She Remembers

It really was a beautiful day as the warm rays of the sunshine bathed the room in a soft glow. She sat by the small window, lost in thought, caught up in remembering all the changes in her life since that one day. Even the shining sun could not block out the memories of the three days cloaked in such darkness.

Getting pregnant was not what she planned. She was only engaged, babies came after marriage. The day she received the news she would become pregnant certainly was unique. So many unusual circumstances surrounded the birth of her son. She retained everything about that time. She kept so many of these events in her heart and thought about what they meant.

Remembering watching him grow, play, and follow the man he called father brought a smile to her face. This man, this wonderful man, married her even though he knew the child was not his. Raising this little one as his, providing for them without once complaining caused thankfulness in her heart. The tousled head tot followed him everywhere and took in everything he saw.

She recalled how eager he was to learn and it seemed he was wise, so wise. It was as if his knowledge was far beyond what her husband and the elders had taught him. She could only remember one time, as a youth, that he caused her concern. It was on that trip. She thought he was with friends or family only to find out he was not there. They had to make the journey back to where they had been to find him. They found him. He was in the temple. She couldn’t believe what he was saying. He was confounding the elders with his knowledge.

Seated by the same window, dressed in mourning clothes she didn’t want to remember the past days. Those days of the mocking, the lies told about her son. The trial was a joke. The witnesses lied. He only did good. Why? Wasn’t the blind man who could now see better off? What about the crippled man now walking and others whose lives had been forever changed for the better? She couldn’t fathom that one of those that followed him became the betrayer. Her son cared for them.

Such a cruel death. He really didn’t deserve this. Inside her heart she screamed silently, he only did good. She remembered standing at the foot of the cross. Tears streaming down, a mothers heart breaking as she looked up and saw his face. Even in that torment, he remembered her and asked one of his followers to care for her. Where would they bury him? She didn’t have the money to pay for a tomb. She was thankful for the kindness of one that provided his burial tomb.

They took him from the cross and wrapped his body for burial. She didn’t want to remember that image but it was stamped in her memory. They laid him in the tomb but couldn’t finish the process because it would soon be the Sabbath. They would go after the Sabbath passed and take the spices they needed to finish the burial process.

A smile crossed her face as she remembers that particular day. The “spice day.” They went very early to the tomb. On the way, they wondered who would roll away the heavy stone that sealed the grave. What a surprise! The stone was rolled away. Jesus was not there!

What had happened? It had just been three days. Wait, she remembered, he did say something about he would rise – on the third day- yes that was what he said. She remembered.

Today, because of this, all of humanity can be free. Free from the guilt that sin brings. The chains of our past are broken, and the addictions of our present are paid for. We just need to believe and ask for forgiveness.

Words of the song by Bill and Gloria Gaither ring true. “Because He lives I can face tomorrow.”

For God so loved that word that He give His only son that whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16,17

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The Cry Of One

Pain deep inside
Hide it
No one can know

Hurt and despair
Hide it
Make it disappear

Anger on the surface
Hide it
Make it go away

Inside where no one knows
No one can see
The reservoir where all is hid

No one knows she thought
No one can see
It’s hidden well

Outside a calm exterior
Inside a boiling caldron
Emotions raw

She feels worthless
Nothing is right
What is the answer?
Will I ever find value?
Will I ever have peace?

Light, bright light
Truthful light
Blinding searching light

Light shinning into her darkness
Pain long hidden revealed
Hurt and despair uncovered
Hidden anger exposed to this light

The light of God’s love shines into her soul
All that she thought hidden now revealed

He saw it all
He will never love her now she thought

Gently He said, “Give it all to me”
“I can’t,” she said,
“I have had this so long
I don’t know how to let go”

He said, ” I will help you.
Give me your pain and I will heal the hurt deep inside

Give me your hurt and despair and I will exchange it and
give you you healing and joy.

Give me your anger
I will give you my peace.”

It wasn’t easy
The process long
He didn’t give up on me

His light of love bathed my damaged soul
He restored me to what He created me to be

Emptied of all these destructive feelings and emotions,
I am filled with His perfect love

He set a guard at my heart’s door
When pain, hurt, despair and anger knock again
He answers

No room here to take up residence
No place in her life for you

When Jesus’ love shines in your life
You are forever changed

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Me, Myself and I

I decided I needed to talk to myself and me.  It was and is a conversation I need to have occasionally.

I launched into the discussion with me and the topic for this meeting of me was “A Crisis of Faith.”  I wondered if other people who have served the Lord wondered just where God is and is all of this I have believed really true.  For myself, deep down inside where me resides is a deep abiding faith and love for Jesus the one that redeemed me from sin.

