Dad, Joshua & Matthew Swimming - Summer 2013

Dad, Joshua & Matthew Swimming - Summer 2013

Has God ever tested you?

I mean, really tested you?  I was a born-again Christian for over seven years when God tested me.  I'd like to say, I came through this time of testing with flying colors, however, that would be a lie.  Like most people, I failed.  Unlike most people, I failed miserably! 

I thought I knew God, but when it came time to test me, I found out quickly that I was not up to the test.  In fact, from my point-of-view, it looked like He was picking on poor little old Jim.  My test?  God decided to give me not one, but two handicapped boys.  I know, pretty mean of Him wasn't it!

When I asked Him why He did this, why was He picking on me, He refused to answer me.  Therefore, if He wasn't going to talk to me, then I wasn't going to talk to Him.  The only problem with this plan was that it was more like Jim throwing a temper tantrum than Jim punishing God.  After all, what can a "finite" creature like me do that would hurt an infinite being such as God?

Twelve long years later, when I hit rock bottom and had nowhere else to turn, guess who was standing there ready to pick me up, to dust me off, to hold me and tell me that everything would be ok?  You've got it, God!  Even though I had spent the past 12 years mad at Him, doing my own thing in my own way, He was never once mad at me.  As if that wasn't a hard enough pill to swallow, He wasn't punishing me by giving me two handicapped boys, He was blessing me.  And to this day, I still don't fully fathom the depth of that blessing!

You see, my boys have never gotten bad grades in school, have never lied, cheated or stolen anything.  They have never gotten drunk, gotten into a car, got into an accident nor have they ever killed anyone by doing stupid things.  They have never gotten addicted to drugs, they don't live on the street and they've never hurt anyone.  No, my boys only know how to do one thing and that is to love.  Anyone that will come near to them, they will love.  They will smile, they will laugh and they will do their best to play with them!  You see, perspective!

The problem was, I didn't have the correct one.  I had developed my own perspective of who I thought God was and what I thought He was doing based on His actions in my life.  I never once took the time to get to know Him, who He was or what He wanted from me.  Therein lies my biggest problem.  When I was tested, I could not depend on what I knew of Him because I didn't know all that much.  Most of what I thought I knew was a lie and so the first thing to crumble was my knowledge of Him.

What I learned were a several invaluable lessons:

First, God wasn't picking on me, He was loving me and I was just too blind to see this.  The lesson here is; God is always loving you!

Second, I was asking God the wrong question.  I was asking God why and because I didn't know Him I didn't realize that He seldom if ever feels the need to answer the "why" question.  Put yourself in His position, if you were God, would you want to defend yourself to your creation, all 7 billion of them asking you why 24 hours a day 7 days a week?  Probably not.  Why requires God to "defend" Himself and His reason and it shows our immaturity as to who He is and what He wants.  There are some better questions to ask God when a trial or tribulation or test comes along and they are:

  • What are You trying to teach me in this?
  • What is it you want me to learn?
  • How do You want me to respond to this? 
  • How can I reflect Your light, Your love and Your Son Jesus in and through this?
  • How can I serve and glorify You in this?
  • How can I use this to help me fall more in love with You?

Third, I did not know who God was or what He wanted from me.  If I had known this, I'm sure I would have reacted differently to the challenge He had brought into my life.  You see, everything that comes into your life must first go through the hands of God, when we understand this to be true, then we can understand that everything we are going through has been approved by God for whatever reason, for whatever purpose He may have.  We see our lives in just today, this moment, however He has an advantage, He sees our lives in total, from beginning to end and only He knows what we are going to need today to help better glorify Him in the future.  If we trust Him, if we partner with Him, if we cooperate with Him, then He can take these challenges, these tests that He takes us through and help so many other people with them.

Unfortunately, it took me 12 years before I would take the time to start figuring some of this stuff out and then another 20 years sitting at His feet and learning of Him.  What I've learned in the process is that my perspective of Him is of no value.  In fact, your perspective of Him is of no value either.  The only perspective that is of value to us is His perspective of Himself and the only way we are going to get that is to spend time with Him and invest in our relationship with Him.

Today, my goal is to help others, encourage others, motivate others to want what God wants which is a close, personal, loving, intimate relationship.

This is not just any relationship, after all, satan has a “relationship” with God although not a very good one.  But this is more than just a basic knowledge of Him, this is a close, deep friendship, a loving relationship, a partnership where you cooperate with Him and are obedient to Him and His commands, where you honor who and what He is, what He says and what He wants for your life, your purpose!  This is an intimate relationship, not sexual, but similar to a marriage relationship where you know each other so well you can finish each other’s sentences.

That is what this site is all about, giving you God's perspective of Himself, of who He is and what He wants with you.  This is not about religion, rules, regulations or rituals, this is all about "relationship".  A close, personal, loving, intimate relationship with God through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ directed by His Holy Spirit. 

I know this sounds too simple to be true, but it is.  Man always complicates things with God and with religion thinking "this is what God wants", when in reality all God wants from you is a "relationship".  When you have a relationship with God, all the other things, obedience, honor, love, friendship, others take care of themselves, because your "relationship" with God drives those things.  When you value your relationship with God you will always want to obey Him even when you don't understand the why, even when you may not agree with the why.  Because of your relationship with God, you will always want to honor Him, love Him and be His friend and that will come out by how you treat and interact with others.  When you know how much He loves them, you can't help but love them as well, even when they are not very lovable, what's important to you is that He loves them and because He loves them, you love them also!

Let me encourage you to look around this site and check out all of the great content that is here.  If you feel there is anything missing, by all means, use the suggestions tab from the Contact Us menu to let us know how we can better serve you.

With love in Christ,

Jim