Tag Archive | faith

Trusting An Unseen God

                                                                                                                                                                     

For many a life yielded to God appears weak, boring, restrictive and too religious.

I had the privilege of growing up in Culver City, California.  A city filled with great enchantment for a child.  My backyard for several years was attached to the Desilu Studios.  At that time I didn’t realize just how very unique my surroundings were.  From daily seeing the Batmobile, Lassie,  Bruce Lee and his son living two houses from me, to sneaking into the studios to see such shows as Andy Griffith, Gomer Pile, and F Troup being filmed.  This was the era where children played outside until dark, and neighbors talked with each other for hours.   And it was in the center of that backdrop where I first saw them.

Theirs was a feat not many could withstand, and yet they seemed to do it with such grace and joy.  I was around ten years old the first time I spotted them. Instantly my heart was drawn to their plight and mesmerized by the beauty of their harmony.  They walked simultaneously, synchronized like a beautiful orchestra, guided only by what they held in their hands.  This extraordinary couple was blind, and their walking stick was their only means of experiencing freedom in their world.  I had the opportunity of watching this amazing couple walk the streets countless times during my childhood.

I found it difficult to comprehend such an enduring hardship.  For a moment, my little world seemed insignificant compared to what I was witnessing.  I looked with wonder at the confidence they placed on the instrument they each held. It led them. It guided them.  And protected them.  And yet I wondered how they could put so much trust in this stick with all the danger, obstacles and challenges surrounding them.  Their blind faith captured my heart.

They depended unreservedly on their instrument to direct them every step of the way. They held the walking stick in front of them, and with complete trust surrendered to the instrument leading them and protecting them from what was ahead.  Trusting that it would guide them in the unseen avenues of their world.  I would watch as they approached a crosswalk,  tap the stick to feel the street and listen intently for traffic.  Then when they sensed the road was clear they crossed the street completely trusting their walking stick.

Little did I know the impact those repeated scenes, etched in my memory, would have on my life; how the memory would draw a parallel to my learning to trust in an unseen God for everything in my life.  It is one thing to say “I trust God” and then another thing to really live that out in life.  Just as this blind couple totally relied on their walking stick to experience freedom in their world, I have had to learn how to totally rely on the Lord to experience freedom in my world. 

For many a life yielded to God appears weak, boring, limited, restrictive and too religious.  And yet what I have discovered first hand is that real freedom comes by way of letting go and trusting God.  Yet, as humans we strive and stumble trying to do it our way.  Convinced that we know what is best for our life.  Trying everything under the sun to mask the emptiness and dissatisfaction we feel.  All the while God is  lovingly and passionately pursuing us waiting for us to open our hearts door to His AMAZING GRACE. 

At this very moment God issues invitations by the millions.  He says, “Come, enjoy me forever.”  Yet many people have no desire to do so.  He speaks; they cover their ears.  He commands; they scoff.  They don’t want him telling them how to live.  They regard his son as a joke and the cross as utter folly.  They spend their lives telling God to leave them alone.   Max Lucado

 Jesus offers the invitation in Matthew 11:28:  “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

What about you?  Are you depending on the things of this world to satisfy the longing in your heart?  GOD LOVES YOU!!!  And while you may not know it yet – The unseen God is really clearer and nearer than anything else in this world.  Take the step today to trust the Lord and watch and see the miracles He performs in your life.  

God’s blessings……….I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS….

Marta

By Marta VanGerwen © 2012

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.                

 

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Whatever you’re doing inside of me…It feels like chaos somehow there’s peace.   It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see…Sanctus Real

There is an appointed time for everything.  And there is a time for every event under heaven…Ecclesiastes 3:1

I don’t know about you but change is hard for me.  I kind of like things to just stay the same nice and cozy.  I’m not much for my world being rocked out of its comfort zone.  And yet isn’t that what life is really about seemingly.  Just as we experience the beautiful seasonal changes in our weather so it is with our lives. Life truly does not remain the same.  It is a journey filled with continues changes, and I find that the more I fight change the murkier the view ahead becomes.

My daughter is graduating in a few days and I am reflecting on all the times I longed for this day to come. The day she would finally be finished with High School.  No more last-minute typing reports, or rushing to Walmart to get a glue stick for an assignment.  No more boring lunches, arguments about her getting her homework done, or going to bed or getting up.  No more missing socks or uniform pants.   No more driving her to school.  No more last-minute phrases from my car as I drop her off – “I love you Cece!  I believe in you!  You can do it!  Your awesome girl!  Make good decisions.  Make it a good day.”    The season is now finished.  Graduation has arrived.  And yet, I find myself still wanting to hold on to her like she is five years old.  As she ventures out into her new season, her new world I just want to  keep her in a protective bubble to make sure nothing hurtful happens to her.

Change is hard!   And letting go is even harder.

