The King

From somewhere deep inside

Hope springs.

In the desert times

Bells ring.

From the silent wasteland

Heart sings.

Even on the darkest days

Faith clings.

In spite of all the hardships

Life brings.

His Spirit lives in me and

Gives wings.

For God’s still on His throne

He is the King.

Frailing

Hot tears fall down my cheeks;

Heart in agony, soul it wreaks

Of things unspoken, unexplained,

Emotions raw; perfection feigned.

What to do in times like these?

When bearings grind and hearts are weak?

When soul bands stretch and links grow tight

When all feels wrong but things look right?

 

Turn to Jesus, soul of mine.

Rest your spirit in His care.

He alone knows wrong from right,

And He alone can shine His light.

 

But if I try and fail again?

If I stumble, fall, what then?

How can my holy God begin

To share His patience once again?

 

My soul is weak, my flesh, it rots.

My thoughts? Reliable, they are not.

My only rock, firm and secure,

Is Christ the Lord, a fortress sure.

A place of refuge in the night

A place of solace in the fight

A shelter and a warm embrace

My God Almighty, saving grace.

 

So if you are in dire straits,

Glean from His mercy; soak His hope.

Lean on His grace and holy strength,

And He will help you cope.

Your scoot will turn into a crawl

Then to a walk will grow

And one of these days, you’ll be so amazed

When your run just gets up and goes.

 

So if you’re weary, if you’re faint,

Just call on His amazing grace,

For only He can fight your fight

And help you win this lifelong race.

My only rock, firm and secure,

Is Christ the Lord, a fortress sure.

A place of refuge in the night

A place of solace in the fight

A shelter and a warm embrace

My God Almighty, saving grace.

 

“Let us not become weary in doing good…” Galatians 6:9

“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32

The Silver Lining in the Washer

April 8, 2014

This morning I woke up feeling rather overwhelmed by all the world does not offer us.  My husband was sick, there was almost no money in the bank, and humanly speaking, the future looked bleak.  As missionaries in a poor community in Guatemala, we depend entirely on free-will offerings.  For our first seven years here, the offerings were amazingly consistent.  We never lacked for anything!  Apparently this year was determined to provide us with a new experience.  As our offerings went down, our children were growing up.  With four not-so-little mouths to feed now, the oldest of which eats like a bear, and mounting school expenses as they reach higher grades, we were living paycheck to paycheck.  Sometimes we wondered if one paycheck would even make it to the next.

My head kept telling my heart that there is always hope in God for His children, but frankly, my heart was having a hard time getting the message.  I went through the motions, getting the children ready for school and calling the nurse practitioner to find out what to do about my sick husband. When I was almost ready to go to work to get ready for the big pastors’ conference this weekend, the girl that helps in the house sent me a message.  ¨I can´t go to your house today,¨ she said.  ¨I´m sick.¨ With this my heart plummeted once more.  Another change of plans!  I headed to the washing machine to start a load of our never-ending laundry pile, knowing that my other work would have to wait or the house would likely implode from the mess.  Reaching into the empty washer, my hand lit on a shiny quetzal coin, the national currency of Guatemala.  Pulling it out, God once again downloaded a message to my ever-needy self.  This one bypassed my mind and burrowed deep into my heart.

“I know you are worried, my child,” He said.  “But if I can provide money in what you thought was an empty washing machine, how much more will I provide for you, your family and your ministry?  You don’t know where your next paycheck is going to come from…but I do.   I hold it all in my hands, and I am not a stingy Father.”

I hung the laundry with such joy and lightness of heart that you would never know how I had felt earlier in the morning.  Reassured directly by my Daddy God that He is still in control and will ever care for us, I went about the rest of my day positive in His grace and protected by His mercy.  Even when we doubt, He is so amazing.

Taking such a simple, everyday illustration and turning it into a life-changing lesson.  That is my God.  And now, every time I see a shiny quetzal coin, I hope I will remember this experience and how He will always provide.

Image Heart for the Nations is a non-profit organization.  If you would like to send an offering for the Romero family to be able to continue to work helping the needy in Guatemala, you may send a check or money order to HFN, P.O. Box 1861, Keller, TX  76244.  Thank you, and may God bless you!

The Abyss

hummingbirdI finally broke on Tuesday morning. All of the stress of the past month came crashing in on me. I felt overwhelmed, sat down and cried.  Prayers from my husband and a dear friend helped center me but still left me thoughtful.

