John 8:31-32 (NIV) 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The Truth Is…
Our family has been going through an extended, exhausting time of heartache. The pain is excruciating at times and the fear and dread threaten to engulf us.
I sat near the water with my (grown) daughter yesterday, watching the sun glistened on the tiny waves created by the breezes. The atmosphere was beautiful and refreshing to our hurting hearts and exhausted bodies.
I pictured more peaceful times in the past. Times when we sat in this same place with hopes and dreams that by anyone’s estimation are now shattered. At the same time we talked about the months of confusion and pain, we also tried to draw strength and hope from our God. The darkness and dread that threaten to overtake us greatly contrasted with the beauty of the gorgeous spring-like February day. That stark contrast drove something home to me.
Listen…are you listening? What seems real is not real. What has happened to our world (and perhaps to yours) sometimes makes it seem like there is no hope. Our logic tells us that the future is bleak. Everything seems to have changed for the worst. Anyone looking at the situation would say that life as we knew it has exploded. There are pieces laying everywhere. The future has exploded for each of us in a little different way but it has exploded.
But that is not reality.
What is real is this: God is for us. He has allowed these things to come into our lives. Prior to the awfulness of this season, we have prayed faithfully, consistently, fervently for truth and for change that will keep God in the center of each of our lives. These events are bringing about more opportunity for each person to face truth, to live Truth and to keep God center to all that we do.
Listen… are you listening? The present circumstances are not our future reality. The future is not bleak. It is bright. It is full of hope. The painful explosions are not the end of our hope. They are a new beginning… the key to a future and a hope.
What is real is the hope and the joy that rise within us because they are based on what our God has said.
What is not real is the darkness and despair that descend on us…the lies that say, “This is the worst. You (and yours) are destroyed. The future will be dark and empty. There is no hope. There will be no change.”
The enemy…the deceiver…the father of all lies…works tirelessly to make us believe the lies. It is imperative that he keep us in that darkness. After all, if we know and believe the Truth, we are set free. He needs us bound so that we will never make the difference God has planned for us from the very beginning.
Oh God…remind me of your Truth. Teach me to walk in your Joy, not in the lies of the enemy. Remind me that I can safely anticipate. Remind me that you long for me to “hide and watch” rather than fear and dread. You truly long for each of us to walk in strength, discovering pockets of joy… even as we walk through the pain. Help me to remember that this present pain is an important piece to our future and our hope!
James 1:2-4 (MSG) 2 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. 3 You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. 4 So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.