You’re never too far…

Until you’re dead.

“Satan will do everything he can to create space between you and God.” – Ryan Summers; youth pastor

There is so much truth here. God’s word tells us there is a battle going on every day, not with flesh & blood, but with the unseen. An enemy prowls around looking for people he can devour.

But, his devouring is not what we often think of.

He seeks to kill, steal, destroy in the daily. He will find little things that begin to separate us, and before long we are standing before a chasm, thinking we can’t get back.

But, the truth is, we are never too far…until we’re dead.

The enemy has a way of convincing us, though, that we are too far.

I have seen it over & over, in my life and in the lives of those around me.

For me, I am in one of those times. Since Thanksgiving, it’s been the little things that have begun to add up:

  • Being un-able to help all the time at church due to crises at work, due to sickness. A separation.
  • Being sick – constantly. Just when I get past one, it’s another.
  • Being exhausted from afore mentioned crises & sicknesses.
  • I began to do less in regards to my bible reading/prayer time.
  • Pulling back from the positive influences in my life.

All of these things have brought me to where I am tonight, even more exhausted. Missing that part of my life, which He didn’t give up on, I did. And, wondering, “can I even cross the chasm? It’s been so long, I don’t know where to start, what to read, what to pray…”

The truth, as I’ve said, is that I’m not too far…until I’m dead.

And, regardless of how low I feel today – whether I’m in the pit or the palace, on a mountain or in a valley – I am still alive, so I’m not too far.

The enemy would have us believe that not knowing where to start, or thinking we’re too far, is a good excuse to not do anything about it. He keeps us away from Christ by keeping us paralyzed by apathy. The truth is, not knowing where to start isn’t a good excuse.

There are bible reading plans all over the place. Most chapters in Psalms & Proverbs are short. There are devotional books designed for five quick minutes a day.

There are verses that are easily memorized and stored in your heart for deserts like this, that will open the way back.

Turn on some worship music that ushers in the presence of God. Or sit quietly in your special place. Opening your heart to the truth that you are still able to find redemption in Him.

As for prayer? One place to start is with your remorse, and desire to cross the chasm by way of the Cross. Start with your repentance & gratitude for His grace & mercy.

And, trust that you are never too far…and that your rest will come, even if you don’t feel it right away. Trust in your Abba’s mercy & love, wait on the Lord and find your rest.

“But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

 

Secure

Last week’s Tuesday @ 10 topic was Caring… And, I wanted to write something. I had so many thoughts, so many ideas swirling around…

Things related to accepting, becoming, waiting Related to how much caring I do each day…

But, getting myself decompressed from work enough to put together coherent thoughts, well, it didn’t work very well…

So, instead, I shed a lot of tears:

Over being cussed out a couple of times, by kids who weren’t necessarily angry at me, but at the tough hand life has given them. Hearing them call me names they shouldn’t know, and describe things they shouldn’t understand…

Over knowing we are working to show love & help these kids make progress, only to have to send them back to the people and places that are hurting them…

Over wanting to do a good job, but knowing that several times a week I question my ability, my stamina, my education, and my compassion…

Over being 27 & childless; and having my body become a war-zone again as a reminder that for another month, I am once again, (now) 28 and childless…

All of these things affect me so much because I care: about my life, the lives of my co-workers, my supervisors, and the lives of my clients & kiddos.

Yet, I am secure.

Secure in the knowledge that I may not always know where my next meal will come from, but there will be a next meal, because God is my provider (Matthew 6:25-34)…

Secure in the knowledge that God cares for my situation, for my client’s situations, for the kids in my youth group’s situations, for my employers’ situations; because, He cares for people (Psalm 36:5-6)…

Secure in knowing that my prayers for those around me have not gone unheard, even if I never get to experience the answer for myself (Matt 5:44; 1 Thes 5:16-18; Psalm 34:17-18)…

Secure in the knowledge that, despite many troubles, God is always working my life out for my good and His glory [even in the struggle of loneliness &singleness] (Psalm 34:18-19; Romans 8:28)…

Secure in His perfect gift of the Cross, His peace that passes understanding, His unconditional Love, and His mercies that are new every morning (John 3:16; Philippians 4:7; Lamentations 3:22-23)…

I spend a lot of myself caring…I woke up this morning already irritated…

My attitude changes only with prayer, flexibility, compassion, & understanding.

I do not have an easy job, but I was called into this life for such a time as this, in this place, with these kiddos. I’ve never been under the illusion that this calling would be easy; but, sometimes I forget that I have to be filled by Him in order to go out and fill others.

So, I pray. I smile. I go with the flow. I express compassion.

Then, I come home, and I recharge (sometimes better than others). And, I allow Him to be my fill. I allow Him to remind me who I am, Whose I am, and to what I have been called. I find ways to relax, to experience my own life & joys, and love those around me.

And, then, I remember & embrace that I am deeply loved by the One who also deeply loves those He called me to serve.

In this, I am secure.


This week’s Tuesday @ 10 topic is Secure. In what do you find your security?  Let me know below.

 

 

Story

Today is a Five Minute Friday. This means I will write for five minutes. No editing; no over-thinking. Today, the prompt from Lisa-Jo is STORY.

Ready? GO:

Each of us has a story. Each story has its own highs & lows; plot twists & cliffs hangers.

My story has taken me all over the place and back to where I started.

God has truly been the author of my life, even when I haven’t been able to feel Him near me.

There have been many chapters of my life marked by the darkness of depression, but that wasn’t the end of my story. God brought me through and out to the other side where I can now share of His healing, grace and mercy.

It is through sharing this that I have learned one important thing:

My life is not my story – my life is HIS STORY. 

STOP

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I wrote a novel that reflects the depth of my struggle. A struggle that many others in the world face each day. As a thank you for reading, I am going to be giving away two copies of my book. The giveaway opens today and closes on July 20th. Simply comment on any post between today and then. I will pick two winners from those who comment. Be sure to leave an email so that I can get in touch with you to find out where to send the books. 
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In sharing my story of struggle, I have learned that my darkness can be used to show someone else how to find the light. Have you learned that? What ways have you found that your story is actually His story? Comment below, please. Or, if you would like to reach out to someone, my email is candice [@] angelinkilluminations [dot] com.