The One

Today I found myself in Little India.  It was just a quick stop before heading over to the prayer room.  There’s this little shop I get where I get my eyebrows and upper lip threaded.  No pain no gain with that apparently.  Anyways, I was rushing to leave that bustling and somewhat chaotic part of town when I flew right by a man on crutches who was begging.

Honestly, I barely looked at him and told him no, even when he continued to call out to me, and continued to rush away.  I rounded the corner, hidden by an oversized truck and about a half block from my parked car, and came to a stop.  In that moment of decision I had a question come to mind.  “Am I willing to stop for “the one?”  I had 5 ringgit in change from the recent beauty venture.  Should I give it to him?  Instead of taking too much time to overthink it, I went back around the corner and approached him.  He eagerly received me back.

His left foot and calf are turning black.  He’s a diabetic.  From his broken English I gather he has no family and sleeps on the streets.  I gave him the money and asked him if I could pray for him.  He readily agreed.  As I prayed and asked Jesus to fill him with His love and bring healing to his body, I was stunned when I saw a tear fall to the ground out of the corner of my eye.  This man is real flesh and blood, full of emotions and needs.  Beaten down and broken like all of us.

I looked at him more closely as I prayed, trying to see him more as the Father sees him.  When I finished, he thanked me, with a peaceful and grateful look on his face.  I told him that God has not forgotten about him, that Jesus loves him.  He mentioned that he goes to the homeless drop in center a few streets over, and I excitedly tell him that I have friends that help there.  We exchanged some thank yous and God bless yous, and then I was back on my way.

The entire episode took me less than 10 minutes, and I almost missed that opportunity because I was too busy rushing to “ministry.”  How does that even make sense?

I recently listed to a sermon from Bethel about how our “ministry” is meaningless if we’re not willing to stop for “the one.”  This is why this question and them was fresh on my mind and heart.  If the gospel is only relevant in Christian worship circles or mass conferences but doesn’t apply to every individual then something is seriously missing.

These opportunities to minister the love of Jesus and the love of the Father are everywhere, but we must be sensitive to stop and respond.  We must be willing to be inconvenienced, to be in awkward situations.  Loving people isn’t always easy and fun and convenient.  How many of these moments have I missed over the years because I’m consumed with MY plan, MY agenda, MY schedule, what’s convenient for ME?  It was a convicting moment for me.  I easily brushed by him, avoided eye contact, actually said no and initially felt no compassion for this man.  Where was the heart of the Father in me at that moment?

Oh, how I need the love of Jesus to wreck my heart once again and give me His eyes and heart for the hurting and broken!  Lead me to the cross, that place of blood-stained, selfless sacrificial love.  May my eyes always be on the lookout for “the one” and my heart filled with love to pour out.

We can change the world just by loving on one person at a time.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

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30 in Review

“No fear can hinder now the promises You’ve made. “

In May of last year I turned the big 30 and entered an officially adult decade.  I’d say it’s been one of my best years to date, probably the best year of my life so far.

It’s flown by. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind honestly.

I furnished my first apartment and experienced the bliss of living alone. I saw my dreams come true as I was able to make space around my very own table and love on people from all over the world.

It was a gift.

There were many mornings and evenings of quiet, just me and Jesus and my coffee. I could see the sunrise over the ocean from my apartment windows. I got to make a home from scratch.

I also had no one to blame when there were dishes in the sink.

Prayers, worship, tears, laughter and lots of good food were exchanged in that little 3 bedroom apartment, my home.

Old dreams were dusted off and brought back into the light. It can be painful to exercise renewed hope, but we’re not fooling anyone, including ourselves, when we pretend like we’re okay with unfulfilled dreams and desires. It’s scary and vulnerable, but there is no great gain without great risk. At least that’s what I’m banking on.

I’m feeling increasingly like myself these days, more so than I ever have before, if that makes sense. It’s taken almost a decade to become okay with who I am and who I’m not and discover the essence of who God has made me to be. I’m finally coming into that peace and settledness and rest that comes with knowing Him and therefore knowing yourself. I still have my moments (and even days) of fear and insecurity, but I walk in victory far more than in defeat as of late.

I spent most of last year with 4 little Australian cuties and had the luxury of a work visa. This meant less travel (bummer) but less anxiety about immigration (celebrate!).

In 2016 I went to two new countries, Laos and Myanmar, and fell in love. I also discovered a little piece of paradise in Koh Lipe, Thailand that makes for awesome visa run trips.

