This dispensation of grace in which we live is quickly coming to a close, and the spiritual realm is profusely active. Manifestations of this activity have become obvious and frequent. Very bizarre events are taking place, and none of it makes sense to our natural reasoning. As humans, we feel compelled to analyze, reason, and explain what we see going on around us. Why do God-fearing people get sick and injured, why do young people die, why do the wicked prosper, why do the righteous suffer? With our finite, limited view of the big picture, we struggle over the answers. Our emotions are stirred by tragedy and we pridefully demand an explanation. If we are truthful, we must admit that we often want to blame God for allowing the chaos that either touches or invades our lives. It’s as if we think that God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, owes us an explanation. But the truth is….God doesn’t answer to us….we answer to Him. He is the Creator, we are the creature. He not only gives us the very air we breathe, but also sent His Son as a sacrificial lamb to redeem us to Him when we were yet His enemies. It’s His mercy that sustains our life every day. The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I realize how much I don’t know….but one thing I do know….God IS love, He sees the big picture, and everything He does or allows is generated from that motive of love for the greatest good. No matter how much our human reasoning or emotions scream out in protest….GOD IS RIGHT and WE ARE WRONG! Another thing I know without a doubt…God’s grace is sufficient to carry us through this life and throughout eternity. He is always righteous, always just, always merciful, always perfect love.
A few days ago, I had surgery #6 on my hand. All the bones are now healed and all the tendons are now repaired, so after a few more months of therapy to get everything moving freely, this long journey will be finished and my hand will be functional with very few limitations. After the initial shock and trauma subsided, I began to seek God about what I was to learn and how was I to grow from this experience. The lessons have been numerous, and the growth has been substantial, but one thing I had to always keep in check was the temptation to allow the situation to consume my thoughts and energy and keep all my attention turned towards myself. I became determined to not allow the injury to define or control me, but to discover how God would use it for His glory. For whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, that should be our goal.
In January, the Lord led us to initiate a monthly Bible study at Salacoa Valley Farms in Fairmount, GA. The first three meetings have convinced us that it’s definitely a “God thing” so they will continue as long as He wills. We remained in north GA for the annual Three Rivers Invitational in Rome which is always a prime opportunity for fruitful ministry. The next weekend was spent in Lakeland, FL where the Civic Center graciously provided a large room for Cowboy Church. This was our third trip to the SSBR Finals in Palmetto, FL and we always look forward to that event. The bull riders faithfully gathered each night that their hearts might be encouraged to have a walk worthy of God who calls us into His own kingdom and glory. After a quick trip to the monthly GA meeting in February, we were back at the rodeo in Dade City, FL. March brings the rodeo to our home turf in Lake City, FL where, in addition to the meetings before each of the three performances, I was asked to give a short testimony about my injury to the large crowd of rodeo spectators on Saturday night. We finished up our March itinerary in Nashville, GA and anticipate a busy, productive spring on the road proclaiming the light and love of our Heavenly Father.
One thing I love about the Wednesday night meetings in our home is the atmosphere it provides for people to be real. We share our needs, our shortcomings, our fears, our goals, our blessings, and our victories without fear of condemnation or judgment. There is no need to put on a “religious” face in an effort to live up to some pre-conceived, man-made ideal of the Christian life. There will be trials, tribulations, and God’s discipline from which none of us are exempt. There will also be amazing transformation as we are conformed to the image of Jesus. Fellowship with the body of Christ is an essential part of that transformation. Another thing I love about Wednesday nights are the divine revelations of unadulterated Truth. I can say with certainty that the Truth will most definitely make you free! Once you get a little taste of that freedom, there is no going back to being under the law, desperately trying to please God, but never finding any power to get it done.