The Contrast of God

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

 

My day is not complete if I don’t get a chance to walk with Jesus in the mornings. This morning was a good walk and my mind, soul, and spirit were fed by His Presence. 

Besides my collaboration with Him on the stories I write, sometimes I recognize a truth about Him or His Kingdom. This morning I was brought back to a familiar thought about God’s contrasts.

1 Kings19: 11 – 13 talks about this contrast. The contrast between His Power and His Peace. The verse talks about how God wasn’t in the wind, earthquake, or fire. But, he came with a gentle whisper.

Is God pointing out a way to recognize Him? I believe so. The Psalms and Proverbs and the Prophecies all point out His Powerful capabilities of throwing mountains into the sea. Ending Kingdoms, blotting out nations, etc. But, He chooses to speak to Elijah in a whisper. He comes to Elijah by illustrating his contrasting personality traits. He could destroy the mountain the cave is part of, but He chose to come to Elijah gently.

The understanding this contrast I caught this morning on the trail by Little Chico Creek, started with a sense of amazement with how life in our universe is incredibly prolific. Without the constant efforts of man to maintain order in our world, life would take over and soon erase signs of our having been here. Any gardener understands this, as he/she attends to the weeds in the garden. You cannot stop life from springing up in the most interesting and unlikely places. There is a naturally chaotic momentum to this. To the orderly human mind’s impulse to seek order in all things, there is a futility to the wildness of creation. This leads the unbeliever to a distrust that God is in control of anything at all.

But, this wild, unstoppable nature of life is a reflection of our own relationship with The Father as evidenced by the above description of God’s conversation with Elijah. Our free will is just as wild and unstoppable. Without freedom of choice, love is coerced. And, it has never been God’s job to bring order to the creation. It has been ours.

Which brings me to another facet of all this. To the unbeliever, this chaotic nature – the unstoppability of life – is a sign that there is no God. But, to the believer, it is a sign of His Majesty, His Power, His Wisdom, and His Love. This very unstoppable nature of life itself is evidence of His Being. And, I would say, and have to believe, that it is evidence of extraterrestrial life throughout our universe. Why would He stop here? (Bunny trail?)

God spoke our universe into existence (some say he sang it into existence). The whole universe was declared “Good”, by The Father. God is the ultimate Dr. Seuss of life. Life exists here on Earth in an endless array of designs. From microscopic microbes to the whales. To the moles that burrow to the eagles that fly. There is so much diversity that – in my humble opinion – it is more of a stretch of the imagination to believe that life only exists here on Earth than it is to believe that that same diversity extends throughout the universe.

My God, the Creator of all things, the Almighty, Most Holy, has no limits and has placed none on life itself. And, the wonder of all wonders is that He has invited us to be part of joyfully shaping the creation into Glory upon Glory for all time.

No, the amazingly complex seemingly chaotic unstoppable nature of life is not a sign that God is not there. It is a sign of His Contrast. Ultimate Power balanced with Perfect and Precisely designed Peace. The perfection of a Humming-Bird to address the prolific display of flowering plants. There is a balance to the apparent chaos. Power and Peace. The Word and the Spirit. God is in the contrast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Valuable Commodity

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(Photo by Brooke Campbell on Unsplash)

 

Reality. How do you define it when you wake up in the morning? You’re just…there? Real is the feel of the sheets keeping you warm. The fact that your eyes just opened and you groaned, “Here we go again.” Perhaps you began to run down the list of things to do today?

Today.

All we have is now. Today. Time. Ticking. But, how real is this…now? This moment? If you are a normal human being it’s as real as anything else in life. Sleep, eat, work, play, and back to Go; maybe collect $200.00 before starting all over again.

But, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ. Is this real?

Well? Is it?

The Bible paints a picture of eternity waiting for those that Love Jesus. A picture or perhaps a perspective that defines this moment. And, the next, and the next, and the next…That perspective describes an endless now. A place that the Bible can barely describe beyond the feeble attempts of a finite language set. Where the Bible explains; we lost access to a place so beautiful as to be best described in metaphysical terms as being in a different – indescribable – dimension. A place we are destined for…if we love Jesus.

One of the more important details of this reality is the ticking. One second after the next. A continuous stream of seconds – nanoseconds if you want to get nitpickingly scientific – ticking away with that monotonous regularity we have all come to accept as “normal”. But, is it normal? Or, is it desperately portentous? The most basic of elements to our existence is something that we take for granted with a fatality we ignore at our eternal peril.

But, those tick’s so quickly ticking away is more valuable than almost anything else in this reality. It’s just simple supply and demand. When the one thing that measures our future unrelentingly decreases, each subsequent “Tick” becomes exponentially more valuable than the one before it. And, what’s most depressing to think about is the fact that we don’t know how close the last tick is.

If your personal perspective is defined by “Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, May your Kingdom come, May Your Will be done, Here on Earth as it is in Heaven”? Then those ticks apply most importantly to you. Maybe not as much as someone who doesn’t know Jesus, but it’s desperately important that we give those ticks more value than we do. The supply of ticks is draining away, and we are wasting them at an alarming rate. And, we are oblivious.

I would say that this commodity is more precious than gold or uranium or platinum or any other commodity you care to mention.

Except for possibly one…

A Human Soul.

Do we measure the value of the loss of one Human Soul by the number of Ticks we allowed to drain away before giving a warning? How do we place a value on something that to The Father of Creation was so valuable he sacrificed His only begotten Son to save? This is the perspective that should be foremost in our hearts and minds. Especially if we call ourselves Jesus followers. There is no other perspective that matters.

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick…

 

 

 

 

This Terminal Existence

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(Photo by Matt Winkleft on Unsplash)

 

This terminal existence is not the true life. It is not the pursuit of happiness but the pursuit of Jesus that is the true life of profound and living Joy.

The true life is not the riskless life of the nest. Although there are seasons of the nest. The true life is found in the footsteps of Jesus as he sprints into the messiness of a life full of the future.

There are two lives we live. One in the boat, one on the water. Joy comes in the pursuit of the footsteps – that disappear rather quickly – on the footpath across the sea that leads to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. (yes, footprints in the water disappear fast. This requires one to be very close to the person making the footprints…obviously)

Which one are you pursuing?

Are you desperately rowing for all you’re worth? Are you wondering why Jesus isn’t helping you row? Or, are you placing your feet in those footprints in the sea?

Faith is a muscle, you need to exercise it. Rowing as hard as you can in the boat will get you there…eventually. But, you will be exhausted, and will most likely miss the party on the other shore. Exercise the muscle. Get out of the boat, get out of the nest.

How can you tell if you are in the boat or the nest or standing on the sea? I think that might be a pretty simple question. Ask yourself. Are you living for your comforts? Are you living to build your nest? When you read John 14:12;

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.”

do you wonder why those things never happen in your nest? Or, if you do think about them are they just to be entertained or amazed? Seeking the gift and not the giver? (I have found myself in this one.) 

Miracles, signs, and wonders are a “Mythical Beast” in the riskless nest. But, when risk is removed there is no need for miracles, signs, and wonders. These are reserved for those living on the edge of the Kingdom – the boundary between Heaven and Earth – for the risk-takers, faith wielders, dragon slayers, soul savers, and water walkers.

Miracles, signs, and wonders are not circus tricks performed for the entertainment of the audiences of the world. They are the by-product of the risk-filled life. A life lived in the proximity of Jesus Christ, whose feet are firmly planted on the surface of the sea.