It was the I and me that were having difficulty when myself joined in and asked some very serious questions.

Why do you think you are even asking this question?
Where do you think the thoughts are coming from?
If you don’t believe what is the alternative?

Myself is the one that holds truly to what Me and I believe.  All the studies, all the sermons and messages and truths that reside in the body shell that holds the three of us. They all have a part in keeping the vast amount of memories, facts and various tidbits of information cataloged and stored in the vast “computer” that makes up my brain. It is in my heart, the seat of my emotions, that really knows what all of us (me, myself and I) really believe.

The three of us, after a long debate answered this question –where are these thoughts coming from?  The we (meaning me, myself and I) knew immediately where this came from.  The enemy of our soul, the liar Satan, aka the Devil was trying to plant the seeds of doubt in the soil of my soul.  He was a tenacious seed sower who kept trying to nourish the small seeds of doubt to blossom and destroy what God was cultivating in my life.  I reminded me and myself of a line in a song “has fear and doubt come against you mind, has your faith been sorely tried.”  Yes we all answered.  This is where we are.  Another line from that same song floated through our thoughts. “Lift up your eyes here comes your help.”  This brought Psalms 121 to our collective thoughts, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills from where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1,2 ESV version.

One question answered, now for the other two.  I said to me and to myself you are asking this because you don’t understand what is happening in the circumstances around you.  We all took a look at what was happening around us in the various parts of our life. We looked backward to all the happenings and events of our life that brought us to this moment.  The three of us all said at once if we don’t believe what is the alternative?  Long discussions ensued over this question.  All of us agreed we did not like the alternative and decided we would not entertain those thoughts, so we brought those negative and troubling thoughts of doubt and gave them to the one who sits on the throne of authority in our life, Jesus Christ, God’s only son.  We listened to Him as He told us the enemy of our soul would love nothing more than to cover your eyes with the cloak of deception and cause you to fall away from the love of Father God.

Me, Myself, and I made a declaration that day – our faith still holds unto Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.  We choose to allow Jesus to help us banish doubt and fear and ask the Father to destroy the seeds of these insidious plants trying to destroy the garden of our heart and to strengthen our faith.

Will this conversation take place again, maybe, but the three of us (Me, Myself and I) know where to go to get the answers.

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When

When my human body is weak and tired from the depth of my being my soul cries to the one who made me.

When my conscious self-beset with questions and doubt my spirit man reverberates with “I know in whom I have believed and I am persuaded He can keep me.”

When confidence fails and hope is attached by only a slim thread, the subconscious mind sends a message to remind me of a hymn I sing, “Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine.”

When darkness invades my life and it seems the light is almost gone, the radiance of His divine presence shatters the gloom as the light of the word reminds me I belong to Him.

When all seems futile and despair wants me to give in, His words of comfort tell me “weeping only lasts for the night but joy will come in the morning.”

When I feel like I have lost my way I am comforted to know
He has planned my path and knows the way I take.

When my thirst for knowledge calls, I go to the source of ultimate wisdom. The written words of God, found in scripture, challenges my mind

 

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He

He calls me to come aside and spend time in His presence and He wraps me in His love and washes over me with grace

When I have no one to talk to He listens with patience and understanding

In my weakness He becomes my strength and I can keep going

He walks on the waves of my troubled soul and calms the raging sea

He stills my heart when all around me trouble rages, and I am safe

He comes in the night when fear rises to tell me there is no hope and says you are not alone

When everyone has failed me and left me alone, He is my constant companion

When my body is racked with pain and sickness He is my healer and comfort

When there seems no place to go He is my strong tower and I run to safety in Him

He gives me goodness and mercy to follow after me

When it is time to walk the valley of the shadow of death, He will be my guide to lead me safely home

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Let There Be Light

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.

And God said “Let there be light! (Genesis 1:1,2)

What a difference light can make.  We all know what dark or darkness means but to get a full understanding I pulled out my faithful dictionary to see the various aspects of this word.

It can mean entirely or partly without light and it also can mean gloomy, hidden or secret, hopeless or dismal.  Wow – some of what I read about this word surprised me.

The other word that interested me in this passage was void.  This word can mean, total emptiness, holding or containing nothing, a vacuum, a feeling of emptiness or deprivations.

Sitting at the computer and staring at the screen I let the meaning of these words be absorbed in my brain. The more I thought about this the comparison to times and events in my life somehow amazingly became clear.

