Salvation

The Narrow Path

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Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

We wanted to hike to the top of Diamond Head on our Hawaiian vacation. Our itinerary was filled with snorkeling, kayaking, and sight seeing. Hiking to the top of an iconic volcanic crater was a must. The path started out at the ground level smooth, paved and relaxing. Within minutes the path began to curve and wind. No longer paved, it became rocky and uneven.

The trail was not super difficult, yet not super easy either. I had to pay attention since there were numerous switchbacks along the way. There’s a large steep staircase that brings you up 560 feet. I had to stop and catch my breath after climbing those steps.

After climbing another set of stairs there is a 225 foot long tunnel. I am not a fan of enclosed dark spaces. There was no way around the tunnel. I had to go through it to continue on my journey to the top. Once we made it through the creepy dark tunnel it felt like a small victory.

There are several look out points where you can take a break and enjoy the view. When Tom and I finally reached the top it was all worth it. The views were stunning. We could see Waikiki Beach, and downtown Honolulu. Everywhere we looked was absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful blue Pacific Ocean looked like it had no end. Taking the narrow path was worth it.

Following Jesus is the narrow path.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:13-14, NIV

Jesus is the only way to the Father. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV). Following Him is not the easy road. The narrow road can be treacherous, steep, and winding. To stay on the narrow path we must fix our eyes on Jesus. He is leading the way and we must follow.

There are dark tunnels and the only way through them is to trust where He is taking you, even when you cannot see. Jesus will get you to the other side of that darkness. And when you are tired and cannot take another step He will pick you up and carry you.

When you are afraid as you look at the steep drop-offs, He will comfort you, and reassure you that you can in fact make it. The only way to get through the narrow path is with Jesus.

Our faith is tested on the narrow path. We must humble ourselves, lay down our pride, take up our cross and follow Him. The longer we are on the narrow path the more we become like Jesus. Little by little, step by step.

There are blessings along the narrow path, provision, and beauty. The narrow path leads to life. Jesus is life. Our time here on Earth is brief and it will come to an end. Those who have placed their faith in Jesus will be in Heaven with Him forever.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:2-3, NIV

The Broad path leads to destruction.

The road to destruction is wide. There are plenty of people on this path. This road is all about self, and making our own way. Doing our own thing. We have no need for Christ on the broad road.

This wide open path is easy, effortless. There is no thought of the narrow path here. Do what you want. Make your own way. It’s difficult to wander off the wide path. There’s plenty of space to do absolutely anything you want without much consequence.

The way of the broad path is not a happy one. Destruction is where it leads which is eternal ruin in Hell. “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12, NIV)

Jesus is not on the broad path. He is calling us to Him on the narrow road. It’s our choice to make.

I was on the broad path before placing my faith in Jesus Christ. Everything changed once I met Jesus. My eyes were opened to see just how beautiful Jesus is, and how sinful I am. His shed blood saved me and set me free.

Jesus died for all. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2, NIV) But not everyone will place their faith in Christ.

The only path I want to be on is the narrow one because Jesus is there. No matter the difficulties, no matter the hardships, there is no place I’d rather be then with my wonderful Savior. Jesus is life.

Only a few find Jesus.

I think it’s interesting that the island of Oahu averages around 250,000 visitors per day yet only 3000 each day hike to the top of Diamond Head. It’s a great illustration of the ease of the wide path with very few finding the narrow path. Sure, many tourists see Diamond Head and it’s beauty, yet they go right past it not wanting to take that narrow path to the top.

Jesus spoke the words in Matthew 7. He is telling us to choose Him because He is life. What appears to be hundreds of ways to Jesus is a lie. The narrow gate is the only entrance. That means placing your faith in Jesus Christ. All other ways lead to destruction.

There is hope for those on the broad road to destruction. In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus says to ask, seek, and knock. He is ready and waiting to answer our prayers. Jesus does not want anyone to perish. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (1 Peter 3:9, NIV)

The narrow path can be lonely and difficult but Jesus is there, and He is leading us home.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer please email me at meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Trials

It’s Been a Crazy Week in the Great State of Texas

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This was our backyard on Monday. It was cold. Very cold for southeast Texas. Our power went out early Monday morning. My husband left for work, and I thought for sure our power would come back on soon. We never experienced any long power outages in the 8 years we have lived in Houston. We have survived crazy tropical storms, and Hurricane Harvey with no lengthy power outages or property damage.

I was sure we would be fine with power and heat returning that day. I was wrong. As the day continued and our house got colder I realized the power may not come back on. My husband found the very last available hotel room so we could get warm for the night. By the time Tom came home to pick us up the hotel had lost power. We all breathed a collective sigh, and hopped in my warm car.

The heat in my car felt incredible. I was able to calm down for a few minutes and relax a bit. As we drove through our neighborhood and down the road, it looked like the apocalypse with absolutely no light whatsoever. Pitch black everywhere until we got farther down the highway. Suddenly businesses were lit up but closed. Why did they have power and we didn’t?

