The only way home

You might wonder, why is she writing so much these days. Well I guess that is what “quarantine” does. Though our government here in Costa Rica has not made it a ‘law’ to stay inside, they highly recommend not going anywhere and stay put. I guess it is the same for many of you.

When you get more time at ‘home’ you get time to ponder, reflect, listen, evaluate and if you are like me, write it down.

I have lived in Central America since 1998. My husband is from Costa Rica, our children were born in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This is home, but I grew up in The Netherlands. This is home, I could not imagine being anywhere else at this time and still yesterday I realized that within perhaps a few days or weeks, if things keep going the way they are, there might not even be a way to go to my other ‘home’, where I grew up. The place where my parents and sisters live.

Me and my dad spoke years ago that there might be a time when we would not be able to travel to see each other. Alas, here we are, we are living in such a time. Even if I wanted to go see my family and had the money, there still wouldn’t be any way to get there. There would be no way ‘home.

Where is home, what does home mean? 

Again, I was thinking of those in the Second World War. Many had to leave their physical homes to go into a ‘home of hiding’. They didn’t know whether, what they left behind, would be returned. Many understood they were most likely never going to come back home. Those who went into hiding had to create a new home. Filled with unknowns, filled with the fear of being hunted, this ‘enemy’ was coming after them to take from them, their very lives.

So many are faced with fear today. The fear that this enemy (virus) will reach them where they are in the safety of their ‘homes.’ It feels we are in ‘hiding’ in our own ‘home.’

Fear, anxiety and loneliness might be filling some of you as you think about staying ‘home’ for an indefinite period. For a few days we embrace this new normal, but for some of you things are starting to shift and feelings of desperation might start to set in.

Can I offer you another a thought of hope?

I was brought again to the Word of God. It is what I live by, what I hold on to as my foundation for life. It is what sustains me, now more than ever.

Hebrews 13:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

Oh what a great reminder to me. This world is not my permanent home, the permanent place to depend on. As my personal physical citizenship has changed from one nation to another, I might not have a way back to the ‘home’ I grew up in, but what an incredible thing to be reminded that I can look forward to another kind of home, (city in some versions) even better than this one.

Philippians 3:20-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.

And the book of Galatians reminds of this:

Galatians 2:20 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.[a] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Christ now lives in me. My new ‘home’, my citizenship, this place where I find complete rest is in Jesus.

In response I bring a sacrifice of praise to God, even amidst this current situation, I proclaim my allegiance to His Name. I am reminded to do good, to share with those in need.

Do you need rest while home? Do you need that assurance that you will be ok in the midst of the uncertainties?

Jesus is the answer, read His Word.

Just look for an online Bible, download “You Version” if you do not have a physical Bible. 

Write me a comment here if you want prayer and I will pray for you. 

An enemy to humanity

Is it really a virus the one that is a posing an enemy to humanity? Seems that way doesn’t it?

Fear, troubled hearts, worry, uncertainty, anxiety and dread have all become part of so many lives where before perhaps there was none.

Today I was reminded of a group of people that faced these things for several years between 1940-1945. I walked over to my bookshelf and pulled out a very well known book. “The Diary of a Young Girl” – by Anne Frank. 

Remember her story? Remember history? If you don’t, it is time to take advantage of this ‘quarantine’ or ‘stay home’ time, in order to catch up on your reading.IMG_5232

Anne Frank, the Dutch girl whom, together with her family and several others, hid for 2 years in the secret annex behind her dad’s office on the “Prinsengracht” in the heart of Amsterdam.

As I opened the book, browsing and turning the pages, it was as if I was taken back in time. The personal stories of a 13 year old, penned down for the world to read. That wasn’t her plan, but it soon turned out that she herself realized that it could be published one day. Little did she know it would, but she would live to see it.

After reading a few pages I came across this part in which she describes what her people “the Jews” were no longer able to do: forbidden to use trams, ride cars, go to theaters, cinemas or any other form of entertainment, swimming pools, tennis courts or other athletic fields. They were only allowed on the street in the day, but after 8pm they had to be inside. Allowed to shop only between 3-5pm. Many things were now forbidden to them.

Today, all over the world, we are told a lot of “do nots” these days, due to an enemy out there that is coming after us.

