Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February 20, 2013

Good morning all-

Last night, I watched my son's last game for the season.  It was pitiful at best.  What started out a season of hope ended with zero wins.  My son was so excited for the season to begin and then little by little our coach lost hope and so did the team.  The end result was a team that walked out at half-time defeated and prepared to lose.

I think the hardest part is watching my son give up on a game he loves so  much.  Little by little, I have watched him and I knew the end result before it happened.  He had lost hope, not totally in himself but in the coach and for some part, in his team.  Beginning was exciting, but the more they lost, the more they began to play like they couldn't win.  I only tell you this because it got me thinking about our walk with Jesus.  When we first come to Christ we are so excited.  Jesus saved us!  We want to shout it to the roof tops and then as time goes by and as issues creep in our excitement wavers and often, we give up.

Many have begun with passion only to run out of steam.  The losses are too large and so they think, "God doesn't love me."  I've heard it and so have you.  I know I've thought it a couple of times but I have always recovered because in the end my love for him won out.  I hope my son has that kind of tenacity for God and for basketball.  I hope that one or two seasons of fighting won't demolish the passion I saw in him.  I hope that like me, failure will begin to grow him and help him be God's man.

I  love to watch him play basketball but I have to admit it's stressful.  I want to control the game, how much he plays and build that team to greatness.  The problem is, I'm not in control.  Just like my walk with Jesus, it's just Him and me.  I would also like to see hundreds maybe thousands come to Him with a passion beyond understanding but that's not in my control either.  Only God has control over who will come and of course, we must accept His gracious hand.

Free choice allows us to choose because God loves us so much that He wanted a relationship not a dictatorship.  He is a God that will let us fall but He will pick us back up.  My hope this morning is that my son will find Him through adversity.  My oldest has and I am so grateful.  The prayers I have prayed for Austin have been continuous and I am beginning to see the fruits of those prayers.  Hunter is younger and with time my prayer is that He will continue to seek God, not just when he's on top but when he's struggling to find purpose in the moment.

I think I had expectations of this year too and looking back, they were wrong.  I found myself dreaming of a college scholarship and watching my son play for 4 more years after High School.  Yesterday, I gave up that dream and asked God to take my son on whatever journey He had in store for His life.  More than anything, I want both my sons to have a passion for Jesus Christ that propels them in to men winning lives for a just cause.  Beyond college and having successful lives, a life without Jesus is nothing but a life with Him is totally worth it.

Trust is a belief in things unseen.  Once I was told that I wouldn't go to college and that I didn't have the skills to write or do arithmetic.  I think they gave me up for lost but I found a belief in myself and a belief in Jesus Christ that has continued to this day.  I don't let too much get in my way and I hang onto Jesus whenever the dark overwhelms me.  I have failed more often than I would like to count.  Teachers gave up on me but I never did.  In college, I won a writing award and I remembered what my High School teacher had said and laughed.  I don't think that award would have meant as much if I hadn't persevered and asked Jesus to help me.  Even today, I look for Jesus to help me with every thought that goes on paper and I know that it's by Him I have this opportunity.

My goal for all of us is to remember the day we were saved.  To cherish it in our hearts, deep, where no one can touch it.  We will have adversity but it's what we do with it that counts.  I have no idea where my sons' will end up but I do know that Jesus is with them and He will continue to pursue them and help them grow into men He can count on.  My heart banks on that and so my prayer is that each one of you will run the race, not for 5 miles but for life.  The road sometimes gets curvy and really long but we must sit still and put our faith not in ourselves, but in Jesus.

I hope today finds you well and if you're feeling defeated I hope you put your trust back into our Savior.  You were saved for a purpose.  You may not know what that looks like but you are part of His tapestry and as your thread is weaved, He will do great things!  May God bless you and keep you today.

Philippians 2:16 NKJV:

     holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

Romans 8:25 NKJV:

     But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Mark 9:23 NKJV:

     Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."

Mark 10:27 NKJV:

    But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."

My prayer today:

O, Lord, I come before You and ask that You would renew our passion, not just for a moment, but for a lifetime.  Last night, I took a good hard look at what has driven me to trust and believe that You are God and it was adversity.  Whenever I struggled, I had to cry out to You and ask You to direct me, teach me and guide me.  Through many years of prayer, I have built a belief in You.  I have come to realize that I don't have the power to steer my course but I am a willing participant, waiting and watching for the opportunities You set in front of me.  Once lost, wandering with no direction, a man came to me and asked me to come to a meeting, that fateful evening put me into Your hands. It was by design that You steered my ship and I was in Your presence.  To this day, I treasure that night and can't wait until I see someone else light up the way I did.  I was on a path of complete destruction but just in time, You came to me and loved me.  Your love continues to propel me today and even though I am a sinner, I confess those sins and give You my heart.  I don't know everything and I rarely know what is going to happen tomorrow.  All I need to know is that whether it's my life or someone else's, You will steer their ship and the end result will be for Your glory.  I am honored to serve in Your great army and I'm thankful for the times I have stepped out on faith and trusted in You when everyone else had given up on me.  My life is a walking testimony to a God that never gives up.  Help all of us to have the perseverance that Adam, Abraham, David, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Paul had.  It was given to them, through You.  So today we ask with all our hearts and believe with faith that You can move mountains and we treasure You for it!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

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