Confidence Spring Forth

It is spring. The grass greens with each passing day, perennials emerge through cool soil, daffodils and hyacinths bloom, and fragrant rains wash tree pollen from the air. As accompaniment to these sights and smells, the song, “Oceans”, has been looping in my spirit for days.

The lyrics are about expanding faith, about trusting, about going where we have not gone before. It is about stepping not merely where we step by nature, but where He beckons us: to the supernatural. Will we walk upon the waters wherever He may call us?

The song is a challenge to overcome our doubts by choosing to grow our trust. It is a beckoning to follow Him into the great unknown. It is about trusting not self, but God. Will we allow Him to replace our thoughts with His, our plans with His? Are our words platitudes, or do we truly believe that with Him we can participate in the miraculous?

I wonder, just how vast are His ways? If we dare to trust, how far into the realm of possibilities might we travel?

Spring. In this season of new life and growth, I expect courage and confidence to spring forth, faith to flourish, and for steps to find the firm, sure footing of the miraculous.

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Matthew 14:22-33 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”


Hillsong United – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Lyrics – Zion 2013. Copyright belongs to Hillsong United and their music producers. To purchase song – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/zio… .

The Road

“Life is difficult for those who have the daring to first set out on an unknown road. The avant-garde always has a bad time of it.” – Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, 1889

Those who trust enough to travel unknown roads sacrifice much. The road never-before-traveled is often isolating, desolate, and ensconced in darkness. Commitment to the road requires every ounce of available courage, perseverance, grit, restraint, fortitude, and faithfulness.

dark forest for blog

On the seemingly endless, trial-filled journey, depletion is inevitable. There comes a day when you find yourself flat on your face in the dirt, aware of the ruins of your life because of the road.

One more step is impossible. It’s then that you look up and see … light? aid? rest? No, a mountain where the path had been level.

And always, always there comes from nowhere a reason to peel yourself off the hard, cold ground and begrudgingly, resentfully, tearfully resolve to climb that damned mountain.

And so it goes on the unknown road until, finally, one day a flash of light reaches through the dense canopy. A few more steps puts the valley of darkness behind, and there before you … a destination not possible had you chosen the easy road.
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Sun. Hope. A river of life. An endless sky. A spacious horizon. Unobstructed footing.
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It is peacetime. Harvest time. Stake your claim on this, your promised land. Your capacity to cherish it is uncanny. Because of the terrible journey behind, you are well-equipped to manage your abundance. With gratitude. Patience. Tenderness. Generosity. Forthrightness. And wisdom.
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All because you dared to first set out on an unknown road.

DSCN1892, open horizon for blog

 

Faith Wins Its Crown

You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us His promises in a quiet hour, seals our covenants with great and gracious words, and then steps back, waiting to see how much we believe.

“He then allows the Tempter to come, and the ensuing test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. This is when faith wins its crown.

“This is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened sailors declare, “I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

 (Acts 27:25) – L.B. Cowman, “Streams in the Desert”

wave over boat, edit for blog

Faith is not a sense, nor sight, nor reason,

but simply taking God at His word.

 Christmas Evans


Youtube license holder of this video is Danwill.

 

 

Personal Landslide

We all know people who don’t want to face the world on a given day. They are tired of being stepped on, and generally sick of the crap of life. Some are overwhelmed by the state of society—”The world is evil; there’s no point; evil is winning”—while some are direct targets of crushing injustice.

In either case, we hear it in their anger. It is evident in their depression. It has become personal. They’re buried under it.

To all those in a state of defeat, worry, frustration, reactive anger, or agony, know that hope is alive somewhere under the rubble. Love is in there too. Faith is recoverable beneath your personal landslide. We hear its life, its breath, its cry for mercy. 

It’s true that corruption and oppression are real, powerful, suffocating, and sometimes deadly. But it hasn’t won. You’re not done breathing. You’re not done with faith, hope, and love. Those three have not flat-lined.

For all those not presently buried, help those who are. It was us yesterday; it could be us tomorrow. Dig to rescue those who are struggling for breath. Shovel the weighty debris off their backs. Get on hands and knees, and push aside the dirt and clay until victims have access to air, to faith, to hope, to love.

Together, let’s resuscitate faith, hope, and love. Those three do remain in people as individuals, and among humanity collectively.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.