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The Woman Who Hears God {A Practical Blog Series on Discerning God’s Voice}

hearing god

 

 

A few months ago, I received a letter in the mail.

I opened the envelope and there with the note were two gift cards to Walmart. The letter was from Jennifer and she wrote to tell me that someone asked her to pass one of the gift cards on to me. Then she said, “The other card was given to me, but the Lord told me it belonged to you too.”

I showed the note to my husband and we did a Thank You Jesus dance in the living room because:

1. we needed groceries and

2. we knew God was telling us that He saw and He knew and He would never, ever forsake us.

 

Jennifer was an instrument of God that day. She could have kept the cards and I never would have known the difference. But because she (and the generous woman who gave the cards) listened and obeyed, the Holy Spirit communicated great peace to our hearts. We saw how God was moving in other hearts on our behalf and we once again, knew that we can trust that kind of God.

Make no mistake about it, the woman who hears God’s voice and promptly responds is a woman who touches and changes lives.

The question is, do you want to be that kind of woman?

For me, there is no better or more fulfilling way to live. I also know Jennifer to be a woman who listens to the Spirit all day long. She relies on Him for her hair. Her wardrobe. Her ministry. Even her marriage bed! She knows what it’s like to commit her day to Him and let Him bring His life in her to fruition.

After spending some time with Jennifer, I saw her intimacy with the Lord as something others could greatly benefit from…so I asked her to prayerfully consider doing a blog series with me on discerning God’s voice and walking according to the Spirit. She said yes!

 

Every Tuesday over the next few weeks, we will discuss topics such as how to know it is God speaking, how to hear God through the Word, how to hear Him in the daily mundane, what God expects of us after hearing, and what it all looks like in an everyday life. We will share personal stories and whatever else the Lord lays on our hearts!

I’d like to give you a little meat to chew on from John 10 regarding hearing God…and I want you to meet Jennifer too, so please click over to Jennifer’s blog for a little dip into John 10~ 

 

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”    Isaiah 30:21

 

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe for updates to avoid missing a post: Smelling Coffee and Arabah Joy.

When your day isn’t holy, look for the Glory

I go get her up from nap.

I’m all smiles, she is not.

I ask her to go use the bathroom before coming to kitchen and she does… she goes into the bathroom and urinates in her pants.

When I find her in there, standing in front of the toilet… wet… insolent… I am immediately irritated.

She’s done it to spite me, this child resistant to grace.

“Why did you do that?” I ask her, running on my irritation, leaving the Spirit behind.

She stares at me dark, hard, hostile. Silent.

I step out, overwhelmed by a sudden sense of my own foundations. I grew up in a home where religious parents were never pleased. I believed God was like that too. And I’m suddenly aware of the false god I just might be representing to her.

Of late, my prayer has increasingly become, “Lord, show me how to parent this moment in a manner keeping with Your character.”

All my life I reckon I’ve struggled with understanding God. Perhaps I always will… at least now I’m aware of the struggle. In a world of jarred chords and evil strains, I’m letting the CROSS be my middle C.

I leave her in the bathroom to finish while I go outside, pick up toys before I mow. I hear from my Father. “Do you understand Me now?” He asks. “Do you know why I’ve forgiven, not according to your acts of righteousness? Do you understand it’s because of My name’s sake?”

There it is, a beam, and I follow it. Harsh judgment is deserved by us all…but judgment never reflects the true nature and disposition of our God.

Words of displeasure, shame, condemnation, punishment…all of these we deserve for sinning against a Holy God. And He can and should dish them out, teach us a lesson we won’t forget….

Except that those things don’t reflect who He is at His core…gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness.

These things are His glory.

And He is pleased to reveal it to us.

It is in such stark contrast to the punitive version of God I was raised with. Yet for all His right and reason, He desired not to act in a way that our insolent rebellion begged for…but in a way that makes known His glory. So He “demonstrated His own love for us” and acted in a manner in keeping with His own glorious nature.

