DayBreaks for 6/25/14 – Frustrated Expectations and Empty Searches

DayBreaks for 6/25/14 – Frustrated Expectations and Empty Searches

Isaiah 55:2 (NLT) Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.

A preacher recently told a story about when his grandmother died.  Some time after her death, his mother received a notice from the bank that her grandmother had left not just one, but two, safe deposit boxes in their vault and that the contents would now be passed along to the preacher’s mom. 

The family was astounded by this and wondered what might be in the boxes?  The grandmother’s husband had died 20 years prior, and the family speculated that perhaps the grandmother had set aside cash or jewelry or other items such as stocks or bonds to help cover her own living expenses as she aged.  The mystery and excitement grew as time passed and the family was finally able to get to the bank.

After clearly everything legally and with all the paperwork done, the family was escorted into the vault where they first box was opened and much to their surprise it contained nothing but air.  Air is valuable, but it is not what they were hoping for.  Yet, one box still remained.  They moved to that box and opened it fingers crossed (mentally if not physically!) only to find that it, too, contained nothing but air!

Their hopes and dreams had been disappointed.  It is part of the human condition.

As people, we search for meaning and worth and love…often coming up with nothing but air as a result of the pursuit.  We keep thinking that “Surely, this is the one!” or “This is my ticket to wealth!” only to find that it turns out to be nothing but vapor. 

What is the cost?  The emotional toll is very high…and we can spend our entire life looking in the wrong places, opening one box after another after another, never finding anything that satisfies, nothing that was worth the effort.  Yet we persist opening boxes, looking everywhere but the one place we can truly find satisfaction and joy. 

God offers us the very best – He offers us Himself as the Bread of Life and the Living Water.  Isn’t it about time to give Jesus a try?  Isn’t it time to stop running from box to box, place to place, lover to lover and to run to the only Lover who will never abandon you? 

He’s waiting for you!

PRAYER: Jesus, forgive our foolish pursuits! Open our hearts to Your love, to the riches that are hidden only in a relationship with You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for 08/08/12 – Looking for the Wrong Answer

DayBreaks for 08/08/12 – Looking for the Wrong Answer

Psalm 23:3: “…He restores my soul…”.

The story is told of a man on an African safari deep in the jungle.  The guide before him had a machete and was whacking away the tall weeds and thick underbrush.  The traveler, wearied and hot, asked in frustration, ‘Where are we?  Do you know where you are taking me?  Where is the path?!’  The seasoned guide stopped and looked back at the man and replied, ‘I am the path.’

“We ask the same questions, don’t we?  We ask God, ‘Where are you taking me?  Where is the path?’ And he, like the guide, doesn’t tell us.  Oh, he may give us a hint or two, but that’s all.  If he did, would we understand?  Would we comprehend our location?  No, like the traveler, we are unacquainted with this jungle.  So rather than give us an answer, Jesus gives us a far greater gift.  He gives us himself.”  (Max Lucado, Traveling Light)

Sometimes life sure does seem like being lost deep in the jungle, doesn’t it?  A career suddenly lost in the weeds of a corporate layoff and no one is hiring.  A marriage that started with such promise dying with such vitriol.  A world class athlete crumpled on the floor, holding a knee that will never be right again.  And as if one problem such as these weren’t enough, they seem to compound themselves until we can no longer figure out where we are, which direction we’ve come from, or even the way to get to our intended destination.  It is at times like that when we are most prone to ask the questions: Where are you taking me?  Where’s the path?  How do I get there?

“Jesus doesn’t give hope by changing the jungle; he restores our hope by giving us himself.  And he has promised to stay until the very end.  ‘I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”  (Matt. 28:20)

Ah, here’s the key.  I find that too often when I am lost in the darkness of the jungle, I spend too much time asking God to defoliate the place.  That’s not what He does.  (Oh, He’ll do that one day in a very universal way, but thus far, today doesn’t seem to be that day!)  What God wants us to understand is that He is the path (“I am the way, the truth and the life…”).  He isn’t going to change the jungle, but He will be the path – and the right one at that.  We just need to keep our eyes focused on His back, stay close enough to never lose sight of Him, and we’ll get there.  He’s guaranteed it.

If you are discouraged and need hope…hang in there.  He will restore you as you hold on to Him.

PRAYER: Forgive me, Lord, for doubting that the way is clear to You when I can’t see past the next tree!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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