We’re not tied to rules of the church; nor are we required to follow rules to earn God’s favor. That’s the gospel, the good news.
A single pinprick of light that overcame the darkness, which draws our gaze like a candle burning in darkness.
I carry my burdens to God: take this atlas stone of other’s pain to the Creator of a love so encompassing, so overarching, so blindingly bright, that even darkness cannot remain dark any longer.
This truth I believe; that God so entirely and completely loved the world that He sent His only son, Jesus, to save humanity from itself.
Cars pass by sending mist up into the night. Slowly, slowly, the moon creeps up over the mountain’s edge, casting pale light onto the peaceful valley, painting soft texture into shadows in the back parking lot of Jerry’s Place. My perch, about 15 feet up from the ground, is a perfect alcove of serenity in the midst of a pretty chaotic existence down below.
In the midst of all this jubilation, I’m reminded of a verse my father has told me many, many times: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
El Rancho Del Rey is a bright light that shines through the dust. Just off the highway in the middle of a growing neighborhood on the outskirts of the city of Monterrey, the white walls provide a safe haven from dangers that lurk outside. About fifteen boys stay in the residence each school year. They’re given a safe place to run around and be kids; three square meals a day and an opportunity to pursue education. Since its start in the 1950s, the home has given thousands of boys an opportunity for success.
I never had a choice; thrust into the cold light of a dawning earth thrown back into caveman days. No one cared about anyone but themselves. My first breath wasn’t freedom, that’s for damn sure; and when the inky blackness slid away from newborn eyes, all I saw was pain. I didn’t choose this.
A bitter cold midnight wind rips through my jacket and squeezes my heart. Snow crunches under thin shoes; branches weigh heavy with frozen tears.
Through my cold haze flashing lights snap into the darkness, bathing the night in angry color. In front of me, a slumbering form is covered with a sheet. I see a stretcher beside it, unused. Backlit smoke drifts up from the idling ambulance. Men raise an emergency spotlight. Cars slow down to gaze in horror. Color blinks; extremities shiver.
So that we can transcend pain, strife, misery, depression, etc etc etc etc, and find peace and hope and fulfillment that lasts — not just while we’re on this earth, but forever.
That’s where my hope rests.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a little bit empty – and for a while I didn’t know why: I mean, I have everything and more than I could ever ask for.
And then it dawned on me: I’ve been feeling like David did when he penned “as a deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs after You, God”; I’ve been longing for more of God and less of me – I’ve been trying to fill a spiritual void with material things that can never replace Him.
I write along with A. W. Tozer, who, in his book The Pursuit of God, wrote: “To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.”