Thursday, February 23, 2017
Years ago, I spent every hour I had every day working. I spent so much time working, in fact, that I lost track of what I was doing it for.
When I finally started longing for the things I was missing -- time with my family, smelling the roses, appreciating the stars in the sky, just simply taking time out to commune with God and His creation -- I gave it all up. I even gave up television and radio. I didn't want to hear the news. I didn't want to see it. I wanted relationships with real people, real things, real life. I wanted to get to know what I was fighting for.
I spent ten years doing nothing but living. During that ten years, I lived. For the first time in my life, I found myself alive. I got to know people. I learned to love the differences in people. I learned to love as God does. I owned several businesses. I worked in several different places. I travelled the 48 states. I joined a church.
At one point, I found myself homeless and learned that God was watching me, wondering how much faith I still had in Him. I never waivered. I remained positive. And, over and over again, I saw Him bless me.
I met some really great people with nothing. I met some really great people who had everything. I learned that material possessions have nothing to do with a person's character. I learned that only those who knew how to give were the ones who were really living. I learned that the ones who took without ever giving back were the ones who were most ungrateful and bitter with their lives. They were not living at all.
The whole ten years was a lesson on stewardship. In the end, I came to understand that God had given me chance after chance in this life. If I took the opportunities and used them wisely, I was blessed. If I failed to use those opportunities to work with-in His will, what little I had was taken away. My patience, my sanity, and my faith were tested over and over during this time, until I had learned well what it was He wanted me to learn.
Each time I failed, I went to the Father and inquired as to why? I sought to understand where I had gone wrong. I dug into His word, and stood tall on my knees declaring that I would not stop believing, and that I would trust Him, no matter what. I had a lot to learn.
Finally, I came to the realization of what it means when it says to completely trust in the Lord. I now understand that I can do nothing. He is really the one who does all things through me. When I take over, I fail. When I let Him take over and lead me, I succeed.
For the first time in my life, I am fearless. I know that no matter what I am going through, God will provide for all my needs according to His riches in Glory. If I have no food, somehow, He gives me food. If I am bored, somehow He stimulates my senses. If I have no clothes, somehow, He clothes me. If I am without shelter, He protects me. I have never done without, and I know now that He will never let me. All I have to do is keep trying, keep working toward whatever goals He sets for me, and keep seeking to be more like Jesus every day.
He does not do all this because I deserve it. He does this because I am His child. He does this because I believe in Him. He does this because He loves me. The most precious thing He has ever given me was His son, Jesus. If He would give me His only son, who died so that I could live, and then turn around and adopt me as His own child, how can I not fully trust Him?
My journey is far from over. There is still a lot my Father wants me to learn. This is evidenced by the fact that I am still here, on this earth, with you. Each experience I have brings me closer to Him, and teaches me to be a better person to you. I look forward to where He will take me next and what experiences I am destined to have. I hunger to see His every day miracles, and how they will affect me, which will in turn affect you. This is what the "abundant life" is all about.
Finally, I invite you to take this journey with me. It's simple: all you have to do is trust in Him. Let Him lead the way. Listen to what He says in His word. Live according to the example of Christ. Learn from your failures. Thank Him for your blessings. Give Him credit for where you are and who you become without blaming Him for your mistakes. Accept the offering that He made for you in His son, Jesus. Then, let Christ live through you.