Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Questions

Being a mother of three now teenagers, I had to go through the terrible twos and the wonderful four - teens. Don't worry if you haven't been through this will! What I remember most about my children is that they ask tons of questions, especially Sydney (even now at 14 she is full of whys and what fors). If you've been through these stages you know that children can ask all sorts of questions about things you would never begin to think they could ask. The classic why is the sky blue? I don't think a parent yet could logically answer that for a 4 year old and when we did answer 'because it reflects the color of the oceans' (right!) they ask........why is the water blue? So back to square one you go. Where does the color in crayons come from? Why do the trees loose their leaves and what makes them green in the summer? What if the sun doesn't come out will the trees and grass die? You think of it they can out think you!!
It's the same for me being a new and growing believer in Christ. I have a lot of questions beginning with WHY? WHEN? HOW LONG? WHAT NOW? Prior to being a believer, and that wasn't all that long ago, I was stuck on the fact that there was no way the Ark existed. Christians could "possibly see" (by satelite) it comfortably placed in the nether regions of Turkey mountains where no one could get to it. There was no 'proof' that Christ ever walked on this earth so why should I believe that he actually existed. And why exactly do we all speak different languages, have different skin color, and different traditions!!! WHY, WHY, WHY? Well no one for the longest time could answer these questions. I was continually getting the "because that's the way it is"...or..."because God says so in his word", no one could actually show me where to believe but by golly it was there!!!
Today as a full believer and struggling walker with Christ, I find that the questions are still there, I just don't worry about them. I ask them continually but I am asking God now and not man, and if I do ask 'man' then I get a direct full supported answer...not 'because'. (I always thought of my mother with the 'because I said so' not a very good response.) This week God opened a door for me to share His love, forgiveness, kindness, mercy, etc, etc, etc, with an old friend. And when that door was partially cracked, I was excited, now that door is fully open and I am afraid as to what to say or how to lead this friend toward and not away. So the questions of How? came crashing back. This morning I was looking for a scripture that I know but don't know where it is "I am the way the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except through Me." I couldn't find that but I did find a lot more. From John 4- John 9, Jesus continually testifies of himself to others who don't believe him and several times throughout these passages Jesus tells those listening that they do not believe him because they do not believe the Father. That's powerful. People were listening and seeing Jesus, had been handed down and told of the prophesies of his coming and stilll did nto believe he was sent by God and of himself. They didn't believe any of his words because they didn't believe truly in God as the Father. In John 6:44 Jesus says 'no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.....' Further yet, in John 8:442-47, Jesus tells that the reason that they didn't know God's calling and didn't believe in him was due to the lies that the devil had placed in their hearts and minds. Aha Moment!! That's the answer to the whys! All the questions that I had as an unbeliever is right there in John 4 - John 9. I didn't believe because I wasn't listening, I couldn't hear God calling me through the lies that I was living that the enemy had filled up in my life. Lies of the whys, who says, can you prove it, and on and on and on.
Do I still have some questions for God, absolutely! I believe now more than ever that those questions are meant for me to hear from Him directly, when I don't know but He does. For now, I dig and read His Words, pray for answers and direction, and wait for Him to guide (not very good at this part yet). "I am the way the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except through me." That's enough for me. I'm still pressing forward but as long as I keep Christ in front of me, leading the way, those questions get answered by faith and truth. So why are you waiting? What are you waiting for?

Monday, February 1, 2010

To Follow

I love to sit outside and listen to the leaves of the trees in spring and fall, they almost sing in a high soprano voice in the spring and an even alto in the fall. It's beautiful! The move and sway with the sound that the wind makes as it flows through them. I find myself moving toward the leaves and their sound during these seasons, it's almost as if they are calling to me. I especially love the sound of Aspens in the late fall. If you've never seen an Aspen in the fall they are beautiful. They turn golden yellow and they sound like sequenced wind chimes when the move, it's amazing. Of course, living on the east coast there aren't any Aspens I remember these amazing trees from growing up in Wyoming as a young girl. But even to this day, I remember what they sound like, how they start their song soft and quietly and as the wind moves through the family of trees it becomes loud with a voice and then tapers off again. Just like a wind chime.
I often wonder these days how will I know to follow the right sounds. I mean I know what my Aspens sound like and if I heard them again, I would know without a doubt that I was close to the western mountain range. But how would I know which sound is the right sound to follow? What would be remarkable about it and would I know that was the sound I was to listen to? The non-believing Jews didn't know Christ when they heard or saw him. They constantly questioned, accused, and denied Christ. How could they not have known He was who He was? What were they missing? I mean He was standing in front of them, performing miracles, and still they denied that He was Christ. How could they not believe? I think this is where the sounds come in, the sound of a voice that echos like those Aspens far, far away. I could recognize those Aspens and the Jews who were non-believing were probably struggling with the same recognition. In past times, God had sent prophets to give His Word, to be His voice, but now He was sending His Son, the One that prophets had declared. So why couldn't they recognize His voice? In John 10:27 Jesus tells the non-believers "my sheep listen to my voice, they know me and I know them". Those are powerful words. Jesus was telling these men who were more than likely leaders of the Jews that He knew who His sheep (His people) were and they would know Him by His voice.
So why do we struggle sometimes to hear? Ok, why do I feel as tho sometimes I won't hear the right voice? Because, just like the sound of my Aspens, I fear that if I don't hear that sound for a long long time, I will forget what the sound is. When I read this scripture this morning, I started to feel set apart from God and Christ. I started to begin feeling like I really wasn't hearing the right voice. Why? Well let's face facts I'm a pretty selfish person, I really only want to hear what I want to hear and do what I want to do. So there begins the doubt of hearing the right sound or voice. When I'm battling between doing and hearing what God is trying to tell me and what I want to do and want more over in life, I begin the struggle in my mind and life. I begin to doubt if I am doing what God has prepared for me to do or if I am doing what I want to do. Lately, I have been more and more reluctant to pray what God puts on my heart. Why? Selfishness, strictly selfishness. I don't want to pray for those things because it will mean knowing that God has already made a plan for those in my life and I just don't want it to be true.
There I am waiting for the right voice, the voice that I want to hear not the voice that is calling to me. That is a personal choice, a choice that I am making not one that God is making and definitely not one that I am listening to. So what to do? How to change? Where to go? And what voice to listen to? Well, the right answer is God's voice, the real answer is my desires. I am struggling to follow that Voice, struggling with myself to listen and follow the right Sound. I know that God has placed those Aspens I heard so many, many years ago in my head on purpose. I know that it was to remember what they sounded like and to know that He put them there. I believe now that those Aspens are a reminder to me that I will remember and know His Voice and I will follow it. I prefer to follow it now but my soul and mind are still in that battle the one that is steadily loosing ground. Maybe those Aspens are so far away anymore, I can hear them pretty clearly and see them covering the ridge side. And I believe that God is there too, not so far away just waiting for me to follow His Voice.