I made the trek back to my motherland after almost 2 years of being away. It was filled with love and good friends and great family and delicious food. I got to stand up with one of my very best friends as she vowed her life to another. I was back in Colorado after a 6 year absence, and the San Juan Mountains confirmed what I already knew to be true – I love this place!

Home was filled with meeting new family members and reconnecting and resting. It was the sweetest time. There’s really no place like home and being with family. It was a joy to meet my new little foster sister in person and immediately fall in love with her whole person.

My time ended in NYC with one of my besties. The whole trip was more than I could’ve hoped for. I went back to Malaysia filled up with joy and lots of tears. It was harder than usual to leave this time around.

Things began shifting a lot after I got back.

I ended up moving. I sold almost everything and tearfully turned in my keys and stepped into a new position of managing a hospitality house for missionaries.

Bittersweet.

I signed up to staff again at the house of prayer, something I thought I’d never do. It’s funny how the very thing that you can fight the hardest against can become the thing that you become most passionate about in the end. What a difference three and half years has made. A real life testimony of that classic Bible verse:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9

2017 has been full on, more so than I really care for honestly. On top of my 4 part-time areas of service I took the plunge to go back to school and finish out my bachelors degree after being MIA for almost a decade.

Things have certainly changed.

I lost my work visa at the end of 2016, so it’s been back to visa runs and immigration lines and required travel expenses. 2016 just seemed too easy in a lot of ways, but I think it was the rebuilding and strengthening I needed after 2 years of feeling broken up.

The last quarter of my 30th year has been a bit crazy to say the least. Major changes (with more to come), new roommates, new home, loss of visa, lots of sickness, loads of work.

In the midst of it all though, there is a sweetness. I am overflowing with thankfulness to be back on the team at the prayer room. I’m treasuring those little moments more than I used to. I feel an increased privilege in living out the life God has called me into.

I know, I know, most people think I’m a bit crazy. They’re partially right, but I’m okay with that! I’d much rather live at peace with God than have favor with man, and that generally doesn’t fit into a nice, tidy box.

As I press on, I’m learning the delicate balance of being resilient in a healthy way. Still hoping and risking and loving in the midst of rejection and being misunderstood and not picked. I’m learning how to keep my heart soft instead of putting up walls. I’m learning humility over pride and to be vulnerable without feeling ashamed.

All in all this decade is off to a fabulous start, and I’m anticipating good things in the midst of the uncertainty ahead. I’m trusting that He is taking me from glory to glory. I’m believing that He is for me and not against me. I’m believing and pressing in for the more.

So cheers to another year of life and love and adventuring with Jesus!

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  

II Corinthians 3:18

 

Feeling all the Feels

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Recently a friend and I were catching up over FaceTime.  Sharing what was happening in our lives.  Both of us had some pretty big changes just happen or that were about to begin.

With changing seasons and fresh paths most likely comes a roller coaster of potential emotions so how do we move forward and be fully present when the “past” is only a half-step behind us with it’s dirt still clinging to our boots?

How can live in the present with vision for our future and the next generation in a healthy way?  How can we transition well or even brace ourselves for upcoming changes when we’re still in the trenches of our current seasons of life?

As we were discussing the future and challenges and emotions my friend encouraged me to “feel all the feels.”  

Translation: Don’t stifle and stuff.

Grieve as you go.  

Live fully in the moments and take nothing for granted.  Bawl your eyes out when you’re feeling sad.  Pause and take in the scenery and soak up all the warm fuzzies when they come.

Embrace the pain.

That’s the really icky part, but when you realize that you cannot selectively shut down  your emotions, then you’ll learn not to numb the painful ones.  As excruciating as it is, we must allow ourselves to grieve and to feel  the pain of loss and transition.  I believe that to the depth that we experience pain we will also be able to experience joy and peace.  We cannot selectively numb and be whole and present simultaneously.  

We need to “feel all the feels” no matter how uncomfortable some of them may be.  

Sure, we may temporarily feel better about not being a mess at the time, but we know that when we look back we’ll be disappointed that we shut down, disengaged and removed ourselves from the present in order to self-protect and avoid.
It may seem silly to cry over a spatula, but I’ve done it. You can read about that one here.

And the thing is, if  we’re ever going to live abundantly and fully in our lives then we’re going to need to deal with our demons and face off with our emotions and the deep corners of our hearts that we want to pretend aren’t there.  Sooner or later as most of you know, they will find us.  

