Sunday, May 8, 2011
Birds are Singing
This morning I am sitting on my back deck and all seems right.... at least for the moment. The sun is shining, 60 degrees, the birds are singing, and the setting is beautiful. Even the coffee is good this morning. Peace and tranquillity are the dominating factors. I'm even sitting in a position where I cannot see the tree that is dying..... our expensive tree. We don't have the heart ot cut it down yet.
That tree is a lot like me, though. Over the past year or so it seemed that a slow death was gripping my soul. The life was going out of me. The days were becoming a drudgery. Events were happening in my life and work that were shaking my faith to its very foundation. I actually began to question the existence of God. And if God did exist, did He really care about me.
Then I read the book of Job and saw the woes that he went through. Trials came to him, not because God did not care, but because God did care, and Job was able to prove himself in the most dire circumstances in life. He lost most of his wealth, He lost his health. He lost his family except his wife who told him he should curse God and die. He did not lose his friends, but they contended with him trying to convince him he did some great wrong and therefore this was God's judgement. Although he could not see Satan, Satan had stripped his life of all that is good. Yet, in all that Job did not sin and curse God.
We know the story of how once the trial had passed, God blessed Job once again. Job became not only richer in wealth, but especially richer in his relationship with God.
Well, although Job did nothing to bring on his calamities I cannot say the same of myself. There were poor choices, acts of rebellion, stupidity, and yes.... sinful thinking. Loneliness, anger, fear, frustration, and futility invaded my soul.
It reminded me of the time I was in Hawaii swimming in the ocean. I had noticed that shore was getting further away so I decided to swim directly toward shore. After a few moments I looked toward shore again and discovered that it was even further away. The current was moving faster than I was swimming. It took a great deal of energy. I swam harder than I had ever swam before to get back to shore. Finally I was able to ride a large wave into the beach.
I believe that I was caught in a negative current of life that was carrying me out to sea where I would eventually perish. A couple of weeks ago I sought God for help, confessed my sins, and asked God to take control. Life has not been perfect since then, but the shore line seems a lot closer. Then I read the Book of Job, and although not uplifting, it helped me to understand God's love and how He can guide us through trials in life. It also pointed out to me the importance of being faithful to God, even during the bad times of life. I think I am about to reach the crest of the wave that will carry me safely into shore.
This morning, instead of a troubled heart, there is peace and tranquillity. Instead of trying to hide from God I am trying to be open with Him. Instead of covering my sins I am finding that His love covers a multitude of sins. Instead of dealing with the guilt of my past, I find that He removes my sins from me as far as the east is from the west, and He remembers them no more.
And to my wife, who has endured these trials with me and has been a great example to me with her faithfulness to God, even during the worst trials of her life: I thank you, I admire you, and I love you. You are the greatest gift God has ever given to me and I will cherish that the rest of my days.
It just might be time to cut that dying tree down and plant a new one that has life!
Now, would someone please pour me a fresh cup of coffee while I sit here and listen to the robins chirp? :)