I am facing a new season in my life and CHANGE is flooding in with unstoppable force, spurning on deep reflection.  And while I know that change is inevitable!  This new wave is challenging me to look at everything I believe in.  And as much as I want to hold onto the safety of what is comfortable,  it is time to step into the unknown and trust God for the new season.  It is time to move on and move forward. Taking the joys and pain of the past and using them as stepping-stones on the new road.    Moving forward triumphantly knowing God works all things out for our good.    And as I stand gazing at the road ahead there is much uncertainty.  It’s like standing at a crossroads and having to determine which road to travel on.

                                   

I remember another big crossroads in my life.  I was around the same age as my soon to be graduating daughter.  It was a magnificent Spring day in Westchester, California.  Something had been stirring in my heart and I was not sure what it was.  But when the opportunity arose.  When the challenge came.  I took the step of faith.  I did not know what was next.  I could not see far.  All that was clear was my next step.  But with a fresh and new deposit of faith my heart leaped into the unknown season that would end up completely transforming my life.  On that day I decided that inviting Jesus Christ to enter my life was far better than continuing my journey without Him.  And that was 35 years ago and there has not been one day, minute or second that I have regretted that decision.  For it was that turning point, crossroads, new season that provided my life with healing, wholeness, peace, fulfillment and everlasting acceptance and love.

So as I stand facing the road ahead not knowing what lies beyond my next step, I can walk with resounding trust knowing that it will be God’s faithfulness that illuminates the path.    Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

What about you?  Are you needing direction?  Is your life at a crossroads?  Are you uncertain about what is next.  Is there a tugging in your heart   that change is needed but your hesitant or afraid.   Step into the loving embrace of a Savior who not only knows your future but has the expertise to get you there.  JESUS LOVES YOU IMMEASURABLY.

Thank you for stopping by…I close with some words from a song that is actually one of my links under  my Blogroll on the right side of my blog.  It’s worth taking the time to listen I think you will be blessed by it….

Whatever you’re doing inside of me…It feels like chaos somehow there’s peace.   It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see…but I’m giving in to something heavenlyTime for a milestone…Time to begin again…Reevaluate who I really am…Am I doing everything to follow your will…or just climbing aimlessly over these hills…So show me what it is you want from me…I give everything I surrender…To...         Song by Sanctus Real “Whatever you doing (Something heavenly)   

More to come from Risendreams….PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT….

 By Marta VanGerwen © 2012            

 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

FROM DISTANT TO MY HEART

God seemed untouchable to me.  Detached from His creation.

I remember as a teenager my thoughts of God were filled with both fear and astonishment.  Who created God, I wondered?  What do you mean He always existed?    Watching the movie, “The Ten Commandments” left me with a confirming sense of just how small I am – in comparison to how big and gigantic God is.  I would picture His thundering voice resounding with a deep penetrating energy that could shake the ground.  God seemed untouchable to me.  Detached from His creation.   Like looking through a telescope and seeing that very far away dazzling bright star.  It’s unreachable; distant and beyond our human grip.

But at the age of 19 that perceived distance broke through my doubting heart.  I made the greatest decision of my lifetime, and discovered that with the Lord it’s the opposite of that distant star… we don’t need a telescope to find God.   He is as close as our heart.   But just how can the Great and Mighty God even relate to us?   It can be a bit overwhelming to consider how the God who created it all can bridge the gap and enter into our world.  But that is exactly what He did by sending His Son Jesus Christ.

The decision involved inviting Jesus Christ into my heart into my life.  And it was that choice that bridged the gap between me and what I thought was a distant God.  When I said “Yes” to Jesus – He entered into His rightful place as King of my heart.    He was now my dear Heavenly Father who lives not in some distant place but in my heart.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelations 3:20

How about you?  Where is the God who created you seated in your life?  Is He distant?  Are you keeping Him at bay as you  live your life your way.    I sure kept the Lord at a distance.   I was under the great assumption that I could handle this life without Him.

It is clearly the most reassuring truth to know that GOD IS NOT SOME DISTANT GOD who sits on His throne looking down and watching all of us trip over ourselves, as we try and figure out this thing called life.  Instead He is our greatest cheerleader.  An adoring fan.  Who has our back.  Who holds our destiny.  Who carries us during the most difficult times of our lives.  Who above all is the strength of our life…the wind beneath our wings…He is God!  The great I AM.  Who chose (instead) of relating with us from a distance –  to dwell within the human heart.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  Galations 2:20

Blessings to you…….more to come from Risendreams…

By Marta VanGerwen © 2012

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.      

I BELIEVE…

“My eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.” George Mueller

“But the righteous will live by faith.”  Habakkuk 2:4b

Oh to have such faith that when you pray you actually believe that God will answer your prayer.  That Jesus always has our best interest in mind.  I want to share the following devotional by STREAMS IN THE DESERT that I hope will encourage you to trust God wholeheartedly,  with whatever is troubling you today.  With whatever you are seeking Him about.  That our trust in a faithful God would be complete, and that we would not only trust but believe for those things that seem impossible in our life.   Because with God all things are possible!!!   “And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

A Simple Prayer     BY STREAMS IN THE DESERT  Online daily devotional

L.B. Cowman

“I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).

