Finding What Matters

school-roomWhen I was in elementary and middle school, I was not what might be called an ideal student. I disliked the homework, the rules, the group activities, the slow pace of the classes and the wasted time spent in my seat. I was bored most of the time and looking for ways to entertain myself during the long hours. I would much rather be outside fishing on the river, or hunting with my single shot .22 rifle.

I was the kid who shot spit balls at the most studious girls in the class, or snuck under the outside fire escape at school so I could peek up the girls dresses when they went out for recess. I was the kid who tripped any boy who walked by my desk. I was the kid who got a transistor radio for Christmas that came with an ear piece. I brought it to school and told my teachers it was a hearing aid, and I was going deaf. Oh yes, and I was the one who deliberately misspelled a word on a spelling test just to keep the whole class from getting a perfect score. When I was told to spell that word correctly 50 times while everyone else was at recess, I would misspell it in a different way all 50 times, just to drive the teacher crazy.

No, I was not your ideal student simply because I learned the material when it was explained, and in my mind, after that, my life was being wasted. None of the rest of the class time really mattered. Then one day in the ninth grade something happened. A switch clicked in my head when I realized that somehow Science did matter. The funny thing is, I spent all my working years teaching science, all because of this one day. So, this particular class we were having a “science take down”, where the class was divided and stood up on opposite end of the room. The teacher asked science questions to the students one at a time, and whoever answered incorrectly had to sit down. The team that sat down first got homework that night.

As the team I was on stood in line, I pretended to look at my hand, as if to read an answer, and then to everyone’s shock I answered my question correctly. The kid next to me whispered, “you’re gonna get caught”, and the contest went on. One by one students on both sides were taken down until there were only a few of us left on each side.  Every time I was about to be asked a question, I would glance down at my hand, pretending to find an answer. Sure enough, no matter what was asked I would be right.

Those in their seats were almost ready to riot when the only two students left standing on opposite teams were me, and the smartest kid in the class, Greg Hosplehorn. At this point everyone was wondering why the teacher had not called me out, since it was clear I must be cheating. Then to my great joy it happened, she told the class that whatever team lost would have a 500 word essay to write that night on why it never pays to cheat. She then instructed me to not look at my hand, and answer the next question. The team I was on began to moan, some of my team mates threatened to beat me up. It was not pretty.

The teacher smiled, asked the killing question, and without any hesitation I shot the answer right out. The class was stunned into silence. She asked Greg his question and true to form, the answer flew right out of his mouth. Back and forth we went for the remaining 10 minutes of the class, until the bell finally rang. At that point the teacher asked me to hold up my hands up for everyone to see. To the astonishment of all, they were empty. The teacher smiled at me, shook her head and said “I guess this means no homework for anyone, since neither team lost that game.” I walked into class that day as a dope, and an irritation to many. However, I walked out as brilliant, and a hero in the eyes of all.  Why? Because, something finally mattered.

What things really matter to you? Do you know what they are, and are you going after them with all your heart? What are the passions in life that cause you to shine the way you were designed to be? If you don’t know, then it’s time to stop everything and discover this undiscovered territory. Set time aside to be with the Holy Spirit and let Him define you with breath-taking specificity. You will never hit your high place of excellence, satisfaction and productivity unless you first know what you were made to do, and where you were made to do it. In other words, you have to find out what matters.

As a Christian, I was called by God to be a teacher, a writer,  a preacher and an apostolic prophet. I build ministers and ministries. I write books and Bible studies. I bring clarity to those who are confused. I am a spiritual father to many and a friend to all. I mentor those who desire to grow, and guide those who need to know. These things all flourish in my life whenever I get focused, and choose to participate in them the way God intended. Because of this, I find great satisfaction, and an ease of productivity filling my days. I bring God’s blessing to those who get near me, and my life is filled with purpose. When I am living in my high place, everything just works, and I love it.