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” I John 4:9-10

And in so doing, the true nature and character of God was revealed.

Could this be the root of our parenting questions, our consumption of resource after resource, our apathy for the lost, our search for “the something that’s missing?” This deep confusion regarding the true nature of God?

He is good. He is grace. He is love.

He invites me to bask in it, believe it, drink it, take it and live. Live!

And then He tells me something strong and clear. He tells me to reflect it.

“I’ve chosen you for this purpose,” He says, “and you are to honor Me as I am, as I reveal Myself to you.”

I cannot live the way I always have. With each flash of divine revelation into His true nature and character, I am to make lifestyle changes that are in keeping with His revealed nature. This is what it means to “hallow” His name.

I bend the knees to such a high and noble calling in life. To sanctify His name? To reflect His glory? To be His witness? Me??

I go back in to little girl sitting on toilet.

I hug her close. I look deep into her eyes, I stroke damp hair away from her face. I ignore the odor of urine and the wet stickiness against my legs.

With a heart full of the Glory, I show her God.

 

“Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”

“And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the Name of the Lord before you…

Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” Exodus 33:18-19, 34:6

This, His glory.

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 Repost from the archives

 

How Not to be a Negative Person

I’m driving down the road when it comes on the radio.

“Experts say that you can change from being a pessimist to being an optimist.”

Really, I wonder? I thought it had to do with personality, the way someone is made. I’ve always been a glass half empty kind of person. Not proud of it, but it’s true.

The radio announcer continued: “Yes, studies have been done and it is possible for you to become an optimist. It is simply a matter of perspective. You can train yourself to see life differently.”

And I would have laughed out loud and talked back to that little chipper-of- a- girl announcer and told her that she obviously wasn’t a pessimist or else she would have given a little more instruction than that…But I didn’t laugh and I didn’t talk back because I know it’s true.

You see, I’m a recovering pessimist. And that, I am proud of. Very, very proud.

And while the optimistic radio announcer moves on to other things, my Savior, the Light of the World, the One who leads us in the way we should go, He speaks to me. He’s telling me how a person becomes negative.

He tells me the eye is the lamp of the body and if the eye is dark, the whole body is filled with darkness. Even “their minds were filled with darkness.” Romans 1:21

But if the eye is good, the whole body is filled with light.

Whether a person is a pessimist or an optimist depends on how they see. It depends on what they look at.

And with the history I’ve had, I’ve seen dark. How else could I interpret life than through the dark lens I was given? How can any of us expect to see differently than the lens, the lamp, the perspective we’ve been handed? Our fallen, dark, distorted lens tells us how to see life. Ourselves. Others. God.

But we can change our perspective. We can trade in our lens.

For Light has shone in the darkness and the people walking in darkness have seen a great light.

Praise His Name!

Experts are just now saying something God has said in His word for thousands of years: Our lamp stays bright when we look to the Light.

 

Being a positive person isn’t just a matter of thinking positively. It is a matter of thinkly positively of God.

 

 ”Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.”  Romans 1:21

Our lamp becomes dark when we doubt our God. Our vision is distorted when we distrust our Creator.

Our perspective is skewed when we prioritize what our circumstances tell us instead of who God says He is.

The word for “worship” in Romans 1:21 is “doxazo” and means “to exalt, to magnify.”

The eye is our lens, our glass, our magnifier. And whatever we magnify is what we worship.

We can either magnify our circumstances….or we can magnify our God.

I return home a hungry soul, hungry to know my God, hungry to worship, hungry to practice being an optimist. Like a moth to a light, I’m drawn to His brightness.

I know how He’s spoken to me, with His strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people. “Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; Do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.”

Isn’t this the way to keep your lamp bright?  Stop looking at things the way everyone else does!  Stop interpretting life according to the ways and rules of this world!

