Saturday, July 14, 2018

Holy Ground~

That the Holy One
would bend His ear
to listen -

That the Holy One
would draw close
each time
we draw near -

That the Holy One
would dare
to love us
and keep on loving us
and to
graciously indwell us -

This place of meeting
can be nothing less
than
Holy Ground.








Sunday, July 8, 2018

I'm So Glad I Asked~

"How, Lord?
How does that happen?"

My questioning heart
didn't even realize it had
spoken these words out loud
until the rest of me
heard myself hearing them -
out loud.

And, as He is always faithful to do,
God answered back.

Only His answer,
as it so often is,
was simply a prodding of my heart
to dig in deeper.
To pray for the Holy Spirit
to illuminate my mind
and then to mine this verse
that had prompted the question
like a jewel hunter
mines a field for diamonds.

But those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
~Isaiah 40:31

I knew this verse.
I had read it time and time again.
I could probably even do a fairly good job
of quoting it back to you
without even looking.
But, living it -
nope.

But those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength.

To me,
up until now,
waiting had been the opposite -
more exhausting,
than renewing.
There was a certain tension
that came with waiting
and to be honest,
it usually left me feeling drained.

This time,
as I read this old familiar verse -
I realized I had yet
to truly grasp the meaning
or live it out in my life.

And,
that's when
my heart blurted out
what it was thinking:
"How, Lord?
How does that happen?"

And,
that's when
my God led me to this amazing,
life-changing,
faith-infusing,
strength-renewing
discovery-
better than all the diamonds in the world.

The word wait
used in this verse
is the Hebrew word קָוָה (qavah).

It has two meanings -
one figurative and one literal.

The meaning I was most familiar with
was the figurative one:
to wait, to expect, to hope in, in anticipation.

It was the literal meaning of this word
that opened the eyes of my heart
and unlocked the true meaning of this verse:
to bind together like a cord

(Honestly,
have you ever thought
of the word "wait"
as meaning "to bind together like a cord"?
What a thought.
Go ahead -
feel free to take a few minutes
to let that sink in.)

To bind together like a cord.

Dictionary.com  defines a cord as:
a string or thin rope made of several strands braided, twisted, or woven together

A cord isn't made of one thread,
but several.

In fact,
if you think about it
(which God definitely had me doing,
and now,
hopefully you are, too!)
the very strength of the cord
lies in the fact
that it is not a single unit,
but is instead made up of several -
all braided, twisted, and woven together.

So - back to this amazing verse,
the question that started this search,
and you and me.

But those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

"How, Lord?
How does that happen?"

(And I almost feel a little hesitant
to share with you
what God shared with me
because I have a feeling -
knowing our God the way I do -
He has already begun
opening the eyes of your heart
to see the treasure He has for you
tucked into this familiar text.
Isn't His Spirit such a precious teacher?!)

If I am to truly wait on the Lord -
it is more
(so much more)
than me
looking forward to,
hoping in,
anticipating
what God is and has yet to do -
it is also
(and here's where
the strength part comes in)
me binding
myself,
my thoughts,
my actions,
my reactions,
my prayers,
my desires,
my very will,
together with that of my God.

To wait on the Lord
is to intertwine me -
every part of me,
with Him.

And, as I do -
my strength is renewed.

As I do,
I am no longer
a lone, thin, single string -
I become part of a strong cord.
(Is anything stronger than God?!)

"How, Lord?
How does that happen?"

Naturally,
if we wait on the Lord
we will mount up with wings like eagles,
we will run and not be weary,
we will walk and not faint.
because His supernatural power,
braided and twisted and woven together
with ours,
will make it happen.

Naturally,
if we wait on the Lord
our strength will be nenewed
because His supernatural strength, -
braided and twisted and woven together
with ours,
will make it happen.

His strength
becomes mine
because I
become part of Him.

WOW!

(I know -
at the beginning of this post
I should have subtly mentioned
you might want to be sitting down
while reading this.)

And,
as is usually the case,
my mind
couldn't have been more grateful
my heart
had the "need to know"
and the courage to ask the question.

