Turn Around – Reality Hits – What Will You Do Now?

ImageA simple vision one day from the Lord. He always answers questions that dwell in the depth of our hearts EVEN when we don’t know how to ask them. They stir within us, yet words can’t quite nail down what is causing this tension within.

I was running ahead of myself. I kept looking back and would only see what I perceived to be REALITY and I did not want to particularly look at REALITY. So I kept running to try to outrun the REALITY of certain situations and circumstances in my life. If I did not have to SEE it, then I would not have to face it.

When I saw this vision, I realized that to face reality is the greatest evidence of faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. To truly look at something with eyes wide open, neither disturbs us, lessens our hope, causes pain, or any number of reactions that flow from a reality that looks so far from a dream within us. We look at the present, the reality of our lives. It is hard for all of us to do at times. The picture that reality paints may be one of hopelessness, discouragement, and even loss of vision. We cannot begin to understand how God can and does work through a reality that is seemingly impossible. Yet He does. I don’t know how, when, where, or at what time. I have to simply trust.

Why look back? Looking back, we come face to face with the impossible of what has not happened or could not possibly happen in and through our lives. Then we walk in a greater reality that NOTHING is impossible with God. Avoiding reality often means that we walk in presumption or assumption. What could be or should be based upon our expectations form in our lives, which then becomes a false reality. It is best to trust God in the midst of what appears to be a reality that can’t be changed – BY YOU.

I had to look carefully at reality in my life. As I finally turned to face the fact that I was not where I THOUGHT I would be at this point in my life, pain overwhelmed me. This reality, apart from God, seemed a place that I did not want to be so I kept running ahead of myself trying to create something at some time in some place. That did not work. It can never work if our heart is set in union with Christ. That tension is tension, simply stated.

I kept looking at reality through the lens of my expectations. In and through that lens, I looked like a failure. Suddenly and I am still in process, God changed and is changing my vision to SEE that He can change my reality in a split second. When joy overtakes your being, you realize that even if it did not change, one simply trusts that His ways are His good intentions for each of us. Resting in this reality of rest, not running around looking for something to happen but simply trusting restored peace to my life and rest for my soul. In doing this, I then took my eyes off of my perceived reality and placed them on the ONE that I love, Jesus Christ. The center of my reality changed to Jesus being my focal point and in that I no longer had to look back or sideways or anyways. I only had to look at Him and just keep walking, step by step; knowing His ways are perfect and His timing is perfect.

Are any of you at that place where your expectations have set the course for your life? Do you take your cues from what the world says? Do you wonder what reason your life is even valuable? I would encourage you to turn and look. Look carefully at what you perceive to be failure. Look closely at what you may perceive to be a path of insignificance. Look deeply at what appears to be a life without purpose. Look, look and look again.

Then turn your gaze away from all of that and live your life in union with Christ. Turn all your expectations unto Him and trust. The answer is simple, very simple. My five-year plan did not pan out. My own dreams left me empty. I was suddenly faced with the ultimate place of trust – I seemingly have nothing. Here I sit, with not much to do or say but in the stillness and in the silence, I see Him calling to me to trust and walk one step at a time into a new place. This is reality. This is real. This is true. None of us have arrived and if you have not experienced this, you will, perhaps you have, or you may even be going through it. In all sincerity and honesty, I am tired of so many Christians unwilling to admit that they are lost and wandering even in their salvation. It’s time to get real and true.

I do not want spiritual platitudes from people that are hyper spiritual. I am not discouraged so I don’t need cutesy pictures sent to me showing me that God loves me. I am looking long and hard at the reality of my life and I see dreams forming again. I have stopped questioning the past for there are no answers there as to why things did or did not happen. AND I don’t know what the future holds so I just walk.

Each of you – let’s get real. It’s so darn easy to hide nowadays and I refuse to do that…so share your story briefly with me and be honest. If you can’t, then don’t say anything at all. It’s best that way. Reality in Christ sets the course for our life. His ways are glorious and full of light and life. He is our life. 

11 thoughts on “Turn Around – Reality Hits – What Will You Do Now?

  1. Last couple of years the Lord has been getting me to this place, as He said to me… time to walk with your eyes wide open..Thank you for sharing this, helped me open my eyes more.

    • Thanks Carol for your comment. It is a good place to be and Christ never disappoints us. As we turn to HIm and see the reality of our life, then we look at His love, we can be speechless. He never forsakes us, never leaves us, ever and accepts us as we are with all our quirks and inconsistencies. He is grand indeed!

