The Simple Life, Walking with God

Forgiveness Is For Me.


Gone are the days when it was easy to follow God.

We are in the days of deliberate choices. True dedication. Clear focus and commitment. We can no longer be complacent in our pursuit of Him who created the heavens and earth. We must do the work, walk the talk, live lives that speak of Him alone all our remaining days.

I know that is heavy, but it is true.

It is easy to think that when God is walking with us, we should have everything on a silver platter, but have you really looked at scripture? Who had an easy life in the Bible? Who did not have anything to give up or deal with? Who walked in easy and comfort? Do you see anyone? Is there any life that accomplished anything for God that sat on the beach all day or in the shade all their lives doing nothing? No!! Not even one!!! Not even Christ the one who was indeed God sent to the earth to lead men back to God. So who do we think we are that life should be easy?

This weekend this reality hit me in the face and wow, I was floored. I looked back at the life of people around me and no one who had attained even a semblance of the path God has assigned to them has received it free or on a platter. Each one has lost something, given up something, walked away from something, chosen something, lived for something, loved God more than themselves, those around them and things of love.

One of my long-time friends loves saying, ‘Forgiveness is for you.’

As I was thinking tears filled my eyes when God reminded me about how forgiveness had changed my life. My friend and I had a big fight many years ago that kept us away from each other for more than ten years. It was the kind of separation that tears the two parties apart because you assumed that life would always be good, and you would always be close. It was the kind of tear that destroys the balance in life because you were pillars to one another then suddenly a bomb explodes and brings down the whole house. Oh, the pain…no words!!!

For a long time, I would catch feelings and anger would simmer every time I heard his name, saw him or he reached out. Couldn’t he see how much pain he had caused me? Did he just expect me to forgive him and continue talking? Did he think he had the right to disrupt my life and appear at will expecting happy smiles? Who the heck did he think he was? Why did he think he deserved this kind of attention and freedom to be around me without apology?

Didn’t I deserve a heartfelt apology? Of course, I did!!! Or maybe not.

In time I realised he did not carry grudges even when hurt. He did not hold it against me and neither did he give space to things he could not understand. He simply parked them at the foot of the cross for Father to let him know when to deal. I on the other hand, was fuming and assuming he knew how much pain I had suffered. But alas!! I had shut down, hidden the tears and brokenness and I held onto that pain as the identity of this lost friendship, stability and decade.

Imagine my shock when God began to deal with me about holding grudges and projecting my pain onto others. After all, I was party to the split because at the time it was good for all parties, so how could I blame it on the other? How could I determine in my heart he would bear all the blame, yet I too caused him pain, I too said, thought and projected mean things? To blame him was to declare that I was innocent and we both knew that was not true.

Then Papa said…’You need to forgive your brother.’

Did you just say brother? There is no way he could still be my brother. There is no way I would be around him. That was just impossible!!! And I stomped my foot and stalked off, angry with a stiff spine. Oh, how God does not relent. How He makes His point clear and His judgement true. Over the next few months, God and I dealt with every part of that piece of the past. He showed me my part, the pain, the break, the anger and resentment and the barrier it was creating to my successful progression.

How every time a new opportunity came, I judged His sons and daughters with the same harsh position I had taken against one. How every time someone looked like they could hurt me I walked away in advance to protect myself. How I used this broken friendship as the reason not get close to people since people hurt people right? It was shocking to realise how bound I was. Stuck in solitary confinement and I did not even know it. Lost in the middle of the crowd with no hope or way out.

What? You mean being angry was holding me back? Absolutely!!!

So, we begun the path to healing and my oh my, it was ghastly painful. I had to let go of all the pain I was holding in and using as a shield. I had to cry and let the pain out one tear at a time (my gals used to say that to me cry was a matter of national importance). I had to let go of and burn every memory that had become a hindrance to my healing and restoration.

One day, I realised I as different…less angry, more joyful, more hopeful, and eager about life. I found release in the separation from the hurt and pain. I found healing in forgiveness first of myself and then of my brother. Finally, one day we had the big conversation. We talked about life, the destruction of our friendship, the reasons behind it, the years of pain and tears, the weight of sadness we both carried for a long while, the sense of imbalance until God stepped in and the healing we had to walk into. I realised he didn’t understand things the way I did, and I didn’t know exactly how he had felt. There were so many assumptions around everything that caused us more pain and so few words for so long. We couldn’t heal fully until we both forgave each other.

The difference was…he dealt with things faster than me.

It became clear that forgiving my brother was the route back to wholeness and peace. It was the pathway to an easier yoke and lighter burden. It was the pathway to a new move of God in my life. It was the pathway peace and harmony.

Over time, I have learnt a lot from my brother especially unconditional love. The kind of love has no bounds and standards other than God’s. The kind that will see me falling flat on my face in the mud and come to sit with me in the mud so we can figure out why I keep losing my footing. The one that sees me walking into the dark and will light a floodlight and call me out. The kind that sees me in the middle of pain and seeks God diligently for me then walks as close as possible cheering me on to deal or holds me as I cry on the other side.