Perhaps this is the season for you to discover what really matters. This may be your time to stop the endless activity,  get quiet, stay focused and uncover who you really are.  Let the searchings of your heart go deep. Find out what your passions are, and most importantly, where they are pointing you. If you desire it, you can live a life of purpose and productivity. You can find that deep place of satisfaction only God can bring you, and only He can keep you. It is in this place alone, where you find what really matters, that life has its full meaning. Once you find this, you can joyfully spend the rest of you life living it. Now… go find what matters, and be a blessing to others by doing it.

A Needed Storm

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It’s 4am and I was awakened from some much-needed sleep, by the approach of a mid-summer storm. I could feel the distant rumble of thunder, and the flashes of lightening in the dark sky drew me out of bed like a magnet. I flung open the windows of my house just in time to catch the sound of a million drops of rain hitting in the distance. A moment later I felt the wet, sweet, cool breeze these storms bring with them. It wondrously drifted through our house, and I filled my lungs with it’s delicate aroma. There is nothing quite like it to break the smothering grip of a sweltering July night.

I mention this because here in the Northeast we had a miserably cold, damp Spring. I came to identify it as a new season, “Sprinter”. That was followed by a direct flip in the weather, and overnight it became sunny, hot and dry. The change came so suddenly that people had little time to make the transition. In mid-May summer just arrived, and that was it. Today is the 17th of July and we have had blisteringly high temperatures in the 90’s for what seems to be weeks on end. Lawns are turning brown, my garden needs to be constantly watered, rivers are at all time lows, wells are running dry and air conditioners are nowhere to be found in local stores.

So, the coming of a rain-filled thunderstorm in the heat of a summer night is a welcomed release. The damp, cool air flowing over the sunbaked land, the sound of rain hitting the roof, splashing on the road and soaking into the dusty soil, means something. It means that a change is in the wind, and with that change comes the promise of days that are a little more balanced, a little easier on both the body and the electric bill. The point is, it takes a well-timed storm, with all it’s potential danger, to bring about the change that is needed at this moment.

Life as we know it is exactly the same way. We can get locked into a routine and begin to forget there is more to living than what we have been living with. We may have become comfortable with what is, and finally surrendered to something that is smothering us like a summer heat wave. And then it happens. A storm blows our way one dark night, and we are awakened from our slumber. We are brought back to reality, even fascinated by the approaching danger. It causes us to fling open the windows of our soul that have been closed for so long, and in the storm of uncertainty, we begin to come alive.

In the moment of an approaching life-storm, let the lightening and rain come. Enjoy the show in the dark of night, because in that storm you will feel a sweet, fresh breeze that clears the air. Every clap of thunder, and tear drop that falls, is setting you free to be yourself once again. These things are good because they are stripping away the fevered-heat of a life that has held you captive. Let the storm rage all around, and do not fear what it brings. With it comes some much-needed change, and when it’s time, it will pass and you will be free.

This is a needed storm so wake up oh sleeper and enjoy what has come your way. Let the rain fall, and the thunder roar in the night season. These have come to bring the fresh breath of moist, cool air that you have been waiting for. This is not the storm of your destruction. No… If you can embrace it, it is just a rugged moment of life-change for personal deliverance. So…why not sit back, fling wide the windows of your heart and enjoy the ride? When it’s over you will be a different person, one who finds new freedom in a landscape washed clean from the heated dusty days of the past. From this place you can find the balanced life you’ve always wanted, and most importantly, become the person you were always supposed to be.

The Wounded Walk

isWhen I was 19 years old I ran my parents marina at Meacham Lake Public Campsite in the Northern Adirondacks. That summer I was chopping wood with a single bit, 2 1/2 pound Collins axe, and being tired, I managed to miss my target. The axe head slammed squarely into the tibia of my right leg, splitting the bone lengthwise and producing a sliver of bone that jutted off to the right, under the skin. I went to Saranac Lake General hospital where they put me back together and spent the next 6 weeks recovering from that mishap. The wound forced me to adjust how I walked until the pain went away. The residual side effect is that my leg bone aches every time the weather changes, and that changes how I walk.

