The Journey Home

Monday, September 26, 2011

Simple Wisdom

"Living in peace, do not the saints fall asleep in the arms of victory?"  Charles Spurgeon

Let it be so, Lord Jesus.  Teach me to live in peace in all circumstances, and in the struggle help me to not let go of you in the midst of it.  Let me learn from Jacob who wrestled all night long with the cry, "I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME!"  Teach me to rest in the knowledge that you are my Immanuel, my Prince of Peace, and that no amount of trial changes that.  Remind me that my Good Shepherd will let me through the valley not for my demise but for my good and may I feel the comfort of Your rod and staff.   Amen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God loves me (and YOU) at all times in all circumstances. I bless His Holy Name.

"Rejoice in the Lord always -delight, gladden yourselves in Him; again I say, Rejoice! Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness, your considerateness, your forbearing spirit. The Lord is near - He is coming soon. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. And my God will liberally supply - fill to the full - your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (from Philippians 4 Amplified version)
Pray help me, Christ, to take my cup and drink it without drowning in it's dregs. Help me be a light, a beacon of one-mindedness, always focusing on your giving and leaving the taking to You to solve.

Arches of reaching limbs 
Crickets sing secret hymns 
Over all of us 
Tickle across our palms 
Lit up like diamonds drawn 
From the black above 
Awake my soul to live this moment 
Awake my soul, give thanks and hold it 
Dear now 
God is here now 
Awake my soul 
Day ends 
And brown eyes smile back at me 
She wipes my kiss from her cheek 
After last “Amen” 
Hush away the hurry 
Put to rest the worry 
Come to quell and quiet me 
In this moment given 
Slow and fully live it 
Drink up all the passing peace 
~Awake My Soul, Shaun Groves~

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sit down and partake of the abudance of Christ

I sit in my home in the quiet of the morning, sipping coffee, stroking the dog laying in my lap, and open the Scriptures.  I have a goal to read the Bible in its entirety again, having accomplished this only once since I came to know the Lord all those years ago.  Today, I finish Judges and go on to read chapters 13 and 14 in the gospel of Matthew.  I marvel at all of those red letters staring at me from the page:  The very words of Christ, just sitting there waiting to be ingested, ready to teach and transform me.  I am struck by the fact that these 2 chapters both hold miracles of feeding, of multiplying something infinitesimal and making it abundantly huge.  The first is the feeding of the 5,000 men, besides women and children, and the second is like it, only 1,000 less.  In the first account, people have traveled for miles and miles to hear the teaching of Jesus ("Isn't this just the carpenter's son whose mother is Mary and don't we know His brothers and sisters??") and experience the miraculous.  Many hours in, His disciples come to Him and say, "Lord, it's getting late.  How about we send these people to the neighboring villages so they can get something to eat?"  Jesus, in His quiet and understated way suggests that they feed them.  Can't you imagine the disciples looking incredulously at one another, scrambling in their brains to figure out what in the world to do with that?  And here's the part that jumps out at me this morning.  He asks the disciples in both accounts what they have.  "Just a few loaves and fishes," they reply.   
"Bring them to Me."  Don't you wonder if they're thinking, "Alright, Lord, but it's not going to do any good."  Just like me.  "Alright, Lord.  I'll bring you the little I have, and really it isn't much!  Just myself and my fears, anxieties, inadequacies, sinful tendencies. . ."  

So they bring the little, and Jesus says something that strikes me hard.  "Sit down," He says to the crowd, and to His disciples as well.  This is not not something they can make happen.  They must sit, rest, simply BE, and receive the blessing from the hands of Christ.  And what does He give them?  Everything they need and then some, 12 baskets left over from the feeding of the 5,000 and 7 baskets left over from the feeding of the 4,000.  

So I am reminded again today to pull up to the table of Christ, who takes my meager offering and turns it into a feast, who provides for my every need and then some so that I can spill over onto the people with whom I rub shoulders today, and at the end of this gift of a day I will not feel depleted or worn out emotionally and spiritually. . .I will have baskets-full left over, provided by the hand of Christ Himself.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"All Is Grace........"

Life is never what we expect it to be, is it?  Even in the midst of earnest prayer, of purposefully reading and earnest conversation with those who've gone before us, we can never be fully prepared for what real life will be like when whatever big moment we've been waiting for finally arrives. . .

Responsibility can weigh heavy.  Feelings of inadequacy can cause panic.  Performing well, especially in the sight of so many who have been faithful to pray and help in a myriad of ways, can quickly become your focus.  Fear can creep in the middle of the night and choke.  

What is one to do?  Things must be done.  Children must be discipled, given a place to love and be loved, to grow and create, to learn the mysterious and beautiful ways of God. . .and how?  By watching and listening and, scarily enough, emulating the adults God Himself has given to them.  Even typing that, fear begins to take hold in a heart.  

This is when He calls, real quiet. . .soothing words for a frightened soul.  "Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."  "My peace I give to you...I do not give as the world gives."  "You will find rest for your souls."  "I will never, ever leave you or forsake you."  "Cast all your cares on Me, for I care for you."   

It has taken me years to learn, and I'm almost ashamed and a little shy to say that I am still daily learning it.  It is not about my ability to perform.  It is not about my capability to DO.  It is about learning to belong in Him.  Learning to live, even to take each breath, in the security of His love.  It is about learning to give thanks in all things, even and maybe especially, in the hard; in the things that push us way beyond our own limits, to the place where faith lives.  Isn't this what I've been asking for all these years?  Sometimes, I admit, I need for my faith to become sight; I need for Him to show me that I am walking exactly where He wants me to walk and He's directing my every step, even holding me and walking with me in His strong, comforting arms when the way is unfamiliar.  

But He's already been here, hasn't He?  He is the great I AM...He is fully present in the future.  This way is not unfamiliar to Him.  This path is One that He's been down.  He knows where to go.  He knows what I'll need for the journey, and He'll be sweetly faithful to give it, without reservation.  " much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts if you ask Him?"  

Someone signs each of her e-mails, "All is Grace".  I am learning this is true.  ALL is grace.  ALL is precious gift, because it comes directly from the hand of a loving God.  This is the net that holds me up, that catches me when fear grabs and I feel like I'm falling.  He is with me.  Always, always, He is with me.