drinking from a fire hydrant

Have you ever had seasons in your life where you feel very overwhelmed?  Sometimes we go through times where it seems like everything is broken & sometimes we go through seasons that just have lots of demands.  Last week, I had one of those weeks – it was the kids last week of school, I had a couple of sermons to prepare, some work deadlines and a few other spinning plates.  I felt like I was drinking from a fire hydrant on full open :/

gushing-hydrant-2

Thankfully, this week has a little more breathing room.  Regardless of the demands & pressures on our lives, it always helps me to remember that God is in charge & that I don’t have to be an “expert” on water pressure, time management, resource allocation, solution provision, energy distribution, etc.  While I may have a few talents & skills, God is an expert at everything – most of all, God is an expert at loving us & helping us in our daily living, with or without fire hydrants ,)

A Slow Trip

When I travel, I try to take the shortest routes hoping to spend the least amount of time traveling. For example, when I go to Angola with Saving Moses, I try to figure out a way to skip stopping in Europe so that my travel can be more efficient & more direct.
In contrast, I was reading in Luke 24 about how Jesus’ disciples were on the road to Emmaus & were unknowingly having a very engaging chat w Jesus. Once they arrived at their destination, they were enjoying Jesus’ company so much that they compelled Him to stay w them & share a meal. During the meal, Luke tells us that their eyes were opened & they recognized Jesus! As I thought about this, maybe they should have slowed down their travel / journey to enjoy Jesus’ presence along the way.
Slow down, Jesus is walking with you each day 🙂

when the journey is difficult

I’ve been thinking about Abraham lately & how God tested him in Genesis 22 and instructed him to sacrifice his only son, the son of promise, Isaac.  Thankfully, we can read the end of the chapter & celebrate with Abraham that God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in place of Isaac – God sees our needs and has provision waiting for those needs.  But I’ve been thinking about the 3 day journey that Abraham took with Isaac to get to the place where he was supposed to sacrifice his son.  If I were in Abraham’s sandals, those 3 days would have been the absolute & most abhorrent days of my life – knowing what I was assigned by God to do.   The revelation at the end of the journey was nothing less than heavenly (Abraham experienced God in an extremely powerful way) but the journey was nothing less than hell.

Sometimes the journey in our life can be an almost living hell, but let me encourage you that God is walking with you for every step and there’s a great possibility that through this journey, you will come to know God in such a heavenly way that the hell of the journey will pale in comparison to the heaven of the revelation 🙂

burn out

Sometimes in my life I feel like there’s too much journey and not enough Jesus.  I know that life is a journey and that we are encouraged to not grow weary in well doing.  I know that hardships and difficulties create strength, endurance and persistence.  I know that we’re supposed to encourage and strengthen ourselves in the Lord (like David did at Ziklag in 1 Sam).  But if I’m super honest, I also can feel like Elijah in 1 Kings 19, when the angel said that the journey was too much for him – too much journey and not enough Jesus.

But in this phrase, “too much journey and not enough Jesus”, there’s also the answer:  more of Jesus.  It seems to me that our journey in life doesn’t stop – it’s continual.  The quantity of Jesus in my life, however, can fluctuate (understanding that He never leaves us but that my engagement with Him can increase / decrease on any given day).  So let’s be sure that we never take a break from Jesus regardless of what’s happening on our journey in life 🙂

An encouraging challenge

Sometimes I can get discouraged when I look at problems that seem to have no answers & sometimes I can get overwhelmed by some challenges that seem insurmountable. Ever feel the same? During my prayer time this morning, I was reminded about how God had a sheep waiting for Abraham when he was about to sacrifice Isaac. This story reminds me that God has solutions, provisions & wisdom waiting for me when various needs can become urgent. In the meantime, rather than fretting, getting stressed out & uptight about various problems, I can change my thinking to being grateful & appreciative that God has already provided answers & resources. When I’m thankful, I’m a better traveling companion with God during the journey of life rather than being stressed out 🙂

thinking about my dad

When a person whom we love dies, its kind of a surreal journey & that has certainly been true for me with my dad’s death almost 2 months ago.  I’m writing, on occasion, about my thoughts and feelings about his death not to be morbid or to seek for sympathy or attention.  Instead, my intent is to help others who may be going through some grief or loss. With that being said, the first few weeks after my dad died were a bit of a whirlwind – lots of activities, people expressing concern, kindness and an overall sense of busy-ness.  The last month, however, has seemed to settle down in relation to activities related to my dad’s passing.  For me, this has been a more difficult time than when he first died.  I find myself frequently remembering cool things about my dad:

  • when I was 5 years old, he would let me ride on his shoulders when we would go to Israel so that I could see and hear what the tour guides were talking about – helping me experience the Bible in a first hand way
  • he would make his coffee uber strong & playfully threaten to splatter weak coffee all over the wall – a sentiment with which I find myself in more & more agreement ,)
  • stopping for ice cream at Baskin Robbins 31 flavors on the way home from church on Sunday nights & he always ordered (and shared with me) jamocha almond fudge 🙂
  • when I was in junior high, he would come to my basketball games, even though he had absolutely no athletic inclination.  Now more than ever, I totally appreciate what this means – watching jr high girls’ basketball can be a genuine labor of love ,)

So if you’re on a journey that includes grief or loss, I pray that you would continue to celebrate the good memories and characteristics of whoever has passed on and I pray that we can both turn to Jesus to carry our griefs and sorrows.  After all that’s said and done, Jesus loves us and is walking along this journey with us.

how to enjoy the journey before you arrive

I recently made a fairly quick trip to Cambodia & had an absolutely wonderful time!!  The journey to and from Cambodia was interesting.  On the way there, I completely lost Fri, March 2nd because I left on March 1st and landed in Cambodia on March 3rd.  On the way home, I got to have a double portion of Wed, March 7th.  On this trip, I was traveling by myself and it was an interesting journey.  If I’m not careful, I can easily get caught up in the mechanics of travel:  where I’m sitting on the planes, what kind of food I’m eating, airline schedules, luggage challenges, etc.  But here’s my thought – the journey isn’t as important as Who is traveling with me.  

As we walk through life, there will be highs & lows along the journey because that’s the nature of life.  What’s important about our journey in life isn’t the highs & lows, but rather that we are walking with Jesus and our communion and fellowship with Jesus.  Truly, Jesus in our lives is more important than where we are going or how we get there.  Remember that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” 🙂