Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trust is a Five-Letter Word...

Once again, I struggled to wake up. It could have something to do with my little T-man laying with his legs draped all over my chest, legs, even my neck. Being 5 and scared of his room, he spends a good portion of the night in my bed with me and my hubs. So... I'm left literally dragging myself out of bed. I am truly thankful for my T-man though. He's my miracle baby #2. J-boy is my miracle baby #1. It is a miracle that God has blessed us with these loving and sometimes frustrating, beautiful boys. I trusted in God that He would allow these boys to live. Trusted completely.

They are good friends and together try to help each other out, whether that particular helps is needed or not. At times they fight, at times they just play so nicely together that you almost forget that they are actually together. Time flies by in those moments.

Florida Trip

Outer Banks - Ocracoke Island, NC
 We have been blessed in the past years with two boys who were excellent travelers. We don't just do vacations, we do Road-Trips. Joel and I have started this "tradition" on our honeymoon when we flew into Vegas and spent two weeks on the road. Nearly every night a different hotel. 14 days, 9 states. Lots of fun and beautiful scenery. We are a nature-loving family!

Is this brotherly love, or what?
In 2010, we flew out to Seattle with one stop. T-man was strapped into his car seat and scared. J-boy was nervous but he took to flying almost right off the bat. We started in Moses Lake, Washington and worked our way down to Yellowstone, then towards Cali to see the Redwoods and then drove up the coast to Oak Harbor are in Washington before catching our flight home.

 The Redwood trees remind me to look up towards Heaven. I love standing under them and looking straight up. This picture is one of my favorites. God created some very beautiful things for us to enjoy here on earth.

Our silly boys in the van heading to the OBX, NC.

 Our boys are quite a bit less pleasant to spend time with in vehicles nowadays. Even short rides can be a great test of patience. I need more patience. There is no way around it. Patience is not a strong-point in my character. I admit that combined with my somewhat short-temper, it can be like a lit stick of dynamite at times. God is still working on me. I believe that God has a sense of humor and takes, not delight in my temper but, delight in my attempt at learning patience. Like a parent He watches me struggle and allows me to make mistakes, and is always there to pick me up and dust me off. He is always with us, watching us, guiding us.

 Like the pelican on the roof, unless we actively look for Him, He remains unseen by us. Trust is another big issue with me. I've had my heart broken and have been betrayed so even though I know that God is right there, He remains hidden at times.

 The need to trust God is like this bridge. It seems to suddenly just drop off. Can you trust that this road continues to get you across the water safely, or will you drop off the edge and land in the water? We have to trust God because He loves us. He created us. He wants our trust, just like we want our families and friends to trust in us. Only God wants it more. He literally holds our lives in His hands. We can trust Him. Trust seems like such an easy thing. Oh, just trust in God to see you through safely, I've been told. Let me tell you, that is a lot easier said than done at times.

Just like the father in this picture, God holds us close to Him in His embrace. His strong arms surround us, keeping us from falling. J-boy had to fully trust his daddy on this cliff-side to not let him fall. The smile on his little face tells it all. He is smiling because while he sits enjoying the view, he doesn't have to worry about falling because he feels his daddy's arms around him tightly... and he is holding on.

 When life gets rough and we hit a roadblock, Jesus is there, waiting for us to reach out our hand towards him. If we reach out, He takes our hand and lifts us, or guides us around or even over our roadblocks. J-boy was being a great big brother to T-man when T would stumble or need help. "I'm on it mom..." he would say. I told him that he was like Jesus helping us over our fallen trees. At this, he did not just smile, he beamed.

We can learn a lot about trust from our children.  They dream big. They live big. They try to climb so high sometimes that they do not know how to get back down. Just like a mommy (in this case) God is there with them, watching out for them and for us.. He holds our hands as He guides us on the way down. Are we listening for His voice, His words to help guide us, or do we sometimes knowingly close our ears because we feel that we can do it ourselves? My son trusted me completely to not let him fall as he slowly slid back down his "mountain". We can trust God on the climb and the ride back down. God is the ultimate parent. There is none better.