“The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy. He is the One you are to fear, He is the One you are to dread, And He will be a sancturary.” Isaiah 8:11-14a

When I give regard to my circumstances, I give them honor. I esteem them as more powerful than my Almighty God!

He only is worthy of regard!!

My circumstances tell me all sorts of lies.

But my God, He tells me He’s in control. He tells me He is good. He tells me He is Adonai. Bread of Life. Conquering King. Defender of the defenseless.

And for every letter of our alphabet, He is.

He tells me He will never leave me or forsake me and He will carry me even to my dying day. He tells me His plans for me are good, to give me a future and a hope. He tells me all His deeds are done in faithfulness and that it is impossible for Him to lie.

And I know the secret of Romans 1:21: A pessimist listens to circumstances and the opinions of people.

But an optimist? Well she looks to her God.

Look to Him with me? Click to watch the video~

http://youtu.be/9zl6Sf3Rt0s?t=2m59s

 

And one more bit of positive? One of the most joyful, full-of-Jesus persons I know is hosting a giveaway today. Go visit her~ I promise you will be glad you did.

 

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Scandalous

lonelyness

 

 

Eric and Woody were looking at me, listening intently, wondering what exactly I had discovered.

I’d entered that dark, cold prison cell with John the Baptist. With him, I’d asked, “Are You really the One?”

I’d agonized.

I’d wondered if I was really His.

I’d doubted God.

I’d done the opposite of what Jesus said the “blessed” ones do.

“My faith was obliterated,” I told them. “I needed to know where that left me. Was I shipwrecked?

“I did a word study on that word ”stumble.”

“It refers to a very specific condition, “to cease believing.”

In fact, one dictionary says it is to “cause a person to distrust One who is worthy of complete trust and obedience.”

It’s what Jesus said not to do to children.

“Furthermore,” I told them, “it is the word Jesus used when He went to the cross. He said all of the disciples would “fall away.” This is the same word He used. See, even the disciples stumbled in their faith.

“And Jesus told Peter, “Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith would remain. And when you have returned, strengthen your brethren.”

I looked into their faces, my own eyes wet. “Stumbling doesn’t have to be permanent,” I told them.

“When it all comes down, it is understanding that He holds onto us. That no matter what evil has been done to us, no matter what dark nights we have seen, no matter the fear and loneliness…no matter our own faithlessness and falling away, the depth of our sinfulness… HE IS FAITHFUL.”

“It is holding onto His character.”

And I don’t know how they understood the weak attempt I made, but they did.

Husband took over from there and explained the love of God and talked for another hour or more, doing much better than I did.

He shared how God was demonstrating His love that very moment, in bringing us all to this same place at this same time, out of every place we could and should be, the globe over…

Yet He orchestrated each of our lives so we could be together, in order for us each to know His hope and grace and speak together of His love.

“He loves you. He wants you to believe it.” And he quotes John 3:16. Such a simple statement, yet so rich.

Later, after we’d hugged Woody’s neck and prayed for them both and slipped a $20 in Woody’s old truck as an expression of God’s love, we left and returned home to our own babes and noise and busyness.

“What did the Lord say to you through all that,” husband asked me.

“I’m not sure yet,” I told him. “I need to think about it.”

I thought about what had happened to Woody.

I thought about what had happened to me, as a child.

I thought about Little Bit and the trauma she has experienced.

I thought about the depths of pain and sin and heartache and trauma.

I thought about what persecution did to John the Baptist and what disillusionment did to the disciples and what oppression did to the Israelites.

In each case, it skewed their perspective of God. It caused them to stop believing.

I thought about all the things that cause us to withdraw and reject and not believe God’s love for us.

And then it hit me.The word for “stumble,” that word that means to cease trusting the One who is absolutely worthy and deserving of our complete trust and obedience.

It’s the word “Skandalizo” in the Greek.

Scandal.