And,
as is always the case,
my heart
couldn't have been more grateful
my God
is always faithful to answer.






Friday, June 29, 2018

A True Reflection~

Never underestimate the impact your life
is having on others.

As you through the
day to day living of your life,
(through your
smile,
demeanor,
disposition,
words,
actions,
reactions,
commitments,
convictions,
aspirations,
involvements,
decisions,
to name only a few . . .)
God has an opportunity
to touch a life
by being showcased in yours.

Whether we like it or not,
whether we remember it or not,
whether we are mindful of it or not,
whether we want them to or not,
people are watching us
live out our life.

What do others see
when they look at me?

What do others see
when they look at you?

Do they see a true reflection of our God?~♥



To call yourself a child of God is one thing.
To be called a child of God 
by those who watch your life
is another thing altogether.

~Max Lucado






Wednesday, June 27, 2018

When Almost Was More Than Enough~

It was 4:50 pm.

Trying to wrap up everything on my to-do list before heading home from my office,
I was busily working away when my phone rang.

"Hi, Beautiful. Do you think you'll be able to get away right at 5 tonight, or will you need to stay late?"

"Hi, Handsome. No, I should be able to leave here in about 10 minutes."

"Instead of running errands, do you think you could just come straight home?"

"Sure. Is everything ok?"

"I think I might need to go somewhere for some help. I'm not feeling quite right."

"I'm on my way. Don't worry.  I'm coming right now."

I grab my keys and purse, and as I head out the door, I mention to a co-worker my husband needs me and I have to go. NOW.

Buckling my seat belt and starting my car, I phone my husband.

I talk with him all the short 6-8 minute drive home, assuring him with each turn and each intersection passed I am almost there.

"I'm going to call an ambulance," he finally says. "That way I will be able to get in to see a doctor sooner once we're at the hospital."

"Ok, Handsome.  Hold on, I'm coming.  I'm almost there. I'm almost there, Handsome. Love you."

And with that, our conversation ends.

Traffic begins blurring with panic and erupts in heart cries to my God.

"Oh, Lord. Be with my husband. Help him, Father God.  I'm almost home.  I'm almost there, Lord.  Help him.  Help me be able to help him once I get there.  Oh, Father God, I'm almost there."

A half a minute or so later, I pull into the drive.
It's 4:58 pm.
I race to the front door and into our home.

"Honey, I'm here. It's ok, now. I'm here."

My ears and my heart met with only a deafening silence.

"Honey!!  I'm here!!"

I turn the corner of our hallway and see his legs and feet (and his phone), lying motionless.
And, I see him there, lying in the bathroom, and I know.

I was too late.







Only,
looking at the radiantly peaceful look on my man's face,
feeling surrounded by the gentle hush of angels,
experiencing as never before the peace that can only be the presence of God,
I know in the deepest place of my heart,
God is here,
in our bathroom,
in our home,
in this moment,
in this timing.

I was almost there,
but God,
God is here.

Here with His kindness and His mercy.
Here with His "in an instant" blessing.
Here with His arms open wide.
Here with my husband then,
here with me, now.

And all I can do,
as I hold his hands tight,
rest my head on his chest,
and cry until I feel as though my own heart will give out,
is thank my God.

It is God who blessed me with this man
25 years ago when we first met.

It is God who blessed me with the gift of being his wife almost 16 years ago.
(We had dated 10 years before saying I do because he had to be sure he was sure!)

It is God who blessed me to be the one to live alongside this man as he lived out the day to day
living of his extraordinary life.

It is God who blessed me with his last words, and almost his last moment.

And, it is God who was with my husband at his last breath.

When I was almost there,
God was there,
more than I could have ever hoped or imagined,
more than I could have ever wanted for my husband.

When I was almost there,
less than half a minute away,
God was there,
and it was more than obvious
God was (and always will be) more than enough.





This was my unexpected moment -
February 4, 2016.

Retelling it again because so many of you are new here
and because
even now,
two years, and almost 5 months later -
God is here
and He is more than enough.

Great is His faithfulness.


Monday, June 25, 2018

A Prayer for Today~

Thank you, Lord,
for a brand new day.

