After You've Jumped
After You’ve Jumped…
This week’s post is a follow-up to last week’s That Holy Jumping-Off Place. I couldn’t include everything that I wanted to tell you last week for two reasons. First of all, I could write an entire book on completely putting your life in God’s hands, and I couldn’t assume that you’d want to read a book on the subject; at least, not one written by yours truly! Secondly, and perhaps the main reason for “cutting it short”, was that I had a really hard time focusing on the task at hand. As a matter of fact, the post came close to not happening at all! You see, it is my honest belief that last week I was under attack from Satan.
That’s what I want to talk about first, and I’m going to recall a thought that I offered to you two weeks ago in Did Jesus Know?
When life is dealing you fits is when Satan is working his hardest! When our attention is on our situation at work, or on our finances, or raising our children, or on a spat that we may have had with our spouse, Satan comes in to plant the seeds of doubt, anger, hatred, or any other negative and evil thoughts that are his trademarks!
I had some kind of stomach virus in the wee hours of Sunday morning before last Monday’s post. Having survived whatever it was, Jackie and I went to breakfast and then to church with some of our closest friends. After church, and still not feeling all that great, I returned home to work on The Seed of Hope. I had a small window of time in which to write, and I was hoping to complete the post before our family arrived for dinner that evening.
I had been writing for about ten minutes, really getting into the flow of the post and liking where it was going; and the phone rang. After a short conversation with my mom, I went back to writing; and the phone rang. Jackie was visiting with her mom, and thought that she’d touch base with me. Back to writing, and you guessed it: the phone rang. That’s pretty much the way it went for the next hour or so. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken a crack at writing, but it’s hard for me to stay focused when there’s one interruption after the other; I was getting really frustrated.
To make matters even worse, I suddenly realized that my foot was killing me. I was having an acute attack of Gout! (Gout is a severe inflammation of a joint that comes with no advance warning. A lady once told me that her Gout attacks were more painful than giving birth to her son!) The Gout, quite obviously, only added to my level of frustration.
And just when I thought that nothing else could possibly happen to distract me even more, our son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren arrive for dinner an hour-and-a-half early for dinner! Our grandchildren were gonna spend the night with us, so I closed my laptop for the day. I would have plenty of time to finish the post early the next morning.
I went to bed later that night with a stomach still tender from the night before, a foot that was absolutely throbbing, and a little frustrated from the way the afternoon had played out. The only saving grace was the presence of my wife Jackie, and our two heart-stealing grandchildren, Stephen and Isabella. I prayed for the next day to be better.
Monday morning I rolled out of bed at five forty-five and hobbled into the kitchen to sit in my favorite chair, my “prayer chair”, to finish the post. Hopefully, I would have at least forty-five minutes of quiet time before our home came to life.
As always, I offered a prayer asking God to give me the words to reach you, then turned on my laptop, waiting for inspiration. And I waited. And waited. Nothing. Only leftover mental “junk” from the previous day. Before I knew it, thirty minutes had elapsed and the house was a buzzing with activity. I was frustrated. I felt helpless. And I was mad. I slammed my laptop shut, went on a rant, and…
Jackie was the recipient. “I’m not gonna write The Seed of Hope any more. It’s not fair for me to have to start and stop all the time. I don’t have a built in On-Off switch. It’s not like I’m writing jokes…I’m tryin’ to lead people to Jesus, or at least make them think about Him more often. I’m done. I can’t do this. If God wants me to write for Him, then He’s gotta give me the time to do it. The Seed of Hope is over!”
Jackie sat in silence as I finished my tirade. I was stunned by my outburst. I was mad, and hurting, and curiously enough, embarrassed by my remarks. I believe that Jackie sensed what I was feeling, and she suggested that I take my laptop and my Bible to the sitting room upstairs, away from everyone.
Which was exactly what I did. Several prayers and an hour later the post was finished. I wasn’t really happy with it, but I was both relieved and thankful that it was done. It was on the site a little after nine o’clock, which was much later than usual, but I figured that it was better later than not at all.
Why did I want to share this with you?
Look, less than a year ago I was standing at that “Holy Jumping-Off Place.” And I made a commitment to jump. Realizing that “my way” was getting me nowhere, and quite honestly hadn’t for fifty-six years, I just gave it all to God. He’s doing the driving; I’m doing the riding. And I tell you, I have never felt closer to God, or surrounded by His presence.
BUT, that doesn’t mean that my life is always easy, or that I don’t have to work on my faith daily, or that Satan has to leave me alone!
Quite the contrary, especially when it comes to Satan. He seems to come after even more, especially when I’m writin’ for Jesus, or when I’m not feeling well, or when I’m distracted. He is a powerful, deceptive, and worthy adversary indeed, and there’s nothing that he would like more than for me to stop writing. But guess what?
IT’S NOT GONNA HAPPEN! I’M STILL HERE, AND I’M STILL WRITING!
What I’m trying to tell you is this:
Don’t think that life becomes a cake-walk when you make that jump. I’m not trying to scare you, but things may actually get harder. You see, Satan doesn’t like losing, and as long as he thinks that he has a chance of “reclaiming” you, he will be relentless in his efforts to do exactly that!
At first, you may have to jump again, and again, and again. Believe me, it’s worth the effort.
In next week’s post, which will be the last installment of this “series” (I feel like I’m at Church of The Highlands), I’m gonna share a short story about what happens when you make that jump from “That Holy Jumping-Off Place” a permanent one.