Today, writing feels like diving into rough waters. I really don’t want to go, but then I think about the hope that is my lifeline, anchoring me to eternity. And I know, I’ll be ok. I’ll be better than ok. God’s highest and best for me isn’t lost in the uncertainties of life. The storm will calm and the fog will clear.
Do you ever feel a little lost on your journey? Maybe you just tripped or maybe something or someone blew through your path like a whirlwind. Or maybe the path seems to be crumbling under your feet or taking a sudden, unexpected turn…If only we had some way to get our bearings straight…
”Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
What does that mean? He is constant. And any way-finding traveler will tell you – you need a constant. And every good and perfect gift comes from Him? Let’s look at a couple of those gifts…
Music is amazing. The first chord strikes and it’s like a map for your heart: You are here. Some songs pull us on the stage, some songs place us in the audience. Some songs take us down country roads and long drives home. Some songs sit us down in a cozy place and tell us a story. Music sets our hearts on a journey in a heavenly way. It carries us safely through any number of emotions and encounters and, if the refrain is good, drives a message of some eternal truth. Be it love, hope, faith….all really good songs will reveal something of one or all three of these. Music can perform a miraculous surgery in a matters of minutes.
Nature is amazing. Wild, expansive, untamable. Zero in on one sunset, one wild flower growing brazenly against the chill of January, one warm summer breeze that sweeps around your body and pulls you further out of the frost of winter, and you will feel the promise. The promise that Jesus has given us: Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each person according to what he has done.…”
People are amazing. Formed in our mother’s wombs, all of our days numbered and accounted for. Set out on a journey that is ultimately to get us to the heart of God. And faced with unspeakable odds. Tossed like ships against unforgiving seas, we rise and fall with waves that build and break, build and break. But somewhere along the way we get the same thing that the disciples got…. the same thing that Saul got on the Damascus road…the same thing that God promised from the beginning and offered so freely…..
WE GET JESUS. He reaches out His hand and we have a choice to move forward steadily with Him or continue in the pointless pitching of the waves.
Sometimes in life we just really need to get our bearings. When you’ve been through a storm or trauma of any sort, there is an overwhelming need to stop and look around and say, “Ok. I’ve survived. But where am I exactly?’
The GREATEST gift for getting our bearings straight is the Word of God. Living, Eternal, Responsive. How can I describe it to you in a way that lets you grasp the Life that is there?
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2He existed in the beginning with God.
3God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
6God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
Jesus has always been. He is the Word, made flesh. And He is the great refrain of scripture. The beginning and the end. Can’t you see Him? Like a song that takes us on a journey to discover some truth. Like nature, wild and untamable, but so closely accessible. He is available. And as it has always been, one of the most tangible ways we can know Him is through His word.
Let me offer a perspective on this losing our way… When we know whose we are, then we will know who we are and where we are. When our eyes are on our Father, then our confidence will remain unshaken. When the actions of others leave us in a fog then the only thing to do is to get our eyes off of them and back on our Father. The purpose is to know Him and for others to know Him. I think about Paul, pressing on toward the mark of the high calling. I think about Jesus, doing only those things that the Father tells him to do. You have to keep moving forward with Christ. Though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with you.
What am I saying? I am saying whatever has shaken you – whatever has confused you on your journey – whatever has hurt you – let that thing go and look to your Father. Where are you? You are in His hands. If you are willing to walk forward with Him, you will be a force of truth in a deceived and desperate world. When you feel the fog creeping up, remember He is the light that dispels all darkness. It is not about us. He has loved us enough to free us from the finite focus of the here and now. There is so much more awaiting us. But this world needs to know His love. And we have to believe in it ourselves if we have any hope to offer. And in order to believe, we have to know Him. Look to your Father, who loves you. You are not lost.
Sometimes the journey will feel like plodding through mud, or diving into rough waters. But even there, He leads us if we will follow.
And in our following, we are also leading. Leading others closer to the person of Jesus and who He is calling them to be. Get your bearings. Go to the Word. See what it looks like to be one of those Jesus promised He is returning for, with reward!