Every one of us at times walks through those dark moments of despair and hopelessness.  For some there comes are times of deep depression and we just want to curl into a ball, hide in the darkness of a room and pull ourselves into a black hole.  We pray and hope that this condition will pass while we wish for the light to penetrate.

Others will just experience the gloomies.  Has anyone ever said to you to “stop being gloomy?  You just can’t seem to get out of the doldrums and feel there is a black cloud hanging over you.

Perhaps you have experienced some or all of these things.  Dealing with this is not easy.  I can tell you that into these situations God can step into the situation and with authority says “let there be light.”  Sometimes that light comes in the form of a professional counselor trained to help us work through our deep depression and find the light we need to shine in our lives.  In His love God sends to us those that care and love us to bring a ray of light and sunshine into the gloom.  When we call on Him He pours his love and healing balm into our hurting hearts and his forgiveness allows us to let go of our secret sins and the hopelessness we experience at times.

It is God that knows just what we need and He leads us into our path of discovery when He says with loving authority;  LET THERE BE LIGHT.

 

The other interesting word was void.  “The earth was without form or void.”  Many today experience this.  There is a vacuum or a feeling of emptiness and the nothingness within screams to be filled.  We try to fill this void with things, jobs, money, success – you name it – yet in trying all of this we remain empty and containing nothing.

 

On the horizon of our emptiness and void stands a loving savior waiting to be invited into our lives.  He will not push his way in or demand to be a part of our lives.  It is our choice.  He created us with a “God shaped space” that can only be filled by him.  Nothing else can satisfy. When He comes he brings the ray of sunshine that creeps through the window of our souls and sets us on a path of goodness. The first light of His presence found in forgiveness soon expands and fills the emptiness and the loneliness.  That small ray of light gives us the courage to have faith and faith grows as we walk in his light.

 

Today God says to our individual lives once filled with darkness and void, “LET THERE BE LIGHT.”

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Tis The Season

You can look around everywhere and know “it is the season.”  The stores are full of merchandise ready to go home with you.  The music you only hear once a year is again heard everywhere.   Children are trying so hard to be extra good because they heard somewhere Santa is checking his naughty and nice list.

We get caught up in the preparation for that one day, that one special day.  Lists of things to do are made, gift lists, special grocery shopping lists are written and those special decorations are once again pulled from their storage places.

In all of the hustle and madness of this time perhaps we have forgotten the real reason for this season.  This time, this special time is not about the tree, the gifts and the frenetic pace we find ourselves in.

This time and season should cause us to think about the real gifts to give.  Those gifts that are not tangible but are so important in the world we live in.

Love – What a special gift.  We can’t put it in a box wrapped in beautiful paper tied up with a bow.  It is, or should be what we give every day.  Love, it is the intangible gift that makes all the difference in some ones world when given.

Trust – In some cases this gift trust is earned, when it is received it is priceless.  A gift that is sometimes fragile and can be broken but trust is and should be treasured always.

Time – Maybe we don’t think of this as a gift but to some in our lives this gift of time is more valuable than money or things.  Time spent with those we love leaves an imprint on hearts and lives that will keep giving in the memories we hold precious.

Friendship – The bond between people that makes our lives special.  It is a gift of rare quality and one that should not be easily dismissed.

During this Christmas holiday and celebration I hope we take the opportunity to share the intangible gifts that only we can give.  There are those during this season who are hurting and at this time not all is “merry and bright.”  They need to receive the intangible especially during this Christmas time.

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Silence

The silence in the room was so loud every other sound disappeared. The long fingers of quiet gripped her heart and soul. She could hear inner thoughts coursing through her mind. She didn’t want to think about the thoughts.

The beat of her heart vibrated in her ears in the vacuum that was in the room. She was conscious of everything inside her yet outside there was only silence.

She wanted to break the silence and talk, or scream or even sing but she was compelled to wait. Why? She didn’t know.

In the midst of her overwhelming confusion a still small voice echoed in her soul. She recognized that voice. It was the voice of the one that loved her so. He spoke and His words were like a sweet perfume that filled her being. They were words that bathed her turmoil and brought peace to her heart.

Her whole being rejoiced in praise as Jesus communicated with her. The voice was not auditable but she heard it. She heard deep within her soul. That voice flooded her mind with the promise that He would always be there. He would not leave or forsake her. Sitting in His presence, listening to Him speak, she knew that life was worth living.

He calmed her troubled mind as she asked Him to help her lean on Him and relax in His presence. Picking up the Bible from her lap she read His words of comfort. These words enveloped her like a warm blanket. The more she read the more she understood about this one that loved her so.