And there He is, reaching deep again and bringing me to my knees. I know what to tell Jackson. I know what it is He wants to say to me.

“It’s not what is done to you that is scandalous, my child. Distrust for Me is the real scandal.

This is what causes heavenly hosts to gasp and cover their eyes and bring hands to mouth. This is what causes those who know God’s nature to hide in shame….when one of us distrusts Him.

I thought of the abuse I experienced as a child…and that the real scandal is that I responded in distrust for God.

I thought about hardship and pain and trauma and rejection and abuse and neglect and poverty and deep suffering the world over…and yet still the real scandal is when our response is distrust for the Holy One.

Because the sufferings of this world don’t compare to the glory of Him.    If we could just see!

And isn’t this why Satan attacks our faith and starts even with the youngest of children? He wants to blind our eyes with pain. He wants to mar our vision with abuse, neglect, and hardship.

He wants us to keep our eyes on our own failures and sin.

He wants to scandalize the One who should never, ever, ever be doubted, the One who demonstrated the depths of His character by entering the womb of a woman…being cared for by sinful man…being vulnerable to other’s sin…then dying at the hands of us all.

Oh yes, Satan wants to establish early on a lifestyle of truly scandalous living…distrust for One whose very name is Love.

I drop to my knees and pray to the Holy One who is worthy. “Oh my God, may I never scandalize You again!”

“Satan has done everything he can to sift me and shipwreck my faith. But You have prayed for me and You are the author and finisher of my faith, Jesus, and You have been faithful to me when I have been faithless. Praise Your Name! Now, Worthy One, may I never scandalize You again.”

And I pray for a man named Woody, a man traveling into a Colorado winter and a painful, lonely death. “May he be saved,” I pray. “May You find him. May his dark, cold prison of death be where he discovers Your faithfulness….Your trustworthiness. May his stumbling turn to faith.”

And His whispered response reverberates deep within: “Strengthen the brethren, my child. Strengthen the brethren.”

Friend, are you stumbling? If you are, I have written you a letter that answers the question “How can my faith be restored?” I’m staying up late at the Lord’s prompting to write this :) It is my joy to share two simple lifestyle habits with you. To access the letter, simply click here. Love and blessings, friend. AJ

{Part I of this story can be read here}

“What if I’m an Esau?”

 

“We’re sending you guys to a bed and breakfast for two nights… will even take care of childcare too.”

Our pastor told us this three weeks ago and we were shocked and delighted and so Friday we dropped the kids off and packed our suitcase and drove an hour to the B&B.

It was while standing in the kitchen with our host, Eric, that we knew. We weren’t here simply for a getaway. God had sent us on a mission.

“My friend Woody is here,” Eric told us. ”We won’t get in your way. He stopped by here to say goodbye…he’s on his way out to the mountains of Colorado. He’s got hot spots all over his body and he’s headed out there to die. Alone in the Colorado mountains.”

We tried to connect with Woody all day Saturday.  Mr. Woody made himself scarce.

Come Saturday night, we ordered Chinese take-out and sat on the bed with paper plates and chopsticks and talked about what we should do. “I say let’s go down and just tell them we don’t believe in coincidence and ask to pray for each of them and see what the Lord does,” I suggested.

My husband, he’s more direct. His fire is burning and he wants to just go down with his Bible and lay it all out.

Either way, if we want to talk to Woody, we’re going to have to be obvious and direct. No casual, “natural” opening is happening.

We finish up takeout with fortune cookies and husband cracks open his cookie and reads, “Don’t wait for others to open the right doors for you.” We laugh. There you have it, we have to go knock on some doors. The fortune cookie said so! {smile}

We go downstairs with our Bible tucked under arm and they aren’t inside and the two men are outside talking where it’s dark and cold …and we go out and chat and ask if we can share breakfast with them in the morning because we’d like to pray with them and talk to them about God.

Um hum. We did.