  2. Hi All,

    I too am looking for many answers and the reality of living in the light of “heaven on earth”; being filled with the “oneness of God”; the having God’s Best in my life (not just good); trying not to run ahead of God, but staying in the “flow of God.” I told my friend this weekend, “I have always wanted to stay ‘in tune with God’; yet, find myself so many times in situations that look to me as ‘out of step with God.’ I have been seeking God for over 26 years and probably before that, just wasn’t always conscious and purposiveful with the hunt. Saying all of this to say, learning to “let Go and let God” when bills have to be paid, the minute hand and hour hand still are ticking in the earthly realm; leaves me with still more questions of how we “live in the realm of eternity, striving to stay in peace and rest when in the world we see there are so many circumstances out of our control, yet in range to hurt us; Lord, how do we look at all of this from your eternal realm, not to worry, believing for intervention from God and still have normal blood pressure and faith that You have “got all of this?” Are we looking for something or someone when we should be looking at something else? Lord, you are truly to be “the answer” to everything” so why do we ‘feel’ we are always “missing the mark?”

    I think I am trying to answer a questions with a whole new set of questions. Yet, I think this is good conversation and together, we can hopefully tackle this and come up with answers to our questions! Thanks for listening.

    Donita

    • Thanks Donita for clarity and honesty in all you have said. I believe the one answer that I have to all of this is the revelation of grace that God is pouring into our lives. It has changed us to see and to know day by day of sure foundational truths in Christ. Grace is reality and the person of Christ and so many ways striving has occurred in times past to make it right, to do it right, simply fades in the flight of grace. I recommend reading a book by Joseph Prince called “Destined to Reign”. It started here for me and I entered an awakening of grace.

      All you are saying is Life. We have been taught to seek to try, to repent, to believe, to do this and to do that to get God’s attention. Somewhere we may believe that we will reach a coasting place but life is never really like this so we should stop trying. There is always chaos around us and turmoil yet Jesus says His ways are easy and light when we abide in Him. When any of us face stress or conflict it is reality but a great reality is the revelation that we are in Christ, in union with Christ. The shift in our belief system teaches us that we were are complete in Christ and the finished work of the cross and from that perspective peace and answers come. Now that does not mean we still don’t encounter the daily stresses of life but they are then filled and lived through the lens of grace and not fear, tension, or stress.

      Thank you so much for sharing. Have lots of thoughts but can only write a few here.
      In Christ
      Debra

  3. You are quite welcome my dear. I love what you wrote. It is honest and forthright and out there. So we continue to believe when you have nothing to prove, there is nothing to lose.

  4. I can totally relate to these words. As I sat and read them, I realized that I have been and may still be in the position of running ahead and not truly looking at reality. I worked for a company for thirty years feeling that God would show me His timing to retire into full time ministry with Debra. I felt so strongly that when God say “Now is the time”, we would be moving into full time ministry together with financial support to travel as God has shown us we were going to travel for Him. I retired from Parsons in November 2010 with great joy and expectations of what God was going to do through Debra and I together as one for Him.

    We moved back to Benicia CA only to start meetings for God that ended with none that claimed to be supportive friends attending the meetings. Debra and I stayed true to God by diligently holding meetings twice per week for ONE YEAR. We knew that we knew God had us in Benicia for a specific reason, at a specific time, for specific individuals to respond to His calling. After one year of individuals talking about coming, talking about becoming involved, and none actually coming or getting involved, we began to think that maybe we did not hear God correctly about Benicia. We then felt God wanted us to return to Finland. So, we obediently placed everything into storage and traveled back to Finland, where at first a few individuals did begin to attend the meetings.

    There were those that came a couple of times but when they did not hear what they wanted to hear from God, they returned back to where they were attending previously so that they could hear what they wanted to hear. Again we held meetings and met with people as we felt God wanted us to do for Him. Yet still there was no real financial support nor close relational involvement from anyone. I (and I can not speak for Debra) began to focus on what was not happening and comparing it to what I felt God said would happen when I retired. Faith began to dwindle, belief began to lessen, hope began to fade, as I began to focus more on what was not with us and how it seemed to flourish with many others. Now what do we do??????????

    On a visit to California to see our son, daughter, granddaughter and grandson, we met a couple that was basically in the same position that we seemed to be in with ministering for God. We talked with them and even corresponded with them via email thinking that God was finally linking us with others that we could have a relationship with in addition to minister with them for Him. When a door opened for us to invest in a company in California, we felt it was from God to return to California. We see this investment as an avenue for financial support to travel out for God. So, we informed the tenant of where we were living that we would not be renewing the lease, packed everything into storage, and headed back to California thinking this was the time.

    Just before leaving Finland, we got word that the couple we knew was moving out of California so the possibility of a close personal relationship with them was now closed. I began to believe that every time it looked as things were beginning to take off for us to work as one in the ministry, something happened to change that possibility. It was so easy to begin to doubt that I was hearing from God, so easy to think it would be easier to lay everything down because the pain from things not happening was getting to strong. I see now that I all really wanted to do was run from reality in hopes of things changing. I began to ask questions such as “What is wrong with us? We not only preach the word about grace but we live the words about grace, yet everything seems to happen for others and not us, what is wrong with us and what are we doing that is wrong?”

