The last few mornings, I woke up at the ridiculous hour of 5:00 am. Lying in my bed, attempting to drift back off to the peaceful bliss of sleep for a few more hours, I could not help but notice the sound of birds chirping outside my window. I thought to myself, I never hear these birds any other time of the day, but every morning rain or shine as the Sun makes its appearance in the morning sky, these birds begin their song like clockwork. Their song is but one of the many things all around us that despite a worldwide pandemic, racial unrest, and an economy that has seen tens of millions lose their jobs, we take for granted. Their song is a message that despite all the chaos in the world today, the Sun still rises in the east, the Earth still circles the Sun, and the birds still sing. Being single with a pre-existing heart condition, I often find myself physically alone as well as alone in my thoughts these days, and despite being blessed in so many ways that it is hard to quantify, there are times I find myself questioning why. Why have I never been able to find that special someone to spend my life with? Why have I not been blessed with the gift of a child? Why do I have this heart condition? Have I done something so wrong in my life that I’m being punished? I know I have not lived a perfect life. I know I have sinned, but I am only human, and in the grand scheme of things, I have lived a good life, tried to do what is right, and help others where I could. So why? But as I laid there this morning alone in my thoughts, I listened to the bird’s song and realized that despite everything, their song was a blessing, their song told me that the Lord had breathed life into my nostrils so that I may see another day and hear their song. While my life may not have gone according to some abstract blueprint I put together in my mind, I was blessed to wake each morning and hear the song of the birds. A song that, for the first time, I could hear. A song that reminded me of all that I am blessed to have, things that that I sometimes take for granted. A song that reminded me that the Lord is always with me, walking beside me, guiding me, protecting me, and with that thought, I smiled and drifted back to sleep to the song of the birds.
It’s been 12 months and three days
Since I found my way back to U
I used to sin every night and party all day
Without you I could travel the less righteous road
I could care only about myself
I could worship the dollar while in a fancy suit
Nothing can save my spirit
Nothing can save my soul,
Nothing can save my heart
Nothing could give me the happiness you could
Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to U
I was so lost without you in my life
Like a bird without a song
Nothing could stop the tears from falling
Tell me Lord where did I go wrong
I could grab for every dollar I see
I could have every comfort money could buy
But they’d never give me the happiness of knowing U
I went to the doctor guess what he told me
Guess what he told me
He said boy even with all the money in the world there’s nothing we can do for you
but he’s a fool
Cause there’s nothing U can’t do
Cause nothing compares to U
You saved me
You breathed life back into me
I know that following you won’t always easy
I must be willing to sacrifice
I must be willing to forgive
I must be willing to embrace my enemies
I must be willing to serve the poor
I know it will be hard because I know I’m flawed
I know I am not perfect
Yet you still love me
So I’m going to give it my best
‘Cause nothing compares to the love you rain down on me
Cause nothing compares to the blessings you bestow upon me
Cause nothing compares
Nothing compare to U Lord
Last Sunday, I spent a good part of my morning and afternoon cooking for the week. Italian meatloaf (really turkey loaf), Cornish game hens, collard greens, black bean soup, and spaghetti with mussels. Rewind almost a year ago, and I was recovering from a cardiac arrest. Those who were there have told me the Doctors on the scene worked to bring me back longer than they should; the priest who stopped in to see me each day in the ICU called me miracle man. My recovery was quicker than was expected. My physical rehabilitation progressed nicely. Three months after the event, I went home from the rehab center and returned to work shortly after. A miracle? Maybe but more likely just another day for the Lord Almighty, who chose to reach down and touch me and say, not yet, my son, there is still work for you to do on this Earth. Now I won’t lie; it hasn’t been smooth sailing since the event some days are better than others there are bumps along the road health-wise. Despite that, every day, I wake and can see and smell the wonderful world around me and know of all the love my family and friends have for me, a love so apparent during my recovery and no doubt a significant factor in it. For this, I am truly blessed, blessed that the hand of the Lord has touched me and given me this second chance at life. It allowed me to spend a Sunday cooking for the week because despite what bumps maybe along the way, in my mind, I know He stands over me and will allow me to wake another day, so I might as well have something to eat on those days. I do not know what His ultimate plan is for me, but I know he has touched me, and he is guiding me, and I am eternally thankful for that.
