Brighter Than a Solar Eclipse?

There’s a lot of hype going on with the upcoming solar eclipse! This once in a lifetime experience has people excited with great anticipation.

As exciting as it is, there’s also much caution being emphasized.

People are scrambling around to make sure they have “certified” glasses to view the eclipse safely.

Without the proper glasses, the brightness of the sun can damage your eyes, and maybe even lead to blindness!!

All this has me thinking about how fascinating it is. That the rays of the sun are SO bright and THAT powerful.

But there’s actually something brighter than the sun. Hard to wrap your head around that??

Here’s what Isaiah 60:19 has to say about the sun in Messianic times, when God will openly rule the whole world:

No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the LORD your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.

Did you catch that? We won’t even NEED the sun. God Himself will be enough. His glory brighter than the sun itself.

Here’s what the Apostle Paul had to say in Acts 26:13 to King Agrippa about the sun when telling his story of meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus:

“At midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.”

This was in the middle of the day, yet Paul says the light from heaven was brighter than the sun. It was SO bright that it temporarily blinded him. (I think it would have STILL blinded him even if he had certified safety glasses!)

When time is done away with and we are living in eternity, here’s what Revelation 21:23 has to say about the sun as we know it:

“And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

No need of the sun OR moon? Hard to fathom, but it’s true. The glory of God will illuminate everything!

I’m excited about the upcoming solar eclipse and I’m prepared with my certified viewing glasses.

But more importantly, I’m beyond excited about the coming of God’s SON, Jesus Christ.  And I can humbly say I am prepared for that day. Not because of anything I’ve done, but because of His righteousness that certifies me to be His child. 

Blessings to you!

Lisa

For more encouragement, check out my devotional book Embracing The Race.

When Your Body Wears Down

2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 

She loved running. This passion fueled her for many years. But one day the excruciating pain in her knees and hips drove her to see her doctor. After waiting for x-ray results, the dreaded diagnosis hit her smack in the face. “I hate to tell you this, but you have osteoarthritis,” the doctor informed. Unfamiliar with the condition, she pleaded with her doctor to explain this culprit—the very thing interfering with her running. Losing heart, she dropped her head in despair.

Osteoarthritis. Not something any runner wants to hear. But the truth is, as we age, osteoarthritis becomes an issue for one out of every two people. Also known as a degenerative joint disease, it causes inflammation and pain in one or more joints. A lifetime of walking, exercising and moving around in general takes a toll on our cartilage. Once arthritis of this type sets in, the cartilage deteriorates, which can lead to bone scraping against bone. Even if you don’t develop osteoarthritis, the stark truth remains: We lose muscle tone and bone strength the older we get!

Dear friend, don’t let this truth bring you down. It’s an uncontrollable fact that our physical bodies will wear down. They won’t last forever. Even the bodies of the most elite runners will eventually wear out. Living in a fallen world, all human beings have a common condition. It’s called sin. But as followers of Christ, we don’t have to lose heart. We don’t have to drop our heads in despair. We can rejoice! Why? Our soul doesn’t waste away. Our soul is renewed day by day.  We become more like Christ through the process of sanctification. The more we seek after him, the stronger our faith becomes. The more we rest in his presence, the power of sin loses its grip on us. The more we humbly surrender to his calling, the more he increases in us.

And the good news gets even better. Even after our physical bodies wear out and we take our last breath on this earth, we are immediately ushered into the presence of God. We’ll see him face-to-face. He promises us a brand new resurrection body. A body that won’t wear out. A body that won’t deteriorate. A body without any pain. Who knows, maybe we’ll even get to continue our running journey in heaven. No shin splints. No cramping muscles. No torn ligaments. No aching knees. Can you imagine that?

So until that day comes, we keep on running. We keep pressing on. We run our hearts out until we can’t take another step. No matter what type of physical diagnosis we receive for our earthly body, we’ll graciously accept it when that time comes. In the meantime, we keep running in our spiritual race. We keep pressing into Jesus. We run our heart out until our last breath. We can rejoice in the fact that we’ve already received our spiritual diagnosis. We are sinners saved by grace.

