Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Running on Empty?

My husband and I have been discussing lately all the bad "stuff" we have been encountered with recently. Not necessarily to us, but we just seem to be surrounded with bad news and depressing, heavy issues. It's all around...everywhere...Im sure to you as well. My mother in law says often that, "the world is going to hell in a hand basket," and I think I'm starting to be a believer of that myself. Through everything I just keep coming back to one thing, people need more of God. I include myself in this too...we always need more. People seem to be running on empty, on mere fumes...maybe it's time we filled our tank. Which in saying that, I am reminded that people say it's more economical to fill your tank with gasoline at the half way mark, instead of waiting until on empty. I think this philosphy also applies to our spiritual walk. Why do so many of us wait until we are on "empty" before we fill ourselves with what we need?

In the midst of thinking all of these thoughts today, I opened my email to find a forwarded email from a niece of mine and it's just seemed so fitting. The following is the email she sent me(I don't know who wrote it to give them the credit):

One day, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back when he had a job.

His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated him. He remembered
family that had passed on. His mind turned to the illness he had, that no one could cure. His very soul was filled with anger, resentment, and frustration.

Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find, knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree to seek the one he knew would always be there. And with tears in his eyes, he prayed:

"Lord- You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have told me to do
many things for you, and I happily obeyed. Today, you have told me to forgive.
I am sad, Lord, because I cannot, I don't know how. It is not fair Lord,
I didn't deserve these wrongs that were done against me and I shouldn't have to
forgive. As perfect as your way is Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for
I don't know how to forgive. My anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not
hear you, but I pray you teach me to do the one thing I cannot do: Teach
me to forgive."

As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner of one eye, he saw
something red on his shirt. He could not turn to see what it was because
where the oak tree had been was a large square piece of wood in the
ground. He raised his head and saw two feet held to the wood with a large
spike through them.

He raised his head more, and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His hand s, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head. Finally he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their eyes met, the man's tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.

"Have you ever told a lie?" He asked?
The man answered - "Yes, Lord."

"Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?"
The man answered - "Yes. Lord." And the man sobbed more and more.

"Have you ever taken something from work that wasn't yours?" Jesus asked?
And the man answered, "Yes, Lord."

"Have you ever sworn, using my Father's name in vain?"
The man, crying now, answered - "Yes, Lord."

As Jesus asked many more times, "Have you ever"? The man's crying became
uncontrollable, for he could only answer - "Yes, Lord".

Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt something fall on his other shoulder He looked and saw that it was the blood of Jesus.. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus, and there was a look of love the man had never seen or known before.

Jesus said, "I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive you."

It may be hard to see how you're going to get through something, but when you look back in life,you realize how true this statement is.

Read the following first line slowly and let it sink in.

"If God brings you to it - He will bring you through it."

When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you!

Now, I can't believe I was thinking about how heavy of a burden I was carrying with all the issues surrounding me. I am humbled, once again, by my loving and forgiving God who bears the weight of all the "heavy" issues for me and all of his believers. He is the only person that can save us.

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shelter of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust." Psalm 91:1-2

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