Fast forward 20 years. Now I have 3 wonderful sons, I am a permanently certified k-12 teacher in NY State, and an ordained minister who is living in a very difficult and rapidly disintegrating marriage. One hot July day I decided to clear my head and go fishing on one of my favorite trout streams. In my haste to get out of town, I put on leather sandles and soon discovered what a huge mistake that was. A mile or so up-stream I slipped, and the knuckle of my right big toe gets a compression fracture as the weight of my body wedges it between two slippery boulders in the stream bed. Over time it heals, leaving a calcium knot that hurts with every step I take. Once again, the wound forces me to adjust the way I walk  in order to avoid the pain produced with each step.

Fast forward another 20 years, and I am living in Johnstown, NY. I am married to my beautiful wife Esther, our 5 children are all married and happy, we have 10 grandchildren and we are pastoring the same church. I am retired from teaching, but I am still subbing in a local school system and loving every minute of it. This brings us to my current situation. May 16th I had a motorcycle accident, and yes once again there was trauma to my right leg. Several breaks to the same axe-chopped Tibia, and additional injury to the same compression-fractured toe knuckle. Once again I am in recovery, and dealing with pain. Once again I have to adjust my walk because of the wound I suffered. In fact, I am not just having to adjust my walk, this time I am having to learn how to walk all over again.

The point in all of this is that any wound we receive, especially those that are emotional, always impact us more deeply than we realize. The pain we internalize always forces us to adjust our life-walk in ways that may not be evident at first. We might just feel a dull ache when the emotional weather shifts, and we simply learn to embrace it as a normal part of life, but it is not normal. Other times, the trauma may be so painful, and so overwhelming, that we actually have to learn how to function in life all over again. The thing is, there is no shame or disgrace in being wounded. NO… that comes when we let the wound control us, and permanently allow it to change our walk because it is what we have settled for and chosen in life.

When my motorcycle accident happened, I could have stayed in that roadside ditch, bloodied and broken, and pushed away all who stopped to help. I could have just let traffic pass me by until I bled out and died. What I did do in all that pain and wreckage, was grab hold of everyone present and told them to call an ambulance, call my wife and call my son who lives near by. I got hold of my church members and asked them to pray, and they set up a support team to help me and my wife, when I could not help myself. They cooked meals, cleaned the house, mowed the lawn, weeded the garden, took me to doctors appointments and checked in on me in my broken condition. Only because of them will I have a 100% recovery.

You, my friend, are exactly the same. If wounding has changed your life-walk, it’s time to grab hold of the support system that is around you, and stop living like you are a victim. You are NOT a victim, you are simply wounded and need help to be restored to the full vigor God intended you to have. You must face the fact that there are some things you cannot fix on your own. You must reach out to God, and to those who are traveling the same road, and ask for help. Last of all, you must be patient, seek out and follow the advice of those who really know how to help you recover from your kind of injury.

Because of the physical therapy I am now going through, I know I will walk my trout streams in full strength again. My wife and I will fully do life together again. It is painful right now, but twice a week I still go for therapy. Why? Because the physical therapist knows exactly what I must do in order to get back on my feet, and live my life again. She is helping me do what I cannot do for myself. Without her help, a full recovery would be impossible. Like it or not, it is the same for you. Now is the time to get the help you need. Go find healing for your wounds, and learn to walk your life once again. Once you do, you will eventually get to the point where you can actually run the race that is set before you, and become the winner you were designed to be. Now go find the help you need, because it is time to get up out of that ditch!

A Life Worth Living

Image may contain: motorcycle, tree and outdoorOn May 16th, my grandson and I were coming home from the Wheelerville School. I was the substitute teacher in his classroom that day, and the bonus for him was that he got to ride on the back of my Honda Shadow VT1100C. We left school and came down off of Clip Hill, heading for  home in Johnstown, NY. The rumble of my motorcycle on that beautiful spring day was accented by the warm, moist air rushing by us, and the brilliant sunshine that was pouring down from a deep blue sky. It was one of the most perfect Spring days I have experienced in my 48 years of riding motorcycles.