They said sure and it was clear they were just being polite and we wonder if Woody will really show up at the breakfast table. Did we do the right thing?

8:30 Sunday morning the four of us sit down together for breakfast.

“This is only the third or fourth time I’ve ever sat down with guests,” Eric tells us and we share some missionary stories and language blunders and we all laugh pretty good.

Then we get down to business. We ask Woody about his relationship with Jesus.

“You know,” he begins. “I used to have faith. But some things happened in my life that made me wonder if what I had was real. People done me wrong…I’ve lost absolutely everything. The only thing I have left is a guitar and my old truck…and now I have to sell my guitar.

He continued.I read through the Bible in search of some foundation…I needed to know if what I thought I had was real. I came to conclude that I don’t have real faith.”

What he said next caused my eyes to well up and I didn’t really fight against it because it was the love of Christ within me coming out and didn’t he need to see it?

“I think I’m one of those that have to be slaughtered for someone else to be saved. You know…like in the book of Job, all his children were killed for Job to see and know God better. God’s going to do what God wants to do and I’m one not intended for His blessing.”

“I’m okay with that if that’s the way it’s supossed to be.”

…And my heart is shattered and I can’t believe what I’m hearing…

“I’m not one of the elect,” he says.

Eric chimes in. “I feel the same way,” he says. “What if I’m an Esau? You know, ‘Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.’”

And husband turns to me and says, “Do you want to share anything?”

Yes, I do want to say something. It’s burning within me. It’s so close to my heart that I’m breathing shallow and my pulse is pounding and oh, I get this.

“There’s a reason he asked if I want to say something,” I begin, breathless.

“It’s because he knows I’ve struggled with the same things.” And I wonder how I can boil everything down to a simple conclusion. How can I talk about stumbling and distrust and wondering if God really loves you…about dark nights when you think you had something with God and then you are shaken to the core and you wonder if you were ever founded on the right foundation?

I take a deep breath. Everyone is looking at me. The weight of responsibility for my words is heavy on my shoulders. How can I ever say the right thing?

“The conclusion I’ve come to is this,” I tell them. “It comes down to knowing and trusting the character of God.”

They’ve read the Bible before, so I explain. “You know John the Baptist? How he spent his entire life preaching Jesus and then he was arrested? And while he was in prison, waiting for his head to get cut off, he sent friends to ask Jesus, “Are you really the One?”

“His faith was shaken to the core. He was doubting and in a very stormy place.

“What Jesus said is very interesting.  He told John to evaluate things on the basis of scripture, not circumstance. But then He said something very important and insightful. He said, “Blessed is the one who does not stumble on account of Me.”

“And I looked up that word “stumble” and did a word study on it, because that’s where I was at: a doubting, stormy, afflicted place in my faith.

“And this is what I found that changed everything for me…”

{Part II of our conversation with Eric and Woody tomorrow}

This post is linked up to Ann’s Walk with Him Wednesday. Today the discussion is faith…

I am… I AM

 

 

When I awake, old voices haunt.

They’ve been on the prowl, like mangy, hungry beasts just waiting for the moment of consciousness to arrive… then they lunge and sink fangs into one barely aware, one scarcely awake.

I’ve hardly a chance.

Even before eyes open, old messages are there, telling me who I am. Telling me what I’m worth. Telling me how I’ll live this day. They make predictions over me and rob the best of the day from me before I even get out of bed. They take from me life, all ability to impart nourishment and grace to my children. They rob me of warmth and blessing to give my husband.

Outside the sun is shooting orange rays across the sky. I hear finches as they flit about this wondrous day, joyously feasting on seeds they did not produce. Their provisions come from their Creator. They do not worry, just fly.

But to me, the day seems bleak. It stretches before me with foreboding and try as I might, I can’t will my eyes to see it differently.

I start to panic. Feel overwhelmed. Thing is, I’ve started countless days like this. I’ve also looked all over for answers. There have been many perks I’ve fallen back on through the years. Western lifestyles make these a normal part of our lives.

