"When thou saidst, seek my face; my heart said unto thee, thy face, LORD, will I seek." -Psalm 27:8

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The walk

The Walk

My day starts at 5:30 a.m., if I am lucky.  There are many many days when that just doesn’t happen.  Those are the days when I am awakened at 3:30, 4:00 or some variation on that theme, and it begins.  The battle in my mind rages.  The struggle for my spirit awakens me.  The devil’s minions are doing everything they can to take hold of my mind. My thoughts begin to race, my blood pressure rises, my respiration quickens, and sleep is something that is impossible.  I begin to pray.  “Oh Lord Jesus please calm me. Ease my mind.  Give me the strength to carry on.  I love you with all my heart Lord Jesus.  Please, please, please let me sleep.”  But sleep more often than not does not come.  And the seconds, then minutes, then hours pass by.  The unavoidable has begun once again.

We live in a beautiful world.  One that gives us incredible strength.  The world of hope, of endless possibilities, the world of the Spirit.  Oh, to be able to always be in that world.  How could you be more blessed?  But the carnal world crashes in and it begins.  I have found that the closer I get to God the more difficult my walk in the carnal world has become.  It was so much easier in the past.  I could just be one of the guys.  There were no expectations.  I could just be “myself”.  I could use profanities with the best of them.  Now I am watched and listened to.  Each word that flows out of my mouth is studied.  They are quick to let me know if anything that I say is less than what a man of God would say.  They live in the carnal world, a world that has different rules than our world.  It is a world without meaning, a world where empty laughter abides, one where saying spiteful and hurtful things behind someone’s back or to their face seems to be the norm, where whispers of deceit abound, and one where pleasure is derived from other’s missteps, especially mine, it seems.  I hate this part of the world, but for eight hours a day, five days a week I find myself immersed in it. And it awakens me, early in the morning, it awakens me, and it begins.  The dread overwhelms me at times.  It seems almost unbearable.  I turn to God and ask that He give me the strength to carry on.  It seems so hard.  But then the realization of how ridiculous that is hits me.  He walked in this world, was whipped and beaten, bled for and died a horrific death for us so that I could be saved, and yet I whine about going to work in the carnal world?  So I get up.  I want so badly to call in, but most often times I just carry on.  I get cleaned up, I get dressed, I get in the car, and I begin the journey. 

And as this is being written I look back and it hits me.  Look at how the last sentences read.  I, I, I, I.   But it isn’t I.  It should read we because I know so very well that nothing in this world is without the help and walk with the Lord.  He gives me power to handle anything that might be pressed upon me.  He abides in me, He is a part of me, always.  My God never gives me more than I can handle.  My God walks with me every step, every day, every way.  He has saved my wretched soul.  He has felt that there is worth in me.  He has followed me every day of my life.  He has seen me through things that no one will ever know.  Things that give me so much shame, things that I would never tell anyone, things that I knew could never be forgiven.  But He is the LORD, and He has forgiven me.  He has chosen me in spite of everything that I have done.  He knew from the beginning that I would finally come to my senses, that I would finally open my eyes, and that I would finally look up, and see Him. 
He now leads my life.  We walk down the hall at work every day.  We get off the elevator and He is with me.  I can feel myself under His wings, protecting me. There is a prayer I say each and every day, without fail. I get off at the third floor of the building where I work and it begins. 

“I love you Jesus, I praise you, I glorify you, I exalt your name.  Thank you LORD for all of the things that you give me.  Thank you for being in my world every second of every day.  Thank you for watching over me and loving me.  Thank you my Jesus, Thank you.”  And I continue to walk.  “Lord please let your light show through me, let me break this clay vessel so that your light will shine through me.  Let everyone know that you are in me, let them see Your light Jesus,  through me.  Let me show them the way by my actions.”  And I continue to walk towards my workplace.  “LORD please be with me, protect me from the evil ones, keep me safe, let your legion of angels be all around me, give me strength, please protect me my Jesus.  Amen”  And I open the door, sometimes with trepidation, sometimes with a strength that surprises me, sometimes with a fear in my heart, but always, always, always with the knowledge that whatever happens that day my God is with me. 

I know deep down inside me that it is senseless to worry.  I know when I wake up at all hours of the night that you are with me.  I know that you will never forsake me.  I have lived in this world for over fifty-eight years and you never have forsaken me.  Times when you should have left me, never to come back into my life.  Times when I displayed nothing, absolutely nothing Godly in my life.   But you never left me.  Times when you had every reason to leave and never return.  But you stood by me until I finally found the path that led to you.  You must have been exasperated so many times.  You must have shaken your head so many times.  You must have wailed sorrowfully so many times.  But you never left me.  So why would you leave me now?  Of course you wouldn’t. 

By writing this it is hoped that there will be a kind of catharsis.  A realization that I am living in a contradiction.  Knowing that we are walking this walk, together.  Knowing that you will never leave me.   For you are constant, never changing, and with you there is nothing to fear.  I love you with all of my heart my God.   I treasure the short time we have had together since my awakening.  The search for happiness has left me because Joy abides in me now, every second, of every day, of every year, for the rest of this time on earth.  Once this fleeting life ends eternity will then begin, with you.  But only as long as my walk is in you the remainder of this short time on earth. 

May the light of the LORD shine through me.  May you let everyone know in this world that you abide in me.  It is my prayer that through me they will come to know you.  Thank you Jesus, thank you. 

Brother John Redman

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Extended Hufstedler Family

We so enjoyed spending part of Sunday afternoon with you and yours.  It was great making memories with your special family. God Bless you all.

Brother John and Sister Robin Redman