Jen’s Gem: God’s love is the answer.
Recently I purchased a product that would deter the many creatures that are drawn to my property, which has become a veritable Bronx Zoo. Chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, and more, happily traverse my landscape and leave their mark with damaging results. I do not wish harm on these creatures. I just want them off my property.
As I sprinkled the peppery mix around my decks, flowerbeds, and retaining walls, I felt a sense of relief. My home would be protected and the damaged areas would be restored in time. I do however, have to rinse and repeat this process in order to continue to keep the critters away. The moment I stop – well, I’ll be setting up a ticket booth in my driveway and perhaps enjoying another source of income!
Yesterday I completed the 100 Days of Bible Promises journal. For the past three or so months, on a nearly daily basis, I have read, contemplated, and journaled about the daily messages. There were days when they resonated with me so strongly, it was mind-blowing. Other days, they simply served as a reminder that I am to ‘be still’ and know that God has my back.
Like the product I have to repeatedly spread around my home to remind the creatures to stay away, I have to continually stay close to God’s promises – His Word- in order to remind me of His love, protection, and guidance. While many may think the Bible is a hard-read, I find it easy. Oh sure – there are passages and books, especially in the Old Testament, that push my brain to its limits, but flip ahead to the New Testament, especially the Gospel of John, and it’s a real page-turner.
For many years, my bookshelves were filled with the latest and greatest books on how to be happy, how to find the truth, how to know my purpose, how to (fill in the blank). Each promised to transform my life simply by following their 10 easy steps. After reading more than my fair share of these books, it hit me. They were all saying the same thing – just using different words.
The interesting thing I discovered was that none of them worked. None made me happy. None fixed what I was trying to fix. None filled the quest for real truth for which I’d been searching. After a while, they read like gobbledly-gook and I tossed them all into the donation bin.
When the books didn’t give me the answers I wanted, I sought out people. Life coaches, psychics, and others who filled my head with promises of meeting Mr. Right, a successful business, travel, and other shiny things that my heart was longing for. I spent more money than I can count on with these pursuits. Sadly, I followed their advice on the many endeavors they suggested, only to result in more losses, whether it was money or time.
There was a hole in my heart – my life – that could not be filled. No amount of success at work or money in the bank or pride in my children would sustain me. Nothing. My life was frenetic, yet empty, and without hope. Sure – on the outside you’d never know it given the happy face I’d put on, but inside was a very different story.
Many would ask where my faith was during this time. It was there, but it was hidden, buried in the mess. It would take a life-changing moment to resurrect it and get me back on track, back to the truth. Now that I know this truth, I’ll never go back to the fly-by-night remedies that promised to transform my life.
Today, as I write this blog post, I’m so grateful. Beyond words grateful. My life is no longer in my own hands, subject to the willy-nillyness of my poor decision making. It is no longer hinged on the latest “guru-inspired” book. It is rooted in the truth and the love that God has for me, as His child. No matter what I’m going through – whatever hiccup threatens to steal my joy – I go back to the simple principle:
God loves me.
That love carries me through my good days and bad. It permeates my spirit. It fills me with so much love and hope, that at times, I feel like my heart will pop! This is why I read my Bible every day. This is why I pray every day. This is why I go to a church service that shares the love of Jesus, not admonishes me about the ten million rules I have to follow or I’ll go to hell.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to think about where you find your source of hope and happiness. Examine if it is really working for you. Has it changed your life for the better or those around you? Does it bring you joy and contentment? If not, I invite you to consider a new source – the love of God, through His Son, Jesus.
By sprinkling your life with God’s love, you can be sure that you’ll be able to handle all of the critters that come your way.