A friend of mine often calls himself useless. It hurts me to hear him be so hateful about himself. How it must hurt God, who loves him so much that He sent His only son to pay the price to clear him of being born into a death sentence to a worse location than any miserable situation on this earth.
How do I know God loves him? Because the Bible tells me so. It’s more than just a children’s song that says “Jesus loves me, this I know – for the Bible tells me so.” It’s truth and it runs deep and wide throughout the Bible.
And how do I know the Bible is true?
One thing that convinces me is prophecy’s accuracy. I don’t want my blog posts to be too long, so here are a couple of jumping-off points if you would like to dig into this topic more:
But back to my friend. He thinks I live in some kind of paradise on earth, compared to the part of the world in which he resides. He is so ashamed of where he lives, he posts on social media with words and pictures to suggest to his readers he lives elsewhere.
I told him today that we have our struggles here, just like anywhere else on this fallen earth.
It’s hard to be content in whatever situation we find ourselves.
Those words were penned by a man named Paul who was in prison when he wrote them. If he could find contentment because of the knowledge of God’s love, then so can I, though many a time I still complain. I need to work on that.
God can use us anywhere, in ways we might not even realize.
Yesterday, I don’t know but maybe God used me to comfort someone. I was in Save On Foods, a big grocery chain in BC, in Prince George. After I paid for my items, the cashier said, “Happy Easter.”
I smiled at her and said, “Happy Resurrection Day!”
The look on her face spoke to me of appreciation. Maybe she was glad to hear someone else out there who shares her faith? Maybe she didn’t have this faith yet and is now still thinking about the meaning of someone saying “happy Resurrection Day!” Maybe someone else overheard my words and set a train of thoughts in action for them.
Little things like this matter.
God didn’t just make one person to do everything. He made this whole pile of humans. He made you.
I believe there is a use for you, reader. I hope you don’t think you are useless. We don’t know how useful we might be to those we encounter. Maybe the listening ear that you provide to one soul is the only good thing that has happened for that person that day, to keep them hanging on until they help someone else, or maybe till they turn to Jesus . Maybe the words you write will resonate in a way that you could not foresee and lead someone to look up something else that comes to mind. Who knows.
But we have a purpose. God loves us enough to have sent His son for us. That tells me we are important to Him.
Someone else wrote this:
I love getting the little notification that announces to me and only me how many days in a row I’ve posted on WordPress. Do you know what I mean?
Not that I do things for the sole purpose of receiving any kind of acknowledgement, but it does feel good to get a little pat on the back, even if via a pre-programmed note. There was a human behind the original creation of that note, and I appreciate that they thought of it.
I believe it is going to feel extra wonderful to hear sweet words from my Lord Jesus when I see Him face to face, like He paints in a parable where He says the famous lines: “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:23)
Look up the whole passage in the Bible, in Matthew 25:14-30, for the full details. Here’s a link to help you get there, and you can find it in whichever version you like to read: Matthew 25:14-30
By the way, I like my steak well done, too, but that’s another topic.
I am sharing this from another WordPress blogger:
Reading the Word Matthew 16:1–4 (ESV) 1 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be […]
I recognized the exasperation in my oldest daughter’s voice as she did a rapid trudge up the stairs, laptop computer from work in her arms still warm from the safety course it fed her tonight, to the room she usually shares with my youngest daughter. I say “usually” because depending on how many of my kids are home, the sleeping arrangements get shuffled.
“I’ve got SO MUCH work to do!” she said in that voice that sounded suspiciously like my own when in such a state. Tired, slightly annoyed, a hint of anger, but accepting the lot as something that has to be done.
She added, “And I wish my relationship wasn’t such a job.”
Her boyfriend’s first language is Spanish, so, as can be a problem even in partnerships where mother tongues match, communication is sometimes a challenge.
My heart goes out to my daughter. I really, really get it.
A bit earlier this evening, my second daughter phoned. She lives five hours away, so phone calls are our main meetup. I put her on speaker and everyone present could hear each other. Life went on around us in our respective homes as we chatted.
And tonight life in my home was lively. It happens in spurts. A lot of people got hungry at once, so there were my three youngest kids all over the kitchen – one making grilled cheese sandwiches because the beef-barley-vegetable soup I made today, which my youngest son and daughter were serving up for themselves, wasn’t to his liking, but he so kindly told me about it and I assured him I was not offended.
While putting dishes away, I reached to put my favorite huge wooden spoon into the utensil crock on top of the wood cook stove’s warming oven. My attention was divided amongst talking on the phone, hearing multiple voices, and watching out for kids, cats, and dogs.
“Oh noooo!” I said as I watched the wooden spoon slip out of my hand head-first. Pieces of wood splintered off its rounded nose that hit the floor in front of my Aussie/Border Collie/Kelpie who was asleep on her mat. That woke her up.
I described what just elicited my “Oh nooo!” to my daughter on the phone while my groggy dog reminded me it was time to do the bedtime potty run for her and my other dog.
I led both dogs out amidst the lively kitchen noises and pulled the heavy sliding glass door behind me. The inside noises were suddenly gone and all I heard was the clickety-click of dog toenails running down wooden stairs.
As I stood sock-footed on the deck, looking up at the sky with expectation to see stars that shone so brightly last night but that were instead covered by clouds, I spoke into my phone:
“Ya know, I was once like you, a quiet girl in my early 20s who didn’t have any dogs, cats, or kids. And now look at me. I have a community in my house.”
