One foot in front of the other.

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)

 

 

Have you ever walked along a narrow railing on a fence, or walked a tightrope? Do you do it slowly – one foot in front of another. The urge is to finish the walk quickly and take one giant step to get to where you want. Do you feel that way, or is it just me? Anyway….

Life has been shouting at me.

I don’t mean shout at me from a distance, I mean “in-your-face-getting-your-attention” type of life. This is not really good for those of us that are walking a tightrope anyway.

Wow!

I have been having to watch my walk with God, my relationships with people and my attitude. I felt like if I fall off this thin bit of timber call “life of Ruth”. I am not the only one who feels this way, as I have expressed my concern to others within my close circle of friends, I find I am not alone. I have talked to God about this, (as if I have to tell Him, right?) and He is strangely quiet. It is not that He is quiet about my relationship with Him, just not answering my questions. Yet, I am ok with that. God has always been faithful in speaking at the right time.

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)

You see, God has me, and you, by the hand and we are not on that tightrope without help.

But…

It is not only that life has been like walking a tightrope, I also feel bogged down in life and the business of living.

When I was younger, we lived in the western parts of Queensland. The roads we travelled were dirt not bitumen. Occasionally – yes that is right, occasionally – it would rain and the roads would become wet and boggy. To drive in some parts of the road, there would be a need to place the vehicle in low range 4 wheel drive. The vehicle would slowly move forward with as much power as it could use to get through the mud.

The pressures of life require that I get into low gear and crawl for a period of time, until I get through the muck. I feel the power of God giving the extra oomph in the engine of my being, but I question God’s ability to get me through. Have I ever doubted that before? Yes. And has He always pulled me through? Yes. Then, God is faithful.

Life isn’t always easy travelling and wide platforms. In talking to people at the moment I find that most people are feeling a little overwhelmed by their life and uncontrollable circumstances.

My own people (my family) are saying the same thing. My husband is needing a break from long hours at work, my children need a break from studies and to have a weekend resting, I am tired… bone weary. But no, my husband ended up getting 12hour night shifts, my children had to work Saturday morning, and my first weekend away in 3 years was cancelled. This is on top of everything else going on. I sat quietly and talked to God about it, do you know what scripture He brought to my mind?

It was Psalm 94:18-19

“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” NIV

This is bit that excites me. You can replace the word “anxiety” with “sorrow”, “grief”, “fear”, “heartache”, “the need to give up”, and the answer will always be the same – God’s consolation brought us joy. Great… isn’t it?

Last week, on the same day, brought news that two people that I know had passed from this earth into eternity. My heart aches for the families, including my extended family. This week I held someone’s hand and told them that I understood the desire to give up. This week I have spoken to people who are overwhelmed and scared. I have no easy answers, just to let them know that they are not alone, and that I understood.  I have found out that a marriage has disintegrated and people are hurting. Whatever the struggle, please know that people care.

Life is not always a tightrope or unfavourable roads, I know that for a fact. Life is a mixture of easy and hard. Sometimes I appreciate the hard, because God helps me through. I can appreciate the easy times because I know what the hard times were like.

As Christians, we have the privilege to lift others up and encourage them, and to pray for those around you. We are here to tell people about the hope that we have within us.

Last week I used and example to a group of children to explain the need to reach out to others. I gave a candle to one child and asked him to start passing it around. As they passed it on I asked them to say, “let me tell you about Jesus”. One child baulked, too scared to hold the candle. I showed them that sometimes we need to personally take the candle for some people as they cannot hold the candle or pass it on.

Everyone needs to know about hope.

For those struggling with life can I say this –

One step in front of another. Trusting God with every step of the way. Hold on tight to the God who sees and knows.

And…

Let me tell you about Jesus…

 

Be blessed.

 

Termites

I had a dream a few weeks ago. In the dream I looked under a house, there was a log under the house and it was crawling with termites (white ants).

 

 

I had a dream a few weeks ago. The dream has remained with me since.

In the dream I looked under a house, there was a log under the house and it was crawling with termites (white ants). Not just any termites, they were big fat ones and they were all over the log which was just about eaten away by the termites. In the dream a sudden thought occurred, “I hope they haven’t gone into the house”. I bent down further to look under the house, and sure enough I could see a steady stream of termites making its way up one of the wooden stumps and into the house.

At this point I woke up with the dream vivid in my mind. I had just written three blogs about boundaries, and I had gone to sleep praying about this. I wondered if God was showing me more about what I was to add before posting them on my website.

