put you in a foul mood. I find it difficult to look on the bright side as I cough up a lung. Call me a buzz kill, but there’s the truth at last.
Even more good news….my kittens have discovered the joys of attacking rolls of toilet paper. It looks as if teenagers sneaked into my home and rolled the interior of my house. I am not sure I want to know how two very tiny kittens got toilet paper draped all over my ceiling fan. But there it is.
Before I could burst into flames and get mad, I had to do a gut check. These are, after-all, mere kittens. Serving them up for dinner might be an overreaction on my behalf. So, I wanted to look on the bright side. I looked, and looked…and looked.
This is all I could come up with: If we are ever invaded by hordes of ravaging rolls of toilet paper, our home is safe. Our kittens would be heroes of epic proportions.
See… that is good news, right?
Aside from not having a sink-hole filled with plague, and toilet paper, in my neighborhood, I have been having a difficult time looking for excuses to do the happy dance.
There is this pesky thing called circumstances. Some circumstances loom large enough to make you look forward to rampaging rolls of toilet paper.
What do I do with the circumstances in my life when all they want to do is bring me bad news? Not bad news like, “Hey, Dude, you have a flat.”, but the bad news that the continued onset of unemployment brings? What do I do when life gets real?
Do I embrace the fear and let it tear me apart? Do I wallow in the immobility of that fear, like a deer in the headlights? When life gets real, what do I do?
Here, again, is where we have had to learn that the Warriors of God do battle best when they are on their knees. When the world is taking your home away, when your friends have given up on you for being a constant failure. When no one will hire you for what ever the reason of the day is…what do you do?
Do I let the overwhelming doubt and fear I feel consume me? Do I paint my world in the colors of fear and panic and doubt? I have learned that, when I paint like that, I have put an ugly filter on every thing I see, do and believe. It is in this fear that I can really mess up my head. You can believe you are a failure. You can believe this is the end. You can believe there are no answers. And that becomes your reality.
Some realities you may have to endure. Looming homelessness is not one I want to experience, but if it does, what will flow through my heart? I will I curse God and die? Will I abandon this faith I have been writing about? There are some circumstances that no amount of “Positive Affirmation” will overcome.
But when I am blocked by raw panic and fear, there is one thing I can do. I can trust God that, no matter what my circumstances are, He is aware of them. I know that God is my Father. God has no evil intent for me. He has only good and loving kindness for me.
I rest assured in His love for me. Losing everything I have might be the very best thing that could happen to me. I know that, when I come through this, I will be a better Child of God for it. Sometimes God has to purify us so that all idolatry is burned away from our hearts. What I will gain from this trial is far better than anything I will lose.
The blessings do not begin until I learn that I can trust God with all confidence and unconditionally. In my poverty, I can assure you, dear reader, that God is love. In my need, I have learned to pray blessings on you. In my salvation, I pray for your salvation. I have been given a gift of Love that was never there before. And I can tell you, my brother, that I love you without condition, just as God loves me.
I have peace in the midst of this storm. That is the benefit of knowing God. I cannot imagine going through this trial without the strength of God in me. I have been stricken in my body, I have been stricken in my wealth, I have been stricken in all the things I hold dear and valuable, but I am willing to lose all I am and have if it will draw me closer to God.
WATCHING MY HEART
Here is why I am writing you, my friend. Jesus said this: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 NASB
Left to my own devices, raw sewage would flow from my heart. But Christ has changed, and is changing me. I just have to be careful to guard what I let into my heart. It doesn’t take much plutonium to poison an entire river.
Because Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, I have something I never had before this. I have hope. I have faith. I have love. These things live in my heart.
HOPE: I have hope that God will take away everything that gets in between He and I, and I will be made into the image of Christ. I have the hope of eternal life in me. I am saved. Nothing the world can do can take that from me.
FAITH: I have faith that, no matter what my circumstances are… “…I know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” And I am definitely called according to His purpose. It doesn’t matter why I am in the circumstances I am, whether my foolishness brought this on, or it is by design, or any other reason you can think of. I know that GOd turns even our worst mistakes and trials and troubles into blessings.
I have faith that this is exactly what God is accomplishing in me, today.
LOVE: I have Love in my heart where, just a few months ago, I had a heart of stone. I receive this love from the Father, and I gladly give this love to you, and anyone else that needs to see that; in this cold and callous world filled with darkness, fear and hatred, there is one who loves you more than anything else in all of creation. God loves you. God IS love. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God when we belong to Him through Christ Jesus, our savior and lord.
BREAKING THE DAM
My fears can block that flow. My doubts can turn this flowing river into a stagnant lake full of unclean things. When I take the reins from God’s Hand, and tell God, “I got this, God”,I have just blocked the flow of faith, love, hope and joy. I have turned the living waters into a cup of sweet poison.
Faith, Hope, Love, Joy…these are all gifts from the Loving and ever giving God. They are our possession because of Jesus Christ. They belong to us in abundance only in as much as we are willing to give it away.
I can look at my circumstances, or I can look at what I DO have. I do not have wealth. I do not have a home. I do not have many possessions, but what I do have, I give freely. I give because God gave freely to me through Jesus Christ.
It isn’t when we have things from God that we become wealthy, it is when we, in our poverty, approach God, our Loving Father, in Heaven, and trust Him that we have all our provision. And what he gives in abundance, we give likewise.
Today, all I have to offer is this Hope: You can have eternal life if you accept the sacrifice that Jesus made, on the cross, on your behalf.
Today, all I have to offer is Faith: Faith in God, faith in the atonement for my sin, faith that all things will work out for my good. How will I know what being poor is like unless I comprehend it? How will I understand giving until I am in need? How will I see God’s provision unless I have been driven to the place where that is all I have left? I pray you never ask to be made into the image of Christ unless and until you understand this; God will do whatever it takes to humble you, and make you aware of what is important to him.
Today, all I have to offer you is this Love: That God loves you enough that he, in the form of Jesus Christ, came to this earth in the flesh, a perfect man, and for our sake, took on the responsibility for all our sin, and died on the cross for that sin. His love for us held Him to that cross until the entire debt was paid.
When Jesus said. “It is finished”, he announced the begging of your life, if you accept it. You are already dead in your sin, if you chose to be. You will have eternal life in Him, if you accept this free gift.
This is what I have to share with you. Maybe in time, God will bless me in ways that I will have the heart and means to seek out the poor, the lost, the starving, the prisoner, the naked, the sick and bring them to the living waters I have found.
My Prayer: Dear God, My Heavenly Father, I praise you that you love me enough to discipline me. I am joyful, deep in my soul, that you are making me into the image of your Son. I pray, Lord, in Jesus Name, that you get me out of the way so that your son, Jesus Christ will be all people see when they meet me. I pray abundant blessings on everyone who reads this poor tome. I pray you fill them with your love, just like you have filled me with your love. I pray that you are their provision. I pray that, where this ill-health, you heal it, where there is discord, you make holy harmony. I pray where there is lack in you, you become the abundance they need. Teach us to not inhibit the flow of your love and calling. Make us all fountains of YOUR living water.
In Christ here is life, love, healing, hope, faith, and most of all, there is LOVE.
Let’s be about it.
I love you
David G. Perkins