I have found true brotherly love on the other side of forgiveness.

Indeed…Forgiveness is for me!!!

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. Romans 2:1

Judge not, that you be not judged. Matthew 7:1

Shalom

Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com
The Simple Life

Get To Know


I always want to get to know you through and through,

Every thought,

Every emotion,

Every hope,

Every dream,

Every disappointment,

Every lesson,

Every miracle.

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I always want to get to know you through and through,

Every smile

Every tear

Every sigh

Every fear

Every loss

Every cheer

Every stretch

Every joy.

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You are so far away, hidden, veiled

Known yet unknown

Seen yet unseen

Visible yet invisible

Reachable yet unreached

Acceptable yet unaccepted

Connected yet disconnected

Anchored yet adrift

Silent yet vocalised

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You are so near, close, in here

Speaking faintly

Smiling discreetly

Walking silently

Noting carefully

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It is a hidden heart and connection

Watchful

Grudging

Hesitant

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A connection would be lovely

Deep and engaging

Close and intertwined

Connected no turning back

Dedicated and vested

Committed and unbreakable

Oneness personified

Grace amplified

United to the last

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I remind myself that maybe that’s not my place

I acknowledge you feel like a dream

I accept you are a possibility

I appreciate what I have

Unwavering

Challenging

Reliable

Simple

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My one of a kind Father

I accept your love and truth

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, Walking with God

Always With Me


The sun warms me

The wind refreshes me

The stars fascinate me

The night sounds revive me

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The grass delights me

The flowers light the day

The rain renews life

The clouds travel

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The children’s laughter tickles

Their joy is infectious

Their innocence enlightens

They give new life

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They are curious

They are cheeky

They are relentless

They never tire

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You Papa are like them

You never tire of me

You never give up

You never leave me

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You hold my hand

You hold me close

You lift me up

You are always there

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You are the only faithful one

You are the only reliable one

You are the closest companion

You are the greatest support

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The Simple Life

Delightful


There’s a word I have known all my life but it has taken on a new meaning off late. What word? Delightful.

Have you known a word before then someone says it and a new perspective bursts forth? If so, you will understand what I am saying but let me not assume you do.

In a couple of conversations with friends, one of us was describing the joy of deep honest friendship and conversation over a long period of time and he said it is so delightful. That word caught my attention because it is a little rare in my circle for a guy to use it.

There was something in the way he said it, soft and light, the expression on his face and the smile in his voice. If you weren’t watching him, you would have heard the deep joy the person he was talking about brings to him. It was clear that they have such a deep connection that helps both of them adjust to one another even when they are fighting. You could only watch them together as they bicker and tease each other to see and feel the depth, warmth and honesty of the relationship within.

In a subsequent conversation with him, he used delightful again in reference to her in a way that showed me more about him as a person than I could ever have understood any other way.

Delightful from his perspective was such an intense definition.

  • Delightful is a place of pure enjoyment of the other person because you realise they are special and appointed by God to interact with you in this season and help you come to the full reality of who you are.
  • Delightful is the warmth and comfort of knowing you are in this together and will push each other to bring forth the beauty of the relationship no matter the fights and challenges around.
  • Delightful is honest conversations about failings and winnings, knowing you will not be judged or put aside only pushed deeper into purpose.
  • Delightful is knowing you are in this together to know God deeper and rise to the fullness of His plan no matter what.
  • Delightful is the commitment to be friends always, honest every day, concerned in every breath, connected at the spirit level and diligent no matter what.

When he said the word delightful in reference to her, you knew they had tapped into something many of us don’t know but long to understand and only God could have opened that level of connection.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Expectancy


Wasn’t it a shock for me when I sat back and realised that my experience were pegged on the wrong things and I had been setup for failure from the beginning. Let me explain.

 

We are all raised to expect certain standards from ourselves and others to enable strong and lasting relationships. We believed that there are things each of us should do that will help the relationship succeed. When the said things are not fulfilled, one would feel that the relationship is skewed unfair.

 

Recently, I read “The Shack” by Paul Young and my thought process was challenged and changed. He talks about God looking at us with expectancy not expectation. How absolutely radical! You see, expectations are standards and make us judge our relationships with others based on what either one of us are supposed to do and achieve. When the ‘requirements’ are not met we get disappointed and hurt.

 

God on the other hand looks at us very differently. He looks at us with expectancy. What is that? Well, He created us and knows our humanity. He knows that we may not get it right the first time yet He still has hope that one day we will get there. When we don’t get there He smiles, forgives and says maybe tomorrow. He looks at us in love and with the knowledge that one day we will get it and we will be all He desires of us to be.

 

In view of that, how then do we need to treat one another? I think the way to go is expectancy…meaning that we need to develop a never ending belief that it will be well and all will work out fine. I am learning every day that when I don’t put my expectations on others I am better able to have peace and joy all the time. However, I desire to move from expectation to expectancy, I must deal with myself and what I don’t like about me. I am forced to look at myself and deal with the issues that arise from the waiting and the attitudes I have inadvertently created in my heart, for I cannot give what I don’t have.