Later I asked Him. “Father is this dream about these blogs?” “No” came the quick reply.

Ok, I thought, it must be my brain working overtime. But after a few days the dream stayed in the forefront of my memory. “Father,”  I asked, “why is this dream staying in my mind?”

“It makes a good metaphor,” He replied. God seemed a little amused at my slowness to ask the right questions.

“So… it is from you Father?”

“Yes,”

Yep, once again I had not asked God the right questions and He was patient. The burden of this dream sits in my heart heavily, and the more I prayed the more I saw. You see the termites are revealing themselves around us. It is not just a general decay that I am seeing… it is a takeover.

You see, in referring to termites the they say that is an attack. They takeover and build their home in your house until there is nothing left…but dust. I had a friend that one time did not know that she had termites in her home until one day the curtain rod and fixtures fell to the ground, she touched the wall and it crumbled to the floor. The termite had eaten away at the interior of the wall until only the paint was left behind.

My heart has been heavy for a few months now as I have watched more and more an attack against the morals and faith that our country (Australia) once had to hold its people together. To add to this, mateship and courage in which the people of this land seems to be almost gone.

The trouble is that, like the log under the house, it has probably been ready to cause problem with the real fabric and structure of our nation for a long time. It is only now that the infestation is now going to climb into the lives of the people within this nation.

We have been asleep. The average everyday Australian has been asleep, busy trying to keep their own lives in a sense of order. Unknowing and unseeing about the changes going on around them. While we have been trying to survive in a chaotic world, and dealing with drought, weather, new laws and usual stresses and strains of life, there has been changes made to our world that has changed the very life that we live.

While some Christians are drawing closer to God, others are being drawn away to believe anything, and to keep the peace at all costs. They ignore the Termites that are under their floorboards and choose to allow the slow taking over.

The very concepts of morals and ethics, decency, love, how we treat our neighbour are now been redefined and changed. People’s own understanding of these things are being questioned and if you have any of those things you are weird and perhaps a bit fanatical.

If you look at some definitions of morals and ethics, you will find that they intertwine. Ethics and morals are about the “right” and “wrong” of our conduct. While they are sometimes used as if they are the same, they are different: ethics refer to rules given by an external source (such as codes of conduct in workplaces or principles in religions). Morals refer to an individual’s own principles regarding right and wrong.

Right now around the world people have been encouraged to disregard the one things that they look towards for their source of “rules”. Whether it be something along the lines of “work hard, do good, love God and treat your neighbour well”, or “thou shalt not”, it is being replaced by laws of the land that are changeable to whoever is in power in government. For Christians, the basic structures of our faith, things like, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength.. and love your neighbour as yourself” are being replaced by new things like what their pastor, or best friend/mentor/advisor says that is more important than Scripture.

There is something on an even larger scale that is happening in our country – divide and conquer.

We are a divided nation. No longer do we agree to disagree and then chat over a cold drink in the shade, but there is a battle raging on who will survive the next debate and the smell of war is in the air.

The mateship and respect for others has been replaced with “everyone for themselves” attitude.

The termite that I saw in the dream were huge. They were about the size of my fist. They did not care that I had seen them, or that they were out in the open. They feared nothing and were unconcerned that they might be wiped out by Pest Control.

Openly now people are happy to say what they want and do what they want. In a democratic country, this is allowed. It is your right and privilege to have a different belief to mine and it be ok. Once before there were enough people who would make sure the “right” was done and that those who were doing “wrong” would be told to settle down.

The Christians in this nation once before had the sway on whether a baby could be killed before birth, or whether an elderly person could have their life terminated because they are too elderly to protest. The widow would be protected and a child’s safety was paramount.

Yet if you look back in the pages of history, you will see that even in the Christian faith, things have not been right within the established “christian” churches. There have been too many that have used their bible and their faith to treat others with very little regard, and the love they profess is simply another tool to control others.

We have termites in our homes, in our places of worship, in our own lives and in our country. Slowly they have been attacking, undermining and eating away at our families. Because ultimately it is the family that suffers.

There is one scripture that has been given to me. It is Romans 5:19 –

“Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.” (NLT)

Disobedience and obedience. Wrong and right.

My prayer for you is that you will look first at the termites that have eroded your own life, then you…that is right…YOU…be the one that becomes the change.

Life is really about a series of choices. I pray that you will choose the right one for you.