Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is Your Heart Ready?

This morning we got a call from my MIL Becky. Last night Dominic’s brother Aaron and his fiancé Kim and her son Cole were in driving to Sioux Falls and due to snow and ice on the roads and some drivers in front of them, were in an accident where they lost control of Aaron’s truck, went into the ditch, rolled and hit a tree.

Thankfully, and praise God for it, no one was seriously hurt.

But the call really made me stop and think this morning. We never know when our “time” will be. Many of us can think of a time that something happened that was a close call – where we “faced” death. 8 years ago I had a cyst burst inside of me and I bled internally for many hours before I went to the doctor. When I got to the hospital my blood pressure was dangerously low and I had to have emergency surgery where my doctor was able to save me. Had I gotten in the car and driven home that night…well I may not be here today. God had other plans for me.

But at the time, that situation didn’t really make me stop and take inventory about how I was living and where my heart was. This morning was different though. When I heard about the accident I could only think that I was grateful for the safety of my family, but also grateful that I know they have Christ as their Savior.

And I wonder how many of us are walking around trusting that we will have another day to make that decision. Another day to change our sinful behavior, another day to do it right…tomorrow. What if tomorrow doesn’t come?

I have shared before that I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was really young. But I didn’t really “get” it. I basically thought it was just asking Christ into my heart and everything would be roses. It wasn’t. I didn’t understand what I had done wrong and I kept asking Him back in over and over.

I spent many years, as a teenager and young adult seeking after my own selfish motives. I focused on the world and what it had to offer and less on what God would have me do. When Dominic and I got married I carried this behavior into our relationship and it was a recipe for disaster.

For 10 years we lived as husband and wife but not with God as the forefront of our marriage. The husband and wife titles were just that…titles. For many years we were more like roommates. Roommates that didn’t like each other. It was difficult, really difficult. And when things got bad I blamed God. Where was He? Why didn’t He change my husband? Why did we have to live like this?

Did I ever take a real serious look at myself? NO! Did I ever take responsibility for the things I was doing that contributed to our disharmony? NO! I was more comfortable with pointing my 1 finger at someone else and wouldn’t see the 3 pointing back at myself.

At one point we joined a church, even went as far as being baptized as adults. Professing our faith in God and asking for His forgiveness. I honestly believe that we wanted that for our lives, living a life with God at the center. But we didn’t know how to do it in all practical reality.

You see I had missed a key component in the “salvation” story. The part about repentance and what that really meant. A turning away from ones sin. Our pastor talks about running in the opposite direction of that sinful nature. I didn’t do that. I wanted to just accept Christ and have my life be better. I didn’t want to have to change myself in the process.

God was patient with me, He knew where I would end up and He let me make my choices so that I would learn from them. And eventually I did. I still am…

And so again I wonder, who out there is like me? Believing that they are “saved” but choosing to live in sin, refusing to repent…to run away from that sinful behavior? Blaming God because their lives aren’t changing.

The good news is that it isn’t too late. But you just can’t keep putting it off any longer!! We don’t know what tomorrow will hold and your soul is too important to put off making a choice for Christ!

If you are living a life that isn’t honoring to God, turn from that sin and run towards the only One who can save you. Is it easy to change patterns of behavior that seem so ingrained? No – I would be lying if I said it was.

I still see those old behaviors in my life today. But I see them less and less and I recognize them much sooner and make amends much faster than I had in the past. All of that is only possible because I have come to develop a personal relationship with God.

He isn’t this “supernatural” being up in the sky. He is a God that rides with me to work every day. That blesses me with peace and a confidence in Him. It just isn’t about what I have done or who I am….not at all!! My life is good today because of Him – in spite of me.

Is my life all roses? Nope. Honestly I wish it were easier sometimes. I feel frustrated when I can’t see His purpose in things. I feel disappointed when opportunities don’t open up for our family like I think they should and I often question what His will is in our lives.

The truth is I am not God! I know…big revelation. And I shouldn’t expect to know all that He knows. I want things in MY time and not His. I am human but it is my goal to be less and less of this world and more and more of Him. But I have to stay connected with Him.

About an hour ago I got a call with some disappointing news. Without getting into the specific details of that call, I will just share that it was something that we wanted for our family, something we prayed about asking for God’s will in the situation. Today we got our answer.

He closed the door. And in all honesty I am struggling with that. I don’t understand why the door had to be closed. I can’t see what He might have in store that is different and so I sit feeling frustrated. It is in my “old” nature to act on those feelings…lash out at God and be angry or depressed.

I knew coming in today that I wanted to write a post about what I was thinking about in the car. And when I got that call I wasn’t feeling like I really wanted to share the “Good News” of Christ because I wasn’t feeling it.

But you see that is the point. Even though I am not “feeling it” doesn’t mean that God isn’t still there in the middle working everything out for good. I just can’t quite see it yet. My vision is clouded – not His. And if I am going to honestly pray for His will in my life then I have to be open to the possibility of closed doors just as I would be to open ones.

I know this is long and hopefully it is making some bit of sense. Getting down to brass tacks people. If you don’t have Christ as your Savior – what is stopping you? Don’t wait any longer! If you are stuck in sinful behavior and can’t seem to get out - turn to Him, reach out for help and see your life dramatically change. If it is possible for me, it is possible for you too!

I have seen the benefits in my own life from trusting in God and I am more than willing to get into more detail if you have any questions. Please feel free to e-mail me anytime at kasmith03@gmail.com.

Blessings dear friends

1 comment:

Peggi said...

This was a good post, it really made me think.



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