Perspective

Thursday morning I stepped out of my car into the sweltering heat. My glasses fogged as I walked into the office building where I work. Without effort, my thoughts headed down a well-worn path.  I rehearsed the why’s of my current location, the what’s of nature I’d rather be surrounded with, and the how’s of potential change. But the when is not now and the where isn’t settled, so I redirected myself to my work, grumbling a bit and enduring on.

Saturday afternoon I slid into the driver’s seat of my car – literally – slid – onto the seat as my legs were so sweaty the usual struggle of sticking was long past. My face was beat red from the couple of hours I’d spent walking on the concrete in the sun and heat surrounded by the buildings of downtown.

And what was that I felt?gratitude?

I was thankful for the option of turning on the air conditioner, blocking out the sun with a visor, and getting ice out of my freezer at home anytime I wanted to. It was hot, at least as hot as Thursday. But spending a couple of hours serving others who aren’t as fortunate as I am, made all the difference in my heart.  I’m sure the people we met appreciated the ice-cream sandwiches and cold water we shared. But interestingly, none of them were grumbling about the weather. And once again my heart told me it is true: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

will-work-for-food1

May you find the blessings in your own life as well no matter your situation.

 

Broken Dream

She was beautiful.  She was dressed in frilly white with turquoise trim.  Her hair was just so.  Her eyes shone and cheeks blushed.  The moment was magical as the gift was unwrapped. The girl was ecstatic.  Her new dolly was all she’d ever dreamed it would be.

The girl loved her dolly.  She cradled it carefully and spoke softly to her dolly.  She kept the dress white and the hair just right.  Then one day the girl shared her dolly with her friend thinking the friend would value her dolly as she had.  The friend did not care for the dolly or guard it and carelessly left the dolly in a dangerous place where the flood waters swept it away.

Now the dolly lay in the street.  Broken.  Covered in the filth of this world.  Lost.  The little girl cried.

Broken Dream

God says, “I love you, My hurting child.  Come to me.  Bring your broken dreams to Me.  Bring them covered in the filth of this world.  Let Me take them from you.  I’m not going to wipe them off and give them back. No, I’m going to give you what you’ve always wanted but didn’t know yet.  What I have planned for you is better than you ever imagined.  Just come to me with your broken dreams and I will give you rest.”

Big girls dream, too. And the invitation still stands.

Reflections on My Rock Garden

If you haven’t read the last blog “My Rock Garden”, take a minute to go back and read it.  I think there are many morals that could be drawn from the story.

How many times in our lives do we decide we’re going to do something despite words of wisdom being said all around us to the contrary?  Then when we “drop the rock” and we “smash our finger and howl” we turn around to our Heavenly Father and say, “God, why did You let this happen to me?”  Too often.

How many times does God want to save us from the pain of trying to do it ourselves, but loves us so much that He lets us make our own choice?  I believe every time.

How many times when we mess up does God patiently wait and then bring us the “ice bag” to comfort us?  Every time.

How many times would God work in our behalf if we’d just ask Him to take the “rock”?  Most certainly every time we asked.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11: 28-30

“Coming, Father…”

My Love Affair

“It’s me again, God.”

He smiled.  “Hi!  Glad you came.” 

“I’ve been bugging You all day, You know?”

“I know.  I’ve heard you and read all your emails and texts.  I like it when you bug Me.”

“Really?”

“Absolutely.”

“I guess I’m pretty needy, God.”

“I know.  That’s what I love most about you.”

“Really?”

“Yep!”

“You are SO COOL!!!”

I smiled and curled up safely in His hands with my head on my pillow.

“Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour.  By prayer, by the study of His word, by faith in His abiding presence, the weakest of human beings may live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold them by a hand that will never let go.”  MH 182

The Dance

“You formed my inward parts.  You wove me in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

“We better throw an extra pinch of determination in this one.  I see what she has coming in life.  She’s going to need it.”

“Good idea, Father.  Long-suffering and endurance will be required for her to run this race and win.”

“Yes, Son.  But You know, the enemy may tempt her to take those traits and turn them against her.  She might begin to think she can do it herself.  She might become stubborn and self-reliant.”