Every restaurant, gas station, and store was closed. We found a 7-11 that was open. It was like an oasis in the snow and ice. We dined on pizza and it was actually pretty good. The hot meal was a blessing. Arriving back at our dark icy cold house was not easy. My husband, myself, and our two sons made the best of it. We layered up our clothing, and blankets, and tried to get some sleep. Tomorrow would be better and the power would come back on, we hoped and prayed.

That night I pulled my chilly head under the covers looking for any amount of warmth. I couldn’t help but think of all the homeless people, and those living in poverty around the world who sleep like that every night in the cold. Thank you Lord for heat.

Day two started out with power and a hot cup of coffee. But it didn’t last. By mid morning the power was back off. We continued to make the best of it, and focus on what we could do as we waited for the power to return. My oldest son and I were in the backyard enjoying the sun when we heard an odd sound. Water was pouring out of the pipe at the side of our house in two spots. Dylan ran to turn off the main water line.

Day three ended with the power coming on and off again for short periods until it finally came back on for good late Wednesday night. We still had frozen pipes but we were warm. Hallelujah!

Our dinners have been cooked on the barbecue grill and camping stove. I boiled water for coffee on the grill. Our pool water has been used to fill up toilet tanks. We have plenty of bottled water and canned food. We haven’t showered all week and we are a bit funky, but we are healthy and safe by the grace of God.

We have hauled so many buckets of water from the pool to the bathrooms it’s like living in another century. When all modern conveniences are gone you have to work a little harder to cook, clean, and use the bathroom. Almost everything is a chore. Each day just trying to keep warm, cooking food, hauling water, and getting through the day is tiring. Thank you Lord for electricity, and plumbing!

I can live without many things like internet, cell phones, and even indoor plumbing. Not sure I would want to live without heat. The cold is very difficult, especially if there is no place to get warm. Being constantly cold in temps as low as 12 degrees was not enjoyable. I have had some very cranky moments this week. Tired of being cold. Tired of no power. And pretty ticked a few times that the energy company purposely made the decision of “controlled outages” to balance out supply and demand.

Another pipe burst today inside our house as the water finally thawed and we turned our water back on. The water is currently turned off as we wait for a plumber to arrive. My husband is very handy and can fix almost anything but he can’t find copper pipe anywhere. He has waited in line at the Home Depot twice for hours only to find all plumbing supplies are sold out. Getting a hold of a plumber right now is impossible. Thank God for a connection through a friend of a plumber. Thank you Lord!

It’s been a long exhausting week. We are just one of millions who went without power in Texas. I kept thinking of all the elderly, and vulnerable people who were stuck in the cold inside their homes. We have been very blessed during this entire crazy storm. God has provided food, water, shelter, and even a plumber for us.

Thank you Lord for modern conveniences. I take them for granted.

Thank you Lord that you are faithful and true. You always get us through the storms in life.

I am looking forward to a hot shower and I can’t believe I’m saying this, doing laundry.

If you have gone without power this week please share your story. I’d love to hear from you!

I am grateful for each of you who follow my little blog and each of you who stop by to read it. This is my condensed story of a crazy week. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer send your request here: meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Father God,

Thank you for taking care of our family through this crazy cold week. Provide for all those who have broken pipes and water damage, and have struggled during this storm in Texas. Bring peace, comfort, provision and Your amazing presence to each home and heart. You are bigger than our storms.

In Jesus Mighty Name,

Amen

God, Trials

The Waves Cannot Prevail

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The gentle waves roll up on the beach and then gently roll right back. Over and over again the ocean repeats this beautiful rhythm. I have been watching this incredible show from our hotel room window this morning. My husband and I are finally celebrating our 25th anniversary (4 months late) with a stay at a gorgeous beachside hotel. Back and forth, back and forth the waves crash. How do those waves know where to stop?

God tells the ocean how far to go.

Do you not fear Me?’ declares the Lord.

‘Do you not tremble in My presence?

For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,

An eternal limit, and it will not cross over it.

Though the waves toss, they cannot prevail;

Though they roar, they will not cross over it.

Jeremiah 5:22 NASB 

I have always loved the beach. The ocean brings me an immediate sense of calm. When I look out at what appears to be an unending sea, I can breathe a little easier. My soul feels relaxed. I am reminded just how small I am in this massive world that God created. My problems begin to shrink, and God becomes even larger to me. 

The storms will come. The waves will get big at times. Everything may look as though it’s over. Those big waves come and crash, bigger and stronger each time. Yet those waves will not prevail. Sure a sneaker wave can knock you out, but you can and will get back up. Eventually the ocean will calm down once again. 

The God who made oceans also made you. He cares about every single thing you are facing. He knows exactly what you need to learn from those big waves, or even those small ones. God is in every tiny detail of our lives. Awesome Holy God loves us so very much. 

