I bolted down the winding trail,

As a brazen shout wafted through the air:

“Follow me to the cerulean sheens of liberty!”

A sliver of moonlight glowing on my path

Lit up the arrow pointing to the sky:

“Follow me and we’ll rise over the windswept heights!”

But I dove into a stream,

Deadening the pain for a moment

That lasted a lifetime,

While the shout burst forth, urging me on:

“Before you should fall; rise up and know

Upwards is life; up you should go.” Continue reading

(Truly) For Our Greater Good

I’m sure we’ve all probably heard or asked this question before:

“Why would a loving God let bad things happen to us?”

To dig through the surface of such a mystery, we need to look more closely at God Himself. All over the Bible, God reveals Himself behind the foundations of the earth. Not only is God loving, but He is a Mighty God who is bigger than the loudest storm, the greatest earthquake, and our doubts that trickle through the cracks inside us. What we call a problem, He calls a slight worm that can be smashed in His hand. What we call a tragedy, He calls a raindrop that can be overcome by His ocean of grace.

No matter our situation, God loves us, so He waits upon us till we wait upon Him.

He waits for us to accept His power–the glorious news that His Son Jesus came to carry our burdens, to endure God’s wrath for us, to set our turbulent hearts secure in an unfathomable peace. The Lord Jesus came down to earth to offer us peace in the midst of chaos, to understand the depth of God’s love, holiness, and eternal joy in the midst of fear and confusion and despair.

We can experience Him even if our own circumstances don’t reflect His goodness. Continue reading

When Words Hurt

Sometimes I gossip. Sometimes I take pleasure in tearing others down just so I can make a tighter connection with the people who gossip right along with me. It’s such an easy, seemingly harmless thing to do, and a lot of times it brings laughter.

But it’s wrong.

One way of gossiping I often fall into is the “funny” kind. I believe humor is a tool the devil can use to ease us into an idea, ease us into hurting others. Not all humor is utterly evil, of course, but the gossiping humor that tears people down is simply wrong.

And yet in the moment of a fun or even outright disdainful conversation about a person’s weird ways it can be so hard for us to stand firm in the truth.

What is the truth? Well, if we look in the Bible, God’s truth is plain: Gossiping is wrong.

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” – Proverbs 16:28 (NIV)

I believe He would go so far as to say that putting someone down is, in fact, despising them in your heart. Perhaps it’s not full-out hate, but it certainly leans way more on the side of hating a person more than loving them.

It’s not loving at all.

In fact, it’s not even loving the person you are gossiping with! It’s bringing that person along with you the road of judgement, when God wants us on the road of mercy, loving people whether or not they look or act weird, loving people even if they’re doing something wrong–because that’s the way He loves us. Continue reading