“I know, Father.  It’s a risk.  But I love her so much.  I will give her what she needs.  It will be her choice how she uses it.”

“I love her, too, Son.  I crave the thought of spending eternity with her.  The praise she will give is different than anyone else’s We’ve ever heard.  Each one is special and unique to My ears.  I don’t want to miss out on hers.”

Silence fell on the courts of Heaven.  There was a unanimous deep sigh among the Trinity.

“Son, I know You’re thinking what I’m thinking but I’ll ask anyway.  If she becomes stubborn, independent and self-reliant, would You be willing to pay the price for her?  Would You die for her so that she can live if she chooses to accept Your payment?”

“You know I would, Father.  We’ll need the Spirit to remind her of her options.”

“Consider it done,” breathed the wind of the Spirit.

So she was made and God said it was good and time passed.

“Daddy, help me!” cried out the stubborn, independent, self-reliant one as she looked up from the place she had fallen.

The Creator smiled.  “I’ve been here anxiously hoping you would ask. Now let’s get back to long-suffering and endurance.”  And He spun her around as she held His finger… again.

His smile is just as big every time they dance.   Even though it might be the same tune they danced to the day before, He makes no mention of the repetition.   And each time her feet follow His just a little more closely.

Unfortunately, as I go through life I seem to continually find more “tunes” that require a spin.  Fortunately, God the Father, Son and Spirit have the same conversation about each one.  Before the foundation of the earth was laid, The Plan was made.  Rescue is assured for those who ask.  “Dear God, dance with me today!”

Dark as Night

 

Déjà vu.  I know this feeling.  I’ve been here before.  What am I doing back at this place, Lord?  Did I not learn it the first time?

It was dark.  Too dark to talk about.  No one could see it.  It was in my head.  I would hide it.  But it had a ravenous appetite.  It ate at my joy.  It ate at my peace.  It ate at my happiness and relationships.  So then I decided I had to be rid of it.  Thank goodness it was in my mind.  I had a strong mind.  I could handle my mind.  Or so I thought.   And tried.   And struggled.  For about 12 years.  I was determined, but, unsuccessful.  And it was still dark. 

Then, at just the right time- God.  He shows up not too early, but never late.  He shows up when He knows we’re ready to listen.  He started talking.  And I started listening.  And I decided I better start talking about my silent darkness.  Only to find, to my dismay, it appeared darker than it had looked inside.  It was worse than I had thought.  It looked as though the darkness would indeed consume me until a friend, at just the right time, led me to where I needed to go with my darkness.  And I fell flat on my face under the weight of it all at the foot of the cross.  And I felt God smile because He’d been calling and waiting for so long.  So patient.  And He took the darkness from me.  And I felt Him pick me up to live again as if for the very first time.  And I learned to trust and love Him like never before.   And I looked back and said it was worth it.  The sweetness of it all would not have been there without the struggle.

Then darkness arrived again.  Its name was cancer.  At times it was very dark.  But I had learned trust.  And the darkness, though very dark, never consumed me.  And I saw God leading and guiding and growing and touching all along the way.  I could see His hand despite the outcome as it appeared here in this life.  I could see eternal value in the way hearts were changing.  And it was dark- but oh so bright.

But now, God, where are You?  I’ve been calling to You.  What is the purpose of this pain?  Where is the glory that is coming to Your name by my going through this?  Why can’t we carry on, You and I?  Why must we be stuck in this place? Will it go on forever?  I don’t feel You now.   It’s dark here and I’m crying out.   Are You listening?

My soul knows the answers to those questions.  Because God has provided in my past, I can trust beyond the shadow of a doubt that He will provide in my future.  But I have learned through the school of hard knocks that my mind is, in reality, quite weak.  My head doesn’t always remember the answers and sometimes I require remedial courses in trust.  I learned it the first time.  I learned it as best I could at the time.  And now I’m learning it in a whole new way.  A broader and deeper way.  But yet, learning it again, just the same.  And I know I am actually moving forward, but due to the darkness I can not always perceive the motion.  And I know the next bright light I see will be brighter than the one before.  For after the night, comes the morning.