The Courage to change the things I can…

1001031_10200231711850733_1457908686_nPriceless, made for me by my son.

I never realized how much courage it takes to change things. Courage to leave all that is familiar, even the chaos of alcoholism. Courage to grasp for your own recovery and refuse to let go. Courage to feel the fear of all of this and keep going anyway.

Where do we get courage? Is there an ATM where we can withdraw this firmness of mind, fortitude and endurance, this courage?

Yes, it is the Holy Bible containing the promise’s of God. God’s word contains over 366 commanding us to “fear not” in various forms. That means you get a verse a day, including leap year! What a great God have to provide this for us to quench the fiery dart shot at us from the enemy of our souls.

There are also very familiar verses instructing us to “be courageous” and these I love dearly for they also contain His promise and His presence. Brother’s and Sister’s, whatever you have to do to be free, whatever changes and challenges you face on your personal road to serenity, He is with you. What else do you need?

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you where ever you go.       Joshua 1:9 NIV

Total absence of Light

1936841_1115597565396_6704630_nThis adorable picture of my daughter was taken in 2008 at a trip to the Inner Space Cavern in Texas. We are not spelunkers or caving fans, but this was an interesting stop on our way to Spring Break in San Antonio and fit in perfectly with my son’s science unit for school. The two things that stay with me about this adventure are the “chicken nugget bats” that slept all over the walls of the cave and actually did look like little fuzzy chicken nuggets and the darkness. The utter darkness. Notice my daughter and the rock formation behind her are illuminated by my flash, but look around her. It’s pitch black.

Our tour started in broad daylight, the bright, blazing hot sun of Central Texas, and we got in a mine car train and rode down into the cave with a guide. Inside the cave there is lighting along the path but a point in the tour the guide has everyone stand together and turns off the lights so you can experience absolute darkness. It was horrifying. It seemed to wrap around me like a physical presence causing my stomach to flip and my heart to race. There was nothing to see, no shapes, no shadows, simply a  total void. I remember trying to take a deep breath to calm down. I didn’t want my kids to realize I was so frightened, but I felt I could not even breathe this black thick air.

After about 60 seconds of gasping and squealing from the tour group the  guide turns the lights back on. Sweet relief, breathe, let there be LIGHT! And handprints on now angry children whose mother had instinctively  clamped down on their arms in her own fear…

I had forgotten about this experience until the other day at a friend’s home. I noticed a copy of “Josephus’s Discourse to the Greeks” on his bookshelf. This book is one of hundreds on my reading bucket list and I pulled it down and started flipping through it. In his writing concerning Hades, known to us as hell, Josephus states: “Hades is a subterraneous region, wherein the light of the world does not shine, in this region the light does not shine, it cannot but there must be in it a perpetual darkness.”  He continues with further descriptions of this dark place, judgment to come and an interesting comparison of sin and sickness and how to recover from both.

The bible states that in the beginning God said, “Let there be Light.” and there was light, God saw that it was good and divided the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3&4) The differences between light and darkness continue throughout the Old Testament to the New; Job was brought out of his pit and enlightened with the “light of the living”. ( Job 33:3o) The Psalmist states in 119:105 that “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Jesus himself declares in the Gospel of John that ” I AM the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

You may have never been “spelunking” but if you are experiencing darkness in your life, you too, can have the light of the world  with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. “God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5. If you have any questions about how to invite the Light of the World into your life in a personal way, please feel free to leave a comment, or email me for further discussion.

The Lord is my Light and my salvation.   Psalms 27:1

 

Crabs in a Bucket

550750_3403013069354_826486111_nIf you have never had the pleasure of going crabbing, you should try it as soon as you can. It’s one of the most fun ways that you can get sunburned and a backache! Personally I am a fan of doing it the hard way: with a hand line and a chicken bone- probably the reason for the backache. ( there are easier methods, so don’t worry) The craziest thing about crabbing is *drum roll* the crabs! Once you get a crab in the bucket it scoots around, claws extended, already a looser but spoiling for a fight. Get two in the bucket and they will start fighting with each other. Once you get three or more, they will climb up on top of each other in what looks to be a coordinated escape plan. One crab gets to the top of the pile, ready to get out of the bucket and the other crabs will pull him down.

Isn’t this the way our dysfunctional behavior works?

We scoot around, always spoiling for a fight, fight each other and in our dysfunction pull each other down.

So I ask you, who’s in your bucket? And what crabby behavior could you change today?

He who walks with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.       Proverbs 13:20

 

This post is excerpted from my book, The Little Engine who could Not…., available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.