Life is NOT like a box of chocolates, life is like…
by Ken Pullen
Sunday, July 5th, 2020
ACP — A Crooked Path
The following is an email I wrote this past Thursday to a friend of mine of over 60 years. This is appearing here on ACP at his suggestion. I had no thought of posting this but he replied that what I sent him should be put here. And, after reading the following, my wife of almost 33 years agreed…
I know it’s a bit corny, a cliche, but daily life is a lot like being in a boat on a sea.
There are days with the right winds, the right sky and air and navigating along. No fog, no storms, no clouds, and loss of light.
It can be a lot of storms on the sea.
But there is no letting go of the rudder, no sleeping as the waves rise, the wind blows and the boat gets battered and tossed about.
We each endure. Keep standing. Not allowing discouragement, darkness, the pain of holding that rudder and steering into and through the storm.
And not knowing what the weather will be tomorrow, or a week from now on the sea.
But not being bleak and imagining only stormy weather, being tossed about, or possibly taking on so much water to begin to sink.
No one knows what tomorrow will bring. Nor what the next week, the next month will bring.
So we all must be steady. Even on the keel. Not overreacting to certain winds, clouds developing, or what we can’t see on the horizon far ahead.
The days and nights, life at the helm on the sea, carves itself on our face, in our heart.
And we endure. Because if we take the time and think on it all, every day, there’s much more good than hard, much more beauty and things to be thankful for than not.
And allowing the grayness of storms to do more than being felt on our skin. If we allow that grayness to enter inside we will miss out on seeing what we should be seeing, what we should be focusing on around us.
Storms will pass. If we don’t allow them to soak within us deeper than our skin, and we refuse to let them reside in our heart, in our mind, in our spirit.
And keep at the helm. Rudder in hand.
Because just ahead, where can’t be yet seen, might be the kind of day, the kind of wind, the kind of sky, the kind of light that brings a smile without trying and pushes away the times felt like crying or asking the why and getting turned into knots inside.
Keep eyes on the sea at hand, pushing on, with hope. With hope and thankfulness and joy of what there is. Not dwelling on losses, or seas traversed in the past, what might have been in certain ports and places, if only…
…take the rudder in hand in confidence, feeling a good wind coming up, seeing some beautiful light on the horizon ahead.
Because there will always be a storm along the way. The main thing is to not get stuck in its whirlpool going round and round and round and to keep on course, forward, into those better winds on the leeward side, believing the ship you’re in can get you there, through whatever might come up, and that calmer, better seas and the wind just right, the light just right, things just right can and will show themselves once more…
Contrary to the myth just because a person is truly transformed and has become a new creature in Jesus Christ through the Supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, which cannot be totally comprehended, that does not mean that person than rides on calm seas, no trials, no suffering, no temptations, no problems and being a true disciple of the Lord Jesus, a child of God, a true Christian then leads to an easy problem free wonderful life. Becoming a true Christian is in truth very easy when of a sincere and faithful heart coming to the conclusion of being a sinner, in need of repentance, in need of the Lord Jesus. Going forth in daily life from that point on is not taking a walk down Easy Street.
To the contrary. Oh, it is a wonderful life, but not as understood by anyone still walking in the darkness. The lost people of the world in these last of the last days, given over to corrupt/reprobate minds are changing definitions. And they do not understand the clear definitions and what it means to be a true disciple of the Lord Jesus. Transformed, regenerated, renewed of mind and spirit.
Those abiding in the lies of this fallen, broken world told to them by the devil and his minions cannot understand.
It’s a wonderful life in the blessed assurance in the heart of the true believer. No matter what may come in this temporal life. In the spirit and mind of the true believer with their faith in God, in the Lord Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, and in the whole living Word of God. Our eyes, our hearts upon the Lord Jesus always in all things.
One of the greatest misconceptions and myths prevailing in this world filled with lies and delusion is that Satan and his ministers devote most of their time tempting, attacking unbelievers in bars, in casinos, strip clubs, board rooms, behind closed doors. All the heinous and awful imagined places and deeds most think of as a place the devil and his ministers are most active. No, dear ones. The Evil One already has all those people and those places in his chains of bondage. The unbelieving walking dead in their sins and delusion are already Satan’s slaves. They obey and serve him willingly. He has them. He doesn’t need to keep them as his main focus.
The devil and his minions spend the majority of their time and efforts attempting to mislead true believers. Attempting to wear them down with his seductive wiles. Discourage them, get them to fall, get them to sin, get them to become angry with God. To blame God for everything they imagine has gone wrong in their lives or this world. To get them to turn from God is the devil’s main focus and goal.
Nothing has changed since Adam and Eve succumbed to the devil’s beguiling ways and lies in the Garden of Eden. The devil is still whispering in the ears of those who were following righteousness that they don’t need God anymore. Tickling their ears. They ought to be able to do as they desire. Go ahead, eat, you won’t die… The devil, the father of lies actually tells those in the faith God is lying to them and they don’t need to obey God. And more and more once believing weaken and allow the father of lies into their ears, their itching ears pursuing fables. Their lazy willful hearts.
Oh, there comes great trials — very stormy and great sufferings and trials in a true believers life.
Tests do and will come. True believers are not exempt from pain, suffering, tribulations, great loss, and stormy days. It is what we do, where we go, what we say, what do we pursue in these times, the course we take that makes all the difference.
Do we go towards God and the Lord Jesus? Or do we abandon God and go in the opposite direction we need to as Jonah did, and other examples in the Scriptures did. Or, do we continue in prayer, in faith, continually, daily as Daniel did?
The sea is the vast expanse of movable life we’re upon and within. The ship is our own vessel on this sea. The real difference comes in who or Who is the rudder on your individual vessel on this sea? What winds are filling your sails and guiding your course? Each on this sea which can raise up in a storm at a moment’s notice has a compass. Again, who or Who are you pointing your compass towards? The world? Your own will thinking you have the power and the answers? Or do you direct your vessel based on the compass God, Jesus the Lord, the Holy Spirit and the inerrant Word of God which will direct you through any and every storm to the Promised Land providing you keep on course no matter what and fight the good fight to the end of the voyage. A faithful and obedient servant of the Lord Jesus.
Build Your House on the Rock
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
The Authority of Jesus
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
Peace with God Through Faith
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5 — English Standard Version
Testing of Your Faith
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:2-8 — English Standard Version
Fight the Good Fight of Faith
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:11-16 — English Standard Version
And may each of us in the faith of the Lord Jesus be able to say the words of the apostle Paul, because we live these words…
Preach the Word
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:1-8 — English Standard Version