Watching Joel Osteen this morning, and the Lord must be using him to preach right at me and my current situation this morning. He is preaching that we should never laugh in disbelief at what God puts in front of us, even if it seems impossible. For when you laugh, God will simply say welcome my child to my world.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
It may not happen right away; there may be obstacles placed in your way. This is never going to happen, you may think. But that is only because, as humans, we can not always see the larger picture but rest assured, HE does. We must keep the faith, continue to praise the Lord, continue to push through the obstacles, and when He blesses you with that which you thought was impossible. As Olsteen called it, a “whoever thought miracle.” You won’t be laughing in disbelief any longer; you will be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
I have congestive heart failure, and on June 7th, I had a cardiac event. My heart stopped, doctors told my sister things don’t look so good. But God looked down on me and said, son, it is yet your time, and HE breathed the gift of life back into my body. A week later, the hospital minister would come into my room and, with a huge laugh, say, miracle man, I can’t believe you are up and talking to me after what you looked like last week. He was laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
My cardiologist tells me the medicine he prescribes for me and the diet he says I should follow will help me maintain my health. But you can’t just reverse congestive heart failure. I laughed in disbelief at that. Sure I will take my medicine and follow my diet, but while he may prescribe medications and suggest diets to maintain my health, it is only HE who can truly heal me, and then we will all be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
You see, I have faith that the Lord has not brought me to this point along the spiritual journey to drop me off on the side of the road. I have faith that while I may not see it, HE knows the big picture. HE sees what he has in store for me. I have faith that as Osteen preached this morning, HE is positioning me to do something positive. I will continue to pray to and praise him, and you should too. No matter what your current situation may be—no matter what obstacles may appear to be in your path. Keep the faith, and soon you will be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
I have been blessed in my lifetime. From the moment I was born, the Lord has watched over me, guided me, and protected me. The last year has been challenging for me health-wise, but thanks to the grace of the Lord, I have been granted the strength to face the recovery process head-on. Despite all my blessings, there have been times when I feel unhappy and alone. When this feeling is creeping into my soul, I clear my mind of all things and talk to the Lord. It is during these moments of reflection that I lean on my faith. Evil will look for the smallest of openings to pounce on you. Evil knows that we are only human, and no matter how deep our faith may appear to be, our spirituality can be stripped from us. Evil will endeavor to grow a moment of unhappiness into a lifetime of bitterness and doubt about the Lord’s love for us. But as I talk to the Lord, I give him praise and thanks for all he has blessed me with. I pray that he will give me the courage to reject the thoughts evil is attempting to poison my mind with. I open up my heart and allow the Lord to touch my soul and guide me away from the darkness and back toward the light. It is then I can feel the power of the Lord. I can hear Him say to me, my child, I know you are not perfect, I know you may have moments of doubt, but I also know where your heart and soul genuinely reside, you have shown this to the world through your praise of me. You are now and will forever be my child, and I love you unconditionally. I will guide you. I will protect you. I will help you strengthen your faith so that no one will be able to break the bond between us.
I have a friend with who I occasionally get into some heated debates about God, religion, and faith. During one of these debates, he asked if God exists why is he so secretive. Why doesn’t he just let us all know he exists so that the fighting and killing that takes place in his name would cease. I told him it is because God’s existence is not for us to have tangible evidence of, though when you look around, concrete evidence is everywhere, God’s presence to you is based on faith. However, his question made me wonder what if God did talk to us all directly today; What would we ask him? What would he reply? I thought about it some more, and below is what I believe an interview in today’s world with God might sound like.
Host: Good Afternoon, everyone thanks for tuning in to an extraordinary broadcast our special guest today is none other than the creator himself – God. Welcome to the show.
God: Hello everyone. Thanks for taking time out to listen in today, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve directly communicated with you, but I felt that with the way things have been going lately on Earth, now’s as good as time as ever to talk with you.
Host: Well, we are very excited to have you here. So let’s jump right in with the question everyone wants to know the answer to. The proverbial elephant in the room, so to speak; Who got it right? Which religion is the correct one?
