I have a brief story to tell: A few weeks back, after meeting with my CPA, it was determined that within the last two years, my wife and I had over $240,000 stolen from us through acts of fraud that we have fought through the legal system over the years. This is of course devastating to anyone to have so much stolen and all in a country you would think would have protections against this sort of fraud and extortion but yet it still happens every day and to good people.
That evening I left the house without letting anyone know where I would be going. My family was very concerned about me and I am sure most people would commit suicide in that moment when you see what took years to accumulate taken so easily by another country or through acts of dishonesty. Driving over Destin pass, I decided to stop and walk along okaloosa point. Many times in the past I would find solace in a nice walk along the beach at night and was hoping this evening that the Lord would reassure me that everything was going to be ok in spite of my losses. After walking all the way around the point and headed back west, I sat in the sand defeated and feeling completely alone. It was in that moment that I heard a still small voice tell me to DIG. “Dig” I asked myself. Not giving any more thought, I dug for over 2 hours in the sand. I reached over 8′ deep by 4′ wide below sea level when water started to come into the hole causing me to stop. I remember kneeling and looking up at the stars above me through the small hole above me that I created. It was completely quiet; I couldn’t even hear the waves in that moment. That was when I heard God’s voice over me saying
“There is peace in this life Chris…but sometimes you have to dig to find it.”
I found peace in what God was saying because truly I tell you, peace does not come easily in this life and it doesn’t come from wealth or fame or the adoration of others. It comes from God and doesn’t come easily. Many times, we have to dig; dig through our circumstances and through our shortcomings until we reach a place that there is nothing around us but the very sand from which we came to force us to look nowhere else but upwards. Only then can you see the beauty that surrounds you and realize that you truly are blessed, even in your losses and failures.
Psalms 37: 3-7 Says this:
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness like the dawn, your justice like the noonday sun.”
The key to understand when you see scripture reference “the desires of your heart,” or “the secret petitions of our heart,” is understanding that our father in heaven understands what we need more so than we do. Another way of understanding this is from the perspective of a mom with her young child. No one would disagree that this child’s mom would be best suited to know what her child’s needs are and how to provide them safely to her child, even though her child would disagree at times. Well, similarly we are but children in the eyes of the Lord. Wouldn’t our Father in Heaven be best suited to know our needs then and how we can attain those needs in ways that wouldn’t corrupt or harm us? Many times in life I think we believe that wealth or materialistic things are what provide peace. Those items can indeed provide excitement and joy but do they provide the peace the Bible is referring to? If we observe the wealthy among us, there is an insatiable desire to attain more and more wealth, fame and titles until there is nothing more they can attain in their lives. We watch them deteriorate, rebel or even resent the very fans and critics they sought their fame until finally taking their own life because the “peace” they were truly seeking couldn’t be found…it had to be given.
Philippians 4:6-7 says this: “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.”
Notice first that you have to first SEEK the Lord through prayer and petition and second you have to present your thankfulness and prayers to God. It is in that moment that God freely gives His peace which transcends time, space and circumstance; it defies logic and explanation but assuredly is protected by Christ Jesus whom resides within the place that you first invited him into your life…your heart.
Life has a way of lifting us up fast and swift and then immediately dropping us harder and with a burn more ferocious than a meteor hitting the earth’s atmosphere. Why is that? Why do we allow ourselves to be so impacted by life’s up and downs? I understand that there are those circumstances regarding death or wrongs done against us that no matter where we are at in our faith or in life, those blows are heavy.
The question I want to ask in this blog is this: In whom do you allow your rest to come from in those moments?
I believe that when we are circumstantial with our beliefs and with our relationship with God, we then allow the enemy to easily advance against us until the day we declare in one voice that the promises of God are foundational in our lives and not circumstantial. When we believe that He does all things for the good of those who believe in him; that in that day you call out to Him, He will answer you and embolden you and strengthen you to continue moving forward and in the perseverance attained through those trials, truly lack in nothing!
Our trials are either representative of yet another defeat, or an opportunity to rise above them and declare the promises of God as written in His word. Truly the moments when we rise above our circumstances and declare the promises of God over our lives is in fact when we allow the store houses of heaven to be open to us and shine down upon us with all of the favor of heaven. It is then when we allow God to rain down upon us His anointed blessings and treasures which only He knows we need. Treasures can come in so many forms that God can present us with. Many times a treasure from heaven can simply be a close friend or even a pet which is always there to meet us after a long day of work. Don’t always consider treasure in the materialistic form because God doesn’t and He is the one from whom we receive. They are promises; declarations within his word that need only be spoken to be received.
I challenge you to reach out in your time of desperation and cry out to God… “Abba, Father” and allow the peace of God to settle upon you in that moment. You may have to dig to find what you’re looking for but I urge you, no matter how ridiculous it may sound, DIG that hole and see what peace can settle upon you. Don’t forget though, God won’t ask you to just dig that hole, He will ask you to fill back in afterwards because He doesn’t want anyone else to be harmed in the lessons He presents to us 😉
This photo was taken the next evening with our friends when we decided to worship God and His faithfulness to us at crab island as the sun set that evening.
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”