The Day of Salvation

My name is Delfit and I used to live in what you would consider your average US city in the middle of the country. My town was not known for anything in particular. We had our schools and businesses, and typically, life was smooth sailing. We had the same issues every other city had. Not everyone got along, and there were certain people and areas you would rather avoid. Nothing out of the extraordinary, a city with good and bad. But then there was also my community. What kind of community we were exactly I am not sure, but we sure loved each other. There might have been a hundred or so of us, young and old, and everything in between. We usually spent a lot of time together.

One day I met this guy. I do not remember his name. Matter of fact, I do not think he ever told me his real name, but I met him at the local Perkins, a favorite breakfast restaurant in town. He looked kind of my age, was usually wearing a hat, blue jeans and would typically leave his jeans shirt opened, revealing a plain white shirt underneath. Really nothing special about him. But he was a very nice guy and we became friends, really good friends. But that was the strangest of friendships, because I do not remember what we would usually talk about. In addition, from the very first time we met, I had always sensed that there was something odd about him. Really odd. I always felt that he was hiding something from me. Well, first, I kind of knew that he was not from town, and I did not know where he was from, or even what he was doing in town.

And the more time we spent together, the more that I felt it. Where was he from? I became fixated with that question. One day I brought him to my group, and introduced him. Everyone was nice toward him, but no one sensed the same thing I was sensing. They treated him well, just like any other person, but no one ever felt the same feeling I had. That was very strange. He was MY friend, but I was the one having a strange feeling about him, not my group. He would not typically come to my group but I would usually seek him out. Over time, as I could not contain that feeling anymore, I started to bring it up, day after day among my friends, to the point they had become annoyed with me, and him especially. Why was I fixated on him anyway, they would ask me? I actually started to think that I may be I was going a little crazy.

Then one day things got even worse. I went to meet him at Perkins as we usually did. But within two minutes of me seating down, I saw what I believe was a mom and two young girls. They seemed to be about 5 or 6 years old, the same age as Elvea, my best friend in my group. I loved Elvea! A sweet little girl, we could easily spend hours together. I am not sure whether I knew her parents because in our community that did not really matter much. Everyone took care of everyone, you know, what you might call a real community in its truest sense. Except for the fact that now I had increasingly become the odd one of the group, the one with the fixation on the strange friend.

Anyway, back to the restaurant.

Within two minutes of me seating down with my friends, I had this overwhelming feeling that I was being watched from some distance. And as I turn, I saw the mom, or at least I think she was the mom, with the two young girls. As the girls look at me with the softest yet most curious look, their mom almost rushed out of the restaurant with them, as if she did not want her girls to keep looking at me or to interact with me. Well, things could I have just ended there, except for the fact of what I felt. This time, although I did not even get the chance to speak with the lady, or to even see who she was, I felt exactly what I had been feeling about my friend from the first day we met. In fact, I cannot explain it but somehow, I knew that they knew each other. I just knew it. But no matter how hard I would push my friend, he just wouldn’t say much. Yet, he would always be there, and it was obvious that he too enjoyed my company as I enjoyed his.

Call me crazy but by now I had formulated my own theory. My friend came from somewhere. I don’t know, somewhere. May be from space I don’t know, but he just wasn’t a normal guy, and meeting that woman with the two girls convinced me even more of that. Them too were from somewhere. Who knows, another planet, space, I don’t know. But I loved them! I really, really love them, yes, even the woman and the two girls I had not even spoken with. I loved these people and I wanted to be with them! Who were they, were did they come from? Could I be with them? These people sure weren’t from my town, or from this country, but now I was convinced, not even from earth. Well, that theory did not go too well with my friends back at the camp. I was officially crazy, and from that point, everyone was just about tired to hear about him.

But then came the day that change our town forever. Some kind of disaster struck our town. It did not really feel like it was of natural cause although it looked like it. The sky was lit in bright orange with the raging fire just on the outskirt of town. The town was now in a permanent darkness, because the dark, thick smoke had completely covered the sun. Then, everything stopped working. Everything was broken, it became very dangerous to venture outside at any time of the day, and there was hardly any water. I remember going into town and those bad guys had made camp right in front of the grocery store. With the orange sky and the smell of smoke feeling the air, it felt like overnight we were in the wild west, but a very scary wild west.

What I did not tell you is that Elvea, myself and the rest of the group we were always meeting in this building, with one story. Actually, two stories. I think the ground floor had a few shops and a parking garage. The second floor, where we usually met, was essentially just a plain big open area. Like an office space before it has been partitioned. We were always there, because that is where we usually met. And I remember that there was one section of the roof that had a few panels missing. No one really cared for that section except that if you took a pick in that hole, it was dark with an impossible number of copper pipes, all intertwined. Although they were made out of copper, they were all dark. I am not sure if they were dirty or if they were simply dark, but there was a lot of them! I mean, there was basically no way anyone could go through them, say, for servicing, so small the gap between them was. And for whatever reason, you just had the feeling that they went on for miles and miles high, deep into the roof. Very strange. In any case, there was something really eerie about that roof section.

