Perspective


I have developed a love for kayaking down the river. My husband and I just started the hobby a couple of months ago as something we could enjoy together. We’ve learned much in the short time about paddling, but what has affected me most is how much perspective matters. The river we most often paddle is right beside the road the entire way almost. I’ve lived there all of my 25 years. I know the place like the back of my hand, know a lot of the people who live there or used to, know the houses, different roads and driveways, stores and churches. But when I get down in the river floating along, I can’t always tell where we are. Everything looks so different and at times you wouldn’t even know there was a road there until a vehicle comes driving past. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. We’ve commented about how we’ve never noticed some of the gorgeous cornfields and barns along the way. Now imagine for a minute with me how much different God’s perspective is than ours. He is all-seeing and all-knowing. Nothing is hidden from Him. He can see the beginning to the end, mountains and valleys, trials and victories, life and death, hidden and concealed, secret and open, past and future. How amazing it must be from His perspective. We live our lives making decisions against His will at times and how ignorant this is on our part! We should completely rely on Him to guide us since He can see what we don’t. Remember that He has the better perspective!

One of the scariest things about paddling is not being able to see where the rocks are that you may hit. Some stick up out of the water and you can see them. Other rock locations are given away by the pattern the water makes going around or over them. But many times, you’re floating along enjoying the scenery and then Bam! You’re stuck dead still on a rock that you didn’t even see at all! The sunlight and the direction you’re headed make the water dark or reflective and you can’t see down into it at all. You have to paddle every which of way, rock back and forth, or side to side, or worst-case scenario (and usually the one we end up having to do) get out of your boat in the middle of the river and dislodge your boat. Now, I have to admit we are nowhere near “experienced” paddlers and experience I’m sure will help with this problem, but this is an excellent example of our spiritual lives. There are some trials that we can see a mile away and know we must make a decision so that we can avoid them. We have time to pray and seek God’s will about the best way to “dodge that rock”. Then there are other situations and “rocks” that we can’t see at all. Everything in life may be going just fine and we don’t have a problem at all, or so it seems. We may even begin to feel like we couldn’t be hindered from serving the Lord by anything, like we are just on cloud nine with no care in the world. Then tragedy strikes, financial troubles arise, unexpected bills come, sickness happens, rumors spread or other issues arise. We are blind sided by them and could even forget that God knew what was going to happen. From His perspective He can see every single “rock in the river” and He knows which ones will be a problem for us. He may even put one right in our path just for our own benefit. Now I know when I’m stuck on that big rock, I’m not very happy about it. I am the first to get aggravated about having to constantly maneuver the rocks and everyone laughs at me about it. Spiritually this is the same because when we are facing a trial, we don’t see how it could possibly benefit us and we definitely would have avoided it if we’d had a choice. This may be why God chooses to keep some “rocks” hidden from our view. I hope that during the next trial I face, I remember that God has the better perspective, he saw it coming and has control over it. He will use it for His glory if we will let Him. We should remember that we need humble ourselves and keep from getting prideful. If we fail to keep ourselves humble, God may have to use a rock to get our attention and remind us that He is the one that is in control. He does ALL things, provides us with ALL things that we have and we can truly do NOTHING without Him.

Don’t Waste His Blood


I try to be pretty frugal.  I hate to waste money and it irritates me to the core if something is overpriced.  When shopping, I look for the cheapest option available for the items I need.  I also try to use everything as long as possible so that nothing is wasted.  We live in a society that really pushes recycling, green living and reusing to reduce waste.  Yet in this same society, no thought is given to the fact that Jesus’ blood is being “wasted” every single day.  People are denying him daily.  Have you ever given any thought to the fact that Jesus died for ALL of our sins.  For EVERY single sin that would ever be committed, from Adam & Eve taking the first bite of the apple to each lie we let slip and on to every horrific murder or crime committed, JESUS took the punishment for it.  He took upon himself the torture, cruelty, lashings, piercings, shame, pain and ultimately death that we deserved to endure for our sins.  ALL of man has equal opportunity to be saved because Jesus paid for our sins with His life.  Praise be to the Lord!  Every drop of Jesus’ blood was given so that it could be applied to the hearts of those that would come to accept him as their personal Saviour.  So all sin that ANYONE would ever commit has been paid for by his blood, but many will NEVER accept it.  They will choose to deny Christ and they will spend an eternity burning because they “wasted” Christ’s blood.