I went to America some years ago with the captain of a steamer, who was a very devoted Christian. When off the coast of Newfoundland he said to me, “The last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, something happened which revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. We had George Mueller of Bristol on board. I had been on the bridge twenty-four hours and never left it. George Mueller came to me, and said, “Captain I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec Saturday afternoon.” “It is impossible,” I said. “Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray.”

I looked at that man of God, and thought to myself, what lunatic asylum can that man have come from? I never heard of such a thing as this. “Mr. Mueller,” I said, “do you know how dense this fog is?” “No,” he replied, “my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.”

He knelt down and prayed one of the most simple prayers, and when he had finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder, and told me not to pray. “First, you do not believe He will answer; and second I BELIEVE HE HAS, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.”

I looked at him, and he said, “Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog gone.” I got up, and the fog was indeed gone. On Saturday afternoon, George Mueller was in Quebec for his engagement.      

I pray this devotional was uplifting to you…I know reading it really impacted my life today…as I think about how awesome God truly is and how much He loves us and desires to meet our needs.  If you want to read more about the life of George Mueller please read below….

God’s richest blessings to you….

More to come from Risendreams…

By Marta VanGerwen © 2012

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.      


George Mueller was a native German (a Prussian). He was born in Kroppenstaedt on September 27, 1805 and lived almost the entire nineteenth century. He died March 10, 1898 at the age of 92. He saw the great awakening of 1859 which he said “led to the conversion of hundreds of thousands.” He did follow up work for D. L. Moody, preached for Charles Spurgeon, and inspired the missionary faith of Hudson Taylor.

The aim of George Mueller’s life was to glorify God by helping people take God at his word. To that end he saturated his soul with the word of God. At one point he said that he reads the Bible five or ten times more than he reads any other books. His aim was to see God in Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead in order that he might maintain the happiness of his soul in God. By this deep satisfaction in God George Mueller was set free from the fears and lusts of the world. And in this freedom of love he chose a strategy of ministry and style of life that put the reality and trustworthiness and beauty of God on display. To use his own words, his life became a “visible proof to the unchangeable faithfulness of the Lord.”   Desiring God   God- Centered Resources from the Ministry of John Piper

For more information on George Mueller (you will be encouraged by reading about his life) type the following linkGeorge Mueller’s  strategy For showing God simplicity of faith

Control…control…control…

WHAT’S ON THE OTHER SIDE?

© 2011 By Marta VanGerwen

How many times have you been lunged into a new course in life?  The unexpected comes.   The loss of a loved one, a sickness overtakes your body, a job change,  or having to move to a new place.  Or a relationship is crushed as the imperfections of our humanness take center stage. Life can be very hard and painful.  It is filled with continuous change.  And I resist change.  I am a control freak.  Yes, I admit it.  I like to be in control.  Or should I say I live with the notion that I am in control.

I wonder if there is a sense of comfort in thinking we are in control.  And yet when the largeness of life comes, I am continually reminded just how much I am not in control.  I certainly did not have the power to control my exit from Cuba.  Or in the case of my amazing 17-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with MS four-years ago.  If I was in control I would not have willed her to be diagnosed with this terrible disease.

When my life set sail literally on a new course out of Cuba I had no idea what awaited me on the other side.  My heart resisted the change with everything within me.  From that point on I developed the pattern of wanting to control my own life.  I embraced the perception that if I could just control the situations of my life, I would never again have to feel the pain that had infiltrated my heart.

But something remarkable has happened in my life that has carried me from the passage to pain to the passage of freedom.  For as much as I have strived to be in control I have miraculously discovered the joy of letting go.  My journey out of Cuba not only provided me with the right to freedom as a human being versus the grip of communism and or socialism.  But it was also to be the catalyst that would unfold the path to the freedom for my soul,  whereby I would experience the life saving grace of Jesus Christ.

What’s on the other side?  The beauty in life is really found in the continuous metamorphosis that surrounds our journey.  A journey filled with new beginnings and new seasons and the adjustments that come with the ever-changing scope of our life.  God has placed us in this world infused us with the ability to love, hurt, feel, think and even doubt, and sets us on a journey of grand mystery.  The unpredictable looms every day.  And yet we are to trust, have faith, and move forward in the unseen.

Quite often, it may seem that staying in the current situation we are in is easier than facing where God may want to take us.  When God rattles our world, we can suddenly be hit with sticky fingers clutching the very life we have grown accustomed to having, yet knowing how desperately we need to let go.

I never could have envisioned what that painful passage of change from Cuba to Spain to America would provide for me.  That I would have the privilege to live in this great nation, to be blessed with everything I need and to experience learning a new language and a new culture.

You see on this side of change it’s hard to see all that God is up to.  But this is where letting go of the illusion of control, and allowing the powerful hand of God to move in our lives comes to play.  There is a peaceful confidence to life when we are being guided by Someone much greater than us.  Someone that knows the beginning to the end of our journey, and knows what is best for our life.

What is awaiting us on the other side of change?  What is God asking of us today?  Let go, trust Him and watch and see what God does in your life as you surrender to Him.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within in us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

© 2011 Marta VanGerwen

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.