 

It is often easier said than done but I know that with God all things are possible and I will be in the space one day that  will not load expectations on people rather I will live with an open, warm and expectant heart that allows everyone to be themselves and free me to be happy and loving life.

 

Papa how I desire a heart like yours and love that is deep and wide as mine has failed me time and time again. I know it is part of a process and the process at times scares me to follow yet I want to believe that you are all I need and will ever need. 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

A new kind of love


“I had waited so long to see him and then the day came…it felt like hundreds of years since the last meeting and yet it was just a couple of days…ok hours. We had talked and expressed the need to touch base and it heightened the anticipation.

When I woke up in the morning my heart was pounding with anticipation that I would see him. This is the man I truly love and long to be with all the time. Every time I think of him my heart races and my senses are ignited. Every time I am in the vicinity of his presence I know he is there whether or not I know which way he has come. My heart and mind are so tuned to him it is not funny. When do I ever get over this? Then again, do I want to be away from this warmth and love?

Today I woke up charged because we had a date and I could not wait…my heart raced and my spirit longed for the time of connection. Every step closer to him made my heart race a little harder and louder till it was pounding in my ears. Every moment was like being in a pressure cooker waiting to blow and release the steam on the inside. Then I saw him; my eyes lit up; my heart nearly exploded then he looked up; saw me and smiled. My heart melted. Could I ever feel more whole than this? Could this be what love is all about?

The rest was in slow motion. He stood and walked toward me and I was mesmerised, glued to the spot, awestruck, stranded. I could only watch and wait for him where I was…rooted and stuck and lost in my own world. He was the most wonderful person to look at, love shining in his eyes, a smile on his face, his arms outstretched. Suddenly I snapped out of it and run into his arms and it all unravelled. My heart raced, my spirit soared my day was made. It was a beautiful and wonderful day and I cannot remember ever being so complete.”

An excerpt from the journal of a girl in love.

This is also the desire from the heart of Papa. He desires to be the one who makes our hearts race, whose face we desire to see, whose embrace we long to feel, whose presence we long to experience. He loves us, plain and simple. He longs for us. He yearns for moments with us as we walk in his way. Do you feel the calling to be in His presence? Do you long for Him? Do you desire Him more than anything else?

Papa, I desire to know you in this way and desire you more than anyone else. Draw me closer Papa that I may know you more. Blow my mind. Touch my heart daily. Make me more like you. Teach me to trust you regardless. Teach me to know your voice. All I want is to know you more and more.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

New Beginnings


I never banked on this happening but now that it has I am so glad He caught me by surprise. Oh…I never imagined. One moment all was dull and drab and the next it was bright and sunshiny…what a joy….what a joy.

This is the season for new beginnings and my new beginning is extra special. This is a defining year for me and the high note of the onset is great. I had been searching for a deeper something since I felt that my life had become common and flat. It was kind of like eating sawdust over and over then expecting it to taste different each time.

Anyway, I begun to wonder if there wasn’t something better, richer, deeper? Oh I was still a believer but life seemed to be the same old same old day in day out. So I did the personal stock taking and could not really figure it out. Then I realised that I was going about it my way and had to stop, be still and hear God on what to do. I had been doing my own thing for a bit so it took some time to connect to the right frequency and gain full signal.

When it was all systems go I asked but He remained be silent. I ranted and raved and he was still silent. So I began to ask myself if I had done something to make him turn away from me. The questions were all good but the lack of answers really begun to get to me. What was happening? Then it struck me that God always answers and it is either yes, no or wait. So what was he saying to me? WAIT! I needed to learn to truly wait and hear him. I thought I had the waiting figured out and I thought I was patient yet he took the time to show me areas I needed to learn to stop. The moments of waiting proved more beneficial than I ever thought possible. I learnt to connect with him and his plan for me.

I learnt that God doesn’t assume I am ready for him to move but requires that I must be specific. I must ask that I may receive, seek that I may find and knock that the door may be opened. When I ask for more of him and stayed put seeking his face and presence he opens a door to me that is beyond my wildest dreams.

When he opened the door I found him. I found him arms open wide ready to embrace me and hold me close and speak his word to me. I found people he had put into place to confirm all his word to me. I found new connections with him that filled my heart to overflowing and removed the emptiness that I hadn’t admitted existed in my heart.

Oh the bliss of this new day. Every time I wonder if there is more and then he comes through and opens up something new that I never imagined. I only have a glimpse of his love and yet I want more. I desire to connect to the length, depth and width of this love that transforms everything it touches. So I must say I am transformed; made new; freshened moment by moment; still going strong. The love of God changes everything it truly touches.

Do you know that place? Do you want more? It is all in Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. He is the only source of love we will ever need. He is all in all and real contact with him never leaves you the same. Join me on this love journey that is a feast laid out for us in the midst of the thing we call life.