EAGLE RIVER, ALASKA
When the view is this pristine, its beauty runs through my veins bringing life into my heart, tugging my spirit and awakening my soul.
Suddenly, I, the me inside, can finally breath deep as I stretch my spirit to the heavens yawning my worry away from my soul to the only One who is in control.
Troubles? Take Timeouts.
Remember, as children when we got in trouble, we were sent to timeout?
As a parent, I would tell my kids to think about what they did wrong. While the child sat, they would have to stay there until they, themselves, identified their error and understood the correct manner of behavior. Which I had already explain to them, but they had to own their choice and decide to make better choices in the future.
Without knowing why, today, my soul was troubled, I had the urge to go for a drive and have a timeout. Expecting to learn the error of my ways I desired to find a place out in nature to listen to what God had taught me and seem to be trying to remind me. Eagle River, Alaska came to mind. Being a place where bears are cited, I invited a friend and off we went. (We didn’t see any bears, which we were thankful after learning that this was the time for brown bears and grizzlies to be passing through to feed from the salmon runs.)
Before leaving my place, I took time to read my devotional. As soon as I read the verses, I had the urge to leave, now. Without reading any further, I left with three questions packed in my heart. What should I be asking? What should I be seeking? And where should I be knocking? Eagerly I drove, expecting to hear definite answers from God at some point on the hike but, none came.
For those of you who know the passage, the verses were from Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” They’re familiar verses in the Christian community, but for me this time they had something new to teach me. I just didn’t know exactly what that lesson was, because I hadn’t identify where I stood with God.
Seating and pondering on my day in Eagle River, which I didn’t receive answers or clarity of these verses or my errored ways, I read the rest of the devotional. It reminded me to be persistent in asking and that Jesus doesn’t recommend for us to ask, He commands for us to ask. Now that’s something to think about for my future timeout from my day.
The devotional also said, that asking isn’t quite sufficient from Jesus’ point of view. He wants us to take it up a notch. We should seek out what we need from God and we will find it. Well asking is much less work than seeking, because one doesn’t have to do anything. While seeking takes our effort not just God’s. There are times, I just want the answer without much work on my part.
Do you remember asking your mom for something you know she could easily give you, but she sent you out to find it yourself and then get it on your own? Well I’m wondering if that’s what God was trying to tell me, when I rather for Him to just hand it to me. I still wonder, what is it that I truly want? I sense I must go on to the third question maybe I will receive clarity.
Knocking on the door is the final step. Well the devotional reference that the door is heaven’s door. It also mention that our asking and seeking takes us to the very doorsteps of heaven. Once there, we shouldn’t just stand there and wait, we should knock on the door. Well to tell you the truth, I’ve been afraid to knock on the door. Why? Because of what God has to offer.
What if God gives me my heart desire only to be taken away. Maybe, I don’t want to feel that pain again, so I will not knock, then I keep what I long for in the longing place of my heart. No wonder I felt like a timeout. I needed to see the error of my thinking and correct it with truth. It is better to have had it for a short while than not to have it at all. Besides, who told me that it will be taken again and why bother having it in the first place? Who have I been listening to? Whom have I followed? I’ve listen to the voices of Doubt, Disappointment and Fear.
They misguided me because of the troubles that have come and taken the good things my husband and I have been blessed with in Vancouver. We placed our house on the market and sold within twelve hours. We had to leave quickly that we didn’t have time to say good-bye to our friends. The move-out happened in less than two weeks from our return of our working travels. Our belongings were stuffed in storage and off we flew to Alaska to work again.
Now, we are homeless and have no idea where to plant our life and allow roots to grow. You see, I have lived in almost twenty places in thirty-five years of marriage which includes less than ten city moves and seven states covering from Texas to Maryland to Montana to Washington and now Alaska.
Do you see why I’m shy to knock and ask where should I be seeking residency? At the moment, we’re staying in an Airbnb in Alaska provided by my husband’s work. When he’s not working we’ll be staying with my daughter in Seattle, Washington.
I know once I knock on the door of heaven, it will be open. God will meet me and He will provide the answer. But, will it be the answer I seek? Or will He offer me the answer which is best to produce the fruits that are needed? I also know, that God will hand my husband and I not only what we need but gift us with more, with the purpose of sharing. All things do come from his storehouse and he will place the gifts into our hands for us and for us to share.
I understand. It’s not about finding residency, a house to call home or having a dwelling place. It’s about asking and seeking where does God want us, my husband and I to bear fruit. Like the devotional said, all of our persistent asking, seeking and knocking shows God that we are serious and sincere about our desire to bear fruits like John teaches.
John 15:16 “You have not chosen Me, I have chosen you. I have set you apart for the work of bringing in fruit. Your fruit should last. And whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you.”
Am I ready to ask, seek and knock? I am. I’ve recognize the error of my ways, listening and believing the voices of Doubt, Disappointment and Fear instead of the voice of my Shepard, Jesus himself. I should trust Him with our future, my husbands and mine as a couple and mine as an individual.
Father, In Jesus name I come and ask to show me the way my husband and I should go and where to plant our lives to bear fruit, so that you can feed those who hunger after your precepts and desire to draw closer to you plus, to learn about your Son, the one who saves, died and rose again, Jesus, who conquered our sins, who forgives without our cost. for He paid it all. Thank you for choosing me. In Jesus name I ask, seek and knock. And in His name I wait to find a home to share of what God has in store for my husband and me.
Life grabbed me by the seat of my pants, placed me on a boat in the middle of a river with no paddles or motor.
Cold rainy days and nights I’ve experienced with moments where I felt as if I was drowning.
Then the sky clears and the sun shines and God’s glory is seen.
When moments like this come my way, I smile as I float by.
Slowly I close my eyes as the view vanishes out of sight.
I then savor the moment, guarding my memory in my heart, for I don’t know what lies on the other side of the river’s bend of tomorrow.
WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE
Blessings come and go and so do the trials and hardships. But, the Lord remains steadily faithful like an unmovable majestic mountain
Let me tell you the story behind the picture.
There I stood, with my eyes fixed on the distant mountains the breeze refreshed my skin. I stepped back to leave when movement on the grown caught my attention.
A dandelion swayed below my feet. I sensed it wanted me to see what it saw.
Holding to the road rail, down on my rump I went. But, to witness the picturesque view of the weed, I had to lay down by the side of the road.
I was so glad I did.
Now, getting up was a bit challenging, for the gravel and the inclined made my feet slipped.
Thank-goodness for road rails.