I find it so frustrating that trusting in God is so much easier when I have everything I need. When my family is healthy, the refrigerator is full, the bills are paid…trusting in God is as natural as wanting to bask in the sun on a beautiful day.

But what about when the world starts falling down around you…literally? Why does trust seem so elusive then? Why is it so much harder to have faith that God’s hands are still holding us just as they were when everything was sunny and stable?

Two weeks ago, the highway that is fifty meters behind our house began to further erode into the canyon beside it, making the road impassable. Each time another huge piece fell due to the combination of earthquakes and torrential rains, our entire house shook, scaring the bejeebers out of us. Yes, the bejeebers.  Combine this with the fact there is another cliff directly in front of our house which is also eroding with each rain that falls, it is obvious that we are in a very precarious position.

One month ago, we finished paying for this house. The relief was palpable, and the joy of owning our own house free and clear for the first time ever was immense. We had sought the Lord, received wise counsel, and felt clearly led to purchase it. All systems were go. Would God really take us to such a sense of false security just to rip it all away? What could possibly be His plan here? Combined with our daughter’s illness and other community and personal problems, it has been an extremely trying month.

The more I reflect, seek God’s face, and try to rest in Him, the more I realize that this house is still His, and He can do with it whatever He wants. If His sole purpose for this house is to show the world His miraculous provision for us in a way we least expect it, then so be it. If our house falls down the cliff tomorrow, the testimony that will come from its loss will be much greater than if we had been able to live in it the rest of our lives and give it to our children as an inheritance.

That is what matters. That His will be done. Not that I be happy and base my sense of security on something that could be here today, gone tomorrow.

As I was processing all of this, I glanced out the kitchen window at some hibiscus flowers.  A tiny hummingbird was hovering above one of the blooms, undoubtedly sipping its sweet nectar.  Oblivious to the fact that the world was falling down around it, the llittle bird had chosen to search for and hone in on the one sweet spot available.

I may not be oblivious to what is going on around me, but like the hummingbird, I can choose where to place my focus.

And I choose to focus on the hands of God that hold me, not on the world that is crumbling beneath my feet.

For THAT is where my real stability lies.

“Aren’t two sparrows sold for only a penny? But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground. Even the hairs on your head are counted.  So don’t be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows.” Matt. 10:29-31CEV

“God is our mighty fortress,
always ready to help
in times of trouble.
And so, we won’t be afraid!
Let the earth tremble
and the mountains tumble
into the deepest sea.”

Psalm 46:1-2  CEV

¡Pégalo!

Ayer mi esposo Carlos y yo estábamos sentados en una reunión junto a una mujer joven y su hijo.  El niñito parecía tener unos dos años, y su carita redonda estaba muy enfocada mientras él cuidadosamente sacaba sus carritos y camioncitos de su mochila y los ponía en fila al lado de la silla de su mama.  Rodeado por otros bebés llorones, el hombrecito estaba completamente y silenciosamente captivado por sus juguetes mientras su mamá escuchaba sin molestia al predicador. 

El mensaje esa tarde era acerca de cómo uno necesita tener fe y esperar un milagro, porque Dios quiere hacer un milagro en tu vida hoy tal como hizo para Moisés y los Israelitas cuando partió el Mar Rojo y pasaron en tierra seca.  Tal como hizo cuando Jesús caminó sobre el agua para llegar con sus discípulos, Él quiere ayudarte a caminar sobre el agua para poder pasar cualquier circunstancia que te enfrenta hoy.  Los milagros siguen…solo tenemos que alcanzarlos con fe. 

En este punto el chiquito estaba cargando los camiones con animales, listo para llevarlos al mercado así como hacen cada semana aquí en Guatemala.  Cuando tenía cada picop listo y cada carro en el lugar correcto, brincó a sus pies e hizo un baile silencioso de celebración por lo que había hecho.  Yo estaba impresionada que se había entretenido a él mismo tan bien hasta ahora…pero también me preguntaba cuanto tiempo duraría.  Era un chico súper-ocupadito. 

Claro que no pasó mucho tiempo antes de que llegara la crisis, como pasa en cualquier buena historia.  El momento de prueba había llegado, igual como llega para todo cristiano fiel.  El chiquillo empezó a aullar y su mamá no podía consolarlo.  El cofre se había caído de su carrito deportivo y por más que intentaba, su mamá no lo podía arreglar.  Lo regresaba a su lugar, pero cada vez que él quería jugar con el carro, el cofre se caía nuevamente.  Esto fue un verdadero desastre para nuestro amiguito.  Aunque probablemente tenía doce otros carros y picops, la vida estuvo miserable porque su carrito deportivo no tenía cofre. 