Of course there is no way we can compare today with the suffering of the Jewish people during the World War, in which millions lost their lives at the hand of evil, expressed through human beings. That suffering was something we should never ever allow itself to repeat, yet are we paying attention to what is happening in our world today.

While there is a real threat to humanity with a virus that is causing physical casualties and bringing deep fear, worried hearts, anguish and uncertainty, it is also an enemy that is making us realize we have no control over it. Our fear doesn’t help us to control the spread, our worry doesn’t change the pattern of where it decides to go, our troubled hearts don’t cause this enemy to stay away. So what do we do?

How do we face this enemy to humanity? We stop doing things we normally do. We are told we can’t do this and we can’t do that. And we agree, right? We do what we are told, “wash your hands.” We do our best to protect those we love, praying it won’t ‘reach’ or ‘catch’ us. And yet we can not really see where it goes, we just know what it does and how it decides to travel.

Try to catch the wind, how do you do that? It goes where it wants, blows as hard as it wants, unannounced, unexpected.

Mankind has gone through so much, there has been so many enemies, some we rather not talk about or should we?

Today it is not an enemy, in the form of an army, seeking to kill one people group. Today we are faced with an enemy that seeks to take down humanity. Our lives as we know it. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, from this continent or the other. It just goes where it wants. It is disrupting life as we know it.

Don’t go here, don’t go there. Stay put, stay home, stay calm and change the way you clean yourself. If you washed your hands before, wash them again then wash them some more. Stay away from each other, keep a distance.

Not only lives, but the way we do live has changed within a matter of days. Jobs lost, social contact face to face lost (except for online), community lost, perhaps even relationships lost. How do overcome, how do we keep moving in this ‘new normal’? Or is there another enemy we need to be looking at as we try to stay ‘away’ from the one we hear about?

I ask, is it the virus that is the real enemy to humanity?

Hate, evil, anger, slander, gossip, murder, greed, idolatry, lust, power, pride, and probably a whole bunch of other ones, aren’t these a daily threat to mankind, to humanity?

Do we deal with these the same way we deal with this virus, do we look at how evil, anger and hate spreads? Do we try to stop it? Do we change the way we do life to stop evil? To stop murder, to stop greed, to stop pride? Do we?

I ask, is the virus the real enemy to humanity?

Agreed, the virus is a real threat, an enemy that needs to be stopped, before it stops us. But I would like us to remember that there are many deeply rooted issues in us, in mankind, in our lives that spread like wildfire, that cause death, that cause suffering, that cause affliction every day.

What if we worked on that as well? What if we changed our lives, instead of hating, we would love. Instead of greed we would be generous? Instead of pride we would practice humility? Instead of being right, we would ask for forgiveness?

Is that even possible? Yes it is.

There is an answer to those threats. His name is Jesus Christ. He lived his life in full view of man, humble, not self-seeking, full of love, giving up His life, so that we might have life.

We might not be able to stop a virus from affecting our broken lives, but we can stop having broken lives, by allowing Jesus to heal them.

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He heals. He restores. He forgives. He raises up. He redeems. He saves.

May we take time, during these days of obligated ‘rest’, to reflect on what really tries to attack who we are, what poses a threat to who we are, what is a true enemy to our humanity. May we find grace and favor to go through these days. May He bring us fresh revelation on who He is, so we know who we are.

We are created by our Creator, one of a kind, unique. Loved by our Creator and anything that goes against how He created us is an enemy to our humanity.

Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life. He is the Word, He is alive. His truth penetrates our lives, our souls, our spirits and the attitudes of our heart.

Let’s allow Him in….

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A life lived by the Spirit

There are many things to do, to attend to, to organize, to take care of, but there is only one place that can provide ‘you’ with what you need, to be ‘you’, to be filled, to find your place…

That is in His presence, in Christ. To be found in Him, to be led by the Spirit. Today set your mind on allowing the Spirit to lead you, fill you, move you…

A life lived and led by the Spirit of God is a life that is alive. Walking in the flesh brings forth things that will die.

Living for God means allowing Him to choose the direction of your every day, your projects. If they are not led by him, they will not have the same outcome.

As Romans so beautifully shows us that the Spirit who lives in us brought about our adoption as sons and daughters. We will live, and not live in fear of anything.

Need an encouraging read today: romans 8 will help you further meditate on living life in the Spirit.

Be blessed…choose to live!