READY?  Is your life currently affected by any physical pain? What are you most looking forward to when you will experience living in a brand new body in heaven? Whether you have physical pain or not, is your faith growing stronger? What steps do you need to take to keep God the center of your life?

GET SET. 1 Timothy 4:8 “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

GO!  Lord Jesus, I feel weary sometimes living in this physical body! Help me not to focus solely on my physical condition, but to embrace caring for the soul you’ve given me. Thank you for the promise of a new body in heaven. But even more so, thank you for the promise of seeing you face-to-face one day. Help me live in such a way that my life pleases you for the days I run my race of faith on this earth. Amen.

If you enjoyed this post, check out my BOOK.

 

Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett

There’s a Snake in My Boat!

My husband docked our boat at the marina just as he always does. As avid boaters, we have this routine down to a science. While my daughter and I were in the restroom, Jim made final preparations so we could take off quickly upon our return. One of the last things he usually does is retrieve a comfy chair-pad from the storage compartment under the  back seat of the boat.  As he lifted the lid of the storage compartment, he jumped back rather quickly.  His eyes widened in disbelief and fear spread over his entire face. He announced to me with a quick gasp, “There’s a snake in there!”

At this point, even when I heard the word snake, I was envisioning a small snake. The kind of garter snake we sometimes find on our wooded property. Jim suddenly asked for help from three men docking a boat next to ours. Now most men do not usually ask for help for anything they think they can handle on their own. This was suddenly a red flag to me! If he’s asking for help, this must be a big deal. Everything happened so quickly it was a blur. For a second before all this chaos broke out, I thought I’d grab my phone (which was in the boat) and take a quick picture to capture this moment in time. It didn’t happen.

My husband–along with three other strong men–were struggling to corner this snake in the storage compartment of our boat. The snake continued to slither this way and that way, stubbornly refusing to be caught. Before I knew what was happening, Jim had courageously grabbed that snake by its tail and slung it with all his might into the lake. As he pulled it up out of the boat, this snake was completely stretched out in mid-air. It was no small garter snake by any means.

More than likely a rat snake…..about five feet long!

The strong men who’d at first agreed to help Jim, now quickly shrunk back in fear, almost knocking each other into the water. And of course I contributed my part in all this chaos, letting out a blood-curdling scream.

Why are we so afraid of snakes? Why do these unique creatures stop us in our tracks, leaving us feeling paralyzed?

In the beginning before the fall of mankind, it is speculated that the snake was a beautiful creature. After sin entered the world God said to Satan, “Because you have done this, on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life.” (Genesis 3:14)

God continues to give more detail about the future effect of snakes on mankind when he says, “I will cause hostility between you and the woman, between your offspring and her offspring.” (Genesis 3:15)

I couldn’t agree more with those profound words because there was much hostility between the humans on the dock and a pesky snake in our boat last week!!

Moses exhibited fear when God miraculously turned his staff into a snake  “…so he threw it on the ground and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.” (Exodus 4:3) Did you catch that? Even though God was right there with him, Moses still fled from the snake! (This verse should be comforting to those three strong men who shrunk back when Jim yanked the snake out of our boat!)

But there is one last scripture I’d like to focus on when it comes to snakes. This one trumps all the other ones I’ve mentioned so far. Isaiah prophesies about what our lives will be like when Christ reigns in Heaven.

Isaiah 11:8 “The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand in the viper’s nest.”

Cobras and Vipers! Really? Can you imagine? An infant playing near a snake–and not just any snake…..a cobra! The thought of a mother watching her child play with a snake is something I just can’t fathom. Playing with a snake as if it were a kitten or puppy.

But that is something as Christ followers we have to look forward to. In God’s perfect kingdom where every creature is restored as it once was in the Garden of Eden. And best of all, God will live among us–face to face. Powerful truth like this gives me a renewed hope. It confirms my faith. It satisfies my soul.

Take comfort in the fact that God dispels all fears and nothing will be feared in Heaven.

(In the meantime, the Preuett family will continue to check their boat carefully for any signs of snakes!!)

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear…”

rat snake