En este punto, yo podría comentar que a veces perdemos el bosque por los árboles o acerca de cómo nos concentramos tanto en un problemita en nuestras vidas que perdemos todas las bendiciones que nos rodean.  ¡Pero esto no es el final de la historia!  Si hubiéramos estado en los Estados Unidos, la mama hubiera sacado a su hijo de la reunión, y eso hubiera sido el final para nosotros como espectadores cercanos.  Sin embargo, en Guatemala, si uno está en una reunión y tu hijo empieza a gritar, la mamá se queda sentadita.  Puede ser que nadie más en la reunión puede escuchar el predicador, pero a nadie se le ocurre que el bebé y su mama deberían salir.  Usualmente se quedan sentados con el bebé gritando a todo volumen.    

 Después de haber observado todo el desarrollo de este escenario, Carlos y yo estábamos más entretenidos que molestos por ver el berrinche del chiquito.  Y como amamos tanto a los niños, en vez de enojarnos con ella, decidimos ayudarle a su mama.  En cuanto Carlos pidió que le diera el carrito, los ojos del niño se hicieron grandes en su carita redonda.  Como esperábamos, Carlos primero puso el cofre en el carro solo para que cayera cuando se lo regresó al niño.  Pero ahora por lo menos habíamos distraído al pequeño y había dejado de gritar, aunque todavía no habíamos arreglado su carro.  Seguimos con esta farsa, pasando el carro de Carlos a mi y a nuestro hijo David en un intento de mantener distraído a nuestro conductor de carreras.  Pronto nos dimos cuenta que por más que queríamos, no íbamos a poder hacer que se quedara ese cofre en su lugar sin algo pegajoso.  Buscamos debajo de las sillas y en nuestros bolsillos por cinta adhesiva, una etiqueta, o cualquier cosa pegajosa.  De repente yo vi un gran chicle que estaba pegado ENTRE la silla de Carlos y el abrigo que traía puesto, dejado por un donador previo y muy amable.  La capa de afuera ya se había secado lo suficiente que no se había pegado al abrigo de Carlos, ¡por lo cual creo que él estaba muy agradecido cuando se lo enseñé!  Pero por dentro todavía estaba bien pegajoso, así que con cuidado quité un pedazo y lo puse abajo del cofre, pegándolo de nuevo al carro.  ¡Santo remedio!  El cofre se sanó y el niño no sospechó nada mientras que volvió a jugar con felicidad, nunca cuestionando como habíamos arreglado el problema.   

La enseñanza aquí es doble.  Cuando tenemos fe en Dios para que El obre en nuestras vidas, lo hará, tal como nosotros nos atrevimos a ayudarle a este chiquito.  Al principio estaba miedoso de lo que íbamos a hacer con su carro, pero cuando lo compartió con nosotros y nos observó, decidió que éramos buenos cuates y nos dejó intentar.  Pero para mí la lección más grande es ésta: cuando queremos que Dios obre en nuestras vidas, TENEMOS QUE CONFIAR EN EL.  COMPLETAMENTE.  SIN RESERVAS.  ¿Por qué siempre hacemos tantas preguntas?   ¿Acerca de cómo o aun si es que Dios va a obrar?  ¿Por qué pasamos tanto tiempo en nuestras vidas preocupándonos por cómo van a salir las cosas?   Pues si ustedes, que son malos, saben dar cosas buenas a sus hijos, ¡cuánto más su Padre que está en el cielo dará cosas buenas a quienes se las pidan! (Mateo 7:11)   ESTA es la lección verdadera.  No solo confíes en Dios para que obre en tu vida.  Confía que lo va a hacer bien.  Confía que lo va a hacer en el tiempo correcto.  Y confía que lo va a hacer en exactamente la manera que tú lo necesitas.  Solo confía.  Tu Padre sabe lo que es mejor para ti.    Image

Stick It!

