The Ride of Our Lives

 

aeroplane-aircraft-airplane-45230

My husband was driving and our daughter was in the backseat as I held the map and “helped” watch for danger on the highway. (Note: I help by pointing everything out, overreacting by slamming my foot to the invisible brake on the passenger-side floorboard, and driving everyone around me nuts. Basically.)

But dangers on the road are all too real. You and I know that. We have to watch for drivers texting, deer or armadillos (still waiting to see a LIVE one) making the mad dash to the other side, and airplanes.

Yes, you read that right. Airplanes.

We could see the small plane miles up ahead, and I can honestly tell you I thought it was a drone or a remote controlled plane someone was using to scare drivers by dive-bombing them.

But the closer we got, the more we could see it was not a teeny tiny plane someone was maneuvering with a remote control, but a life-sized one, circling the highway and disappearing behind a group of trees.

It appeared, circled around again, and plummeted, aiming for the other lane of traffic. My hand went to my mouth, and I gasped.

But the plane didn’t crash. (Thank you, Lord!) And when we drove past the group of trees, we could see the pilot was actually in full control, crop dusting.

It made me think about God and how He is in full control of our lives.  But some of us (ahem…me) think they know what’s going on. We trust our eyes or our minds and think we have it all figured out when really, we don’t have a clue.

It’s easy to trust what we see, but it’s not always right. It’s easy to believe the plan we have in our minds must be what God put there because we want it so much. But that’s not always the case.

His plan is always going to be better. Easy? Probably not. Worth all the gasping and holding on and crying out to Him? Absolutely.

We may even feel like we’re plummeting to the ground and can’t stop ourselves from crashing, like the controls are broken and we can’t set things straight.

But wouldn’t it be like God to rescue us just when we’re about to give up and into despair, thinking it’s all over?

When we finally let go of our measly remote controls and surrender to Him, we’ll know without a doubt the rescue, the honor, and the glory all belong to Him.

All we have to do is trust Him, lean in closer, and hang on for the ride of our lives.

“My help and glory are in God – granite-strength and safe-harbor-God – So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.” (Psalm 62:7-8 MSG.)

(Photo from Pexels)

 

 

 

Chasing God

Peter hawk

It seems like I try too hard. My husband tells me that all the time. Close friends say it too. And yes, I’ve heard God whisper it to my heart quite a few times. I’m like that little puppy dog who chases his tail and falls over, worn out and dizzy.

A rather silly example: We have a hawk named Peter (yes, I named him, and no he’s not really ours). Peter has been flying around and landing in our yard for the past two months, and I’ve been chasing after him (not literally!) in order to get a picture of him.

But nearly every time Peter shows up, my camera is in the other room, or I’ve got on the wrong lens, or I forgot to delete some pictures and that little card that holds a thousand or so photos is blinking “full,” refusing to let me squeeze in just one more picture. Sheesh. Chasing him down for one picture has been a real chore and has left me with his oh-so-lovely, and yet blurry, portrait you see above.  🙂

We chase a lot of things, don’t we? Maybe not literally but we sometimes over-analyze, over-think, and maybe try too hard or worry too much about things we think we should have or need to get done. It’s kind of like chasing butterflies with a pole and no net; exhausting and unproductive.

And sometimes when we get tired of all that running around and chasing after things, well, we’re not above using a hammer to smash those square pegs of our lives into those round holes just to try to make something come together. We like it when things come together. When things are happening and moving forward.

But when it comes to God, we don’t have to try so hard. (Cue happy dance!) We don’t have to work ourselves into a tired frenzy. We don’t have to chase God down like He’s running away from us. It’s not like this is some sort of hide-and-seek game and He’s cheating, hurrying off to find another hiding place when we get too close.

God wants a relationship with us even more than we want one with Him. All we have to do is honestly seek Him.

And when we do, guess what? We’re going to find Him. And we’re probably going to discover that we need to take a moment and catch our breath.

Not because we were chasing Him down and we’re winded, but because being in His very presence can leave us breathless and totally in awe.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV.)

Damaged

damaged

I was excited to open the box of new pots and pans my mom sent us for Christmas a few years ago, but the largest glass lid had shattered and the pieces were scattered throughout the box like jagged diamonds.

I had no idea what happened to that box after the pans and their lids had been packed, the box taped up and sent on its way. I didn’t know how many trucks it had been loaded on or if someone had haphazardly tossed it or dropped it. I just knew it was damaged when it got to me.

Have you been damaged along the way to where you are now? Has someone carelessly hurt you or tossed you aside, discarding your heart as if it were made of stone and not a fragile part of who you are?

I’ve been there. Many times. Broken relationships, betrayal from those I trusted wholeheartedly. Those who tried to manipulate and control my life at a time when I didn’t fully trust God; a terrible consequence for looking to others instead of Him but a valuable lesson indeed.

I often wondered if I would ever “get back” to me. If I was too far gone, too broken, or too damaged. Maybe you’re there today, wondering if you’ll ever heal completely or if the wound will remain open and painful.

Or maybe you’re slowly recovering with God’s help. But every time you’re in a similar situation or a new relationship starts to develop, you can’t help but hold your breath as you anticipate the sting.

So you shrink back. You pull away. You withdraw and seek God, asking Him to help you as you bury yourself in His arms again.

But you hope others will understand, that they might consider what has happened to you along the way; what careless words cut you or toxic relationship left you scarred. You pray they won’t take it personally as you wait on God to tell you what to do and how to move forward.

You don’t want this to go on forever, and you know God is working on you. You’ve come so far, really. But others might not see that. They don’t know how many thousands of fragments God has already healed in your shattered heart, how many times He’s helped you to breathe during those situations that used to steal your breath.

You hope they know you’re trying.

You’re not trying to be the same person you once were but a better you. You want to learn from your past, grow from your mistakes. You want to be so on fire for God that those who try to control or manipulate you again will recoil from the heat.

You want more of God. More than anything.

And you find yourself hoping a few of those diamond-like shards of your shattered heart remain because now you understand how His love has strengthened you and how it reflects even brighter through such broken places to those who are also damaged.

Those who need to know God is totally trustworthy and so very close.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT.)

“I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’” (Psalm 31:12,14 NIV.)