We were traveling at normal highway speed in a line of traffic, and at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of us. As we approached the Sir William Johnson Fire House, which was just outside of town, something happened. At that moment, I glanced down at my odometer to check the mileage, and make a quick mental calculation on when to stop and refill my gas tank. My eyes were off the road for about three seconds, but when I looked back up, terror gripped my heart. The driver in front of me had decided to suddenly break and make quick left-hand turn at the very moment I had looked down. It was a perfect storm of chance events, and the results were not going to be good.

When I looked up at the road ahead I realized there was not enough space to stop my bike, or manuever around the stopped vehicle. I downshifted, hit both breaks and leaned the bike over trying to protect my grandson, while getting as much stopping power as I could before we hit the vehicle. We impacted it’s rear right bumper at about 25mph and my bike went down on the road while my grandson and I were catapulted into the air. He ended up with a few abrasions on his knees, and a scraped up faceplate on his helmet, but I did not fare as well. My right side bounced off the road, I slid along the tar and finally flopped into a muddy ditch 35 feet away. I had a few crack ribs, four breaks in my lower right leg, an open fracture, cracked bones in my right foot, strained tendons and ligaments in my right leg, and numerous cuts and abrasions all over my body.

Ambulances came to take us to a local hospital where my grandson was checked over and released with a few scrapes. I was rushed to Albany Medical Center where I underwent emergency surgery on my leg. After setting the broken bones, and two and a half hours on the operating table, I was brought back to my hospital room in pain, but happy to be alive. My leg now has 4 titanium screws, 25 stitches and a long titanium rod running inside the full length of my right Tibia. I have weeks ahead of me with my leg elevate, and more weeks of physical therapy for me to return to full strength. And the bike? Well it has relatively minor damage that can be repaired, but I have no collision insurance so it’s all on me.

The obvious question I have been asked by numerous people who visited me since the accident is: “So are you ready to give up the motorcycle?” My answer has been pretty much the same each time,”Why? Did you stop driving when you wrecked your car? Did you give up fishing when you hooked yourself? Did you give up walking when you fell down?” Now let me clarify that I will drive with more care. I will stay back even further from other vehicles. I will stay even more alert to what is ahead. Yes! But, will I stop riding my motorcycle and no longer enjoy that sweet pleasure of life? The answer will always be an emphatic, No! Not until the Lord says it’s time to give it up. When I hear that from Him, it’s over!

A life worth living is the one you can enjoy without fear controlling your decisions. It is filled with risk, and blessed with reward. It is punctuated by mistakes and elevated by victories. It may be colored by pain at times, but it is also made real with unbounded joy. Most of all, it comes alive in moments of glory, or seasons of sorrow that happen as we live it to the fullest. Some may opt to live a safe, protected, bubble-wrapped life, but I submit to you that such a life is not worth living. It is simply existing in the safety net where risk is eliminated and so is passion. When victories are minimal, and the adventure of living has been sanitized away so that routine runs the show, and there are no unwanted surprises, this is no life at all. It is simply existing in a protected safety zone of comfort until you die.

How do you categorize your life? Is it neatly packaged, and clearly ordered so that you feel secure and safe, and the adventure is all but eliminated? Is it an air-conditioned, climate controlled, bug free, green zone of organized boredom? Life is short, and you must make the most of the time you have. Perhaps it is time to strap on a helmet, feel the wind in your face and see what it’s like to live a little on the edge. Break out for your deadly routines and try something different, even a bit dangerous. You can begin to live the adventure you always wanted. It only takes one decision, one step in a new direction.