Little manYesterday my husband Carlos and I were sitting in a meeting next to a young woman and her son. Little guy looked to be about 2, and his adorable round face was very focused as he carefully pulled his cars and trucks from his mini backpack and lined them up on the floor next to his mother’s chair. Surrounded by other screaming babies and shushing mothers, the little man was completely and silently absorbed by his toys as mom listened intently to the speaker.
The message that evening was about how we need to have faith and expect a miracle, because God wants to do a miracle in your life today just as much as he did for Moses and the Israelites when He parted the Red Sea and they walked across on dry land. Just as much as He did when Jesus walked on water to reach His disciples, He wants to help you walk on water to get through whatever circumstances are facing you today. Miracles are alive and well…we just need to reach out in faith.
By this time my little man was loading the animals into the back of each truck, ready to take them to market just like they do every week here in Guatemala. When he had each truck loaded and every car in its exact parking spot, he jumped to his feet and did a silent boogie in celebration of his accomplishment. I was impressed by how well he had entertained himself thus far….but also wondered how long it would last. He was a very busy little guy.
Sure enough, it wasn’t long before the crisis arrived, as it does in every good story. The moment of testing came, as it also does for every faithful Christian. Our little man set up a howl and would not be consoled. The hood had fallen from his white sports car and try as she might, his mom could not repair it. She returned it to its place, but every time he moved it to play with it, it fell off again. This was disastrous for our little friend. Although he probably had twelve other cars and trucks, life was miserable because his white sports car had no hood.
At this point, I could make a point about how we sometimes miss the forest for the trees or about how we concentrate so much on one little problem in our lives that we miss all the blessings that surround us. But this is not the end of the story! If we had been in the U.S., the mother would have removed her son from the room, and that would have been the end of it for us as neighboring spectators. In Guatemala, however, if you are in a meeting and your child begins to scream, you stay put. Despite the fact that perhaps no one else in the room can get anything out of the rest of the service because it is impossible to hear the speaker, this never seems to occur to anyone. Mom usually remains seated, oblivious to the fact that baby is screaming his head off.
After having watched the whole scenario unfold, Carlos and I at this point were more entertained than bothered by our little man’s temper tantrum. And as we love children to distraction, instead of glaring at mom, we decided to try to help her out. Carlos asked if they would hand him the car, at which point little guy’s eyes grew very wide in his tiny round face. As could be expected, Carlos first placed the hood on the car only to have it fall again as soon as it was returned. But now we had little man distracted, and he had at least ceased his screaming even though the car was not yet fixed. We continued with this charade, passing the car from Carlos to me to our son David in effort to continue distracting our race car driver. It quickly became obvious that no amount of pushing or maneuvering was going to make the hood stay without something sticky. We looked under our chairs and in our pockets for tape, a label, anything that might be of service. All of a sudden I noticed there was a big wad of gum stuck to Carlos’s chair BETWEEN his coat and the chair, left by a previous and thoughtful donor. The outer layer apparently had dried enough that it hadn’t stuck to Carlos’s coat, for which I’m sure he was very grateful when I pointed it out to him! But the inside was still nice and sticky, so I carefully peeled off a hunk and stuck the hood back on the car. As we say in Spanish, “Santo remedio!” which means “holy remedy.” The hood was healed and the boy was none the wiser as he contentedly went back to playing, never questioning who, what, or how his problem had been fixed.
The moral here is two-fold. When we have faith for God to work in our lives, He will, just as we reached down and chose to help this little boy. At first he was a little fearful of what we might do with his car, but as he shared it with us and observed us, he decided we were a friendly sort and let us try. But for me the bigger lesson is this: when we want God to work in our lives, WE MUST TRUST HIM. ABSOLUTELY. WITH NO RESERVES. Why are we always asking so many questions? Why do we spend so much of our lives worrying about what the outcome will be? About how or even if God will work? “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11) THIS is the real lesson. Don’t just trust God to work in your life. Trust Him to do it well. Trust Him to do it at the right time. And trust Him to do it in exactly the way that you need it. Just trust. Father knows best.

Simplicity

This weekend we had the rare privilege of taking our kids to a movie theater in Guatemala City.  There are no movie theaters in Chichicastenango or anywhere else nearby, so this was only the second time in six-and-a-half years that we had achieved this experience in Guatemala.  The kiddos were beyond excited to see the much-awaited film, and for our 12-year- old adopted daughter Carmen, this would be her first ever movie theater experience. 

The family headed inside to get their seats, and I went back to pick up some drinks from the concession stand.  Before I continue to recount this story, let me clarify something.  I have a special hidden talent.  Yes, I know.  Everyone is thinking, “Oh, Emily, we know you are talented,” but really.  You don’t know about this one.  So let me fill you in.  When I choose a line to pay for something, I (almost) always choose the WRONG one.  I carefully evaluate the options but to no avail!  If I am at the grocery store, undoubtedly the line I choose will run out of register tape.  Or change cashiers.  Or the person will have forgotten something or made a mistake and have to go to the very back of the store to look for exactly the right one.  While I just stand there.  Wasting.  Precious.  Time.