Now that room had become our refuge. We did not really know what was coming, but everyone knew something was coming, and everyone knew there was no way out. Everyone was afraid, but no one knew what to do. We were like sitting ducks, waiting for our fate, whatever that fate was. But somehow, somehow as we all looked at each other in the eyes, there was this sense that this was it, we were all going to suffer and die. Everyone, all of us!

Then my Perkins friend showed up. Except for those few times in the very beginning when he came, he never really came to that building, to us. We would just meet at Perkins. But here he was. He came, and held me tightly by the upper hard, as if to secure me. Then all of the sudden we ran me through the open space and he carried me into that opening in the roof. All of the sudden him and I were inside and he did not stop. We kept running vertically, passing among all the pipes. I do not know how we did it, but here we were, running vertically. Actually, I almost felt like we were flying, but we were moving our feet frantically (at least I was), although they barely touched anything, I was tightly attached to him and we were moving fast! Really fast! I think I must have passed out at some point. But here we were. And that feeling I had about how deep that rooftop was turned out to be true. It was deep, really deep, with no end in sight! But like someone who knew exactly where he was going, my friend was just passing through those pipes, in that dark expansive place. No one could go through those pipes. I mean, I remember how there was hardly any space between them, and how eerie it felt. But here we were my friend and I, him carrying me at a frantic speed.

Then I must have lost consciousness because I do not remember how it ended. But eventually it felt like I regained consciousness, lifted my head and opened my eyes. I was in this room, a very bright and white room. The room was not big and there at the other side was my friend, seating on a desk, as if he had just been waiting for me to wake up. I do not know how long I had been unconscious but here he was, and I immediately knew where I was. This was his place, this is where he lived.

This was a different world entirely, inaccessible from my world, from where I came from. I mean, who could fly for miles through that dark roof among those tightly knit pipes? This was his place, on the other side. I stood up and there was this door by the stairs. I went to it, and opened it. And there they were. The two girls. I remember their look. Oh how can I forget what I felt when I saw them at the restaurant? How my heart burnt with love for them. But not only them, the adult woman was there too, and many, many other kids and adults were there with them.

But this time, this time they did not run away, but run toward me, hugged me and I knew that I would be with them forever. The moment had arrived. This had become my home, my home for eternity. But then, in a flash I was back in that building with my friends, back on earth, back in my town! My friend from the other world was also there with me, but no one could see him. Elvea! Where is Elvea, my sweet girl, my sweet friend? Here she came running to me, her sweet voice marred by fears. She knew something was about to happen, and would not let me go. “Where were you? Where were you Delfit? I want to come with you, take me with you?” My heart was broken. I was on my knees, holding her tighly in my arms, her little chest so pressed against mine I could feel her heart beat. I began to cry. “Take me with you Delfit, I want to go with you Delfit. Why can’t I go with you. Take me with you Delfit, I want to come with you. Please do not leave Delfit, please, please, don’t go”. “Elvea…I can’t” tears pouring down my cheeks. I started to cry uncontrollably holding her tighter and tighter against my chest. I knew what I had just happened. I was leaving, and my little Elvea was staying.

Who Will Lift My Burden?

To all;

May the grace and the peace of our Lord Jesus-Christ be with you all. Nothing crushes someone’s soul like a burden. The guilt from something you have done in the past, or your multiple failures of all kinds, will leach to your heart like a cancer, and will drag your soul, sucking life out of it every minute. Or how about the burden of not forgive someone who’s hurt you?

Unending rules and regulations from your church, supposedly designed to make you become more like Christ, end up turning you into anything BUT like Christ. You feel heavy and worthless, you will never be good enough for the church, let alone for Christ.

Who? WHO my people will deliver such a soul from that slow and painful death? Who can “really” lift that guilt I have been carrying all this time? Who, WHO my people will help me become like Christ? Oh, WHO? WHO will save me?

Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Ephesians 1:7 – In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

You see, the only way to overcome a burden on your soul is to have it removed! It cannot be cured, it cannot be tamed, it cannot managed. Burden must be removed. And the Lord Jesus, ONLY HIM can do that. No amount of consolation will remove the guilt about what you did or did not do in the past. Anything short of the freedom that we have in Christ will do nothing but add to the sense of your inadequacy as a Christian.

In a personal relationship with JESUS is the antidote to burden. In a constant communion with Christ is the freedom and true power to become like Him. In the Blood of Jesus is the power to free a soul from burden.

Call on Jesus with your whole heart. Call on Him in earnest and with your heavy heart. Cry toward Him, and the King of all Kings shall rise from His Throne for You.

Blessings in the Lord.

God’s recipe for handling anxiety (Part 3 of 3)

anxietyPhilippians 4: 6, 7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [New International Version]

It is time to say “No” to anxiety. God provided a step by step recipe to eliminate  – not just manage – anxiety. Today, let’s resolve to adopt this recipe for the rest of our life.

