ride.the.storm.out

Over the course of life, you begin to realize that the deeper and richer things of life are not necessarily the things that we can buy or own.   Oh they do tend to fulfill some needs that we have, and there is nothing wrong with having nice things.  But the longer you live the more you notice that the deeper and richer things of life come from enjoying the person you’ve become.  Who you are.  And better yet, enjoying the ‘person’ of those around you.  Who they really are … In the good times and in the bad times.  

Have you ever noticed that when you get around people you love, the circumstances surrounding you are not necessarily the focus. Enjoying who that person is becomes the focus.  You can have dinner with someone you enjoy, and it doesn’t really matter whether you are having a steak, or sharing a peanut butter sandwich.  It is the company of that person that really matters, not the meal.

Think about Jesus when he fed 5000 people with the little boy’s lunch.   The crowd didn’t come to eat the fish and bread.  The crowd came to be near the person – Jesus.  Sometimes companionship and true enjoyment in life is not about how to cook the breakfast or the lunch or the dinner, or which restaurant to buy it from.  Many times companionship and true enjoyment in life is about enjoying the moment and the people who share that moment.  Oh, we finally get around to eating a meal because we need the nourishment and we like the taste of food.  But who really remembers what we ate anyway?  All that is remembered is who was there around the table.

This thought comes on the heels of a week where I had two dinners that I so wanted to attend.  The first was with friends from church who I haven’t got to spend time with in a long while.  Even though I was not able to attend, wanting to meet them for dinner was not about eating. It was just an excuse to get to see them.  And then last night I was able to have dinner with some friends that I recently made this year while taking chemo.  I call her my chemo buddy.  Truth is, as you would expect, I had a hard time taking chemo, but I always knew she would be there, and it helped me to keep going, along with a big push from my family and my nurses. 

So while at the restaurant last night, a terrible storm came up.  We were stuck eating our meals with the lights flickering, the winds whipping, the lightening streaking through the windows, and the rain and hail pouring so that we could hardly see outside.  Luckily, we were with people who we enjoyed their company.  And guess what, I remember the storm, and I remember the people that were there…but I hardly remember anything that anyone ate for dinner.

That’s how you enjoy life.  That’s how moments are created.  Moments are created sharing, laughing, and many times being scared all at the same time … while riding out the storms of life with people that you love.   People who keep us going in life.  Sometimes we can ride out the storms with its harsh winds and rain, because of the people who show up in the boat.

And one more thing, keep in mind that throughout the New Testament … Where do we find Jesus, eating with sinners, feeding the crowds, walking on the waves with Peter, sleeping in the boat with the disciples and calming the storms.   Oh Jesus knows how to be with us, feed us, ride the waves with us, and calm our storms.  He is the giver of life.  It is … Who He Is.  He doesn’t by-pass the storm, because He is not afraid of the storm.  He gets in it and says … Peace be still. (Mark 4:39)

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super.hero

I always love a good movie where the hero comes in and saves the day.  Believe it or not, I enjoy movies with marvel comic super heroes as well.  I know it’s a little weird, but I like characters like the Hulk, Superman, and Spider-Man.  I even used to have a name tag on my desk that read, Superwoman.  It was a little reminder to me to go above and beyond the call of duty.   And I tried to do just that.  Until I began to realize that an action packed super hero … I am not.   Imagine my disappointment when I came to this realization.  ;-).  

But recently the thought crossed my mind…what if I just allow Jesus to be the hero!  Lately, I have seen Him do things that were so unexpected.  I don’t even know how to explain it.   I don’t think I even prayed about it.  It is like he just showed up in a particular way, and caught me off guard.  When He shows up like that, it’s like I am shocked … Shocked by his goodness.  Shocked by his ability to do exceedingly above what I have asked for and certainly not what I was thinking.   I know he is more than a comic book hero.  Nothing on this earth comes close in comparison to Him.

Ephesians 3: 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.