Tag Archives: faith in God

Living a Full Life in Difficult Times

It is amazing how such a small puppy can consume so much food. The first couple of days Vern was with us, he ate very little. After he got acclimated to his new environment, he drastically changed. Vern now eagerly awaits the sound of the food being poured into his bowl. Even when he has finished his portion, he rushes over to Bee, our older Frenchie, in the hopes of a left over morsel.

During this time of being shut in the house, my appetite has also increased. I enjoy watching cooking shows which of course leads to baking more. I have also been pulled into watching more television and exercising less. Every day begins with the desire to do things that are good for my physical and spiritual self. But usually these important activities get pushed to the side for the things that feel comfortable.

If there ever was a time to imitate Jesus, this is it. He demonstrated how to live a fulfilled life in the worst of situations, starting with the event of being tempted in the desert by Satan. Jesus had been fasting for forty days and he was extremely hungry. (I can’t help but think that this is how long we have been in a stay home order from our government.)

Jesus was vulnerable. He was weak and alone. The conditions were perfect for temptation to turn to sin. Satan knew this and pounced on Jesus with all that he had to offer. The first temptation in Luke 4 would have probably broken every one of us.  “The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” (Luke 4:3)

Satan went after Jesus’ physical need for food. And that is where most of us are today. I know that I have justified how much I have eaten during these days of having nothing else to do.

Jesus didn’t budge so Satan went to plan B. “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.  And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.  If you worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:5-7)

Notice how Satan offers Jesus the authority and power of the world to Jesus. And if you read on, you will note that Jesus doesn’t dispute the fact that Satan has the authority over this world. But Jesus doesn’t accept the power that could have been easily his. Why? Because Jesus wasn’t willing to sacrifice our salvation for his own desires of power. How do you feel about your loss of power in these days of being told to stay home?

The last temptation Satan threw at Jesus tested his pride. Satan told Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple so that the angels would catch him. This temptation would clearly demonstrate to everyone that Jesus was truly the Son of God. If everyone saw angels saving him, they would bow down and worship him.

How often have we sought out some kind of recognition in these times of being anonymous? Everyone wants a voice in how to solve this pandemic. No matter what television channel you listen to, someone wants the platform. Even in our own homes, we shout out our self-righteous opinions.

We sure can learn from our four legged friends. Vern only eats when food is placed in front of him. He does tussle with his sister with an understanding that she is the alpha dog in the house. Occasionally, Vern will bark out loud, but typically is quiet.

Thank you Lord for the animals you place in our homes and hearts. Help us to follow your Son’s example as we go through these uncharted waters. Give us the faith to look to you to meet our daily needs.

Without a Rudder or a Sail

Carl appeared to have control as he walked with his head held high leading the way through the neighborhood. It wasn’t until he encountered a cat that he realized that he wasn’t able to break free and pounce on his arch enemy. Instead of being in control, Carl realized that he could only go as far as the leash would take him.img_3808.jpg

We all want to be in control of our circumstances in life. And as long as we assume everything is going the way we think it should, we set ourselves on cruise control and hold our heads up high. It isn’t until we encounter a situation that we don’t see the outcome, that we realize that we don’t have any control at all.

Many years ago, my husband and I owned a catamaran sailboat. He absolutely loved the feeling of getting the air into the sails and bring the boat up on one side. On the other hand, I was petrified when the boat would rise above the surface of the water.

This was particularly true one Labor Day weekend when we placed the boat into the calm sound and steered the boat through the inlet over to the beach. For two days, everyone enjoyed riding out into the ocean and skidding across the water. But on the day that we had to return the boat to the sound side in order to place it on the trailer, the winds and waves picked up drastically.

As I climbed onto the boat, my adrenaline was pumping and a deep seated fear entered my entire being. I knew that if the boat turned over, it may be impossible for my husband to right it up again which could have led to our deaths.

As the winds whipped around us and the waves caused us to dip up and down on the water, my husband realized that something was very wrong. Apparently the ropes had not been tacked correctly and he couldn’t steer the boat. So with only one option, he handed me the steering device and told me to not let go while he climbed down the side of the boat to correct the situation.

During those few moments, I knew that I had no control of what would happen next. There was nothing that I could do but pray and hold fast. This is what it must have felt like when Noah and his family entered the ark and closed the doors.  With no sail or rudder, this family must have wondered what would happen as the rain hit the roof and the boat began to rock back and forth.

Genesis 7:17-24 states, “For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth.  The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.  They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.  The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.  Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.  Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.”

I am sure the entire time that Noah and his family were inside the ark they must have known that they had no control.  They only had faith that God would see them through the situation.

Though my ordeal only lasted an hour, I prayed a lot and rested in the fact that God was in control, not me. As for Carl, he will never understand God’s sovereignty but that’s okay. I will let him think he is leading even when he isn’t. img_1328