 His touch is gentle, so gentle that we don't always feel it. We trust that it is always there... that is until some new trial or temptation comes our way. There are times when we are convinced that at the first sign of trouble God takes off like a skittish dragonfly, flying for safety. At these times it is hard to remember that God is bigger than our problems. God alone stands completely firm in the face of trials. Jesus was in the desert for 40 days standing firm against Satan's temptations. 40 days of fasting, so He was weak, tired, His earthly body struggling to keep moving, keep going. His mind stood firm.

Matthew 4:10  Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written:
'Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only." 
We start the day enjoying God's beauty He gives us to celebrate the new day. We are filled with hope, at times with energy. Other days we wake up tired, sad, weary. When we are tired, completely bone weary and struggling, are we just giving in to the temptations or do we wrestle up the strength to stand firm. I know that I give in at times. It seems like it is the easy way out, but really, in the long run it is the hard way. God doesn't give up and neither should we. He will never give up on us, so why do we give up on ourselves? If the Lord thinks that we are worthy of His time, His care and His love, why do we believe we are so unworthy, unlovable? When we are tired, distracted, or just so sad, that's when The Voice whispers, "You aren't any good. How could anyone love you, want to care for you? God doesn't love you or he would_____." We hear this voice and begin to believe it is true. We fall for the lies that Satan whispers. We hear them and in our despair, our desperation, believe them.

John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil...for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native tongue, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

It can be so easy to fall into his trap, believing all he whispers to be truth. God is angry with the devil for his lies. Satan tries to cause us to stumble, to stop believing in God and trusting in God. This makes God angry. The ultimate parent rises and is angered. When we believe the lies and deceits, God gets sad. He wants us to be secure in Him. Trust completely in Him. 

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. 

Satan can be defeated. Temptations can be withstood. Pray for God to keep you from all temptation and that when temptation does arise, that He gives you the strength and the ability to withstand them and ignore the lies. Prayer can seem just such a small thing, a last resort when nothing else works. Prayer is so much bigger and better than we dream it to be. Instead of last, it should be first. 

Prayer is the reason that I am still alive. The trials that I've been a survivor of, I'm a true survivor. There were times when I almost did not. Accidents, attacks.... Satan did them all and I am still here. He isn't happy about that. We stumble, catch our feet on sticks, unseen hands grab at our feet and legs. We sometimes continue to stumble and never find our footing. We spend our lives lost and searching but don't know what we search for. Other times, we step over and around those stumbling blocks he tries to put in our way and we have complete trust in God to see us through life safely. There are times when we are in between. We stumble, find our footing only to stumble again. Find our footing again. A never-ending cycle. God is with us through it all. When life is too much, He carries us through. 

To stop believing the lies, open your bible to John 3:16, which says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (Emphasis mine.) God loved the whole world - that means you and I both - enough that He sacrificed His only son for us - imperfect beings that we are. You see, we go through life thinking that we are surprising God by our action, our choices. Nothing surprises Him. Nothing. He knows what is going to happen, and when and He still loves us. There is nothing that we can do to ever make Him stop loving us. 

Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present not the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Isn't that an amazing love? There is nothing that will separate us from God's love. Even if we spend our entire life making the wrong choices, even choosing to believe the falsehoods instead of in Jesus, He will still love us. I don't know about you, but that kind of love gives me chills. Good chills. 

God wants us to choose Him. He wants to stand at the door of our heart and knock. He wants us to throw open that door, wide open and reach out with both hands, and say, "Yes Lord. I believe in You. I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven, not by my works, nor my action, but by Christ alone. Come into my heart, Lord. I want to live my life for you." 

I did this when I was seven years old. Sure, I've backslid but God has never left my side. I've come back to God even though I never really, really left Him. He was waiting for me with open arms.