Someone will rip off that bandaid to reveal a gaping wound that you never attended to.  That inflatable beach ball will pop up out of nowhere and blast you unexpectedly.  You’ll end up being in a new season or a fresh relationship with so much of that old undealt with stuff that you’ll miss out on the joy of the moment and being fully invested right where you are.

It’s not easy and there’s no magic recipe for soul tending and transitioning well.  I think the main thing is to pay attention to our hearts, be kind to ourselves and to live a courageously intentional life.  We shouldn’t compare or set a bar for how we should be feeling.  We must allow ourselves to grieve.  We must admit when we’re afraid.  We shouldn’t try to gloss over those sad feelings.  We mustn’t take the joy of the moment for granted.  I believe we should pause and feel and be right where we’re at.

A big part of this for me has been to start being more honest with God and shift the way that I pray.  I’ve been uncertain if it’s okay to tell God what I actually want, afraid that somehow this means that I’m being disobedient or believing that I’ll taint the grand plan and miss the mark because of my desires.  That has left me with abandoned pieces of my soul that for the longest time felt like a graveyard instead of a garden.

I didn’t want to touch those place because it felt too painful and dry and revealed areas of hopelessness that were messy and easier left unattended to.  I didn’t want to “feel all the feels.”  But I’m come to the point where I want to be whole.  I want to be fully alive.  And that means embracing all of who I am and trusting God with all of me. 

The Father, my Father, doesn’t want a canned prayer of submission without an ounce of faith in it.  I’m coming to believe that He actually cares about the desires of my heart and wants me to share them with Him.  Not in a “genie in a bottle” sort of way, but in a Father/daughter type of way.  Where I’m real and raw and honest.  Where I’m cracking my fragile heart open and trusting Him to handle it with the utmost care.

Sure, it’s way easier to live an ankle deep life instead of diving into unknown depths.  But after wading around in the shallows for too long, life gets boring and predictable and down right unfulfilling because in our gut we know that we’re made for more.  That gnawing feeling (the Holy Spirit, perhaps) is trying to tell us something.
We must embrace all of who we are and who He is.

Do you ever think about that verse, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

There is a joy set before us.  We must endure the hard things.  We can’t skip them.  Jesus didn’t skip the cross and go straight to the right hand of the Father.  He felt those nails in his hands.  He looked Peter in the eyes and felt the stabbing pain of denial.

Jesus could filter all of these emotions through the truth that was rooted and grounded in Him and by the security of His relationship with the Father.  He also had long-term vision.  In the midst of the physical pain and rejection and mockery and being misunderstood by the masses He knew who He was and the greater plan far outweighed His current circumstances.

If you’re in transition or a changing of seasons, don’t let the waves of emotions drown you or callouses to cover your heart.

Be in your life.  All day every day.  
Let the dry bones come to life and let faith replace fear and doubt. 

Let’s have vision for eternity now.

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him,”  Philippians 3:8 

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

Who Should I Vote For?

With the election in the U.S. only a week away the question looms, “Who should I vote for?”

The debate is heated.  The country seems divided still.  Most of us Americans appear to loathe the thought of voting for either of the two primary candidates.  Some will decided to not vote at all.

I don’t usually write about politics, even though it’s something that I strongly care about.  There is a great deal that I don’t know or understand.

What I do know is that I’ve never felt so much turmoil inside about previous elections as I have this one.  Watching the presidential debates was excruciating.  This is the first time in my life that I’ve felt sincerely embarrassed for my country.

I do not think that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are accurate representations of what the majority of Americans want.  A lot of us feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, with seemingly no way out.  What are we to do?

Like I mentioned earlier some will not vote.

I personally completely disagree with this.  As an American I feel honored and privileged that I have the opportunity to have a voice in my government.  Too many have died for this freedom and the many others that Americans enjoy.  It feels to me that it would be dishonoring to the fallen to cast that costly vote aside.

A friend of mine reminded me once that they also died, giving us the freedom to not cast a vote.  Fair point, so I’ll recognize this as true, but it is my conviction to not be silent when I have the unique opportunity as a middle class woman to be involved in government at its highest level.  I see it as a responsibility to steward well, and I would feel negligent if I chose not to vote.

I think of millions of oppressed people around the world that can only dream of having the freedom to have a choice, to cast a vote, to be a voice in their nation.