Thank you for Your mercies
that are new every single morning
and for Your faithfulness
which has no end.

Thank you that You have already provided
everything I will need today . . .
love, wisdom, patience, self-control,
joy, inspiration, faith,
strength, protection, and provision.

Thank you that You and I
are in this day together.

I can't wait to spend it with You!

In Jesus' precious name I pray,
Amen.




Thursday, June 21, 2018

God is in the Details~

So often
we find ourself weighed low
beneath the details of life.

We wonder if we are
making the right decision about this
or if we are doing what is best
in handling that.

We think,
and we fret,
and we worry,
and we wonder . . .
and in doing so,
we often forget that
God is in the details.

He who designed water from a lake
to evaporate to the sky
only to return as rain to water the earth
is here working in the details of your life, too,
causing one action
to prepare the way for the next,
one step at a time,
all in His perfect timing and perfect way.

He who breathed the stars into being
and then orchestrated their orbit,
along with that of the sun and moon
and a million other celestial wonders,
is here orchestrating every single detail
of that which concerns you, too -
delicately considering all involved
and intertwining it all in heavenly fashion.

He who designed the metamorphosis
of a lowly caterpillar into a glorious butterfly
is here, too,
in the details of all
that is changing around you, -
gently,
miraculously,
amazingly,
creating something new,
that no doubt
will be unlike anything you've known before,
but beautiful in its own way.

Trust Him.

God is in the details.

Commit your ways to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
~Psalm 37:5 (AMP)



Monday, June 18, 2018

Who Do They See~

His words broke my heart.

Partly because I have been in his shoes,
but mostly,
mostly because I could only imagine
how this whole scenario
must have broken the heart of Jesus, Himself.

Mean people and Jesus followers -
together,
all mixed up,
professing to be one and the same.

A grown man,
he told the story of growing up in church.
How each week his Sunday School teacher
scolded him,
pointed out every wrong thing he was doing,
and told him
if he didn't straighten up,
he was going to Hell.

One day she added,
"What's wrong with you, boy?
Don't you want to be with Jesus?
Don't you want to go to Heaven?"

A mere six year old,
he lowered his face to the ground
and shook his head, "no".

The teacher was appalled.

"You don't want to go to Heaven?
How could you not want to go to Heaven?"

This young boy,
with all the innocence and honesty
his heart could muster into words,
looked up at this "woman of God" and replied,
"Well, you're going to be there, right?
I, uh well, I just don't want to be there.
I don't think I would like it there
with you and Jesus,
especially with no way to leave
or ever go home."

And, who could blame him
for coming to this conclusion,
for deciding if Jesus was anything like this woman,
he didn't want anything to do with Heaven,
or anything to do with Jesus?

Thankfully,
as a child,
most of the people who told me about Jesus,
not only talked about Him,
but walked out the beauty and love of Him
in their lives.

Sadly,
as an adult, however,
this hasn't always been the case.
Those professing to be Jesus followers,
those serving in His name,
those called into ministry,
have been some of the most un-Christlike people
I have known.

If they were the only view I had of Jesus,
if they were all that I glimpsed of His character and heart,
if they were who I thought Jesus was like,
just like this young boy,
I wouldn't want anything to do with
Jesus or Heaven, either.

Especially not forever and ever and ever and ever.

Mean people and Jesus followers -
together,
all mixed up,
professing to be one and the same.

And, I sit here thinking of me.

What is it that people see when they watch my life?

How is this Jesus I talk about
being conveyed to their hearts?

Am I truly showing them
the fullness of who He is?

Or, am I a deterrent?

Is the way I live my life
causing people to turn tail and run
as far away from God
as they can go?

Am I drawing others to God
or pushing them away?

Whether we like it or not,
whether we admit it or not,
whether we are even aware of it or not,
the salvation of others -
to a large extent -
depends on us
unwrapping this,
unpacking this,
digesting this,
pondering this,
remembering this,
and then,
living out the truth and beauty of who God is
in our day to day living
of our every day lives.

Who do others see
when they see me?

When they see you?

May it be Christ
and Christ alone.