We mused together about that. When I went back inside with the dogs, I said to my youngest three kids:
“I had a revelation here. I had been wanting to know a way to describe to you guys how I’m not just a mom… how I’m really a real person… and talking to Corndog (that’s a nickname for that daughter – and when I first told her it was a nickname, when she was 3 years old, she said “I’m not Nick” in her sly little humoured way) outside, it dawned on me how to describe it.”
And I told them the same thing I told Corndog outside. I think they got it. They know their big sister as more of one of them than as an adult. But I think they now have a bit of a foundation on which to build their understanding of me as a person.
I never used to understand what it was for my mom to be a person. She was just my mom. Just my sister’s mom. Just a mom in general.
But then I had kids of my own, and that’s when I started realizing how human my mom was. And how there is no such thing as “just a mom”.
And the more time I spend around my kids, in all of their ages and experiences, I get to know more about who I myself am as a person.
I see parts of myself in all of my kids. The more I see that, the better I understand each of them.
Life’s interesting to observe, how it goes around and around like that.
And no, I haven’t been smoking anything, though I did used to wax philosophical with my friends back in my teen years while under the influence of the odd mind-altering substance.
Not that I need to alter my thoughts. They’ve always been this way in their natural state: observant, trying to connect the connections for the sake of entertaining myself and anyone willing to hear about it, though it’s mostly in writing rather than speaking.
That’s five kids mentioned. One teenaged son just sold his truck to a rancher today. My question was, “Did ya get as much for it as you wanted?”
His answer was “No, not quite, but it’s okay.”
I love his mellow acceptance. He went out with some friends tonight. He’s a smart, compassionate human. I pray he’s safe. I pray that for all my kids and often.
And the other kid I haven’t yet mentioned is four hours north. I did hear from her today one tiny bit. She replied to a message I sent her two nights ago. Actually it was a photo I’d sent her. She must have been away working in the wilderness till then, as is often the case. Her reply was simply “lol!” Because, you see, the photo was of the front paws of one of our four cats. The caption I gave it was “He’s giving the middle finger.”
That’s a thing for my kids and me. We don’t swear at each other, but we flip each other the bird regularly. Humorously. Lovingly. Strangers might think we’re strange, but people ARE strange when you’re a stranger.
And there you have a slice of my life.
For years, I couldn’t find a church where I was comfortable. I had been to many organized fellowships, but the more I read the Bible on my own, the more I didn’t feel right about the way things were.
I’m now to the point that I am simply not comfortable in organized churches of the land – and I am comfortable with that.
WE, the believers in Christ, are the church.
There is a lot out there in “churchianity” that is more like a business than the way the Bible shows us about the New Testament believers (the body of Chriest) and how fellowship looks.
I know my beliefs concerning this are unpopular. I get frowned upon by a lot of people who are happy to be involved in Sunday meetings with a specific format, to sit under the teaching of a “leader” who we assume will always know more than we can ever learn on our own by studying the Scriptures like a Berean, to help pay the mortgage and/or the bills of their meeting space, etc. But there are some of us who don’t see that as Biblically correct.
That’s the condensed version to reach out in case others share my feelings. If you can relate, I’d love to hear from you. 🙂
Here’s a link for a brand new blog for people like me who are fed up with Facebook. I can vouch for its author – that’s all I will say. It is, for now, an anonymously created site while the bugs get worked out.
I hope you’ll visit and help it grow.
While I walked to the post office yesterday, a friend called me and we talked for the entire half hour and then some as I stood waiting to go get my mail. She sounded fully stressed out by her living situation. She’s been out of a bad relationship for the past few years, living with family, friends, and strangers, all in different locations and arrangements of rental costs. She’s finally got a good job, but it’s so hard to get herself on her feet in the city where life costs at least double what it does to live out here in the semi-wilderness.
Then there’s another friend who messages me frequently from across the globe. He is living in a land he hates. His beloved wife is living in a whole other country for work. He got hired at a job that he tolerated but it was not his ideal. The company went out of business after less than a month, and they aren’t going to pay him for the weeks of work he put in. He has no way to pay the rent on his place, and his wife doesn’t make enough money in the other country to cover both of their living expenses in separate households.
I don’t have the money to help them out of their messes or I would do so in a beat of my breaking heart. I have no way to help them but to pray for them and be a listening ear.
If anyone reads this, can you please pray for these people you may not know? God knows. I feel my hands are tied and I so want things to get better for everyone. I know I myself have been through stuff and wonder if anyone had been holding me up in prayer to get me through it and on to a safer place in this world.
“Have I laboured all for nothing.
Trying to make it on my own.
Fear to reach out to the hand
Of one who understands me
Say ‘I’d rather be here all alone.’
It’s all my fault
I sit and wallow in seclusion.
As if I had no hope at all,
I guess truth becomes you
I have seen it all in motion
That pride comes before the fall.”
-From Jennifer Knapp’s “Whole Again”
Those words of a beloved song came to mind as I thought about how good it would be to reach out and be understood.
“Cheer up. Look on the bright side. Here’s what you need to feel better.”
Best intentions aren’t always a solution.
Sometimes a solution is not the answer.
Maybe there is a reason for the feelings. I believe I will know someday, and all these pains won’t even be worth comparing to the joy that is coming.
Until then, though, I ponder.
Why is understanding in such short supply? Or do I just not know where to find it or how to hunt for it?
So much in this life seems so complicated and only results in what feels like futility.
Maybe someone will think about me. Maybe someone will pray for me.
I think I need to go out for a walk.
Maybe I will think about eternity. Maybe I will think about the sunshine breaking through the clouds. Maybe I will think about mud.
Maybe I will think about this song:
(Jennifer Knapp’s “Whole Again” performed live, acoustic version)