It was a 70 year fight for women in the U.S. to be granted the equal right alongside men to vote.  The 19th Amendment to The Constitution was added on August 18th, 1920.  That’s less than 100 years ago, yet its something that we so quickly can take for granted.

So I ask you to please, VOTE.

Decide to vote and then choose as wisely as you can.

Look at the issues.  I don’t like either candidate.  I don’t really respect either of them.  Overall, I don’t think they have good moral character or are the most qualified people for the job.  But one of them will become the next Commander in Chief.

For me, it came down to looking at a few key issues that were primary concerns for me.

I suggest picking a couple of issues that you feel passionate about or at least are the most important to you.  I would also dare to go beyond just what you’re passionate about but actually think and weigh what is holistically vital for our nation in the long run.  There are many things to consider:  immigration, Supreme Court Justices, the economy, abortion, national security, healthcare, energy, international relations, patriotism, leadership abilities as well as many more.

Then consider:  Why are these issues important to you?  Potentially how will these issues affect our country and the world in the next 4 years and beyond?  Why is one issue more important than another?  Which candidate advocates for the primary issues that you feel are important for our country?  Do you think the current system is broken enough to take a risk with your vote?

Even after all of this you might still feel conflicted.  I think a whole lot of Americans can relate!

I believe that we should not despair.  I believe that it is not too late.  I believe that the character of our country goes much deeper than who our next president is.

As a Christian, my ultimate hope is not in a safe and comfortable country led by a righteous leader.  That would be nice, but let’s be real, it’s not an option at this point with this election.  When fear and anxiety threaten to overcome me in regards to the direction that the U.S. has chosen to take over the last several decades, I must go the Rock.  I must remember who He is and that He is if far above all governments and authorities.

No matter what the result of the election, God will still be seated on the throne.  Jesus will still be at His right hand interceding for the saints.  The Holy Spirit will still be dwelling in God’s children and empowering them to change the world.

We will still be among the most privileged and free people in the world.  We should still be proud to be American.

I say we stop complaining and moaning about what’s before us and start being thankful.  Let’s pray for our leaders and speak life over them.  Let’s begin paying more attention and doing our part as citizens to steer our country in a better direction.

After all, the country is not in the place that it is merely because of who the president is.  Let’s look within our own hearts and see where we need to repent.  How do we need to change?  What is God inviting us to do to be an agent of change?  How can we begin to work together, to serve and to love rightly?

Nominal Christianity has become dominant in many of our churches.  Maybe that is one of the core problems.

There are many praying for a third Great Awakening right now. What are you doing?

One week from today will end potentially the most important presidential campaign in history.  It could drastically change the landscape of our nation and the world.

So I encourage you to go vote and continue praying, and don’t be hateful if your candidate doesn’t win.  That’s not going to do anyone any good; and believe me, I’m saying these things to myself just as much as to anyone else.

Let’s move forward together.

We will not lose hope.  We will not be overcome by darkness.  We will believe the impossible.

Let’s stand strong together!

It’s time to shine, Church.  It’s time.

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

I Peter 4:7-11

Standing in the Gap

What does it mean to “stand in the gap” for someone?

Biblically, there are physical and spiritual examples of this concept.  (Ps. 106:23; Ezek 13:5, 22:30, Nehemiah 4:16, Isaiah 58:12, I Timothy 2:1)

When the Israelites were rebuilding the wall in Nehemiah 4, half of the people literally stood by the ones working, with weapons in hand, in order in order to keep the enemy out and the men protected so that the wall could be rebuilt.

Many other avenues pertain to interceding for one another, waging spiritual war for our brothers and sisters and government officials, etc.

The thing is, we really can’t do it all on our on.  Sometimes we desperately need people to intercede for us or even to physically stand between us and an enemy.  When we are weak and vulnerable in specific areas, we may need someone stronger than us at the moment to help cover us from the lies and of the enemy while we “rebuild our walls” with truth.

At one point or another there will be areas of our lives that we kind of lose hope for.  There will seem to be a deficit of faith for God to show up or break in.  There will be a sphere where we are not strong or hopeful or courageous in.

If you’re like me, then you probably try not to focus on it.  You put it on the backburner and try your best to keep your eyes on Jesus, avoiding the pain of hope deferred and addressing the lie that God just won’t come through for you in that area.  Maybe even, like me, you pretty much stop praying about it altogether.

At some point, you will be confronted with the sin of unbelief.  The Father’s love will gently touch that tender area of your heart and you will have to choose whether or not to repent and have faith and believe that God is who He says He is and that He is for you OR to continue in your unbelief and deny the Holy Spirit access to change things.

