Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hebrews’ Call to Persevere

Life will tempt us, treat us, and test us,
All we can do is make our response in faith,
That or make nothing of God’s salvation,
It’s up to us to make sure we are safe.
Taking in the knowledge of Jesus, the Son,
We know that salvation’s work has been done,
Our spiritual task is to revere,
And through the Spirit of his Son to persevere.
***
The believer’s call is to persevere; in the midst of fear, discouragement, despair, broken dreams, the truth, reality’s harshness, and conflict. We don’t endure by taking the law into our own hands, but we do so in confidence, that we are able to endure by the power given us – through the direct authority and access we have as a believer.
We are granted a new and living way because of what Jesus has done on the cross, through his resurrection, and by his ascension to be with the Father. This is no fabrication of something that sounds real; it may truly be experienced.
Because our hearts have been sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, and our bodies have indeed been washed clean, we have the full assurance of faith, through integrity – a sincere heart to follow hard after God.
We hold fast to our hope, which is the confession of our faith. So we endure when life is despairing, to receive what is promised. And we are stimulated to love by courage to encourage others as they bear the strains of life. Love compels us to remain connected to our brothers and sisters.
But we are also warned not to go out of our way to sin. If we hurt people and create harm we spurn the truth and God does not know us. We stand there open for his judgment; what a fearful thing to contemplate! In earlier times, people were put to death for lesser things than we might contemplate for ‘fun’.
If we understand what we have been given, and we truly recognise the inner strength we have because of God’s holiness in us by the Holy Spirit, then we know we can endure patiently any temptation, treat, and test. Let us do just that! Whether we suffer directly or indirectly, or we suffer as we watch on in the presence of heinous injustice, we resolve to suffer well; to comprehend the call of God to endure, just as Jesus did on the cross of Golgotha.
There is just one way to please God; “my righteous one will live by faith.”
There is no pleasure taken by God in watching us stop or slow down halfway through the race. Keep stepping in faith. Keep life simple. Enjoy the grateful things and remove temptation to complain and become bitter. Stay clear of the enemy.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

One Day At A Time, Petal, One Day At A Time

Weak days, angry days, and days interspersed with sadness. Then there are days where we cannot get our heads straight; days when our feelings succumb to either annoyance or anxiety.
Then there are days where ‘luck’ abounds; joy seems real and thankfulness abides easily. We see how blessed we are and all along we wonder what all the fuss is about. We wonder why we get so entrapped by frustration and impatience on other days. Suddenly we fear that this joyous day may quickly fold up as quickly as it unfolded.
One day is seasoned in inextricable pain. The next day we feel fine. And then the third day there is boredom or manic fatigue. Life verily is a box of chocolates, as Forest Gump might put it.
As we take one day at a time, and we dissolve that day into an hour, we find we have much more control over our thoughts and feelings when we remind ourselves what God gives us through the capacity of mindfulness.
Any time we like we can psychoanalyse ourselves. We draw away from life, just for a moment, and we wander into the mental and emotional stance. Taking a moment out to reconnect with ourselves – to reconnect with our vital perspective – is the opportunity and appreciation that God is good, overall, and life is good, overall.
None of us will have lives that are 100% satisfactory, but we may choose contentedness as a state of mind and heart anytime we wish. Such is the power of God that we have to repent our will and choose his will. It really is truly very simple.
If we take one day at a time, Petal, we will experience life one day at a time. It’s all we may take of life. It’s all that God will give us. So why do we try to take more?
The terrible day shall pass. The wonderful day is a full day’s length long. We should thank God that our lives are not full of terrible days. We should praise his holy name that there are wonderful days to look forward to.
God is good in that life is relative for each one of us; none of us is as blessed as we wish to be, yet none of us is cursed anywhere near what we deserve.
***
Some days seem blessed; some seem cursed. We enjoy good days in humility, and we endure, with patience, the tests the bad day brings. Let’s be thankful all days.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Be Unto Your Name

These words have ever meant so much to me; since, at least, my regeneration in December 2003.
Verse 1:
We are a moment You are forever
Lord of the ages God before time
We are a vapor You are eternal
Love everlasting reigning on high
Chorus:
Holy holy Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Highest praises honor and glory
Be unto Your name
Be unto Your name
Verse 2:
We are the broken You are the healer
Jesus Redeemer mighty to save
You are the love song we'll sing forever
Bowing before You blessing Your name
Chorus 2:
Holy holy Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Highest praises honor and glory
Be unto Your name
Be unto Your name
These words reflect the sentiment of angels bellowing their praise – “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive (ξιόν στιν τ ρνίον τ σφαγμένον λαβεν) power and wealth and wisdom (τν δύναμιν κα πλοτον κα σοφίαν) and strength and honour and glory and blessing (κα σχν κα τιμν κα δόξαν κα ελογίαν).” These are the words of Revelation 5:12; my favourite verse in the Bible.

We cannot possibly ever hope to know God if we don’t see the need to occasionally fall to our knees in brokenness and thankfulness and praise.
***
For the Glory of God, alone. It is our sole purpose to work for the glory of God alone. It is for that purpose that we exist. We live to honour his name; to operate through his power; to bless and, through blessing, to be blessed.
When we ‘be unto his name’ all of life is in its proper alignment. All of life can then succeed because we have put first things first. We no longer condemn ourselves for our petty misdemeanours and we don’t disparage others for the things human beings do; we no longer hold any human being to the standards of God; yet we do strive, in ourselves, to attain, just a moment at a time, the hallowed behaviour of the One who is holy.
To ‘be unto his name’ is our sole focus if we know Jesus and want to be called his disciple; his and his alone. We are no one else’s pawn; not even our own. Yet our relationships will decree how close or far away we truly are.
Let us ‘be unto God’s name’ and go on past the elementary things of faith and life, into the broad expanse of love God has for each one of us!
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Season of Surreal Sadness



Get ready while you’re happy and strong,
Make preparations for when life turns wrong,
Life’s got a way of getting our attention,
We go from one realisation to another dimension.
Loss catapults us into an abyss of grief,
Where happiness and hope are stolen by a thief,
Nothing can compare with sadness of this scale,
Experience of emotion where our soul does wail.
***
Sorrow is a friend to the person who has come to know it, having travelled through that valley of the shadow of death into a new realisation for life.
Sorrow, of course, is nothing to be afraid of. Such surreal sadness, when it cannot be avoided, forces us to experience what we would much rather avoid.
Having come into a season that could not be resolved through our own resources, we came eventually to accept that which we could not change.
We found we couldn’t mount any semblance of sustainability for a fight. To resist was worse than useless. We were better to grin and bear the harrowing season than waste the precious little energy we did have.
Grace to be accessed is our key. We must be able to extract the sense for fear and allow God’s grace to ameliorate that fear.
Sadness is nothing to be feared. It is, however, a thing none of us want. We don’t want to feel alone, afraid, lost, or aggrieved. But if we can feel these things in the rawness of being authentically us, and we can survive, we grow resilience.
The season of surreal sadness will change us. We will journey through some horrors and we will be indelibly changed, rearranged, and estranged to our old life.
We are made better as we traverse through sadness, not worse.
We come to be more compassionate, kind, available, humble, and courageous.
Life’s greatest challenge, perhaps, is to become skilled within our character to absolve loss. When we can see a loss as an opportunity to learn about ourselves and to learn about life, then we are able to counter the fear of being overcome with sorrow.
The season of surreal sadness is an opportunity of a lifetime. If we can get through the trial, a moment at a time – because that’s the only way we can do it – then we have what we need. And everyone has such access. Everyone has the same privilege.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.