Magic Shows and Illusions

Illusions have always been one of my favorite things. Watch a magic show and see a rabbit get pulled out of a hat or a person completely disappear. The key to a good illusion is to get the audience to see what you want them to see. Get them to look at your right hand when they should be watching your left.

Sometimes my life feels like a magic show. I don’t ever seem to know what’s really going on and I’m never paying attention to what I should be focusing on. I’m like that person that is always babbling about how it’s not real. It’s fake. You shouldn’t be fooled. And yet, at the show, I still don’t see what’s happening. I know it’s an illusion. I know that if I looked past all the grandeur I would be able to see what I’m suppose to be seeing. Yet here I am, caught up in the distractions.

I could give excuse after excuse as to why I am so distracted. My Dad is dying. My brother is dying. I’m moving 1,000 miles away in two months. I have so much to do before I leave. And of course, all the doubts in my head… Am I ready? I’m probably going to fail. Are the people I’m going to live with still going to even want to acknowledge my existence at the end of the year? What if I can’t do it? What if I fail? What if? What if? What if?

These worries. These shadows. These illusions. They are consuming me. I fight them with all my might. But I am too weak. How do you fight looking at your Dad and thinking, “Dear God, please let him be here when I come home.” Or visiting your brother because you may never see him again. How do you fight of the feeling of defeat when you feel like you are running out of time? And what are you suppose to do when your biggest fear is that others will see you the way you see yourself?

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you. Ephesians 1:18

Look past the illusion.

It’s funny the things God will use to help you see past the illusion. Maybe it’s reaching a goal you didn’t think you would reach. Or that person you always feel inferior to telling you that they feel the same way you do. They may not even realize that you feel that way too. Either way, Thank God for breaking that illusion.

Because on the other side of that illusion is a miracle. On the other side of that illusion is God doing amazing things in your life. Whether it’s teaching you to wait or telling you it’s time to move.

I can’t say that the looking past the illusion is going to cure my Dad of his cancer. Or that my brother will get a miracle. Or that I’ll have the same friends this time next year. What breaking the illusion does is let you see God. It breaks away any feeling of distance you felt between you and God. Because suddenly, He is right there. Working away. Making sure everything turns out right.

God is more than the cancer, more than the calander, or even the distance. God is more than the people or the fear. I’m giving it all to God. God is making things happen. Even when I don’t see it. Even when I don’t feel it. God is working and with Him all things are possible. Even a little thing like life.

 

 

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Water

Sometimes I feel like I am drowning. Today, I choose to drown in Jesus.

I used to imagine a leap of faith would include learning how to fly. Fall down, get back up, over and over until I learned to fly. Spread my wings and just fly above the world. I think that is what most people imagine.

But, maybe, a leap of faith means jumping into the ocean. Maybe instead of learning how to fly above the world, you learn how to swim through the world. You learn that if you let it in, you will die. The water makes you tired and after awhile it burns your lungs, begging you to take a breathe, but as soon as you do, it fills you and blocks out any chance of relief. Maybe Jesus is our air. Maybe the only way for us to survive is to break through the water and take a deep breathe of His pure, refreshing air. And yes, you will have to go back under the water, back into the world, but He is in you and makes it bearable. Maybe even enjoyable. Maybe His oxygen helps you open your eyes and see the beauty of the world, but also the darkness. Maybe the Bible is your oxygen tank, helping you breathe no matter how far down you are. And maybe, He is asking you to dive deep and help somebody else breach the surface and to breathe His oxygen. Maybe, just maybe, you can learn to swim.

I started my first job two weeks ago, and after my first week, a friend asked me if I was ‘surviving or drowning’, which got me thinking about how life is a lot like swimming. Last week I had a thirty-nine hour work week. It was crazy and most of the time I felt like I was just keeping my head above the water. But I did it. Thankfully, this week I only work twenty-five hours. Today was not the best, and honestly, I feel like somebody is trying to hold me under the water. I keep struggling, even though I know it only makes things worse. I know I need to give up the struggle and let God pull me up. I know that the only reason I am still under the water is because I refuse to come up. And yet here I am. Screaming for air, yet holding my breath. What a human thing to do.

Have you ever stood on a beach just before a storm hits? It is the most surreal experience. You can feel it in the cool air, smell it on the wind as it picks up speed. But to look out over the ocean, you can almost convince yourself it won’t happen. The water is gentle as it lapses up to your feet. It looks peaceful. Except for the gathering clouds on the horizon. But you do so enjoy the view, so you convince yourself that it’ll be fine. The storm will never reach the shore. But then in the blink of an eye, the waters start to rage. The air becomes electrified with the storm that you tried so hard to ignore. And you are swept up in the tempest beating down around you. And you come out of it with a new respect for water. It can be the most peaceful thing you see, but it can also be the most deadly thing you experience.

Life is so much like water. One day it can be full of hope and the next it can be trying to drown you with it’s weight. Isn’t it good to know that God offers you a rock to stand on, so that you can not be shaken? Isn’t even better to know that Jesus walks on water. It can not pull Him down.

Which is good, I need Him to be able to see where I am going. As long as He knows, it’ll be good. I think I am starting to see where I need to go. But it’s scary. It’s a long way from shore. Farther than I have ever dared ventured. But if that is where God is leading me, then I will follow. For His ways are higher than my ways, and His thought are higher than my thoughts.

So, that’s where I am right now. Breathing in His air. Letting Him teach me how to swim. Learning His direction. And knowing no matter how far or deep I go, He can always go farther and dive deeper.

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Other Thoughts:

Wisdom is quiet because words are powerful.

Scars are a beautiful reminder that the pain won’t always bleed.

Florida is a REALLY long way from Ohio.