You don’t have to climb Mount Everest, jump out of an air plane, trek to the South Pole or walk the Great Wall of China. Others can do such extreme things. No, you only have to break out of the mold, the comfort you have surrounded yourself with, and try something different, simple and new. It could be eating at a very different kind of restaurant, reading a new book or learning to dance. Perhaps it is vacationing in a new spot you saw on a map, or learing to drive a motorcycle or paddle a kayak. The possibilities are endless. Once you get a breakthrough, nothing will ever be the same. The question you must ask yourself is this; “Is my life the unmarked trail of adventure I want it to be, or is it the predictable, sign covered road I will safely walk, till I die?”

What is a life worth living? That, my friends, is the million dollar question we each must answer for ourselves. Mine will be very different from yours, but such a life will leave you breathless with anticipation for what might come next. It will stir your imagination, require fresh courage and fill you with the joy of discovering something you never experienced before. It will have moments of danger and risk, but it will bring the satisfaction of doing something others look at and wish they had done. A life worth living really is there for the taking. It’s just one decision away, and you can have it today. The question is, do you want it, and will you take the first step to get it? If not, take a moment to discover what’s holding you back and then move beyond it. Your life, the one you always wanted is out there waiting for you.. now go get it!

Asleep At The Wheel

is (1)When I was a young man of 18, I had a Canadian girlfriend named Mary, who had beautiful skin, cute little freckles and long red hair. Our romance began when we met one summer at Meacham Lake Public Campsite. She was camping there with her family, and I lived on that campsite all summer while running our family’s seasonal boat business. It was love at first sight, and we were inseparable from the moment we met. After their vacation was over and she went home, we wrote letters every day, and I drove to Montreal at least once a month to see her. I gladly spent my weekends on the couch at her family home, so we could be together.

Needless to say, the weekends went by too quickly no matter what we did. Often we were awake until the early morning hours talking, going out to eat and just enjoying every moment with each other. When it was time for me to leave on Sunday evening, the lingering “good-by’s” got harder all the time. In an emotionally wrung-out, physically exhausted state, I would climb into my car and start the 4 hour drive home. Often I would drive for many miles and not remember anything about the road I had just been on. Worse yet, I was so tired that my eye lids would droop down and close for a few seconds at a time, as I drove along.

On one such drive home, I was fully absorbed in the memory of our weekend activities and contemplating asking this young woman to marry me, when something happened. There is a long straight stretch of road between McCallum and Paul Smith, NY. At the end of this is a sweeping curve around the end of Mountain Pond. It was right at the beginning of this long, slow curve that I slipped off into a half-memory, half-sleep state. My eye lids slipped shut, and a warm relaxed feeling swept over me. I was there with Mary once again, as we walked along the streets Old Montreal, holding hands.

From some place in the distance, a deep thumping noise pulled me back to reality. As I broke through the sleepy fog and confusion, it felt like something was hitting my car. Very loud thumps in rapid sequence filled the air which startled me awake. When my eyes snapped open, I realized I had been asleep at the wheel, and drifted around the corner to cross head on, into the oncoming lane. My two left tires were in the gutter, and my left front bumper was clipping the cement guard rail posts on the wrong side of the road. At that moment, the car was ready to pass the final guardrail, fly over the steep bank, and plunge 150 feet down into the ice-cold water of Mountain Pond.

Instinctively I turned the wheel, crossed back over into my own lane and found a place to pull off the road until I regained my composure. As I inspected the bumper of my car, I was amazed at how little damage had occurred, and was filled with gratitude to be alive and completely unharmed. The knowledge of just how close I came to an untimely death was a sobering thought indeed. Just two seconds more and I would have been passed the guard rails, over the bank, into that deep, cold water and lost from sight. Who knows when or if my body would have ever been found.

Let me explain why I am giving you this life lesson. Any time we get distracted and keep pushing beyond the healthy limits of life, we needlessly put ourselves and others at risk. Some consequences may be mildly inconvenient, while others can cause irreparable damage that may have an impact on generations to come. The point is, we are all just one stupid decision away from something that might disrupt everything that was supposed to be. Get distracted and fall asleep at the wheel of your life for a moment, and the great blessing that was just around the next corner, will never happen!

