Sunday, March 29, 2015

Where Is God When I'm Lost

When I was in the first grade I was walking home from school on that first day, a walk of about a mile.  All of a sudden I stopped, began looking around and was frantic.  This six year old little boy was lost.  I didn't know what to do. 

And then I spotted it.  There sat a big old yellow tractor-trailer rig parked in an empty lot near our home.  Once I spotted that marker I knew that home was near, and I continued walking home.  As I topped the hill and rounded the last turn on Franklin Avenue, I was relieved to first spot Mrs. Gillespie’s house and then our house next door. 

On other occasions when I've gotten lost, a simple U-turn was all it took to find my way to the correct spot.

When I’m lost, I look for markers.  When I’m lost, sometimes I have to go back, closer to the beginning, and try again.

A few times in my lost-ness, I've had to call for help.  “Where are you?  I can’t find you?

And sometimes, when we are lost, we are tempted to question “Where Is God?”

Where Is God?

Great question. 

Where is God …?
  ~When people are beheaded
   ~When inflation sets in
    ~When leaders fail to lead
     ~When the economy falters
      ~When worlds collide
     ~When young children are abducted into sex-trade
    ~When our kids are addicted
   ~When bullies rear their ugly heads
  ~When we are out of peanut butter

Where is God?  That’s a question many ask on many occasions. 

My words are simple.  Here they are.

He is nearby. 
He is present in the filth, the degradation, the muck and mud of every human condition we could name. 

That is the answer, and it is a difficult answer with which to cope sometimes.  Consider this.

When God set up this whole ordered system on earth He gave Adam and Eve power over every living thing on earth.  They could do whatever they wanted except eat from one certain tree – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In other words, if they partook of that tree, then they took on the power of choice, and choice is the one thing God has said He would never override in humanity.

We have the greatest power on earth – the power to choose, and we own it free and clear. 

Our opening premise was one about being lost when we can’t find our way.  Do you see the connection?  Perhaps we are lost because we've made so many poor choices, and the overgrown vines of those bad choices have obscured the way.  

Our choices have hidden the markers along the way.  God has put signs in place as guide posts, yet we have trampled on those.  We've ignored them.  We've used self-will as our motto, and ignored the more reasonable signs of responsibility and respect.

And what does God think of all of this?

He is saddened at our predicament.  Oh, He wants to help, and He will if asked.  But He will not override our power of choice. 

Psalm 50:15 says this:  “Call on me in the time of trouble and I will rescue you, and you will honor me.”

Another – Psalm 86:7:  “In the day of trouble I will call upon you God, and you will answer me.”

And this one:  “You shall call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry and He shall say “Here I am.”
~Isaiah 58:9

John 14:14 offers this:  “If you ask for anything in My Name, I will do it.”

Where is God when I am lost?  He’s one request away.  He is one shout-out away. 

His short answer is … “HERE I AM!”

Reach up, or out, or call, or shout, or pray, or whatever our preferred stance may be. 

Above all, God is standing nearby.  He’s awaiting your call.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Finding God in the Hard Places

When the hard places come along, as they surely will, we sometimes wonder if God is anywhere nearby. 

When those we love are gone, does God know the ache and break of our heart?

When we experience any kind of loss, what then?

Though the dark places hide his face, do we still trust?

This post, I hope, is a post meant to help restore our faith in those painful moments of life. 

In the middle of these hard places, God’s great grace flows down to us just as much as it does in the middle of a spiritual experience.  The beautiful part of the grace story is this – “Grace means that God is on our side and thus we are victors regardless of how well we have played the game.”
~Brennan Manning

It is hard to play a good game when we are in the middle of the hard places.  We don’t function at our best.  We don’t think as clearly in those moments, and we sometimes let the hard places consume us.

The toughest thing to do when the hard places come along is to get up the next morning, to put on our clothes, affix a smile to our face, and place one foot in front of the other.  And then, repeat, repeat, repeat.  I’ll admit – that is tough.  And soon, I pray that you find the strength to do just that.  Here are some choice verses for us today.

“God is our refuge and strength.  He is a readily available helper in times of trouble.”
~Psalm 46:1

Hebrews 13:5b reminds us of this:  “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I Peter 5:7: “Cast all your cares on Him (on Christ), for He cares for you.”

Matthew 28:20b:  “Remember, I am with you always – even to the very end of these ages.”

Isaiah 41:13:  “Fear not; I am with you; be not dismayed.  I – your God – will give you strength.  I will hold you up with my strong right hand of righteousness.”

Do you see the themes represented here?
~I never leave you
~I care for you
~I am with you
~I will give you strength

These are some of the great words of comfort and encouragement found in the scriptures. 

Best of all, they are your words for those hard places in life.

Claim your promise. 
Claim you anchor of hope.
Claim the presence of God himself as revealed in His great promises.

He is present – every moment - every day - every experience.

Thanks be to God.

Please listen to this most encouraging medley.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Whisper We Long to Hear

When we whisper, we intend our words for some intimate someone who draws so close that we touch.  Sometimes it is a hand to their ear, and they feel our very breath as we say whatever esteeming words we utter.

Often, in odd moments during our day, Carolyn and I will whisper to each other those esteeming words couples in love love to hear.  “I love you.”

From God, what whispers do you want to hear? 

The cry of every human heart is to know that we matter, that someone, some divine being, is on duty, looking our way and caring for us.

We live in an age on the world stage when a lot of uncertainty abounds.  Who will invade whom?  Will some itchy finger push the BIG button first, before the other side can mount a defense?  Will we live to see our next birthday, or next Christmas? 

Allow these strongly encouraging words to surround you today.

When we trust,
when we listen,
we can hear the voice;
“Do not be afraid. 
I am with you.”
~Brennan Manning

The words come from the Holy Scriptures.

My first favorite passage is from Joshua 1:9.  God is speaking to Joshua.

“Be not afraid nor dismayed.  I, the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Isaiah 41:10 says this: 
“So do not fear, I am with you.
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will give you strength.  I’ll help you.
I will lift you up with my righteous right hand.”

One night Christ was out taking a stroll on the water.  His disciples saw him and became terrified.  His words rang out.

“Don’t be afraid.  Be encouraged.  I am here.”
~Matthew 14:27

When Mary was approached by the angel who told her of what was about to rock her world, his first words were these: 
“Don’t be afraid, Mary.  You have found favor with God.”

Time and again, in the scriptures we see how God whispers to us.  His words include “Be not afraid.”


That is a whisper that can still our troubled hearts.

Thanks be to God.

Please take four minutes and watch this. 

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time