Now think for just a minute about how it feels when you buy something for someone.  You’ve worked so hard to earn the money to pay for just the right gift.  You give it to them and they never use it, never wear it, or don’t take care of it.  Or consider a scenario where you help someone out.  Let’s say you go out of your way or change your busy schedule just to accommodate someone else.  You watch their child on a day that you really have way too much to do already or when you aren’t feeling very well.  Or you run an errand for them just to have them not even appreciate it.  When someone fails to acknowledge or appreciate our hard work or our time and money it really disappoints us.  We get very upset and discouraged.  Imagine now how Jesus feels when someone refuses to accept His sacrifice. He paid the ultimate sacrifice while knowing that some would never accept it. If you knew that your kind act or gift wouldn’t be appreciated or used, would you do it anyway? Would you pay the price? Jesus knew who would deny Him, yet He shed His own precious blood for every single sin that EACH and EVERY person would ever commit! What love! Truly a love like no other!

I Failed


I was standing in line at the grocery store, behind an older lady then a gentleman who both separately had a handful of items.  The cashier was telling the person at the register that they’re card only paid for $3.49 of they’re total.  I hear her ask if she can try it again. In that instant, I knew The Lord wanted me to step up past the people in front of me and pay for her groceries. But, I failed.  Instead of taking the opportunity to work for The Lord, I thought to myself , “I can’t even see her, what if she is just buying a bunch of junk. I can’t afford to buy somebody else’s junk food, I’m on a budget.”  And just like that, I failed my Lord.  She handed her items back to the cashier, said she would come back for them later, and walked away where I could finally see that she was a young woman with two small children.  Immediately I was sick to my stomach knowing that I had missed my opportunity to serve The Lord. Conviction of my sin set in.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. -James 4:17

Why did I not just obey The Lord, and trust that if He wanted me to pay for her groceries that He would have taken care of my bank account?  Why was I so judgmental thinking that maybe she wasn’t worth me helping her out?  I could crawl into a dark cave and never come out because of the guilt and shame I feel. I failed. I failed that woman. I failed her children.  I failed the witnesses that were between me and her.  I failed my family.  And most of all, I failed my Lord and Saviour.

I’m sharing my testimonial with you so that you can learn from it as I have had to.  We as God’s chosen few, shouldn’t hesitate the slightest bit when following The Lord. We should get to work for Him taking every single opportunity He gives us.  I shouldn’t have let those few second of hesitation pass.  Those seconds were all my own rotten flesh needed to talk myself out of what The Lord wanted me to do.  So many times I am afraid that we hesitate just enough when we see someone struggling to let our minds “judge” the situation and decide for ourselves whether we should help them.  I’m ashamed to admit, that if I could have seen that she was only buying bagels and fruit and that she had two little boys I wouldn’t have hesitated for a second. God gave me a test today of my faith, and I failed.  I couldn’t see the woman or her cart and therefore I let myself doubt that God could see her.

How many lost people surround us everyday?  Do we fail them by not trusting in God and taking each opportunity to work or witness for Him?  Their souls are in the balance, dangling over the flames of hell, and we are too busy thinking about whether The Lord really wants us to help them out or not.  It was too late for me to buy her groceries by the time I got up to the register, I even searched the parking lot hoping she was sitting in her car so I could tell her to wait.  I couldn’t do anything on my own time, God had the timing right and I missed it.  No do overs. Let’s not fail to work and witness for The Lord when He wants us to.  If we wait, there may not be a second chance.  It could be too late. I pray that next time The Lord gives me an opportunity, I take it and obey Him.  And I’m afraid that since I failed this one, the next one may not be so easy.