Posts Tagged ‘follow’

A God lesson in the midst of a storm…

2:30 a.m. My bedroom fills with a loud, mechanical female voice – “TORNADO WARNING! TAKE SHELTER!”

My eyes fly open and I turn to see my cellphone flashing on my bedstand.  I throw back the covers and force myself to call my two cats, who had been curled up on the end of the bed, in as calm of a voice as I can muster. “Come on, kitties. Follow me.”

One immediately sails off the bed and follows me into the closet. The younger one comes halfway and stops. His iridescent eyes turn to the window as the flash of lightening filters through the curtain. Then an elongated crack of thunder shakes the rafters.  He stares at me, frozen. I beckon, a bit sterner. “Come on, kitty.”

He huddles onto his haunches. “Um, nope.”

The warning siren’s wails crescendo. “Cat. Now!”


As the wind howls and the rain-hail pellets pound on my rattling window, I scoop him up and rush to the closet, closing the door with my other hand.  I can feel the air pressure changing and the 85 mph wind swooshing outside. He doesn’t care. He hates closed doors. He wants out and begins pushing his 15 lb weight against it as I hold it shut.

I have been like both of my cats were last night, but I admit I am the reluctant and stubborn one more often. Unaware of the danger, I resist following God. I am not concentrating on if He provides shelter, or is blocking my path for my own good, or leading me to something so much better than what is my reality now. I have my own ideas, my own plans, my own route.

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:4

Sometimes we don’t understand where the Good Shepherd leads. It may be in a totally different direction, or a seemingly dead end. Maybe even a dark closet with the door closed.  But when He calls, who will we act more like? The compliant and totally trusting cat, or the one who would rather have his way, even though he is afraid and unaware of what is about to happen?


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Author Erin Taylor Young smiled and said, “It was against it’s nature to go deep. But that was the only way out.”

At the American Fiction Christian Writers Conference, September 17-19,  Erin told us an analogy to not being afraid to go deeper in your faith. She noticed a moth mothcaught between the window pane and the screen in her home. It’s predicament wretched her gut. But she also saw a lesson, one that helped to form her website theme.

It kept trying to fly up to get out. That is it’s nature.  However, it forgot it got in through the dent in the bottom of the screen’s frame as it flew towards her bedroom light.

Now, to get out, the moth had to go against everything it had learned.  It had to go deep into the dark corner of the window and walk at an angle through some cobwebs to reach that dent again.  Against it’s instinctual tendency and through a bit of danger. It could get caught up in the sticky web remnants. It could crash.

For several minutes the moth kept flying towards the top of the window, only to whack into the top sash each time. Over and over it tried. It’s little wings flapped as hard as they could. Same path, same result. Over and over and over.

Erin asked us if God is calling us to go deep. Are we flitting around trying to reach His  light by still following our own instincts, or will we hear His call to fly down and discover the one way out into His will? It may be dangerous, and a test of faith. It may get a bit tough, and the devil may put up obstacles. But, if we stay true to God”s course and follow His will, we will experience freedom, peace and the reward when we trust and obey.

Is God calling you deeper? Are you willing to say, “yes” and follow His path, even though it seems convoluted and not the normal way of doing things? It maybe keeping your cool when you want to yell back. Perhaps it is turning the other cheek. Maybe forgiving someone who has deeply hurt you. Or taking on a ministry in which you feel totally inadequate. Facing a tough circumstance like a death of a family member, a divorce or the big C diagnosis. Your instinct may be to escape the easy way. Let your human nature guide you. Rely on your own know-how, experience and strengthen.

Or, you can give in and follow God’s promptings, even if they seem contrary to everything else.

By the way, the moth finally caught on. It slipped through the dent in the screen frame and went on its way. No longer trapped.

Will you follow the moth?

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Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.    Isaiah 60:1-3

How do you react when a bright light hits your eyes?  If it hits you too soon all at once, you  see nothing but the aura of the light. You may feel blinded and disorientated. Do you cover your eyes to block it out? Or, do you blink and squint as you wait for your pupils to adjust before you can take it all in?  I guess it depends on if you want to(pardon the 1970’s era pun, man) see the light or not.

For  many out there, Christ, the way some reveal Him, can just too bright for them. They are used to the darkness. So they won’t look. They turn their heads away. To try to gaze on Him can ache. His brightness makes them adjust how they see things. Why bother? 

But, two millennia ago, three kings, a.k.a. wise men, did look – and follow.  But you see, they had been searching a while. They had heard of the prophecies. They wanted to see the King of kings. They had trained their eyes to scan the heavens. Then they found a star which was brighter than the others, enough to be noticeable,  to lead them down that path. It took a while. Even then, when they found Jesus, he was not what they expected. 

I think too often we Christians blast our non-believing acquaintances with too much light too soon. They feel as if they are in a police interrogation room. They become defensive, nervous. Afraid their wrongdoings will be exposed, they squirm, look away, or refuse to react at all. True, it worked for Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, but that is not the norm. He was a radical man embarked on a radical ministry. He needed a radical experience to jolt him into changing directions. Most people are not that way.

God didn’t blind the earth with light to announce His coming. He spoke through prophets and told the people to watch for the signs. In His perfect timing, He sent a light in the sky pointing to Himself in the form of a human. Gradually over time, that Light shone in Him brighter and brighter as He grew into manhood, walked, talked, ate, healed, forgave and died.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 

That should be our example. Speak it, yes, but most of all  live it out.  Show what you know– walk like you talk– live what you believe. Give the non-believers’ eyes time to adjust. Those who have seen the signs and are searching will follow. The others may turn away for now, but most likely they will be drawn to look again at another time. 

Epiphany means to reveal. I think evangelism should be an everyday event–the natural outgrowth of our life in Christ. If we are living out the Gospel, then people adjust to that and it won’t seem so harsh and glaring. They will see Him softly shining through our attitudes towards our everyday ups and downs. They will see His love glisten through our actions as we put them, and others, before our own needs. They will see that we are different somehow. We have an unwavering strength and unconditional peace. Slowly, they will begin to watch, and then be drawn to Christ living in us, and finally follow.

Let’s not be a spotlight on their sins, but a warm-glowing  beacon that peaks their curiosity, and then, like the Epiphany star 2,000 years ago,  leads them to Him who can wash them white as snow

Shine, Jesus shine.???????????????????????????????????????

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