When to do it? All the time

We saw earlier how we should pray. Now we want to know when, and why? Verse 6 says, “do not anxious about anything, but in every situation…” God is saying that there is no special case of anxiety where His recipe will not work. He is saying that whenever, and wherever anxiety kicks in, we should immediately enact these steps. We should deliberately decide “not to be anxious”. Then using that time we are no longer wasting being anxious, we should present our requests, lifting prayers and petitions with thanksgiving. We should do it all the time!

So why does it work?

At first, the reason God gives us for following His recipe may be surprising (verse 7). Why does He not start in verse 7 by saying “And you will receive what you are asking for”? This seems like it should have been the logical ending. However, upon closer inspection, we shall see how God is truly in the business of fixing problems permanently!

God says that doing what He instructs us to do causes us to be filled with His peace! In addition, He tells us that His peace, which not even the best of the brightest of human minds can comprehend, comes with the specific objective of keeping our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Reading carefully these two verses, it becomes clear that the first problem here is actually not  the stressful situation in which we are, but the anxiety that the situation has just caused. It is anxiety which is the biggest barrier to our solution, not the problem itself. That is why it is so destructive! So anxiety must be dealt with first.

Anxiety is in essence the absence of peace, just like darkness is the absence of light! And that is precisely what God gives us first! What we need is true peace, which only God can provide.

Going back to the mom-child example. Mom’s love and know-how will bring peace to the child even before the problem has been solved! And in many instances, the child will come to realize that the problem was not that big at all to begin with!
With the peace of God now in place, our hearts and minds are fiercely protected, and focused on Christ Jesus. With our hearts and mind secure from the attacks of the devil, the very situation – which caused us to be anxious in the first place – may still be present, but now will appear much smaller, its true size! And with that peace, we are now ready to wait patiently for the solution to fully materialize, knowing with absolute certainty that God will indeed bring the solution to pass.

God’s recipe is guaranteed to work, because of His Love and Power, all the time, and in every situation! Let’s learn to apply this recipe in our lives.

God’s recipe for handling anxiety (Part 2 of 3)

anxietyPhilippians 4: 6, 7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [New International Version]

This recipe is guaranteed to work, all the time! There is no special case!

How to do it? Pray with Thanksgiving

In the previous article we saw what we should do first. Here, we see how. We present our requests by prayer and petition, and verse 6 adds with thanksgiving. Our prayers to God, in which we present our requests, should be prayers of thankfulness! For example, we should say “God I thank you because I know that you have already resolved my situation”. Here are two examples of how NOT to pray “Oh God please help me just this once, please I am desperate…” or “God, if you do this for me this time, I will…”

One reason we thank God is because He has already received and accepted our requests even before we knew we would have it. The reality is, the focus of our prayer should not just be about informing God about our challenges, because He knows them already ! Even more important, our focus should be about thanking Him, believing that He already has the desire and ability to resolve our challenges. Our prayer of thanks demonstrates our knowledge and conviction of this magnificent reality – that He already knows and wants to solve our problems!

Thanking God in our prayers in the midst of a challenge helps us set our sight on the end of result, the deliverance, rather than on the challenge itself. How wonderful!

However, there is more to God’s recipe. God also tells us WHEN we should do all this, and probably more important, He tells us WHY this recipe actually work, all the time! We discuss this in the next article.

God’s recipe for handling anxiety (Part 1 of 3)

anxietyPhilippians 4: 6, 7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [New International Version]

This recipe is guaranteed to work, all the time! There is no special case!

If you have ever experienced anxiety, then you know how wickedly destructive it is, pure and simple! But in two short verses, God has given us a detailed step-by-step guide to eliminate – not just manage – anxiety. In Philippians 4: 6, 7, He tells us at least four things: what we should do? How we should do it? When we should do it? And why we should do it? This and the next two short articles dig into God’s magnificent recipe to completely eliminate anxiety in our lives!

What to do? Stop being anxious, and then present your requests

There are two things we ought to do: We should stop being anxious and then, during that free time we now have, present our request to Him. It seems counter-intuitive that the first step toward eliminating anxiety is to stop being anxious! However, this reveals to us God’s perspective on anxiety: Anxiety is actually something “wecan stop! Then God tells us what to replace anxiety with: we should get busy presenting our request to Him. Think about it; parents actually apply this very principle every day. A child may come to his mother crying uncontrollably. Unfortunately, unless the child calms down first, he will not be able to tell clearly to his mother what is wrong. The child should calm down first, at least for the time necessary to tell what the matter is. Then, after telling his story, he will rely on his mom’s love and expert know-how to calm him down permanently regarding the matter at hand.

It is the same with God. He want us to calm down first! Then He wants us to present our requests to Him. His love and expert know-how will thereafter soon become evident and completely eliminate our anxiety.

But HOW do we present our requests to Him? As we discuss in the next article, knowing how  to present our requests is just as, if not more important than just presenting them. Knowing HOW is a key ingredient in God’s recipe for handling anxiety.