The other day as I was scrolling through my social media, I came across a saying that really resonated with me. My mother used to ask me this question but in a different form. The question was “Why do you always insist on taking the hard road?” I was not wise enough to answer her well. However, I think now I can even though she is not with me any longer here on earth. The answer to the question is simply this, “Why do you assume I see two roads.”
As we are on our road of life, sometimes we must take a path that maybe we did not see coming to teach us a lesson that will not only help us, but it might be of benefit to someone else. Sure, that road may be filled with potholes, and danger or even a collision or two. But they are there for a reason.
I know as a child I was not the easiest child to raise. I had my own mind from the time I was a toddler. I always went my own path. I guess I felt like I needed to know things to experience first hand things in order to learn. Did I make bad decisions, did I fall on my face. You bet. Did I disappoint my parents, on more than one occasion. Did I fail myself, you bet I did. Did I disappoint my creator, I have forgotten the times I did. And yet, I learned, sometimes I had to fall in that pothole more than once. I credit my Scot/Irish ancestors with that mindset. But I learned, eventually. For those of you who know the person you see today, I was not always that person. I was shy, timid, felt unworthy, unloved and unaccepted. I would not speak up, nor would I voice an opinion. I felt I had nothing to offer. I strived to be all things to all people and in the end, I lost me. I felt that my words did not matter, that my worth did not matter and that no matter how much I strived, I would never matter. It took the hard road to show me that I mattered, if to no one else but God. I have been called harsh by some, even my own children in the past. Maybe am. I know that if I am asked, I will speak up. If I see someone running out into the road and a truck is on a Collison course with them, I will try to pull them back. That is my road.
The “hard road” has taught me how to make my past experiences a guidepost not a hitching post and that is okay.
The point is this. As humans maybe we only see one road, and maybe that is okay. Maybe our journey will help someone else on their journey down their hard road. What we must remember is that our Creator is always by our side. He always walks with us and we always have a way to get out of those potholes.
Once again, I was watching a mindless movie and heard a line that stuck in my head. This happens to me quite often. This time the sentence was, “The Things We Don’t see are Sometimes the things that are Most Real.”
Think about that for a moment. We don’t see the wind, and yet it is very real, it can be calming, or it can be destructive. It just depends on the other elements of nature that mixes with the wind. We know the wind is real because we see the effects of its destruction during a storm, we feel the effects of its cooling ability on a warm summer day.
We don’t see love, but we do see the effects of our love. We see it when we feed and clothe the homeless, become a caregiver for someone who is ill, grieve when we have a loss. The effects of our love has the ability to be calming or destructive, depending on the elements it is mixed with. It can be healing, uplifting and supportive or it can become destructive and hurtful.
Faith is another intangible thing that we cannot see but is real. We have faith that the sun will come up on the morrow, that our heart will keep beating without assistance, that our vehicles will start when we crank them. We have faith that we will have employment.
We do not see any of those things, but we know they are real. Taking all of these things into account and understanding that even though we don’t see them, we do see and feel the effects of them in our everyday lives.
Without these intangibles, our lives would be a disaster, we would have no hope. Hope is the basis of faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Heb. 11-1.
Our faith in our God, gives us our hope for his heavenly presence. When we have moments of faltering faith remember this, The things we don’t see are sometimes the things that are most real.
We use the word Grace all the time. We throw it around like a ball not fulling understanding the true meaning.
Webster defines Grace as:
unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b: a virtue coming from God
c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance
With that in mind let’s see how that equates to us as humans. The word unmerited means we didn’t earn it, and there is no way we can ever earn it. In Romans 3 23-:24 This grace was bestowed upon us by God through his son. ” For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is Jesus Christ.”
All of us have sinned – none of us are worthy of being with God. However, God has through his grace and mercy given us unmerited favor. He has told us that his grace is sufficient in 2 Cor, 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…..”
Paul had a thorn in the flesh we do not know what that thorn was we are not told, he prayed three times to have it removed. And God explained to him that all he needed was God’s grace. How many of us forget that in our lives this is all we need. We need to just understand that God’s unmerited favor is all we need in order to lead our lives no matter the circumstances. When we have things that happen in our lives whether it be illness, death or other human calamities all we need to sustain us is God’s grace. For when we are at our weakest we can be at our strongest.
We all talk about being in love, staying in love and wanting to be loved. We become disappointed and disheartened when that either doesn’t happen or the one we thought we loved didn’t love us enough.
Some of us fall in and out of love like we change our clothes. Some of us say we love and then our behavior shows differently. Some of us have no clue how to love because we really don’t even like the person, we just lust after them and when that has run its course we are gone. Some of us don’t even like ourselves so how can we love ourselves.
In order to love someone else we must first look within. We must first learn to like ourselves and then love ourselves warts and all. Love is not about the clothes we wear, the places we visit or the feelings we find in the pit of our stomach, that is hormones raging.
To find out the true meaning of love and what it stands for we must go to the Bible. It is filled with example after example of love. True unconditional love.
It gives many examples of the types of love, how we are to love and why we are to love.
Let’s just start with one of the most well-known verses,
John 3:16 ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Let’s just think on this for a moment. How many of us are willing to give our child up to be killed in order to save someone else. How many of us are willing to love someone else enough that we would send our child to their death? I venture to say none of us. But God did. He knew what would happen when he sent his son to the earth. Because he has the big picture. He could have stopped it at any time. But he loved us enough.
John 15: 13 tells us this 13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” How many of us are willing to make that kind of sacrifice”. I would dare say not many.
Now let’s get back to the meaning of love that is real love.
I Cor. 13: 1-13 is the best example of how real love works.