Friday, February 27, 2015

How Can I Not..?

Psalm 145: 1-5   "I will extol Thee, my God, O King; and I will bless Thy Name forever and ever. Every day, I will bless Thee, and I will praise Thy name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised..."

I am just going to write tonight what is on my heart. No less, no more, no mystery, no esoteric prose. It's all good, because God is good.

I can never love Him enough. Yet He loves me enough to die for me and to heal my heart for His purposes. 

It's been a hard couple of weeks beginning with saying goodbye to my sweet Father-in-law. Tonight, we remember that the end of February marks another year, (eight), that our son Timmy died on a surgical table, bleeding out all his strength from years of fighting too many diseases, too much pain, unable to catch his breathe and hold on to it. 

Graphic, I know. 

So is life. 

It's messy, complicated, disappointing, scary, painful  and for most, far from God...

...until you take the time to consider, to seek, to ask, to forgive, to love one another and truly embrace a hope and a purpose we were all created for, to worship Him!  

Until you humble yourself and accept His AMAZING GRACE and seek His divine purpose. 

Graphic begins to transform into gratitude, into grace, into a glorified masterpiece of His will and sovereign purpose. 

I know I am unworthy.

Yet, He meets me in my own graphic, messy self,  and creates a whole new perspective within my heart. 

How can I not praise His Name every day, very hour, every passing year, every Feb. 27th?

Tim got it. He made sure I knew that he knew before He left this world. God's been confirming it ever since.  

How can I not praise His name! How can I not serve Him with all my heart, seek Him in His Word, search for Him...meditate and rest in Him, and tell of His love for me, for you, for every single one of us? 

I still live in this skin and possess a tongue that says stupid things,  a brain that wants a bit of the world, and an attitude at times that needs to be kicked to the curb. A critical spirit lingers and loves to show up and mess with my head. 

Yet me a moisturizer of mercy for this skin, shuts my mouth and gently reminds me He's got this, provides for me what I truly need, and sits with me on the curb until I surrender into His arms. He brings to me friends who love on me so much, hold me accountable, and serve me. He creates opportunities...amazing ministries in which my critical spirit cannot possibly thrive. 

How can I not praise Your Holy Name?  

How can I not be so awe-inspired by all You have done for me?

Thank you Lord God for Your Love.  Thank you Heavenly Father for saving grace and sustaining grace. Thank you for all Your gifts, especially the Holy Spirit. Thank you for ministry and the freedom to worship You. Help me Lord to bring to You a worship that is worthy, a continued passion for more of You, a story that points only towards You. May I never lose hope and may my gain bring You alone glory and honor. Amen.  

Journal question and/or thought: What can you praise Him for tonight? What has He transformed, or healed in you?

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Day Dad Went to Heaven and the Day Mom Said I Believe.

I Corinthians 14:33a "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace..." 

The Lord comes in the transitions. He redeems in the wretched weariness of grief. He rescues the lost in the darkest hour and positions His sons and daughters as vessels for His will, His goodness.

Approaching the midnight hour, between what was and what will be, a long-suffering Believer arises in the hour of his restlessness, fixes some soup and sits, only to bow his head and meet His Maker. God comes in the transitions; in the in between moments of light passing to dark to Eternal Light again.

And we are left to cover Him with mercy and look for the window where we can bask in the sunlight of the promise of more mercy. The sun rises up and God gives us a new day and another purpose. Our prayers are specific and quick and God numbers each tear and places them in a jar of His amazing grace. It swells, saturated from years, yet every one is absorbed into His own Heart.

Redemption flies in like the flock of sparrows chirping in the tree outside the door. She does not  recognize herself, what was expected yet she did not expect, that for everything there is a season. Yet something draws her to ask.

I listen. I pray. We're all separated from him now and we grieve.

We're all separated from Him and He grieves for our own return.

She knows of Him, but never met Him. I introduce Him, the one who called her husband home.

"I believe, she says. He was a believer, but can I do this? I don't know..."


Jesus came to break that separation, to fill us with hope for each new day...

that day called tomorrow that seems empty, the hour coming that seems impossible, the minute next that reminds us.

Grace flies in on wings of eagles and hope comes too,  knowing she'll be recognized by her prince and by her King.  She repeats her question again and I answer again.

...answer and reassure her again.

She asks her son if he believes because she never told him, she never taught him. "Yes mom, God is good."

And He does for us the same when we doubt, dwell in fear, garnish a moment of ungrace, reveal our own scarred flesh and want to reopen and reinfect those wounds.

We bring her into our home.  We partake in the Divine dinner and are filled with the sustenance of service of the Body of Christ.

She looks for him in the dark of the unknown, calls out his name.

The Lord calls out for us, the one lost sheep, and he guides us back to the protection of the flock.

The next day, she does what she knows, what she loves, nurturing the garden, culling the old leaves, pulling the weeds popping up.  The Lord sees her without a blemish and the weak will be made strong as I watch her break up the ground as if she is ready to plant.

Night comes again, that loneliness of unrest and confusion. Her grandson is called by an angel to go on a mission, but that is not the real mission. In his return, awake and available to intervene, God places him at the right time to usher in safety, protection and mercy.

A conversation happens. Insight. Clarity. Compassion, Understanding, Grace. Words I will hold onto forever. In her memory, it disappears in the morning mist and fog that hangs heavy in her mind. She readies herself to hear the Word of the Lord, to be in His House for the first time as a Believer.

Dad sings in the choir now.

A recent memory of him I will treasure; this last Christmas Eve, standing steady next to me, holding his unlit candle ready for the light of another to touch his,  and singing every word, "Silent Night...," "O Come All Ye Faithful."

Faith, the Scripture tells us, starts as small as a mustard seed, a bird seed. Yet Redemption is infinity, forever, unmeasurable. We plant it in deep, in the broken-up hard ground He promises to soften.  The gardeners gather around our plot in life to tend to us, and His Word seeps into the ground to find the seed and begin the sanctification of our lives, no matter how long we've waited, how long we have left. We ask for the tools, the wisdom to turn towards the SONshine, live and thrive in His Goodness,  gather in the rays and wait until our own time of Harvest comes around.

Thank you Lord. I am grateful to know the HOPE and PROMISE of a loving Savior. I am grateful that You allow us to be Your servant in the dark and into Your marvelous Light.

God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  You are my Prince of Peace. Amen.


Journal Questions for response or written thought: Where has God given you clarity in the darkness of your life?

When has a memory given you insight into something you sought an answer for?

Do you know the Prince of Peace? Do you need Him tonight, in your own darkness?