God: Jumped right in you did. I am well aware that you’ve all been trying to find the answer to that question since, well, almost the beginning of your time. Which religion is the right one? Whose God am I? Whom do I favor? Profound questions all, and the answer you seek is a straightforward one. May I have a drum roll, please? The answer is, all and everyone.
Host: All and everyone? I think I speak for our listeners out there when I say I’m not sure what you mean by that.
God: I mean, I did not create religion; I created you, and in creating you, I gave you the beautiful gifts of intellect and imagination. It is with those gifts that you created religion. I never cared how you chose to imagine me or what doctrines you chose to build your faith around. No, all I asked is that you treat each other with love, compassion, and respect. Sadly since the very beginning, many of you have chosen not to that, and even sadder, you have chosen to use me as the reason for your destructive and violent actions. For that, I have been greatly saddened.
Host: But if that’s true, why would you let us continue to travel down that path of destruction.
God: That was not my choice to make. Lest you forget, I also blessed you with free will, the ability to live your lives as you saw fit. Yes, by allowing you to exist with free will, there have been innocent souls who have perished, and those they left behind have had to grieve. However, would you have found your existence to be more enjoyable if I scripted your life on Earth from the moment you were conceived to the moment you died? That nothing you did, no choice you made mattered? That you were simply actors in a play for my amusement?
Host: Well, when you put it that way, I guess not.
God: I didn’t think so.
Host: Let’s go back to something you said earlier that you were saddened by the acts of violence committed in your name.
God: Yes, that is true.
Host: So, over time, has that sadness ever turned to hate? Have you ever regretted creating us?
God: You know how it is said I created you in my image. Well, that means a lot of things, and to be honest, we don’t have the time today to delve into what that entirely means. But concerning your question, let me give you an analogy. A child is born to a mother and a father. They raise that child and instill in them what they believe to be guiding principles of right and wrong. The child grows and begins to develop their own identity and make decisions for themselves: decisions that are morally wrong, decisions that bring great harm to others. While horrified and saddened by the child’s actions at their core, the parents still love the child. Their love for their child is unconditional. It is that unconditional love of their child that is but one of the many ways you are an image of me. While I may be saddened by some of your decisions at my core, I can never stop loving you, for you are all my children.
Host: What about those that question your very existence? That has to anger you a bit.
God: Well, that very question presumes that I am vain, and let me assure you I am not. If I were, I would not have given you free will to decide for yourself if I do or do not exist. If I were, I would strike down with vengeance all who do not believe in me. Yet millions walk among you today who do not have faith. No, as I said earlier, my only desire is that you love and treat each other with compassion. If you need to believe in me to do so, that is fine. If you do not believe in me but do so, that is fine as well. But rest assured, I take no satisfaction in the knowledge that you fully believe in me but show no love or compassion for your fellow human.
Host: What can we do to be better? How do we stop the hate?
God: Again, that is not for me to say. Your destiny is yours and yours alone. I have provided you, above all my other creations, intelligence and the ability to reason—the power to communicate with each other and to create wondrous things. I have instilled with-in each of you the ability to be compassionate and the compelling emotion of love. Each of you is born with the guiding principles on what is right and wrong. But it all comes back to free will; as humans, you must want to walk in the light. You must want to sacrifice some of your own personal wealth and happiness so that, as a people, you benefit as a whole.
Host: That won’t be easy. We have never shown in our entire existence that we are capable of doing that.
God: It is because you have rejected the most basic concept.
Host: That is?
God: I created you as a people, one people. Yes, you may look different, but that is but on the surface. You are all my children; you are all the same. When you can truly grasp that, only then will you be able to love one another in the way that I truly had imagined you would.
Host: Maybe one day we will, but we’ve come so far down the road I am afraid we never will be able to achieve that level of understanding, and that must sadden you.
God: It does, but I have a great belief in you. After all, you are my children. You may not be there today, but you have so much potential that I know one day you will get there. After all, you have only been here but the blink of an eye. There is still much growing you have to do.
Host: Well, it is comforting to know that you believe we have a chance. I know you are busy and so we’ll end it there. Thank you for making this rare in-person appearance; we’ll try as a people to do better.
God: I know you will.