God will not let the waves prevail over you.

Did the waves knock you down? If you look up there is a hand reaching out waiting to help you. It’s Jesus’ hand. Our perfect Savior loves to save us in our troubles. So take His hand. He will help you, comfort you, provide for you, and heal you. Jesus is the all sufficient Savior.

I am going to take a bike ride along that beautiful ocean as those waves come just far enough and then roll right back. I see Jesus in those waters, and God’s mighty hand holding back the waves. And I know I’m going to be all right, and you are too.

Love you all,

Meghan 

If you need prayer please send me your requests meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

It’s a privilege to pray for you.

Parables, Prayer

Always Pray and Never Give Up

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com  

Have you given up? Have you lost hope? Have you stopped praying?

It’s easy to get down and discouraged. Life is hard, but God is good. There are no perfect people, including Christ Followers. We are not super Christians. We are ordinary people, who serve an extraordinary God.

We can all take a deep breath and know that it’s perfectly normal to get down sometimes. Being down is a great opportunity to be lifted up by Jesus. When I am down there’s one direction to go, up.

Jesus is the ultimate encourager. He was consistently encouraging the disciples to have faith and to trust Him. One great example of this is a parable in Luke.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Luke 18:1-8 NIV

This unjust judge who has no faith in God, ultimately answers the widow’s plea and serves justice on her behalf. How much more will our perfect Father God answer our pleas? God is the true judge, without corruption. God who is just, will help His children. God loves us beyond our comprehension and delights in helping us.

Sometimes we give up on praying. We stop asking because we aren’t seeing any results. We may think, “Does God hear me?” “Does God see me and my struggle?” The answer is yes! God sees everything and knows everything. God sees our pain, and heartache, and trials. God has answers to our prayers in His perfect timing, in His perfect way, according to His perfect will.

Praying can be hard. Persistent prayer can be even harder. The unjust judge answers the widow because she persisted. We are to pray fervently. We are to be in a spirit of prayer. It’s a continual reliance on God all throughout the day, all the time. We are weak, needy humans. The only thing that can satisfy us is Jesus Christ. Persistent prayer strengthens our faith, and changes us to be more and more like Jesus.

Do not give up.

Things may look hopeless in your life today. Your circumstances may be impossible. God does some of His best work in impossible situations. God has no limits. He really wants our hearts more than anything. Ask Him for help. Ask Him for peace. Ask Him for wisdom. Ask for His will to be done in your life.

Always pray.

God loves you and has good things planned just for you. Trust God.

Love you all,

Meghan

I love to pray for you. Please send me your prayer requests meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

God, Trials

Where Are You God?

A number of years ago I was at the end of my rope. I was frustrated, discouraged, and looking for answers. I had prayed all the right prayers and read all the right Bible verses, yet things were not going the way I wanted.

Where are you, God?

In an instant, I saw large red fingerprints on everything. My family, my home, my children, my problems, and concerns all had fingerprints. They were God’s fingerprints. He showed me that He was in fact at work in my life. From the smallest detail to the largest concern, God’s hands were holding it all together. I just hadn’t seen it.

I was so busy looking at my problems that I took my eyes off of God. He graciously reminded me that He was there the whole time. He was always there. My problems did not disappear that day. Something bigger happened. I was encouraged. My hope was restored. Peace came back in my heart because I knew God was handling it all.

God did not shake His head at me, and tell me, “How dare you!”. He lovingly showed me His presence in my life. God’s patience and kindness is overwhelming.

There are times when I know in my head that God is omnipresent, but I don’t always feel that in my heart. I am not always going to feel it, and that’s O.K. I have learned when I don’t feel God, I can trust the truth of His word, the Bible.

“For I, the LORD, do not change” Malachi 3:6, NASB

God never changes, ever. We can trust God fully and completely knowing He is constant.

“and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” John 10:28-30, NASB

We cannot be taken out of God’s hand. Jesus and the Father are one. Those of us in Christ cannot be taken out of His mighty hand.

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b, NIV

God will never leave us, ever. God will never abandon us or give up on us.

These are the verses that come to mind when I don’t necessarily feel God. The Holy Spirit reminds me through His word, the truth. God is omnipresent. God loves us. God will never abandon us. God is always working in our lives, even when we can’t see it.

I have also learned to press in to God when I can’t see Him. I know He is my source for everything. I know when I ask Him to help me, He will. God is faithful. God’s love and care does not change based on my feelings. I’ve heard it said that if you do not see God that He did not move, you did.

When we feel far from God it is an opportunity for our faith to grow. Every time I go looking for Him when I can’t see Him clearly, He shows up.

God is as close as your next prayer.

Love you all,

Meghan

Heavenly Father,

You are perfect, awesome God. Thank you for your love and grace. I lift up all those who feel far from you today. May they experience your amazing presence and peace. Touch their hearts and lives. Give them eyes to see You.

In Jesus Name,

Amen