Monday, November 7, 2011
So when we don't understand, which we often don't, we can know God does. There is no need to try to explain it, God is so God.
Monday, June 6, 2011
My journey here is far from over and far from where it should be. As I look back I can see the road. With all it's twists and turns. It climbs over mountains and runs down into deep valleys. One such valley is the one that I can see I just am climbing out of. The valley of discontentment is a very lonely place. I would not recommend anyone to journey there. But it is where I have spent quite a number of days recently. It is amazing how fast I sped down that road and how slowly I have realized that I was lost there. I have been wallowing on Selfish Lane and trying on my own to leave the place I knew I shouldn't have dwelt.
Then I saw a light. A strange way this light came to me. I wish I could say that it was because I realized my sin, prayed, and saw the light of Christ. Actually, I believe that the Lord sent this little light of encouragement so that I could understand where I was, and where I ought to have been. It was someone else that was ablaze with a fire that I had long dampened. I watched and then began to long for the flame that they had in their life. I was saved, why could I not get as excited? Why was I sitting on the side of this long ugly valley road instead of high on that hill? As I watched I began to pray harder. I had been praying, but not really. I began to search the Bible. I had been reading my Bible, when I remembered. I wanted to be on fire. I wanted to be up there. And the glow and warmth from that encouraging flame kept stoking me to do what I knew all along to do.
It is amazing that when you see yourself for who you really are at the moment and turn back to face the light of the Lord, how quickly He forgives you and lifts you out of the miry clay. The Bible reading that I had been doing has become love again. I can't wait to hear what the Lord has to say to me. The prayer requests that were non-existent are flowing. And the tears that would not fall are falling. And it is amazing to me when and where they fall.
Oh, I know I have far far to travel. Striving for Christ-likeness is a lifetime journey that I am determined to make. I am sure that I will visit other valleys. Ones of sin and ones of heartache, but this valley that I am coming out of I hope to never visit again. He has certainly picked me up from the miry clay and put my feet on solid rock. And I am ready to climb again. To the high places to worship my maker. The one that has given me the song that is in my heart and life! I praise Him for showing me a blazing fire in someone's heart to help me see how dark my valley had gotten. CS Lewis said, "If you set yourself on fire people will come to watch you burn." It's true...I was watching. Now I can feel the flame growing and soon I hope to be a beacon to shine to show others to the Savior I have fallen so in love with.
I am reluctant to post such a transparent thought, but then I remember all the times in the Bible that Peter's betrayal is recounted and all the times that others in the Bible have fallen. I have been encouraged by these stories and by Christ's forgiveness. I hope that my journey, or really a small part of it, can be an encouragement to you.
Friday, May 27, 2011
I’ve always heard people say “if you walk a mile in their shoes…” This is a great way to learn from people, especially the women of the Bible. We can walk a mile in the shoes of ladies that can help us to grow closer to the Lord. These women can show us what it really means when the Psalmist says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord....” What kind of shoes do those women wear, and what can we learn from those shoes?Sporting a colorful pair of rain boots is Mrs. Noah. She wasn’t afraid to follow her husband despite what other people said. How many of us would follow our husbands even in the face of ridicule? I can imagine many would “follow,” but behind closed doors we would probably try to convince them that maybe we shouldn’t be building a HUGE boat in the middle of the desert. But we don’t see that with her. She follows Noah without any open argument. She just puts the rain boots on and gets on board. Sometimes in life we need to just follow, follow on. When God gives His direction we need to cheerfully put on the rain boots and get on board.
Next we see Hannah carrying a pair of baby booties. How many women, like Hannah, hold the prayers of their hearts desires in their hands waiting for the Lord to answer? Hannah turned to God and pleaded in a way only those with their hearts broken can understand. But she not only prayed, she trusted God to answer the prayer of her heart. In First Samuel 1:18, the Bible says that “…the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.” She trusted God and didn’t continue to worry and fret about it. Oh, if we could only turn our heartaches, desires, and worries to God with that kind of trust.
Speaking of motherhood next we see Lois and Eunice. Though the Bible only has one verse about these two saints of God we can see much about their mothering of Timothy. They are wearing their comfy shoes. You know the ones, shoes that you finally break in and probably should throw away, but just can’t do it. These two wore their shoes out teaching and training Timothy in the ways of the Lord. In 2 Timothy 1:4 Paul says to Timothy, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith in thee which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and thy mother Eunice…” These two women are an example of how to be a godly mother, one of the highest callings a woman can have. They embodied the verse in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” And we know that Timothy did not depart from his godly training. We, as mothers, should slip on those old worn shoes and keep training up our children in the way they should go as Lois and Eunice did.
What about Esther in her glass slippers? Every girl secretly longs to be a princess. When we were young we dream of the day that our prince charming would sweep us off our feet and carry us into the sunset. Not many of us dream of competing in a beauty contest to win our spouse. But if the shoe fits, and in this case it did. With great power comes great responsibility. Esther’s glass slippers came with a great cost. Are we willing to be like Esther and redeem the time? We are princesses, if we are children of the Heavenly King. We have a responsibility to lead others to know the King. We can rescue the perishing. The Bible says in Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings…” so slip on your glass slippers and begin witnessing.
How many of us would want to wear our combat boots like Deborah did? When no one else would fight for what was right she laced up the boots and went to war. She carefully listened to the Lord and led her people into a battle. Deborah knew that the idolatry of the Canaanite people was causing the Israelite people to weaken. Sound familiar? We need to be willing to fight for what is right. Lace up our combat boots and go to war against the worldly influences of today’s times.
Next we see two sisters in two different pairs of shoes. Mary is wearing her house slippers and Martha is wearing her running shoes. We can learn a lot from running shoes. Martha was serving a great number of people at her house. Could you imagine if no one took responsibility for getting things accomplished? What if no one cleaned anything? Or did the work to prepare for this wonderful ladies meeting? Martha was doing what needed to be done. Watching her we can learn that sometimes it is needful to get running! We just need to make sure that we aren’t forgetting to stop and take time for the Lord. Like Mary did.
Mary is here in her slippers sitting at the feet of Jesus. Sometimes we need to take off the running shoes and choose to sit and listen at the feet of Jesus. Whether we have fuzzy bunny slippers or plain house slippers we need to cozy up with the word and listen to Him speak. Taking the time to sit at the feet of Christ gives us the strength to put on the running shoes to serve, the combat boots to fight, the glass slippers to witness, the comfy shoes to train, and the rain boots to follow on. Getting close to Jesus helps us to lift our baby booties up to Him to answer our prayers. All of these must begin in our house slippers to understand our Maker.
No matter what shoes we wear we can serve God. We can love Him. We can have our steps ordered by the Lord. So strap on your shoes, or lace them up, or slip them on!! Get close to the Savior and walk a mile in the shoes of those that can teach us to be more like Jesus.