Friday, October 12, 2012

IF HE'S NOT THERE, in Heaven?

If you went home to Heaven, and Jesus wasn’t there, would you still be happy?” My friend looks me square in the eyes as she asks this.

I think quickly. With all the peace, joy—no more sorrow or tears—and endless delights in a celestial paradise—would I be content without the presence of Christ?

My immediate response is a blustering, “No. Without Jesus, of course I wouldn’t be happy in Heaven.

But after taking time to actually think the question over, and not give the automated, expected response, I realize I would be happy in Heaven without Jesus. Who wouldn’t be happy with all pain removed? It would certainly be a lot better than here on earth as it is right now.

Like everyone else walking this planet, I can look back on a lifetime of disappointments and heartaches. That's one of the benefits of living in the second half of my life. I can look back to all those difficult times and remember them at their bleakest.

But only by looking back, I can also see that God's presence was there. A sort of a spiritual trick of the light.

During those hard times His presence felt like a slim beam of light. Or He gave me just a smidgeon of strength to help me make it through to the next day. Somehow that strength was there for the day after that, and the day after . . .

At times all He gave me was the simple reminder that His word is true, and in it He says He loves me.

By looking back to those worst of times, and adding up all those seemingly small joys of His comfort, it dawns on me, how much I enjoyed His presence.

How much more joyful will Heaven be with His Presence?

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Monday, October 08, 2012


You’ve heard the old adage, ‘cast your bread upon the waters and wait for it to come back to you’.

Well how about this adage, ‘looking for lost donkeys’?

Nope? Never heard of that one?

Lately I’ve been testing the waters to see what direction I should take with my career. Not being independently wealthy I need to bring in an income. I know, I know, who of us does not have financial difficulties? We all have our crosses to bear. Ooops, there’s another well-worn adage.
We all have our stresses. And we all reach crossroads at frequent intervals where we have to make decisions----will I go in that direction . . . or in this direction?

What should I do while I wait for my ship to come in?

You may be looking for a job, deciding what college to attend. Asking yourself, what should you focus on for a career or your art. Should you stay at your current job or apply to other places? Perhaps your health is the issue.

There’s an incident in the life of Saul that each time I read it, gives me comfort. The young Saul had no idea that God had chosen him to be the first king of Israel. He just figured he was an ordinary guy whose father was a farmer and owned a string of donkeys. One day those donkeys went missing, and Saul’s father sent him out to look for them.

Saul travelled through various areas, the hill country of Ephraim, passed through the land of Shalishah, etc., etc., etc. He looked for ages and all over the place. Saul could not find those donkeys.

I can connect with Saul’s long and unfruitful search for those financially strategic donkeys.

Funny thing is, God used that long and winding search to bring Saul to the prophet Samuel. The Lord had already revealed to Samuel that He had chosen Saul to be that first king. As Samuel unveiled this to Saul, he also told him that the donkeys he was searching for had been found and were already at home, and that God had a totally new direction for his life.

So, when you’re unclear about what direction to take in your life, or it seems that every iron you place in the fire doesn't get hot enough to provide for you, or you’re not sure which direction to cast your bread on the water, remember that God knows exactly where your lost donkeys are. He’ll bring them safely home in the right time.

The story of Saul and the lost donkeys is found in I Samuel 9 Be encouraged.