Let me suggest to you that now is the time for all of us to stay alert, and do what has to be done, the way it has to be done. It is not the time for distraction, compromise or being lulled to sleep on the important things of life. Things like loving God, honesty, integrity, honor, being good to your word, honest work, staying out of needless debt, emotional stability, compassion for others and having self-control are the foundation stones of a healthy life. With these in place you will do great things. However, without them, you will have nothing but trouble.

How long have you been asleep at the wheel? If there is noise and confusion that fills your life on a regular basis, it is time to wake up my friend, before it is too late. Open your eyes to all that is flashing by you. The fact that you are reading this means there is still time to grab the wheel of your life, and get back into the lane where you belong. There may be some damage to deal with but that is minor compared to what will happen if you fail to make the needed changes.

I believe for some who are reading this, this is your last wake-up call. You have wasted your life, and everyone’s time.You have made endless excuses, but the bottom line is, you have stubbornly refused to change. Listen to me, the guard rails are about to end, and now is the time to grab the wheel of your life, and take control. If you keep sleeping behind the wheel, we will all see your tail lights fading into the dark, murky waters of a broken life. Is this what you really want? Only you know the answer to that question!!!

 

 

Wait For It

 

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Over the years I have watched many people, both young and old, have a desire for something that took root in their heart. It may have been a want or a genuine need, but whatever it was, trouble started when that desire began to overtake their life. What I mean is, they lost the ability to enjoy life as it is, because life as they wanted it to be, was not within their immediate grasp. Over time, it became the driving force that ruled and ruined their life. In fact, many have gone into debt or worse, just because they could not “wait for it”, and by so doing, complicated their life in many unforseen ways.

The morotcycle you see here was one of my great desires. It is a V Twin Honda Shadow 1100. I owned a much smaller bike, a Honda CX500, for years but always wanted something larger for my wife and I to enjoy on longer trips. The thing is, I refused to go onto debt to get it and made up my mind to just wait. We really did love that old CX500, and it served it’s purpose well. In fact, over the years I put over 20,000 miles on it. What I especially loved about that bike was the fact that it was purchased for only $300 and I was debt free.

That being said, the desire for a bigger motorcycledid not go away over the years. However, I never let that desire for it take my life over. I looked through Craig’s List over the months, I went on ebay motors, Facebook buy and sell, and numerous local on line sites to look for “my bike”. I found a few over time, but they were either way too expensive, had too many miles on them, or were just too far away. Through all of this, I never, ever wanted it so badly that I manipulated things to get it at any cost. No, I had a goal in mind of staying debt free, so I set money aside and I let the desire move me on, but not rule my life.

Then last week it happened! There on Craig’s List was “the bike” I had always been after. A liquid cooled, shaft drive Honda Shadow VT1100C. It had one owner, 12,256 original miles, not a scratch on it, showroom condition, leather saddle bags, spotless chrom and everything had been customized as well. Best of all, the owner lived 1 hour and 35 minutes from my house and was motivated to sell. After negoatiating the price to less than half it’s value, I drove to his home with a trailer, picked it up and pulled out of the yard with this amazing machine, and I was still debt free!

Why am I sharing this? I share it because this is not just a story, it is a life lesson on the importance of waiting. My father always told me when I was a boy that good things come to those who wait, and he was right. As I learned to contrlol my desires, my wants and  my wishes, and uncovered how to use them to motive me in the right direction, I have been blessed over and over again. Want a few examples? I got my wife Esther this way, and we got our house this way as well. We got our entire church facility and all the land it sits on this way. Esther got her car, a Cadilac CTS, and I got my Trail Blaze the same way. We waited on God and He brought everything to us in His perfect time and way.