I generally try to be a very patient person.  If my daughter spills her juice, I don’t yell.  I just pass her a towel and politely ask her to clean it up and to please be more careful next time.  If the little old lady next door needs something, I will hear her out and help her if at all possible.  I could give you a lot of examples of my infinite patience 😉 …but standing in lines is not one of my fortes.  However, I was not worried about it this time.  This was a simple matter of grabbing a couple of Cokes.  There were many lines available, and although there were a lot of people on this Saturday night, how hard could it be to serve up some popcorn and a few drinks?  This was not rocket science…soon I would be back with my family.  Or so I thought.

I walked up to the concession stand and quickly chose the shortest line.  Unable to evaluate how many items each person had in their carts as I would at the grocery store, I simply chose the line with the least people.  The line to my left seemed to be moving a little faster, so I quickly decided to skip over there, allowing the pregnant woman behind me to move up in my original line.  Four people in front of me.  I should be able to make the beginning of the movie if I hurry.  As the woman in the line next to me moved forward, bought her items, and left, I stared at the backs of the couple in front of me.  They had not moved an inch.  I still do not know what happened with the woman who was at the front of our line, but her simple Cokes and popcorn apparently turned out to be much more complicated than I had anticipated.  Twenty minutes later I was still standing in the exact same spot as she was talking animatedly to the guy selling the popcorn and gesturing toward something on the screen of her cell phone.

At this point, the highly sarcastic side of me had kicked in, and I was wondering why they found the need to grow more corn, which they must surely be doing, if the popcorn was sitting right there behind them.  Then, suddenly, as He so likes to do, God dropped a thought into my mind.  As surely as if He had inserted a data card into a slot in my brain, something downloaded to my consciousness that could only be the voice of the Lord.  And this is what He said. 

“Aren’t you glad you don’t live here?”  I almost laughed out loud.  Because there, in the middle of a crowded mall on a Saturday night, with people rushing all around me and with noises, lights, and delectable smells bombarding me from every side, I realized anew that I am glad.  I don’t miss any of it!!!  That is hard to remember sometimes on a weekend in Chichi when there is NOWHERE to go and NOTHING to do and I feel that I’d give my right arm to be somewhere with a mall, a nice selection of restaurants, or at least a Walmart.  But I don’t really miss it.  What could be better than playing a board game with my family or spending time in the homes of friends who love and care for us?  It’s the simple things that count the most. 

So the next time I’m tempted to wish for a store where I can shop the newest trends or the chance to catch the latest flick, you can be sure I will remember the download God gave me that day. 

Simplicity.  It’s what’s for dinner.  

 Image

All People Are Jerks, Part 2

When I get hurt by someone, I tend to curl up inside myself. This generally leads to sulking, often interrupted by brief spurts of anger. These I rarely share with anyone except for an occasional eruption on my generally innocent and sympathetic husband.

At times when experiencing this pain, I am tempted to shut out the rest of the world. After all, who needs them? My family and I will survive just fine by ourselves. Opening myself up to other people only allows me to expose myself to more hurt and vulnerability. Will I continue to help others? Of course. I am, after all, a Christian. It’s what we do. But I can help the world and still keep the door to my heart securely locked. In fact, I can even pretend to open the door and maybe let them think they are coming in a little ways; but the real me, the part that bonds with other people, is better hidden away in a bolted safe.

Have you ever felt that way? I hope not.  But if you have, you know what I’m talking about.

The other day as I was making just such an inner decision, Jesus gently reminded me of the parable of the gold talents found in Matthew 25.  “14 For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.” (NASB)

Usually we think of the talents as being the gifts that God has given us. But what if your life was that one talent. Instead of investing it as the others did, instead of truly sharing this life that God has granted you, what if you just buried your talent in the ground for the rest of your life. Will it be safe? Yes. Will it experience the abundant life that Christ came to give us? No. Will you fulfill your life calling to go and bless everyone you touch? Definitely not.

It hurts to be real. It hurts to reach out. Hardly ever are the results what we hoped or expected. Jesus knows that more than any of us. But to do anything else is to spend your life locked in a vault. Valuable? Yes. Our lives are valuable no matter what we do with them. But about being a world changer…

Unlock the door. Take the risk. It’s so totally worth it. You won’t be sorry you did.