The quiet silence she once feared now became a joyous place. No longer afraid she left the silence to enter the world filled with noise and various voices that called to her.

Stillness and quiet became friends that allowed the still small voice of God’s son calling her. In this silent time spent with Jesus peace invaded her life. What was once frightening now was time longed for. The holy hush of silence allowed her to hear that still small voice of the one who loved her and gave his life for her and brought comfort.

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Is It Just Me?

Sometimes I sit in silence in my quiet place and so many thoughts and questions flood into my conscious brain. Where are these questions coming from?

I pick up my Bible to read again only to have more questions to challenge me and what I have believed from childhood.

Closing my eyes, I lift my heart in silent prayer to my father. Once again I reaffirm my love and my belief. I thank Him for dying for me and that forgiveness is mine just because I have asked. I do believe.

Maybe you have never questioned but I have. Is God real? Yes I say, even when I can’t feel His presence I know by faith He is there. John tells me “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.” Yes, yes, yes I say in my prayer to Him. God gently reminds me that the word became flesh and dwelt among us.

The enemy of my soul plants another question. Didn’t you ask God for….He didn’t answer. What about the starving children, what about all the suffering? If there was a God, a God of love would He allow this? Why do children die when people have prayed for healing?

Once again the evil one has tried to scatter his seeds of doubt in my soul and cause me to question.

I am not a theologian, I hold no advanced degrees in apologetics and I certainly hold no degrees in the study of Greek or Hebrew. Still I believe and I believe by faith. What is that, well my answer comes from God’s written word, the Bible in Hebrews 11:1, “ Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” I either choose to believe or I don’t.

It is my choice whether to allow the seeds of doubt to take root in the soil of my heart or to believe God’s promises. Oh there are times when I want to scream –really, you could have fixed this, or why God, I don’t understand. Yes I have prayed and asked for God to heal, or asked for Him to work in a certain circumstance and there were no answers. Am I tempted to just throw away all the belief and become…I have thought about it? I still choose to believe and to believe by faith. I don’t understand everything that happens and I may not have the answers to the whys but I put my trust in God.

This verse in 2 Timothy 2:12 says: “ I know in whom I have believed and He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him.”

In the end it comes down to I know, that I know, that I know. I can’t explain it and maybe you may think I am foolish but I have come this far by faith, trusting in Jesus God’s son and I am not turning back now.

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It’s A Brick Wall

There it was.  The proverbial “brick wall.”  I was doing so well and thought to myself, wow, this commitment to write something every day would be easy. I don’t know why I thought this was going to be easy.  I was so wrong!  I hit that wall and nothing would come to mind.  No inspiration, no great ideas or thoughts, just the brick wall.

Muttering to myself “brick wall, brick wall” I kept repeating it over and over. Just when I thought it would be impossible to keep my promise to write, inspiration smacked me right in the face. The proverbial light dawned.  “That’s it,” you should write about brick walls.

Everyone at some time in their lives will come against some immovable object or situation that we deem unable to conqueror.  We smack up against it and all our inspiration, or our dreams and plans come to a screeching halt.

We can’t, or we won’t even try to succeed in the thing we have promised to do, or the drive and passion just dwindles away and we give up.  Suddenly there are questions as to why we think this thing is within our grasp or our ability to accomplish.

When this happens to me there is a verse in scripture that tells me I am strong enough to accomplish whatever task is before me.  Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Even after reading this verse there are times I say to myself I can’t or I won’t and doubt dumps a truckload of reason why I can’t.

Have you ever felt that way?  Maybe you have faced the following “brick walls.”

A serious illness

Loss of a loved one

Loss of a job

Failure

Lack of self-confidence

Emotional hurts

You say I can’t go on.  This wall will never crumble.  I have lost a will to fight.  Maybe your wall is not as serious as the list above, but whatever you face, huge or inconsequential you still believe it is impossible.  Each of us fights our own private battles known only to us.

Lack of inspiration to write my seem silly to those facing more serious situations but on this day, for me, keeping my commitment to writing, would be inexcusable – at least in my eyes.  I am able to excuse others but I am harder on myself.

During these times God gently leads me to a place of understanding.  Sometimes I am thankful for brick walls that have protected me from doing something stupid.  Other times the wall teaches me patience and in the waiting I have found the answer.

No matter the wall or the circumstances that surround it I know my Heavenly Father is aware of just what I need and what is best for me.  The longer I serve Him the more I know that with Him nothing will seem impossible.

Placing my hand in His I know that I will leap over that wall, tunnel through it, find a way round or accept the security of the wall knowing it is there for a reason.

 

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