Father spoke those words into my heart a few weeks ago. “Things are not as they seem.” What a mind blowing revelation! That moment took away all fear, it took away all striving, those six little words changed my life. In the moment I heard them I realized, I internalized, that Father could change anything in the blink of an eye.
I have seen or received so many miracles in my life that one would wonder why I would ever have any doubts, but to my defense, I have also seen a lot of terrible things. The difference would be this, miracles come in all different shapes, colors and sizes, sometimes, at first, I don’t recognize a miracle, as a miracle. Some things look pretty awful and it takes a change of mind to be able to see the good in a bad situation. For example.. my Dad recently suffered a stroke and it was pretty scary as we waited, after the ambulance picked him up, to learn the extent of the damage. A helicopter flew him to San Francisco, (a four hour dive by car), to the best stroke center in northern California, and we waited. All this time the words “Things are not as they seem” circled my thinking and I found I was able to rest in Father’s love and provision. By my calmness, the Holy Spirit also encouraged those around me to rest and trust. Dad’s improvements started immediately upon arrival at the hospital, continued as he flew to S.F., and, with therapy, we expect him to fully recover and be home in a total of 2 weeks time! All I can say is we praise our Heavenly Father, he is our savior and comforter.
He increases our faith, if we let him. I say, “if we let him” because we are given the moment by moment opportunity to say, “things are not as they seem” and to walk in the knowledge that our Father is benevolent. For many years, religion has taught that God is a fearsome entity, (you know, sending 99% of the earth’s population to eternal Hell), and it has been difficult to believe he really is looking out for our good, especially when seemingly bad things happen. We have come to a new age and our walk of faith is a moment by moment trust in God’s love for not only “Christians” but for the whole world. We find it challenging to constantly turn our thinking from evil, like unbelief, distrust, and fear, so we can realize peace and we can say, even in all these things, I know my Heavenly Father loves me and whatever his plan, all will work out for my good. All I have to do is let myself trust and believe. After all, he has given me a measure of faith, he has promised me that There is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1Co 10:13)
So, when we feel tempted beyond what we are able, when we feel more is put on us than we are able to bear, when we feel God is unfair, just maybe, somewhere along the line we have lost belief in Father’s desire for our good. Maybe we just don’t believe we are worth God putting forth any extra effort, or maybe we do not believe we have “earned” God’s tender care. The truth is, if we will “let” ourselves believe that we are valuable to our Heavenly Father and if we will embrace “things are not what they seem,” we will find we are walking a life of faith, not trusting what our eyes see, but what our Father tells us to believe, and inner peace will prevail.
To say, “Yet I have faith everything will work out for good” in itself is a miracle. This kind of faith is not drummed up, nor can it be purchased, but it is something we can share with one another. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. the gift of God: (Heb 11:1) We are not condemned if we do not yet have faith to believe that everything will work together for good, nor are we to condemn others, but instead, we share the Good News with whomever will “let” us share.
Truly we are already experiencing faith if we believe the world was made by God. This same faith was experienced by the Saints of old throughout the Bible. In Hebrews 11 we find the stories of many. Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, and because this sacrifice was by faith, he obtained witness that he was righteous. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because he pleased God. We are told that without faith it is impossible to please God, after all we must first believe that God is, and that he rewards those who diligently seek him. Remember the faith of Noah, who prepared an ark to the saving of his own family and became the heir of righteousness which is by faith. Abraham probably did not know the great faith he exhibited when he was called to go out to find a new place of residence, which afterward he received for an inheritance. Little did he know that when he obeyed, this faith would be forever read about in the Bible. Through faith Sara received strength to conceive when she was past age. I can’t even imagine the great amount of faith Abraham experienced, when he was tried, offered up his only son Isaac, as a sacrifice to God. By faith Moses, forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the Pharaoh; at the prompting of God, he left Egypt with over a million of his brethren. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land; which the Egyptian army, while trying to follow were drowned. We can be assured that our faith puts us in good company for the recorded list of the faithful is very long.
Our best example was Jesus, the author and anchor of our faith; who, for the love of mankind, endured the cross, and was set down at the right hand of the throne of God. When we become weary and feelings of hopelessness sink into our belly, it takes a change of thinking and we can look to Jesus. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and forget not to communicate: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Heb 13:15-16)
Things are not as they seem is more readily accepted when we realize that he wants the very best for us. That he can change anything in an instant. It is when we know that He has not esteemed evil in our lives we can say we have faith. It is necessary to deny anything that is not God, I deny anything that tries to tell me that God is not in my corner, I call the devil, who says I am not worthy, I am not good enough, a liar. You see, things are not as they seem. Trials and tribulations make us stronger and develop character. I live a life of expectancy.
