Change my heart oh God.
Proverbs 3: 3-6
The weather was great on the weekend…sunny but not humid. Today was a different story…very humid. I have learned a few things about me…mostly things I’m not good at.
I’m not as organized as I used to be
I’m not very good at packing
I don’t like being uprooted
I don’t have the brain power to balance too many things at once
I’m not as organized as I used to be
I might have Alzheimer’s!
We have had minor cuts and bruises, (including when Noah ran over his own toe with his scooter) but nothing major. And in the midst of this Terry’s vehicle died a very sudden death…just what we needed. There were end of year events up the wazoo…just what we needed. Come the actual move day, we had fewer friends than last we counted…just what we needed. Or was it exactly what we needed? ” This is the very day God acted— let’s celebrate and be festive!” ~Psalm 118:24
Each of these days, even the last few were planned form me, by God Himself! Have I been glad and rejoiced in them? Not really…I am ashamed to say. I have wanted to be joyful in this journey, but I have to admit I have been a bit cranky and even ugly at times. But I am reminded that all this is no surprise to God. Not my whining and complaining, not the broken car, the unorganized mess we have been trying to move…not even the way I am feeling at this moment. He planned me and all my days. And even when I am not walking in the way He had planned for me, He is there with me. I never lifted one box alone! It is my choice however, to either complain and grumble or celebrate and be festive…I have decided I like being festive.
If God took the time to plan ALL my days for me…the least I can do is honour him while I live them out.
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvellously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.” ~Psalm 139:16
Packing up the dreams God planted….
I’m packing…well actually I’m writing, but I SHOULD be packing! We are on the move again. Not exactly what I expected when we moved here 4 ½ years ago. I really thought this house would eventually be ours and that we would put down deep roots and never leave or move again. I thought this was an open door from God and that He was planting us in this neighbourhood and this house to be a beacon of light for Him. We prayed that we would be a lighthouse in the midst of this street, pointing each of our neighbours to the Cross. I was sure He planted us here … to stay.
But we are moving…two doors down. I have shared how I think God must not just get a chuckle over me, but a full belly laugh! I realized that I truly believed that “I” could direct God through my prayers. I told Him, that we have been praying for our neighbours and that we need to stay and continue the work. That Gracie considers this her mission field. Thinking all the while that He would keep us here in this house…He planted the dream, and I couldn’t even recognize it. It’s not about the house or my comfort level but about my obedience to Him…to give Him that “thing” I am holding back from Him. And the realization that it is not about me, but about how and when and where He chooses to use me. I wanted to make an impact in this neighbourhood and wherever I go, but without obedience to Him He cannot use me.
But it is not we who will remain, but HIM. We may be remembered by some people on this earth, but our calling and our obedience to that calling will be what lasts forever, to the Glory of God. 1 Peter 2:9-10 says: “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”
He plants the dreams…and sometimes we live out the plan in one place…and then sometimes we pack up the dreams God has planted and move on to the next gig. As long as the spot light remains on Him and I can look forward hearing “well done thou faithful servant”. The great thing is the dream isn’t dead…it’s just being relocated.
I surrender all! Whatever I hold onto is YOURS OH GOD.
“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he ploughed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” ~Hebrews 12:1-3
Back to my packing now ...just remember which side is up! - - cb
My husband & I attended the Easter Musical Production put on by our church choir, entitled “HIS LIFE FOR MINE”. The idea was to give a musical portrayal of Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection. Along with visual media’ amazing soloists, and a strong choir, the message was made clear.
Now I have been thinking a lot lately about my legacy and the heritage my children will receive from me. What will people say about me when I am gone and even while I am still here? Am pointing them to the Cross? Is my Legacy worth leaving? In the midst of this my sister gave me a card that read: “Thank you…to someone who genuinely finds joy in the happiness of others…someone who’s soft at the edges and strong at the center…” This was a great gift of confirmation for me as this is how I want to be seen by others. But I still want my Legacy to have an eternal effect.
Yesterday morning as we stood in church at our Good Friday service, I sobbed through “How Great Thou Art”. This is not an uncommon thing for me…usually because I can see my Nana with her head back, eyes closed and the odd tear running down the side of her face as she would belt out this great hymn from the bottom of her soul. Which reminds me of the amazing heritage I have received…to be raised in a home where love was God’s brand, the truth was spoken, and the example was sure. To have a husband who loves and serves the Lord and children who have accepted His gift of salvation. To have grown up and been taught in a church whose foundation and roots are 75 years deep and rooted not in the accomplishments of its founders but in the very word of GOD. I am truly blessed!
That’s not to say that there have not been hard times. I have had some really lousy things happen to me and I have made some really lousy choices that brought really lousy consequences! But through it all my heritage has been the CROSS!
I am often overwhelmed by a feeling of unworthyness...in many areas of my life. I have a husband and children I am not worthy of. I have gracious & loving friends I am not worthy of. I live in a house I am not worthy of...but most of all I serve a God I am not worthy of. And yet He loved me so much He sacrificed His only Son for me! For me! Knowing full well all that I would do in my lifetime, all the ways I would shame and disgrace Him, all the destructive thoughts I would have even before I had them!
Yet He died for me! For me! Jesus endured one of the most painful, gruesome and even shameful deaths, so I wouldn't have to. So I could live eternally with Him.
As I sat through Communion service this past Sunday and watched as my Husband served the elements I was overcome by HIS AMAZING GRACE. Pastor Reed reminded us that this was JESUS' body, broken for me and for you!
He knew, and yet he Loved. He knew that even though He had a path planned for my life that I would wander off of it and He planned a way back for me even before I needed it. He knew me, before I was here and He loved me knwoing all that I would do and not do.
She moved about her home, like a robot, trying her best to keep it together to do what was needed -- what is expected of her. Something was missing and had been for awhile, but she couldn't put her finger on it. It must be the stress...it must be the illnesses...it must be not knowing...She stopped and lingered on the edge of the canyon -- feeling the pull she tried to move on so as not to slip on the crumbling ledge...if she stood there much longer it surely would not hold her weight and she would be lost forever.
As she turned to distract herself it happened....the force was winning and she was pulled under the wave of grief and anxiety.
"Why?" was all she could say as she fell to her knees. Clinging to the side of her bed, as if it were the only thing that could keep her from slipping all they way into the dark hole of her despair. The tears made tiny puddles on the hardwood floor and her nose ran onto her lips and she did nothing to stop it.
"Father? Are you even there? Where have you been? We need you LORD! I'm sorry -- I haven't been coming to you. I can't even hear you anymore -- oh Lord I need to hear from you.!" I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. Oh Father forgive me! I am so weak! I am not worthy of you or your love or your protection. HUSH CHILD -- MY SON DIED FOR YOU -- I AM WAITING FOR YOU. MEET ME AT THE RIVER. I WILL BE THERE -- AND YOU WILL NOT BE FORSAKEN.
She pulled herself off the floor, almost too drained to move. Her legs shook as she made her way to the door. But deep inside there was a warmth. Something was happening, the flame was being fanned -- she thought it had long been doused -- but even in the cold, dank darkness it couldn't go out...the flame of hope is eternal.
"I pray to God—my life a prayer— and wait for what he'll say and do. My life's on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning. " ~Psalm 130:5