All People Are Jerks

Warning: If you have the perfect life, read no further. The following may seem extreme or even cruel to you. If, however, your feet are firmly planted on the earth, read on. You just might discover, or rediscover, some truths that you always felt somewhere deep inside but could never quite put your finger on.

I recently came to some interesting conclusions, conclusions that, for me, are quite out of character.  Here you have it:

1. All people are jerks.

2. You can trust no one.

3. In the long run, none of it really matters.

Inspiring, huh?  😀  Let me give you a bit of background.

My husband and I, from the time we were married, have always loved having people over to our home.  We can pretty much count on our children to put on a show if nothing else interesting is happening, and generally our guests seem to leave feeling relaxed and happy after an evening meal or an afternoon visit.  After being in ministry for most of our lives, nothing makes us happier than helping other people feel at home and meeting them wherever they’re at in their walks.  If we can give them a little encouragement or wise counsel along the way, so much the better.

Put yourself in our place and imagine this scenario.  After a number of disappointing efforts to reach out to some friends, we decided to invite a few over for a time of sharing.  Choosing four underage slaves, we began early in the morning to clean our house from top to bottom in preparation for the arrival of these seven individuals, all of whom had indicated the day before that they would be happy to be there at the appointed time.  Said slave children (ours) were very excited at the prospect of having guests, although not quite as excited at the prospect of cleaning for them.  The hour came…the hour went.  Out of the seven (7) invitees, only one (1) person arrived and stayed five minutes before leaving to do an errand since no one else had bothered to come.

How do you think this made us feel?  How do you think our children felt?  Whatever you are thinking, you are probably right!  A number of emotions coursed through us in the hours that followed.  If you happen to be one of those people who did not show up that day, no worries…you are exonerated and I have forgiven you.  I later realized that the whole experience was one big misunderstanding.  Unfortunately, this did not help the feelings which flowed in those moments.

Through this occurrence (combined with a number of others, of course), I came to the first two conclusions which you already read at the beginning of this article:  1. All people are jerks. (Romans 3:23 All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God) If this is the case, then every time I expect for people to be kind and consistent, I am going to be disappointed.  Go figure.  We’re human.  2. You can trust no one.  (Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding)  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I missed the part where it says to put all our trust in other people.  I know, I know…you would like to argue with me about that one, especially if you’re having a good day.  I wasn’t.

My ever-wise husband had a newsflash for me.  No, he did not deny or argue either of my conclusions.  Instead, he simply said, “Remember Noah?”  He went on to explain to me that although modern people tend to measure success based on how many people show up, how many enjoy the experience and want to repeat it, and how many think you are the most amazing person on their planet…God doesn’t see it that way.  How does God qualify our success?  Simply by how obedient we are to His Word.

Do we remember Noah because of the great number of people that followed him into the ark?  No.  After warning his friends and neighbors and working for almost 100 years to build the massive boat that could have saved them, how many of them believed him?  Zero.  What???  That’s right.  None.  Even the sight of all the animals, great and small, traipsing onto the ark two by two from all corners of the earth did not convince them.  When the floods covered the earth, only Noah and his family were safe aboard.

Thus sprouts point number three on my list of discoveries:  “In the long run, none of it really matters.”

What does matter then?  Just do what God wants, and don’t worry about the rest.

Tune in tomorrow to the conclusion of my trail of discoveries in part two.

Turn

Yesterday I saw a man I’d never met
Passed through a door I’d never touched
Drew a scene I’d never seen
Helped a girl who sighed and cried
Looked through a window clear as sky
That day was glorious

But even when I only see people that I know
And only pass through doors I’ve touched one hundred times before
Don’t draw any pictures ’cause I just don’t have the time
And don’t dream any dreams because I’m really just too tired
Even if I’m not sure if I helped one single soul
And all the windows I peer through are dark with soot and smoke
Even if my prayers are scattered–difficult to follow
God still will work if my heart’s humble, ready to be pliable
His arms still hold, His hands still save
His heart’s still open, for love He gave
He’ll still give dreams bigger than life
He’ll open doors and save from strife
He’ll help unworthy souls
And make a picture-worthy rose
Open heaven’s windows and pour forth holy prose

So even when your life’s not taking interesting turns
Turn to the One who still awaits
His heart for yours still yearns