I managed to pass all my university classes this semester. Let me confess, I did not know if I would pass because on several quizzes I received F’s. This is a grade that says “you are not good enough, you will not pass.” and I believed that voice. For you see, suddenly after graduating on the president’s list for my A.A., I am now encountering professors who required more. More than I knew how to give. I only received B+ in my English class. I love English, I love writing, I expected to do well, and quite frankly a B+ was quite disappointing. But you know, that was Father’s design for my life. He could have made sure that professor saw something special in my writing, instead he made me realize I need to be humbled. My History professor told me I would probably receive only a C which would make my GPA, (grade point average) drop to 3.5 or so. OH WELL! The reason I am not stressed over this, is because Father could change this all before grades come out. That history teacher could read my final paper and say THIS IS GREAT! And Change his mind, or then, just maybe, I need to adjust my attitude. In it all, Praise to God, His name is worthy of praise and He alone deserves all glory. It is important to live in the “now .” Right this minute...I am warm, I am full, my life is good, it is important not to borrow trouble for tomorrow. Even when it comes to our children and grand children, to God be the glory, he can change things in an instant. If he doesn’t choose to change things, whatever happens can make a person what they are supposed to become.
Speaking of which, have I shared that my brother, Bob, has spent most of his life in prison? I can’t remember how many times when he got out we believed he would make the right choices, choices like he would get off the drugs and alcohol and never go back. And EACH time he would be arrested again and thrown back into prison, taken away from us. Wrong choices, wrong people, wrong time in the wrong place. BUT... now he is out, he is drug and alcohol free, he is with a lady he loves, he helps our aging parents and does the jobs my sister and I cannot help them with, (like splitting wood for their only real source of heat, pruning trees, fixing things).We could have saved ourselves many years of worry and grief had we embraced “Things are not as they seem.” For all in all, in the end, everything worked out. We feel so blessed that even at this late age, he is here with us helping with his whole heart.
Have Faith, our Heaven Father has control of everything, "The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." Pro. 16:4
Just for the sake of this discussion, hypothetically, this is the age of miracles. No age in the past has needed miracles as much as this. Our planet is over-crowded, running short on arable land and potable water. As throughout history, bloody dictators use terror and murder to keep their fiefdoms in thrall. I propose that the father is using science to create the miracles that will save this planet. We are poisoning our water and air with wastes, pesticides, and fossil fuels. Perhaps, all these are catalysts to generate greater miracles.
The Father has a plan, he creates greater challenges that require greater miracles. Some of the miracles the father gave us, just since I was a child, include the freeway system, television, travel, computers, cell phones, bullet trains, and The Chunnel, (the tunnel under the English Channel). Each of these is a miracle of sorts, changing our society for better, or worse, depending on your point of view.
In the natural, with our planet overcrowded, the father has given us fish farms, oyster farms, and the corporate farm. Though the latter is more efficient, I prefer local family farms as healthier and safer. It seems the father keeps starvation and disease around just so we appreciate the lack thereof. We give thanks as Americans for the lack of privation, the lack of misery that has always been the lot of millions of humans on this ball of mud.
Thank you father for the gift of life and your gift of love, that every American should appreciate; as we are the most fortunate society on earth. We have much more than we need, we are blessed. We look forward to the day when all children every where are well nourished and educated, instead of wasting the most important asset we possess, the intellectual capacity of our children. This asset is literally our future.
Life is fabulous! Dave and I are happy, and even with his continued three times a week dialysis ordeals, we are positive and upbeat. Terrie continues to amaze me as Father works miracle after miracle in her life, health and finances. My Dear Mom still suffers from dizziness, confusion and forgetfulness. We appreciate all prayers. Daddy is doing very well after the stroke. Father’s bounty and mercy continues to pour forth on us all and we are grateful to be able to continue to be in touch with the Body of Christ via our little newsletter and by receiving your letters and email. (By the way, my final history grade was a B- PTL).
We pray that hope abounds in your hearts today. Keep in mind that seeds of hope are being shed every step and with every word uttered. Pray those seeds sprout, grow into a mighty plant, which sheds more seeds, it is this way that our would will recoup and we will see the Kingdom of God grow.
Thank you for your prayerful support, it enables us to continue sharing the Good News of the Happy God Who is Savior of All and condemner of None.