Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Is the end of the world near? Conclusion

God desires for us to listen to his voice.

As I look outside I see the fall flowers blooming now and they appear to be so beautiful.  The outside temperatures are very cold for this time of year and the contrast between the flowers dotting the hillside along with the cooler temperatures, I imagine are confusing the bees trying to extract nectar from blooming flowers. 

We are now finishing up with the pears and apples today.  Anne and Will have made pear butter and I processed the apples with Will’s help in freezing them into slices for making pies later this winter.  When finishing the apples and pears, we then began to tackle the peppers for freezing them as well.  Anne processed much of the tomatoes that we have grown this year by making tomato soup and then freezing them for meals in the months to come.  Squash will be the next task that we will take on.  We have found that freezing the squash is the easiest way to preserve them for later uses.  It is so much fun in getting ready for winter and in the planning of all the foods that we have worked so hard to prepare. 

God will reveal his way if we seek him.
Last night I was reading from Matthew 24 again while praying for guidance in what I would say today.  I read from other sources that I found concerning the end times as well.  Realizing that it was getting late, I set my materials down and decided to prepare for bed.  Sometimes when wrestling against tiredness and fatigue, it is best to let things lie and continue later when rested again.  I have found that when I get really tired I have a tendency to look at the darker side of things, and I am not able to balance this out with the positive side of the issues facing me.  When reading last night, I felt a little overwhelmed with all the devastation that Jesus was talking about.  I imagine it was quite a shock for Jesus’ disciples as well.  Knowing that their teacher was going to be tortured and later killed, it was perhaps a little much for them to absorb such a horrific site in their minds, of the end times that is.  

When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples with him had a very difficult time staying awake.  I remember the first time I read this scripture, it frustrated me in that the disciples had slumbered just when Jesus needed them the most.  Later, as I grew in maturity, I became more compassionate when reading the passages that told of the sleepy disciples. 

God gives our souls rest.
Often I have observed that when grief is so overwhelming for individuals, our body craves sleep, fatigue takes over and gives that person time to slow down and relax by allowing one to sleep.  This gives our subconscious time to sort out many difficult emotions; as well as working through the hurt by giving our body needed rest. 

Any last minute information briefing from Jesus over his fate did not surprise the disciples.  They knew the tragic news of this much earlier on, and so were, I imagine, dreading what was to come.  Their hearts and minds could not cope with the grief that was heading their way, and so they probably did not sleep for many days before that fateful night at the Garden of Gethsemane.  When the time came for them to be with Jesus praying, they could not handle the overwhelming grief, and so consequently, adding the days before with little sleep, they finally succumbed to their body’s call for rest. 
The mature person is one that plans for many unforeseen circumstances.  I believe that Jesus knew ahead of time that his disciples would not grow until he, the master was gone, and then the Holy Spirit would arrive and be their counselor.  The disciples through many trials and tribulations would have the means to become the mature Christians through their individual walks with the Holy Spirit as their guide. 

God helps us to see his will when we are focused on him alone.
My thoughts now go to when my daughter Abby was learning to ride her bicycle.  She was very much afraid to get on the bike, and so chose to ride on her small scooter instead.  The desire for riding her bike was increased when she saw her brother riding his bicycle, and because she could not keep up with him on her scooter, Abby decided to overcome her fear and try riding her bike.  Abby felt that she was missing out on the fun Will was having.  That was the incentive she needed to overcome her fear of riding her bike.  For Abby, it was not the bike that was the object of her fear, it was the thought of getting hurt.   Eventually, she decided it was an acceptable risk to learn to ride the bicycle.  Abby’s great loneliness was felt in that her brother was leaving her behind.  She wanted to share in his joy, and desired for Will to know her happiness as well.  Will on the other hand was lonely without the ability to play with Abby in sharing a common experience.  This is what makes up a friendship, sharing our hearts one with another.

Though my way seems blocked, God finds a way!
 God has established within us a desire to love and be loved.  He first created this in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.  Adam loved God with all his heart and he felt God’s love more than anytime in his life.  When sin sent Adam and Eve from the Garden, not only was a relationship severed, but hearts were broken as well.  God was deeply saddened and I believe he felt that he had lost a good friend, one whom he loved very much.  Both Adam and Eve chose to leave God by their acts of disobedience and betrayal.  One can only imagine what Adam and Eve were feeling when having to leave God’s presence.  A deep love and bond was established between themselves and God, and now that was gone. 

When Jesus came into the world, he was God in the flesh.  God’s desire was that of wanting to re-establish this bond of love between man and himself.  Jesus became the sacrifice for our sins so that we could have that Garden of Eden experience with God again.  In each of our hearts, we have felt a distance between ourselves and God.  Being God’s creation, we have allowed ourselves to be left behind because of our sins and our fears.  God wants to be a part of our lives again, to walk with us and teach us as he did in the Garden of Eden.  In sacrificing God's son Jesus for our sins, we now have the chance to once again walk with him.  Ironically though, in another garden thousands of years later, God’s son would be the one forced to leave at the hands of those that wanted to stop this relationship between God and man from being reestablished.  Ultimately, Satan and his limited vision could not understand that it was in God’s plan to have his only son be the sacrifice for our sins, so that the bridge between himself and man, which was destroyed by sin, could once more be reestablished. 

Jesus nourishs our souls.
Are the end times coming?  It is heading in that direction and I am excited in one respect, that Jesus is coming to reestablish his kingdom here on Earth.  Prophecy says in Ezekiel 39:27-29, Amos 9:13-15, Jer. 30:2, Jer. 33:7 and Ezek. 37:27-29 that when Israel as a country is reestablished, and the temple is rebuilt, that this is the beginning of the end.  Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel and Revelation all point to the signs that we are to look for, that show when the end is near, (signs of the end times.)  Should we fear these things happening?  Only if we have not accepted Jesus into our lives should we then be afraid.  Will Christians face many hardships during the end times, yes they will.  But one thing that we as Christians must do, that is to continue our walk with Jesus. 

When the Israelites were being led to the Promised Land, and were wandering in the desert, God's presence was in the pillar of fire at night and the cloud during the day.  The Israelites knew when to leave when God’s outward manifestation of the pillar of fire or the cloud left.  During their journey to the Promised Land, God’s children, at that time, were given the choice of leaving with God, or going their own way.  They did not know where God was leading them, but they were faced with the decision to follow or stay.  In traveling with God, they had to walk in faith, expecting him to lead them in the direction that would bring them to the Promised Land.  In our relationship today with God, he teaches us through his word as well as by his Holy Spirit. 

I thirst for you Lord!
We are not left in the dark as to God’s plan for our lives.  But, if we just look for outward signs alone, as to where and how God is moving, we can be in the position of guessing and allowing fear to rule over us.  The Israelites in the desert did not have a personal relationship with God as we do today.  Through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, we can now come to our Lord and experience a close relationship that Adam once had.  We do not need to be left in darkness and fear.  God walks with us if we invite him to be a part of our lives each day. 

Walk with God today, listen to his Holy Spirit and read his word.  Then, you will not have to worry any longer concerning the future, because God is walking beside us, and he will not allow us to stumble or to be left in the dark concerning tomorrow.  
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