Yet I’ve finally accepted and embraced one simple truth: “You will keep her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

“Get to Jesus,” I whisper to myself. “Just get to Jesus.”

But how does one really connect her heart to Christ? How does one latch on to the Vine and drink in its nourishment and receive its Life-blood poured out and abide in that place of protection and succor? I need to know because this is where I want to live, where I need to live.

In this, Moses mentors. He faced a day, a challenge, a task, a life purpose, far beyond himself. “Who am I?” he cried to the Lord.

“I AM,” God said.

That’s supposed to be sufficient. “I AM” is sufficient.

And like Moses, every time those inner voices say “look at what I am,” God says, “My child, that matters not! Look at what I AM.”

Inner voices say I am rejected…. but He says I AM Acceptor of the beloved, and I’ve given you a new identity and transferred you to the kingdom of my Son.

With each accusation, I AM is there to counter it.

I am abandoned…. I AM Father to the fatherless, who has taken you up

I am unworthy…. I AM Worthy, and have shed My Worthy blood on your behalf

I am unlovable…. I AM Love, who has wrapped you in everlasting love that cannot fail

I am beyond redemption… I AM Redeemer, who makes all things new and nothing is too difficult for Me

I am a failure… I AM Faithful, who will not allow your foot to stumble and I work all things to the good of those who love Me

I am a mess up… I AM in control

I am too sinful… I AM a friend of sinners and I came to seek and to save lost. It is the sick who need a Physician, not the well

I am unable… I AM able….and willing!

I am faltering… I AM your bread, take and eat! My body is broken and given for you!

My hungry, craving soul begins to take nourishment. The broken body, the blood freely spilled, it imparts life. Trembling, I reach out and lay hold. I bring to lips and swallow down and it is sweet to the taste, like manna.

“I am” thoughts are replaced with “I AM” thoughts and I am well.

Here I will stay.

 

Hearing the Unspoken

It’s on day 4 of week one when the kids go outside for their activity related to Elohim…catch a bug…that things fall apart.

Instead of catching a bug to analyze, they come back with the bug jar filled with crab apples and water. “Look at these, mom,” oldest says. “They are pretty.”

I scramble to relate crab apples in water to our lesson on Elohim and the way He creates even the tiniest of critters with profound detail, imagination, and perfection.

Yet the point of doing this is not to impart book smarts about God, but to discover God’s nature naturally, “these words…shall be on your heart.”

We are so good about teaching to the head…but to the heart? How does one write the truth about God’s good character upon the heart?

“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when your sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deut. 6:6-7

Doesn’t God provide us with everyday life, natural ebbs and flows, each one of them a chance to imprint hearts with His grace?

Perhaps it isn’t so much in telling but in SEEING. It isn’t so much about head knowing as it is about heart HEARING.

With our lives, we teach our children how to see and hear the heart of God.

So when children bring in a jar of crab apples in water, we change plans.

“Why do you think God made these?” I ask them. “We don’t use them and they just go to a waste growing on that bush and then falling off and rotting.”

The children don’t know. Why would God make something we can’t use, something we don’t eat?

I lean in close to them, know the attention span for words is growing short. “Maybe God made that tree grow in our backyard so that one day, today, you could go out there and pick crab apples and put them in a jar with water and spin them around and have fun doing it.”

Maybe Elohim created lavishly and loves lavishly and wastes no expense, withholds no good, because that’s just the kind of Creator He is.

Maybe He made a trillion stars no human eye will ever see…sea creatures in ocean depths no one has discovered…wildflowers on hills only He knows about… simply because He is lavish and beauty combined and He just spills out and over and if we’ll but open our eyes we’ll discover the lavish nature of the One who planned us special.

Maybe in the midst of dirty dishes and broken hearts and cramped spaces, He wants us to remember there’s a crab apple tree in the backyard.

