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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

"One-Eyed" by Stu Mendelson

Some dreams seem so wonderful, so exactly what you want, that it's hard to believe it's not what God has planned for you.

For me, the prospect of sharing my bakery with my kids, having grandkids living on my property, passing on the legacy-----it all seemed so......providential!

But this summer had a surprise for me.  It turns out that there were some serious miscalculations and oversights on all our parts that made that dream (one we had all been nurturing for two years!)  go up in smoke overnight, as decisive as the wildfires that have raged through our region late this summer.    Ouch!   Talk about a rude awakening. In very short order, I found myself  facing a much different landscape than I had been envisioning.    And while the emotional smoke was still thick, it was hard to see anything very clearly.

I share this with you because as I waited for the smoke to clear, I had some powerful Help.  And you know, it's a help that's available to all who ask for it.  Because of the trials I've already endured, I knew something about facing trials----and this was a big one for me!   I want to remind myself as I share with you what really stood firm while my dream shattered.

True vision from God is such a pride-buster!   Whatever form your pride takes, (and it's a sneaky thing, that pride-----it can fool lots of people, and especially you!)  when it's matched up against God's reality, it can't stand up.  It has to get crushed.  And I have to say something about that crushing process-----you have to let it take its course.   It's extremely painful!  You want so much to escape!  But I've found that holding still and remembering who God is, even though you can't see him through all the smoke and rubble right then, is the absolute best course of action.   I have a stockpile of go-to verses that I KNOW to be true, no matter what!   Psalm 139.....Psalm 23.....the entire book of Philippians, the book of James.  The stockpile grows with each new trial, and God becomes more real to me each time.  And you know what, folks?  He is so much more real and lasting than any particular thing you have your heart set on, no matter how worthy.   We all long to know our purpose in life-----and strangely enough, it's intangible.  It's a deep, trusting, abiding relationship with the One who made us.  Oh, happy day when that becomes evident!

What is next?  You know, I don't rightly know.  But I know the One who does----and for now, that is my daily manna.   Praying for a heart of gratitude in the middle of the unknown.  

Until next time!


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