Honestly, I know that on my own I can’t always seem to find the strength to muster up faith or belief.  Try as I might to renew my mind and stand on His promises, it doesn’t seem to revive my soul.

I know (head knowledge) that God is good, He is in control and I “trust” Him.  I was in Sparks and Bible Drills as kid.  I grew up Southern Baptist.  I know the Christianese things to say and do.  But you see I believe that sometimes we need the Body of Christ to come through for us in a very tangible way which will spur us on in our faith.

Sometimes I need a brother or sister to declare some life into dead areas of my life.  I need a reminder that He is the God that speaks life into dry bones and calls the things that are not as though they were (Ezekiel 37:1-14, Romans 4:17).

I need family to believe for me and spur me on to take hold of the goodness of God.  I need a friend to pray for breakthrough in seemingly hopeless situations.  I need a shoulder to cry on and an arm to lean on when I feel like I’m going to fall.  I need someone to lock arms with on the battlefield.

I need someone to stand in the gap for me.

What a powerful thing.

This past week I had someone do just that for me.

It took me by surprise.  It stirred my faith.  It gave me fresh hope.  It challenged me.  It wasn’t even something I was necessarily looking for to happen, but it did.

Then the aftermath:  I’m faced with my response to this invitation.

It’s a bit scary to have hope after rejection.  It takes risk and vulnerability to believe in something that seems impossible.

You see this wasn’t just a thing for the moment.  He actually left me with a challenge and invitation to press in for myself, to spend time in prayer, to specifically ask God for what I wanted and declare His Words true.  He challenged me to believe God for something greater than I could see at the moment, to “rebuild my walls” if I can put it that way.

He encouraged me just how I needed it in the moment and gave me a springboard to jump in afresh for myself.

Now it’s up to me to share with my close friends and have a team that can rally with me.  It’s my turn to spend time with the Lord fleshing things out.  It’s up to me to set aside time to pray and declare truth.  It’s up to me to expose the new little springs of life to sunshine so that they will grow and to pull up the weeds when they pop up.

What incredible opportunities we have to bless and strengthen one another!  Let’s open our eyes, see what God’s doing and be a part of the solution.

Who will you stand in the gap for today?

Who is the Lord putting in Your path to strengthen and encourage?  Who is God asking you to speak on His behalf for?  Who is He asking you to pray for regularly?

We may have to stop and take a little time to listen.  We may need to give up a few minutes of our day and tend to the needs of others.  It’s a part of serving and entering into one another’s sufferings.  It’s a part of being and active member of His Body.

How can we minister the love of God to each other and impart courage to raise up a generation of believers with unprecedented faith?

Friends, we are not  meant to journey alone.  We can’t do it on our own.

So who will you stand in the gap for today?

 

 

God – the Supernatural?

I had an interesting experience recently.  I began to pray something to the effect that Christians would be open to the supernatural.  Then all of a sudden I realized, mid-prayer, how ridiculous that sounded as it came out of my mouth – praying that we would believe that God could work in supernatural ways.

Merriam-Webster defines God as this:

1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as 

a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe 

And the supernatural as this:

1 : of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil

2 a : departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature

The Creator and Ruler of the universe implies to me that He is indeed supernatural and completely other than man and our human ways.  

Why is it a stretch for us to believe that a supernatural being, the Ruler of the universe, could manifest Himself in unexplainable ways?  I’m not meaning to sound judgemental at all to those that believe that He doesn’t work that way any more or to those that are struggling to believe it.  I’m simply trying to look at it from a logical point of view.

I believe that humans are supernaturally created.  Our bodies are absolutely miraculous and shout intelligent design.  I don’t think there’s a chance we got this way by accident.

The earth and the universe are indescribable and so perfectly placed it’s undeniable to me that it wasn’t purposeful.  

These two things alone display that God is extremely supernatural in His ways.  They are are so beyond us.  He created something out of nothing.  He breathed life into dry bones and put a living soul in each being.  Seriously, how amazing is that?!

I believe He is far more capable of things than we think, and that He is longing to co-labor with us to display His glory in the earth.  The question is not “can God work supernaturally,” but “will we make space for Him to move?”

C.S. Lewis hits the nail on the head:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

We are too full on the things of this world which leaves little to no hunger left for things of God – His supernatural ways if you will.  

