Monday, May 12, 2014

My Shade Tree

It was an eventful day, very hot and humid.
The sun shining brightly, sweat beading up on my forehead, no breeze to send relief. I giggled at the sight of my students all crowded under a big shade tree at recess to take refuge from the sun.
Then it was oddly too aware:
The tree only serves one purpose as a refuge - shade from the sun or if you can climb fast it offers protection from a snarling dog.

A tree provides no safety from torrential rains, flash floods, twisters, earthquakes, or even simply bird poop.

Then it hits me, I've been using trees as my protection in life. I have one purpose only refuges scattered all throughout my soul.

My husband, my family, my friends, crafts, work, exercise...

All these little trees have become temporary refuges for loneliness, feelings of inadequacy; simply used to detour difficult situations.

Yet, they each have huge faults. They are inconsistent and man-made, leaving great, I MEAN ENORMOUS, heart-tugging, mind-blowing room for expected error.

Yet, my God calls me to sit before him and listen to what David has once said about Him:

Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go. Psalm 71:3

He doesn't say just sometimes you can come to me... he says He is more than enough for torrential rains, flash floods, flipping boats, exhausting mountains, even bird poop. You can go to him for the bug bites and for the cliff-hanging I need you desperately moments.

God is our refuge and strength
an ever-present help in trouble
Therefore I will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea
though its waters roar and foam 
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Psalm 46:1-3

Blown away by the thought that he would bring me to my knees, troubled heart and all on this sweat pouring day, to see just how true He is to me.

The truth simply is this:
My God provides the shadows of his wing for refuge, a wing that can make me soar when I feel like I'm drowning, that can keep me shaded and dry, a wing that can lift me over a mountain when it's too hard to climb... His refuge is an all-around 100% perfect refuge.

Respond with what truth you find in this.
Do you seek him as your one and only refuge?
Do you see the faults in our man-made sanctuaries?
How do we change our natural born desire to find instant shelter, even if it's artificial?

Monday, May 5, 2014

With All My Heart & Soul

I crave for the love He has for His Son to pour into me so through Him I can pour into others. 

The purpose of a flower isn't just beauty, it's to be attractive, then to go to seed and disperse. The flower doesn't have a choice to live forever, it doesn't have a choice to never wilt or never disperse seeds. Yet, we do. We have the option to be spiritually attractive. We have the option to bloom for God, watered through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and then spread his love to others; to plant the seeds he has handed to us. 

We have a purpose on this Earth, and there is something only YOU can do that no one else can.

Our insecurities, our faults, our fears... if we are fully blooming for Him we remember that perfect love casts out fear.(1 John 4:18) If we are truly showing our colors for his glory we will remember that even the hairs on our head are numbered (Matthew 10:30) and we are worth a lot to Him. Yet, that statement is not solely meant for us to glorify Him for His love for us, it should make us warriors! For He is our King, we should be jumping into our combat boots running after lost souls that He LOVES! 

                    allowing Jesus to water.

He makes me want to move, to fight, to love, to never give up. His perfect love, his meticulous love, his generous, thoughtful, sacrificial love... I can't contain it inside knowing how it has changed me, how it has saved me, it has to pour out!

God always makes a way. The cross proves that... but I want to make it easy for him to reach others here on Earth. I want to say, "Do all that you have in mind... Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul" (1 Samuel 14:7). 

Don't you?
Don't you want to jump in, ready for battle, fighting at his right hand?
Do you feel the excitement when you think about what He's already done for us and what He still wants to do?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Crying Out

I shout louder than thunder when His voice drifts quietly in the wind.
He calls me to still waters but I jump around in the puddles, graceless.
Splashing, screaming, noisy, careless...

He whispers again, I miss it among my homemade chaos.
I'm missing Him, where is He?
Frustration arises and I blame Him for leaving me alone.
Not providing, being an inadequate parent... I am not ready to have him back off.
Where is He?!

A murmur rushes past, slipping by my distracted eyes.
I stop, this doesn't feel right, this voiceless life.
I find myself sitting down, thumbing through the silver lined pages.
Then it finds me...

"Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!"
Luke 9:35

It hits me! If a voice thundered out of a roaring cloud I would stop in my tracks, smack in the middle of a mud puddle jump I'd be stilled, in the midst of a roar I would fall silent.

my eyes find darkness,
my ears find silence,
and there in the quiet He is heard.

His sheep heard his cry but could not run.
Stuck in a puddle, in mud and mire, I cried back.
He came to me, stepped into the mess, bent down and picked me up.

Out of love he became filthy,
Out of love he picked me up,
Out of love he carried me,
Out of love he set my feet on solid ground.

He has taught me that when I can't hear him,
when I've wandered too far off,
He is still calling out my name,
He is still searching for me but I need to stop and listen for him, turn and cry back.

"I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and be in awe of the LORD
and put their trust in him."
Psalm 40:1-3