Christians claim to know what “Grace” means. We explain what Jesus did for us on the cross. We say, the “Son of God” died for us on the cross because of our sins. We are all deserving of punishment, but Jesus was punished in our place. So easy to say those words but what do they really mean and how do they impact our daily lives?
These past fifteen or sixteen months have been full of stumbles. When you consider how the pandemic has taken the lives of more than 600,000 Americans and impacted the health of millions more. COVID-19 devastated our economy, closed businesses, eliminated thousands of jobs, made it dangerous to simply be out in public, temporarily closed churches, schools, restaurants, movie theaters, sporting events and the list goes on and on…
As a pastor, I see so many examples of miraculous healing, but I also witnessed more situations where a miraculous healing was wished for, prayed for but the answer was not what was hoped for. One example happened many years ago in a small town near Amelia, Virginia.
I don’t know the story behind each person waiting at our border hoping to have a better, safer, happier life or to provide a better life for their children here in the United States. But I do know it was a dangerous journey to get there and they need help while they wait for their turn to enter and be reunited with family members and/or sponsors who are in the United States. Most of the men have had their shoelaces and belts taken away from them. The women often arrive with no panties. Many have survived assaults and had their possessions stolen on the way.
In case you haven’t noticed, this column is about risk. I can’t imagine anyone has ever escaped life without taking at least a few risks. Some of them work out, while others don’t but one thing I’ve learned over the years. The answer is never to stop taking risks. The answer is how to make better decisions whether you take a risk and how to manage that risk once taken.
Years ago, I attended a funeral for a pastor who served faithfully for over 30 years. People from each of his churches were there along with pastors and friends. At one point during the service a microphone was set out for anyone who wished to speak. There were many wonderful stories about the pastor and his wife but there was one woman who said something, I will never forget.
Read – The Impossible Dream Part One – Click Here Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Even during tragedy and disappointment, God is in control. If you learn to trust God, you will gain the renewed health and vitality you need to pursue those dreams. Near the end Read more…
So, the main characters are an old man with visions of impossible dreams pledging his undying love to a woman who once had big dreams but settled for much less. Two depressing answers to the question: “What happens to our big dreams?” For some the answer is “mission accomplished” and they are living the dream now. For others, big dreams were compromised by the oftentimes harsh reality of daily living.
Years ago, someone sent me several emails, no one ever wants to see. “I know I just sent in a prayer request, but I am scared. I am not afraid to die. I am afraid to live!” She shared a poem illustrating the darkness and emptiness she was feeling while struggling to hear from and understand God:
This story could represent someone in your community, at your workplace, in your neighborhood, within your family. Someone feeling unloved and hopeless enough to seriously contemplate taking his or her own life. What should we do? How can I help? What should you say?