I can tell you that the list of blessings just goes on and on. All this has come because we were willing to “wait for it”, and not let the desire to have it now drive us to obtain it under our own power. The Bible says that when we allow God to direct our path, He will give us the desire of our heart. That means He will put the correct desire in our heart, and then bring us to the place where we obtain it with ease. We will not be burdened with constant problems, confusion or mounting debt.

If your life has been over run by any of the above, there is a better way. We are designed by God to be His example to a broken world, of clear thought, the blessing of God and increase in every vital area. If you are not walking in the fullness of your Christian heritage, perhaps it’s time to consider a better way. I am no expert, but I do know that patient endurance, prayer and learning to just “wait for it”, always brings the blessing of God. Who knows…..today could be your day to begin a new chapter of frutiful living. All you have to do is ask, and God will answer in ways you can’t possibly imagine.

 

 

A Change Of Truth

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This was the view out my back window a day or so ago. It was a cold, but sunny Spring day with tempreatures in the low 40’s and I took a motorcycle ride as it was spitting snow. Quite a miracle to say the least, since two weeks ago at this time we had 10 inches of snow on the ground, and blizzard conditions all across the area. People were laboring with shovles, snowblowers and slippery roads. Yet today, everything is very different. It’s still cold for this time a year, but the snow is nearly all gone and now it’s raining.  This cold weather does not change the truth. The truth is, there is a promise of warmer days just ahead.

This time of year the rapidly changing weather reminds me so much of life in general. One day you can be up to your eyeballs in problems and pain, only to be released from it a few days or weeks later. The point being, nothing in life is permanant, and we need to remember this powerful truth when things get tough. Enjoy every moment that is wonderful, but patiently endure when it’s not. The struggle of today can be gone in a flash, and a new reality can rule the situation before you know it. The sun shining on your face one minute can be covered by dark snow clouds a moment later. So, because everything changes so rapidly, we must learn to live with it, and flourish in spite of it.

All living things grow, change, move and respond to the environment around them. These are the signs of life, and they tell us whether something is healthy, or not. In fact, everything goes through seasons of fruitfulness and barrenness, but as long as it keeps growing and adapting to what is around, it will survive. More than that, many things will actually thrive in the most adverse conditions, simply because they have learned how to use the tough surroundings to grow stronger.

As people, we are really no different. Our situation can be healthy or heartbreaking, easy or difficult, or even quite deadly at times. We may be misused, abused, overlooked or even thought to be unworthy of basic human knidness by the brutes of this world. Yet in all of this, one thing still stands true; no one has the power to stop you from rising above it all to become what God created you to be. Nothing this world can throw at you is able to prevent you from saying “No! I will not let this define me, because only God has the power and authority to do that in my life.”

When I consider all the nasty things that happen, and all the nasty people who speak and do unkind things, the only thing that really matters is what God says about me. He is the defining force that shapes my thoughts, rules my world and guides my feet to safety. Other’s will come and go, like the winter snow. They are here for now, to bring another blast of misery, and then fade away. God alone is the unchanging break of dawn that points me to where I need to be going. He is the spring breeze that melts every pocket of ice and snow others dumped into the landscape of my life.

No matter how difficult things may be for you right now, your Spring thaw will come. Every day the Son’s Love is moving towards you, and getting stronger. The icy blast of winter words spoken by ignorant people will always give way to it’s power. It is fixed by the inevitable, unstopable, continual, relentless persuit of God. No one can resist Him, and nothing can prevent His Love from fulfilling it’s appointed design in you. This is the season of fulfilled promises. Those who hold on, and wait just a little bit longer, will have their mouths filled with laughter and their hearts filled with joy.

Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to get up, and look with expectation for a holy invasion of God’s furious love. If you are in the dark night of your soul, look to the eastern horizon and you will soon see the faint glow of the coming dawn. Trust in God one more time, and you will not be disapointed. The Son will rise with healing in His wings, and you will yet go forth with that victorious shout of joy for all to hear. You are a champion in the Lord, and nothing the world can do will ever change that truth.