Just to clarify:  I am not saying that we should merely seek after the supernatural for the sake of seeing unexplainable things and experiences.  My heart in this is for the church (the sons and daughters of God) to walk in the fullness of all that He is and all that He extends to His family.  We are co-heirs with Christ, walking with the deposit of the Holy Spirit inside of us!  Let’s not settle for less, friends.  There is always more to know and experience and discover.  We will never exhaust His love and wisdom and grace. 

Andy Byrd recently said:

“If you know how to do it, your dream’s probably not big enough.”

We should need God to come through for us.  We should need the Holy Spirit’s guidance and empowerment daily.  We should need more than we can dig up within ourselves if we are actually living a life of faith.  Our dreams should bigger than what we can accomplish on our own.  Where’s the faith in having goals and ideas and dreams that are within our limits?

May our hearts and minds be open to all that God is and what He does and not just the bits that we can make sense of. 

I personally don’t want to worship or give my life to a god that I can fully understand and put in a nice tidy box.  I need more than what I can conjure up and explain.  I need supernatural wisdom and strength and grace to make it through each day.  There’s gotta be more to God than what I see and know.  

His Word is filled with stories of His supernatural ways.

Think of Jonah being swallowed by a whale and living to tell the tale.

Remember how He led Israel by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.

Recall how He parted the Red Sea for His people when they were trapped by their enemies.

What about that time He spoke to Moses through a burning bush that didn’t burn up?

And how about when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into a firey furnace and came out not even smelling like smoke, but the guards that threw them in died because of the extreme heat???

Then there’s David and Goliath (I Samuel 17), Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6), Sarah and Abraham conceiving as an elderly couple (Genesis 21), Samson’s supernatural strength (Judges 13-16), Solomon’s gift of wisdom (I Kings 3), God extending daylight in order for His army to have victory (Joshua 10:12-14), and we haven’t even made it to the New Testament!

To me, I just don’t see how we can create a logic and a theology that says that God doesn’t work the way…well…the way that He’s always shown Himself to work even before He gifted all of His children with the deposit and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

I sure as heck don’t have it all figured out, and I don’t really care if I ever do.  I just know that I want to get ahold of all that He is and what He does, as much as I possibly can.  He’s the source of life and peace and love and joy, and I want to dive as deep as I possibly can into those realities.  I want to really know Him, kind of like David did in the fields as a shepard boy and like Mary listening at Jesus’ feet.  I want to walk in step with Him and be a part of what He is doing each and every day, and that’s going to take something beyond me, something dare I say…supernatural.  

Sometimes

Sometimes I get frustrated and overwhelmed with life.

I see the glass half empty.

Sometimes I feel alone.

It seems like the choices that I’ve made have amounted to nothing.

Sometimes old wounds rear their ugly heads and remind me that I’m still broken.

I want to isolate and hide myself instead of being vulnerable and reaching out when I need help.

Then, by the grace of God, I take a small step.  Risk my pride and cry in front of friends once again.  I put one foot in front of the other and continue on.  Still feeling a bit battered and worse for wear.

Then, as I’m doing something as mundane as cleaning up and organizing, I find myself overwhelmed at the Father’s goodness and mercy and grace over my life.

While looking through a box of saved letters, cards, sticky notes and random notes of encouragement from the past 6 years He began to fill my heart up with thankfulness and joy and hope once again.

Sometimes we need to remember.  We need to remember how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown in the process.

We need to believe once again that the heartaches and scars have been worth it.

Sometimes we need cry it out and let His love fill our hearts afresh.

This doesn’t mean that all the pain and uncertainty goes away.

It doesn’t mean that we minimize our feelings and shove the loose ends under the rug.

It means that we give Him space to realign our thinking with His.  We allow Him to adjust our heartbeat to His while we rest in His ever assuring, capable arms.  It is in this place that He strengthens us in our weaknesses.  He puts things into proper perspective.

The giants don’t seem quite as big anymore.  I mean, they’re still there, but not nearly as intimidating as before. It’s like we’ve been given a supernatural boost of endurance to take that next needed step.

Sometimes we forget who our God is.

Sometimes we forget that we are His beloved children.

Sometimes we need a reminder of what is ALWAYS true.  We just tend to be a bit forgetful and far too easily swayed by a few waves.

Thank God that when I’m feeling emotionally overwhelmed, He isn’t.

When I’m feeling weak and broken and insignificant, He knows just what to do.

Sometimes we spiral and need to be reminded to just be.  

“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.”