Get in the Race

finish line
Moses never stepped foot in the promise land… To come so far, but not be able to cross into the promise land must have crushed him. He led the Israelites for 40 years through the desert watching God do amazing things in and through him, but when he gazed upon the finish line, he could go no further. By today’s standards, this would have been the most insane ultra-marathon to attempt! He would gaze upon God’s promise, but never step foot into it.
I enjoy endurance events and there is one term no competitor ever likes to see next to their name: “DNF” which means Did Not Finish. By most accounts, this term is associated with failing, but in some cases, I totally disagree. You see, to have this term next to your name means you at least had the courage to get in the race. There are many reasons why some are not able to finish, but the point is that they tried to accomplish their goal. In all of us, God has birthed some sort of passion or dream and it is up to us to allow God to speak into our life so we can move toward accomplishing it. In Thomas Edison’s quest to make an incandescent electric light, he was a very empirical man who remained positive as he literally tested thousands of different substances as suitable filaments. In each unsuccessful attempt, he would simply state, “I have found one more way not to make a light bulb.”
You can run, swim, or ride as fast as you want, but if you aren’t going in the right direction it doesn’t matter how fast or far you are going. Listening to God is the only way we know for sure if we are going in the right direction. For me the only thing better than crossing the finish line is seeing it. There is something so empowering about seeing the goal you set out to conquer within your sights. God promises us so many wonderful things at the finish line and if we could just keep those mental images ingrained in our minds instead of past failures or fear of future ones, I believe our drive to keep fighting would be significantly improved. If there is no goal, no dream, or no vision, then having a purpose in life is nonexistent.
Martin Luther King Jr., steps away from accomplishing his dream, spook of seeing the promise land the night before he was shot. Even though he would not live to see what he fought so hard to achieve, it did not make his dream coming true any less real. Moses, in the same way accomplished a monumental task leading the Israelites out of captivity. What is God calling you to do? Have you just prayed and then remained silent? It is in these times that the still small voice of God stirs in us. Then it is up to us to allow that seed to take root and begin moving us toward our God-given destiny. In a world full of constant distractions and endless noise, we must be diligent in spending time alone with God. When you do, get ready to see God do some amazing things in your life because He is waiting for us to slow down enough and just listen to Him.

Faith in the Storm

The spirit of faith is in our words and when we have nothing left to hold onto, it is our faith that we cling to… We got some bad news tonight about our little Sydney and some breathing complications she continues to have.  Shortly after her 5pm feeding, our little princess had another breathing episode which required stimulation and now she might have to spend another week in NICU.  We have to wait until the morning for the doctors to look over the numbers and tell us what they will recommend.  Initially a spirit of anxiousness came over me, but the more I looked at how far the Lord has brought us, the more I knew He will not forsake us now.  We are praying for wisdom and discernment and that there be no doubt about the decision the doctors will make.  Even with this disappointing news, I choose to praise God for where He has brought us.  It’s a tough place to be because we want her to come home as soon as possible, but not before she is ready.  If I didn’t have complete faith in God and His plans for my entire family, I know this news would be so much harder to handle.

In spite of this difficult news, I am choosing to offer my sacrifice of praise with thanksgiving.  When we chose to praise instead of complain, we open the door for God to amazing things.  I know beyond a shadow of doubt that God is working for my good and for the good of my family.

If I’ve learned one thing during this chapter of my life, it is that we should always find a reason to give thanks because there is always a reason, regardless of what we are walking through.  Going into the hospital 7 times a day for 2 weeks, I have seen a lot of very sad things, as well as some very disturbing things.  Without God in their life and working in their midst, I have no idea how they are making it.  I’ve also come to realize that someone always has it worse than we do, so at the least, this is something we can be thankful for.  I love the saying: Complain and you’ll remain, but Praise and you’ll be raised.  Complaining gets us nowhere fast, but our faith in God assures we will arrive where and when He wants us to get there.  I am trusting God with whatever the doctors are going to say in the morning and I am believing in Him for the complete restoration of Sydney’s lungs.  I am praying that Sydney will be filled with His Spirit at an early age and that she will know as soon as she can that the Lord is the reason she is alive.  It’s pretty cool when you think about it, getting to know and meet the person who saved your life.  Keep us in your prayers and hopefully very soon, we will have some great news to report!