Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weeds, and a Way

I sit at the island with my head in my hands, overwhelmed. I want to say something, to let Him know how I feel, and I begin: Lord, it's just too...

"Too big? The job is to big?"

And I think of all He's been showing me lately:
that He knew it would be too big.
And that He knew that I could do it.

I think of "Bruchko", and "And the Word Came With Power", and of all that others have done when it actually was "too big".

I think of how if it wasn't (too big), I might be tempted to take credit- to know that I had done it out of my ability, or skill, or knowledge.

But I don't, and I can't.

Not today, not any day.

Maybe pride came before this fall, or maybe His gentle discipline is just reminding me to be humble with others, because I really struggle too. Just in different ways perhaps, maybe at different times than when my neighbor is struggling, but we all struggle, here on planet earth.

Ouch. Lord, even in my own selfish inability, I have been so proud. Even now, what I have left undone bothers me most, because of how others would see me. That they would see how I have failed, and that I am so ordinary. This bothers me. And it bothers me that so much of my efforts have been for show, and not for loving service. That I haven't used my times of strength to kneel and help and fellow struggler. I have spent so much of my life trying to help myself.

So here I am at my island, and in recognition that the job He has given is too big, and not too big.

I think of the stewards, to whom He gave the talents that they were capable of multiplying. To translate that would be to say that He gave funds to investors, and He, being all wise, knew that they could multiply those funds many times over. And no one invests in someone that they are certain will fail, right? You don't put money on a horse who is hobbled, you must know there is a chance of an outstanding win. And He doesn't take risks- if He invested this talent (these responsibilities) in me, then He knows that I am the woman for the job! He knows that I can do this!
Remember the servant who accomplished nothing; came back with nothing to show for the investment that the master made in him? He failed because he was lazy, and because his thinking was twisted.
And at my island I think: have I really just been lazy?

Have I so desired my self life that I would rather bury this talent in the ground than to get up every day and care for it?

It makes me think of my garden, two years ago. I had so neglected it during a crucial time, that after a period of four weeks I was forced to go in with the rototiller and even mow down some of my vegetables which could not be salvaged. I had a talent going there, something worth investing in, but by not giving it priority I lost what I'd invested- time, seeds, and a harvest!

My house is like this.
If I will not get up and get at the weeds...
My children are like this, my life is like this, my marriage is like this....

but the sower sows the word.

Oh boy.
There it is, and I know it.

Oh God, why am I so dull still as to think I can neglect Your Word, Your Living Water and still flourish? And why, when struggles come, do I think it is unrelated to wether or not I am holding to Your instruction manual? And why, when I hit the snooze button, do I fail to recognize that it will lead to sitting at my island with my head in my hands.

I can't do it, Lord.

"I know you can't, but I can."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Words That Work!

Psalm 147:12-20 (The Message)
Jerusalem, worship God!
Zion, praise your God!
He made your city secure,
he blessed your children among you.
He keeps the peace at your borders,
he puts the best bread on your tables.
He launches his promises earthward—
how swift and sure they come!
He spreads snow like a white fleece,
he scatters frost like ashes,
He broadcasts hail like birdseed—
who can survive his winter?
Then he gives the command and it all melts;
he breathes on winter—suddenly it's spring!
He speaks the same way to Jacob,
speaks words that work to Israel.
He never did this to the other nations;
they never heard such commands.

Don't you love the part at the end where it says that He "speaks words that work"? God speaks words that have the power to turn winter into spring! That will turn an ice age into a season of blessing!
Yes, Father! So be it! Turn the wintery places in our hearts into flourishing spring! Do it by Your Word, Your Word that WORKS.
Praise the Lord.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Each Moment Filled with Wonder

Father, my eyes are alight with Your Beauty, my heart is amazed at all You have done.

A train of children stretched out before me, who marvel at God's creation and stoop to see: minnows, kittens, goldfish, puppies, wildflowers, garden herbs... just one more thing, just one more minute!

Walks, talks with big boys, and a heart full of joy at what God has restored.

The wind in my face as I drive out to the fields with farmer husband, so much beauty in the sky that I can barely take it in.

Awe in knowing what He has done, when I look out at our fields, our land. A sense of being very small, in comparison to Him, and yet very loved. So humbled, and He exalts me, makes me worthy. Worthy of His Son.

A smile that I thought I'd lost, a laugh that comes naturally, which I didn't know I had!

Grace, Strength in the midst of what I know I am truly incapable of. His hand guiding my circumstances and whispering in my spirit, gently showing me, reminding me: "I help, I have helped, I am HELPER." Dear, precious, Holy Spirit.

Mornings starting early, sun flooding my bedroom, and bible propped open on pillow- these words are Spirit, and they are Life.

Sun, Warm, Sand, and Water. Play for hours, simple pleasure of digging in sand. The sweet, painful feeling of loving, and praying for family.

A hard heart, learning to love, and not to be afraid. To offer myself, and trust Him.

P.S. If you haven't yet, stop by Ann Voskamp's Holy Experience. She writes with a spirit that imparts gratitude to the hearer. God makes every moment alive, and full of His Glory.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Desperate for an Answer

So many times the women I talk to are open to healing. There are some who are not, but many are willing, they just don't know how to recieve it. Often they are desperate for healing, their hearts are crying out to God, and they can't understand why He won't answer.

I don't know that, but what I do know is that He isn't not answering. Did you get the double negative? If we aren't getting, it is not because God is not giving.

We know that the word of God is true, even when it is not what we are experiencing right now. Think back to the days before you recieved Jesus Christ as your Lord, and Savior. Was the Gospel still true, before you'd experienced it? Yes.

Well what if you've recieved the message of healing. Why hasn't it manifested in your body? After all, you believed the gospel, and you were saved. Why not believe the healing and be healed? Well...

Sometimes the trouble is in what we believe. We know that Christ was the salvation afforded to mankind, so then anyone who recieves Him can be saved at any time, no matter who they are, or what they have done. Anyone can be saved because the sacrifice has already been made. It is all finished, we just enter into it. But when we are believing for healing, often people believe that they have to convince God to give it- they don't know that it's already been given.

When Jesus sacrificed his blood in our place, and atoned for our sins, He also sacrificed His body, in the place of our suffering. He became the curse for us, so that we wouldn't have to have the consequences of sin in our bodies (sickness, death). We can be healed, because we've been forgiven.

Again, why are there depressed Christians who believe for His healing, and don't seem to recieve? Lord, we are willing, we are desperate for an answer.

If a person has something in their path that is blocking them from recieving the gift that God has so certainly already given, I may not know that specific reason, but it is not an excuse for not recieving. If we know His word is true, and that the sacrifice is already made, then we know that the healing is already ours. We recieve it by faith, even if things don't begin to look different right away. Plus, we expect that we do recieve it, since it is ours, and we think about it, talk about it, and act as if IT IS OURS. And we resist the devil who would like to see that we do not ever enjoy the fulness of what Christ has done for us.

Also, we remember the Giver. We remember that Jesus Christ is really the only answer, and that there will never be another. We don't give up or quit, but know that He HAS answered us- He sent us Jesus; He gave His Spirit into our hearts, and HE GAVE US HIS WRITTEN WORD WHICH IS LIFE TO THOSE THAT FIND IT AND HEALTH TO THEIR WHOLE BODY. We keep in close contact with God through His word, and through prayer, and He reveals to us the things that have been blocking us from recieving.

It helps to know that God loves you, and He is holding nothing against you. He wants you to be healed, even more than you do, and because of this, you can be cofident that you will. That you are. Healing always comes.