And maybe if we tune in to the song of the bird and the flight of the butterfly and the way the duck cools itself in the pond, flapping and dousing, we’ll discover the unspoken. We’ll find the language of the stars that declare the glory of God. We’ll hear with the heart.

So instead of talk about the second main verb associated with Elohim in Genesis 1 (the first is “create” and the second is “bless”), I pick up the jar with the crab apples.

I spin. And I smile.

We are learning with our hearts.

Week 1 lessons and activities {very simple, don’t expect awesomeness~ smile ) on Elohim (Just click Elohim again on the next page and it will open) Grace and peace…

He Is

Tears drip down my chin and into our lunch. Oh well, they’ll never know…

A child enters the kitchen, sees me,  and runs out. I hear her telling sister, “Momma’s crying again,” and they all come running.

“What’s wrong, momma?”

I draw them close and tell them, “It’s okay, sillies. Mom is just praying and a lot of times when she prays, she cries.”

It’s true. I’m not sure when it started, but somewhere along a few weeks back, something inside broke, a leaky water pump. Becoming aware of His presence and His nature in a deeper way, I am so easily undone when I tap into it throughout the day.

Mostly, I ponder the awesome character of our God. And I am grieved that I reflect so little of it. I am grieved that I know so little of it. I am grieved of all the time and resources I have wasted pursuing other “good” and “spiritual” things.

I weep broken-hearted tears.

And I pray His names, as I have been studying, digging ever deeper into His nature. Because I know the God who created trillions of stars expended no more energy doing it than it would have taken to make one.

And to this God, forgiving a rapist takes no more love and mercy than forgiving a child for slipping a quarter from her mother’s purse.

His attributes are 100% infinite and self existent. Therefore it doesn’t “cost” Him anymore to create trillions than one, to forgive heinous than “little, white” sins.

He is altogether unique, unlike any other.

So I know no matter how deep and tainted I am, He is bigger.

his grace is greater than my sin

his love is wider than my need

his faithfulness is higher than my shortcomings

his mercies are sufficient for each day

his cords of compassion can’t be broken

his spoken words never expire

This is the One who broke Himself open and poured Himself out and says to me, “Come, eat you all of it.”

So I go.

Faces to Son

The storms move in and camp out and all week long the kids and I press faces to the window, looking for rainbows.

“The conditions are right,” I tell them.

And when the rain pauses, we run outside and search the skies like we’re on a treasure hunt.

We are.

We see billowing dark and low moving gray and patterns in the clouds. Every now and then, we see the majesty of the sun, faithful and steady, peeking through the dark.

We never do see our rainbow.

But what we see is that when our side of the world faces the sun, it’s always day. Even when the skies are dark and there are no rainbows.

“I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness…” John 8:12

Today I’ll turn face to the Son. With Him, it’s always day.

Snow Grace

I wake up to a blanket of white outside my window, the first- and probably only- of the winter.

The timing is God.

Because yesterday there were angry words spoken, words that hurt and accused, words that leave marks for a long time.

They stir up things that enemy would keep stirred up, would keep alive. Even today, after words of repentance have been spoken, enemy is there stirring up old feelings of worthlessness. Condemnation. Exposure. Doubt.

But that white out my window…it reminds me of other words: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”

My sins are as scarlet. I am worthy of angry words. I am worthy of far worse. I can never make all my wrongs right.

But there is hope for me yet.

For there is a God who spoke other words and His words are truth and didn’t He send the snow all night while I slept to make sure I remembered them?

I am terribly unworthy…but ring-from-the-rafters-news! His love isn’t based on worth!

So I will kneel again. I will embrace His love for me. I will stand, fully assured in His intentions towards me. And I will reach, doing my part to lay aside the old and press on to His upward call in my life.

Today.

Just today, for tomorrow is not guaranteed. This sinner will be saved by grace like snow.

“Behold I make all things new.”

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