    We visited a few churches as we felt God directed us to visit. At one of the churches, the Pastor stated that we must return because there were great things that we could help with yet we never heard from the Pastor again. At another church, of which there were probably only 50 people as members, the Pastor did not even recognize us as being first time visitors. Another church, the lead pastor spoke to us and stated that they wanted to get together to hear more about us, so we visited a second time only to sit and still have not heard from them. It is so easy to begin to believe that there is no purpose to continue because no one sees Jesus in us; no one sees that what we have inside from our international experiences could be beneficial; no avenue to release all that God has placed within us; making it is to say time to stop all of this….

    From reading the words Debra wrote and from thinking about the thing I previously wrote, I realize that I have to turn my gaze away from all of that and live my life in union with Christ. Turn all my expectations unto Him and trust. YES, The answer is simple, very simple. My plan after retirement has not panned out. My own dreams have left me empty. I am now suddenly faced with the ultimate place of trust – I seem to have nothing. I sit, with not much to do or say but in the stillness and in the silence, I can hear Him calling to me to trust and walk one step at a time into a new place. Again as Debra stated, “This is reality. This is real. This is true. None of us have arrived and if you have not experienced this, you will, perhaps you have, or you may even be going through it. In all sincerity and honesty, I am tired of so many Christians unwilling to admit that they are lost and wandering even in their salvation. It’s time to get real and true.”

    Is it or will it be easy? NO! Yet it is only Him that I want, only Him I want to live for, only Him I want to do for, ONLY HIM! I must stop looking at the fact there is no financial support, there are no doors open to minister as I felt God wants us to minister, and at the fact that the relationships have not began that we felt would begin. It is time that I stop looking at reality through the lens of my expectations because in and through that lens, I looked like a failure. I must start looking at reality through the eyes of God. God is true to what He says and what He says will be true to happen.

    Thanks Debra for writing these words to help open my eyes to see and to clear my ears to hear.

  5. Hello Deb & Marvin and everyone else! I have wondered and wandered alot! I bump into walls, and bump into obstacles in all kinds of ways. I get discouraged at times, and want to throw in the towel (quit, give up, etc., say “to heck with it all!”) I have never stopped loving Jesus, nor Abba Father, but I have been really disheartend and discouraged alot of times. I bottle it inside and get angry at others, angry at the world, and even angry at God (oops, did I say that!) …. But he is still ABBA Father! No matter what Grief I give Him or others! — No platitudes, no “Christian-ese” .. Just Gut Honesty…. Bye for now!

    • Progress in the Christian life is sort of like a jungle gym and not a ladder. Read that in Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Would have to totally agree with this. In accordance with this thought, it would be hard to evaluate a human life by progress that is a linear path. What does that actually mean? That is the question I am asking myself a lot. We have all heard all the cliches that say not to listen to what others think, keep walking, l or some such thing BUT in actuality we are comprised of LIFE in Christ and in that, there are many diverse experiences, etc. So bumping into walls, tripping over our own thoughts, making mistakes after mistakes seems to be common for all of us. Yet I know that discouragement has us often evaluate based upon performance and we seem to fall short in many areas I believe you can meditate on this and think on this for a long time. Anger……..that is frustration over what we perceive should have happened or perhaps that others stood in the way of something happening which makes us angry also.

      As you can see by my ramblings, I have not arrived. Am I happy in the place that I find myself? No BUT I am not willing to chase the wind of conferences, or religious environments that are law based or go back into anything that is lackluster and has no life. So each day I wake with some expectations. Who doesn’t? And each night many of them are unfulfilled but that does not mean I don’t have a good day. God is simply aligning my life into the revelation that I am in union with Christ who is my life.Thanks Jim. Appreciate you.

      • Please elaborate, and summarize the concept that you are trying to convey with “Read that in Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg” regarding “Jungle Gym” illustration. (I know, about obstacle courses, and sometimes we have to re-start at the previous obstacle that we successfully navigated, then proceed to the next.) is this what you are getting at? Taking “another-run-at-it” or approach from a different angle? I don’t have time to do a bunch of reading of material. I am swamped with “Technical Reading” (Computer stuff, and learning Computer Softwares, etc…) – Kind Regards – JimF-CalgaryAB

      • A jungle gym – you move left, right, up, down. A ladder – going up up up. Unfortunately the ladder is not life. Very simple. Life is filled with moving in every different directions and often, if not most times, we are not forwardly moving because at many times we are hit down up and sideways with things that happen. So reality is that life has its twists, turns, ups and downs but a greater reality is that we are seated in heavenly places in Christ so no matter where we find ourselves, He really is in control. That is not cliche but reality. When we all finally get to the place of trust in Him, we simply take His hand and walk where He walks, go where He goes. Christianity is being in union in Christ not having Jesus as an outside God but an inside God. And in that, we are not promised that life will not take us in many different directions yet we have the Holy Spirit as our comforter always speaking to us that we are totally forgiven in Christ and the finished work of the cross. We are loved. We are not sinners anymore. Trying to keep this short.

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