Blessing after blessing: God’s mercy in my Life

Honestly, it’s just blessing after blessing these days.  I’ve learned that when I do some basic things to maintain my faith, God in return showers blessings, wisdom, and love.  He’s awesome like that.  I wonder at his creation, I look up at the stars and I want to shout in joy, but I don’t yet know how.  He will teach me, and he makes himself known to me.  The cool thing is that he offers me reconnection to him through Christ.  To all he offers this simple deal, and I choose to take it!  I mean wow.  That’s really mercy.  I mean come on, how many times have we all made terrible decisions and caused trouble in the world and in others, and harmed our family, and harmed ourselves.  It seems like we tend to think of ourselves as decent people, but we just aren’t perfect. 

What’s amazing to me is that once I accept the sacrifice of Christ for my mistakes and regrets, I’m still lost and confused about how to be connected to God.  God doesn’t leave me at that point though.  As long as I’m daily walking with him, doing basic things, he teaches me experientially and through his word, how to consciously connect to him.

Because that one I never understood.  When I was an angsty teenager (oh I was) I remember looking for evidence of God when I would call out to him when I was depressed.  And I felt empty, I didn’t feel him there.  Well, that’s because it’s a life long process of cultivating conscious contact with God.

It doesn’t happen overnight. 

The blessings just keep coming.  The beautiful service at the 400 block for Downtown Mission Church.  It was just incredible.  The music, the testimony.  It was just amazing because.. I saw people, from four different churches that I’ve been to, and sometimes attend groups at.  And they were all gathered together on the 400 block of Wausau.  And we were just rejoicing and singing out to the Lord.  So many have been praying for changes in Wausau, and now.  I mean wow.  The coming together of the churches, the breaking of those barriers between congregations is just beautiful and mighty to me.  It’s a unifying of the community really. 

I saw Jeff, Jim, and Betty from Highland Church in Wausau.  Beautiful, wonderful people who have helped me so much.  I saw a lot of the congregation from my home church New Day praising God as well.  I saw Matt, Eric, his wife, and others.  Once again, awesome people who I look to for strength and inspiration.  I saw my friend Dave from the groups I attend as well, he was sitting there in his lawn chair hanging out, enjoying the music.  I saw Pastor Dan Mandigo, a gifted man with a powerful message.  He’s starting The Edge church in Wausau, which is ministering to metal music and rock music guys in that area!  What a powerful thing to bring into the area!  And Downtown Mission Church was running it, I saw Pastor Charlie a man whom God called to his purpose share his testimony.  Truly a message seething with honesty and passion.  My dear friend Lucky led the worship team and just sung his heart out to God.  So rewarding to see God working in his life.  I saw Luke, Joanne, Chelsey, all good people I knew from the thursday and saturday DMC cafe nights.  So amazing!  So wonderful.  All according to the living God and his wonderful purpose.

It’s just been great lately.  My studies at Liberty university are really giving me powerful insight into the great and almighty God.  And what’s so cool is that I enjoy the subject material so much studying isn’t much of an issue.  I struggle with it sometimes, but I just ask for God to help me and he does. 

You know it’s not always wonderful in the world, it’s often very challenging.  But the moments when you see and feel God working… I just live for that.  It reminds me of all the experiences in my life that guided me to the moment of accepting Christ.  It was a long, winding journey of learning, insight, struggle, and failure.  God really had to allow me to get really low, rock bottom, until I could just give up and reach out for him.

That’s really what it was, I just reached out, and he reached back.  I didn’t have anything left in my own power.  I had tried everything, and it just wasn’t working.  I had given up, and I called out to God.  He saw me in my trouble, and pulled me.  Kinda like when the disciples were out fishing, and a storm started.. and then they saw Jesus walking on the water toward them.  And the storm passed, and they reached the other side.  What a metaphor.  Jesus coming for the lost people of Earth, walking on the water toward us.  And we didn’t expect him to come.  We saw the storm.. and eventually resigned to death.  The storm is our sin, the chaos of this world.  We did nothing to deserve it, but miraculously, our loving God, sends Jesus the Christ, this powerful perfect human, walking out toward us in our disaster.  And we take him into us, onto the boat, and he leads us across.. and the storm passes.  It gives me chills to picture it, I have a cinematic mind like that, I picture the scene in The Gospel of John movie.  Really hit home with me. 

It’s always a struggle though.  On good nights like tonight, I can sing the praises of my merciful Father.  And on the rough days, when I’m swamped in worldliness and sin, I just kind of curl up and rest on my God, until it passes.  Peace grows, and faith grows, and as a result I grow.  It all starts with the connection to God, all flows like milk from it. 

So if I can suggest one thing, cultivate with all your effort.. that connection to God.  Ask him to show you how, ask him to explain his word, ask him anything, God is good and just, and he answers, and gives out love and mercy generously. 

God bless you all, and have a wonderful night

-Justin

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