Posted in Faith

Faith, Death, Time, No Time, Lost

My absence this week is a personal one but is wrapped with faith.

I’ve shared that I have health issues, of which one is fibromyalgia; for me, includes periods of physical exhaustion and something called fibro fog, where you just become unaware of what is happening in the real world and time just get lost. It’s a lonely place.

I have a very small circle of close friends, best friends if we were teens (lol). Her mother and father raised their kids with respect, courage and love. They saw their 62nd wedding anniversary! They are wonderful people who inspire people of every age, despite their age. Mom’s journey is done, she’s in heaven now. But my friend and her husband, no matter how prepared they were, no matter how many goodbyes they spoke, no matter how much time they had together, now have a journey to walk. I, and any other that call themselves friend, must walk that journey with them. Even so, It’s a lonely place.

If all this isn’t enough, another friend very unexpectedly died, leaving a surprised and shocked husband, daughter, family, and friends. There was no time for any of us to wrap our heads around the fact that we would lose our friend, we had no time to get the word out for the right prayers (at least we felt that way). Many of the friends here are friends of the mother who passed. But there was no time for our friend to say her goodbyes, to do the things she wanted to do in the near future with her husband of many years, no time to ______ . It’s a lonely place.

When one is in a lonely place, it doesn’t matter how many people are around, you don’t connect and you don’t feel them. You go through life feeling lost, out of place, sometimes feeling dead. Time becomes something that gets you through the day because you feel like you don’t know what to do next. This is a very dangerous place to be.

This lonely place for one without faith is where we find those who give in to the addictions, bad choices, vices, whatever Satan calls them to and they don’t know or care. Usually they don’t realize the weight of this lost time until the hit bottom, which is a type of death, not all death is physical, and can come back depending on many things. It is still a lonely place. Where they feel they are unworthy, are lost, have no time; faith has no meaning to them.

Lonely comes to the faithful too. When they get tired. They carry too much weight thinking they can’t share, they need to do it all themselves. They see too much, first responders, emergency room personnel, hospital chaplains, social workers, terminal illness workers — how much can they see before it’s one death too many? Before they wonder if they are wasting their time? Before they feel that their help is lost on the people they care about so they stop trying? Before they feel like it’s pointless to believe. It’s a lonely place.

There was a Friday just over 2,000 years ago where a man, a carpenter, who had been unlawfully imprisoned, whipped, and tortured was forced to walk with his crucifix to where he would be hung. Talk about a lonely place. Good Friday. A day prophesied and fulfilled.

A lonely place for this 33 year old man hanging by ligaments on a tree, because he had the faith that his Father was taking him home.

A lonely place for the man next to him, rightfully being punished for crimes committed, knowing he was about to die and go nowhere, until he saw the man next to him. Because of the faith he declared to Jesus, the man dying next to him, he was no longer lonely because he knew he was going home too.

If your lonely right now, tell God, he wants you too, it is never to late.

Be blessed.

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Posted in God, Seek Christ

Dogs

What wonderful creatures dogs are! I have two; and, ironically enough, one is a guide and one is a herder. They are loads of love unless they think there’s a problem and then they are on high alert and ready to attack!  I have no doubt these two understand this is a home they are safe in, they’ll be fed in, and they’ll get the brushing and ear rubs they enjoy. I also have no doubt that if the walking dead was to happen today, these two would do all they could, include giving their lives, to keep me safe as we wander around.

What one word describes a dog? Faithful. In fact, there is an attitude within Christianity stating that dogs represent faithfulness. (Sherman, Josepha (August 2008). Storytelling: An Encyclopedia of Mythology and Folklore. Sharpe Reference. pp. 118–121. ISBN 978-0-7656-8047-1.)

Faithful. We are told repeatedly that God is faithful in His Words.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.  Deut 7:9 (NIV)

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.     1 Cor 1:9 (NIV)

We are also repeatedly called to faithfully follow God, faithful does not mean blindly but that’s another topic.

For if you carefully observe every one of these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, and remain faithful to Him—    Deut 11:22 (HCSB)

He follows My statutes and keeps My ordinances, acting faithfully. Such a person is righteous; he will certainly live.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.               Ezek 18:9 (HCSB)

But how do we do this? Life is hard! Temptation is everywhere! Morals and standards, reality and fantasy are confused! How do we remain faithful?

We CRY OUT. (Ps 34:17, 72:12, 119:147) (HCSB). This may be anything from a frustrating yell, a shaken fist in the air, a mourning sob, a gentle plea or a quiet prayer from your personal closet.

We LISTEN. “Anyone who has ears should listen!” (Mt 11:15, 13:9, Mk 4:9) (HCSB). We turn our emotional, biased, learned hearing off and listen to the purity of God’s words, through the Bible, prayer and faithful guidance from the Holy Spirit.

We DO. We worship God (Mt 2:8). We recognize Jesus Christ as His One and Only Son (Jn 1:14). We turn to the Holy Spirit to guide and goad us minute by minute, giving us courage when we decide to step away (Jn 14:26).

What does any of this have to do with dogs? When we CRY OUT, our faithful dog comes running, no matter the situation, just like the Holy Spirit. When we LISTEN and walk through the world around us, our faithful dog guides us (leads) or goads us (nudges from the back side to get our attention), so we avoid the ‘bad’ people, and find the ‘hurt and suffering’ ones. Then, we DO, and our faithful dog does with us; if he’s like mine sometimes it’s more licks than help but that’s help too.

As we struggle to understand God, His Word, and His Ways, it helps if we keep things simple and place things in terms people understand. I’m not calling the Holy Spirit a dog by any means, but my dogs do help me remember the Holy Spirit when I falter and don’t know where to lean.