Endurance for the Long Journey

The promises You have laid before me, Father, have required much of me. When I first accepted this journey, I was eager and excited. As of late, the length of the journey has left me exhausted and resistant to continue.  All I see before me is an endless sea with no land in sight. Yet, I look back and You remind me how far we have traveled and it stirs my heart to continue. Your words, your love, give me comfort. I may be exhausted, unmotivated, and often plain lazy, but search my heart and know that my desire is to follow You until the ends of the earth.

In the midst of this journey, I will rest on the promises of Your Words to me:

 When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord
    he brought me into a spacious place. ~ Psalm 118:5

Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
    give me neither poverty nor riches,
    but give me only my daily bread.
 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
    and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
    and so dishonor the name of my God. ~ Proverbs 30:8-9

I know your deeds,
     your love and faith,
     your service and perseverance,
     and that you are now doing more than you did at first. ~ Revelation 2:19

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay. ~ Habakkuk 2:3

Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19

Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while
     was that you might have him back forever~ Philemon 1:15


A Glimpse

The study was majestic. His writing desk was enormous and His chair was more like a throne. She had been in His Study before, but she was amazed every time she entered, what seemed to be a grand court. The desk did not face the door, but out towards a large bay window, which had a wide and endless view of the beauty on the other side of a thin glass pane. The sun shun brightly it illuminated the entire room. Even in the evening the moon was just so radiant; no light was ever needed. 

Not wanting to disturb Him she quietly entered the room. Her effort to be as quiet as possible was thwarted by a table which stood in her direct path. Shading her eyes from the bright sun, she did not see it until she walked into it. The sound was quite loud, but Her Father was never the kind who was bothered easily, especially at the sight of His little girl. He scooped her up His arms and placed her in His lap. Though it was an invisible bump seen only to His little girl, He tended to her “injury” for the sole purpose of having His angel on His lap once more. As she had gotten older, she discovered independence. So, moments like these were few and far between.

Loving this moment, He gave her a glimpse of what He was doing. He was writing. Writing about her. His dreams and plans for her. Everything He wanted His daughter to experience. As she read, she was amazed as what He had written. Was this really what He had planned for her? Could this truly be a glimpse into the future she will one day have? Her excitement soon became doubt. Did He know who was on His lap? The sunlight was extremely bright, so He could have easily mistaken her for another child.  Had He not already done so much for her? How could all of this possibly be for her?

Sensing her unease, He cradled her tightly and called her by name. He read aloud the words He had written. His words were soft, gentle, yet full of excitement and certainty. Although still unsure, she listened intently envisioning the words He spoke. The promise of a loving husband, children (possibly 2 little girls and a boy), a strong marriage and ministry that would change the hearts of many.

She was amazed! She could not believe He would desire such things for her. Had He forgotten what a spoiled, stubborn child she could be at times? How she often stumbled, fallen, and tarnished the gifts He had given her? The uncertainty, fear, and shame engulfed her like a crashing wave. She listened for Him to say her name once more. Once He spoke it, she felt solace in hearing it. Maybe He had written this for her. Maybe this was a glimpse into her future. Maybe He did know who she was…His precious little girl.

2 Samuel 7:18-22 – King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed: “Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life? But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming, for you’ve also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow, my Master God! What can I possibly say in the face of all this? You know me, Master God, just as I am. You’ve done all this not because of who I am but because of who you are—out of your very heart!—but you’ve let me in on it. “This is what makes you so great, Master God! There is none like you, no God but you, nothing to compare with what we’ve heard with our own ears.

Acts 27:25 – “I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

Redeeming Love

My birthday has always been a day where I am allowed to be selfish. I get to do what I want to do, to eat what I want to eat, not to mention, gifts! This morning I woke up with those same selfish emotions, but they were quickly extinguished as I walked out the door heading to work.

Walking out of the house, I saw that I had missed a call from my dad. As I listened to his singing and words, an overwhelming sense of love and joy penetrated my heart. What is so extraordinary about that is that I haven’t had the picture perfect relationship with my dad. For many years, anger and resentment had gathered in my heart creating a levee-like barrier which prevented me from seeing my dad as anything but a foe. The past couple of years, this levee had been springing leaks; and this morning, as I sat in my car, the levee broke. Everything that I had not allowed myself to feel for my dad came rushing out. It was overwhelming.

In hopes of regaining my composure, I began to read the birthday wishes posted on my Facebook page; unfortunately, I again started to weep. The composure I had regained was, indeed, short-lived. The words chosen to describe me were simply overpowering. Words such as “amazing”, “wonderful”, “godly”, “role model” were being used to describe me. The thought of me, a sinful woman, being described by such affirming words was inconceivable and impossible to fully process. The tears would not stop and my flawless make-up was now, well, flawed just like me. Any other day, I would have reveled in such compliments; but today, I felt sick, nauseous and completely inept. I was reminded of how none of those words could ever be used if it were not for Jesus. It is His character that radiates and what others are describing.

So, as my head continues to throb and my stomach continues to ache from all the tears shed, I will enjoy this day, not because it is my birthday and I have an excuse to be selfish; but because I have once again been overtaken by His redeeming love for me!

Gospel Truth

Today happens to be my father’s birthday. I have the paper that states he is my father and he has a paper that states today is his birthday, but how can we believe any of that? They are just pieces of paper that someone wrote out because it was their job to do so. Was the person who signed my father’s birth certificate present at the exact moment of his birth? And how is the person who signed my birth certificate certain that he was really my father? Where they present at the time of my conception? I have no doubt who my father is, but does a birth certificate make it gospel? No. In order for it to be, I have to accept this man as my father.

The word gospel is defined as “something accepted or promoted as infallible truth” (Merriam-Webster). The fact that a piece of paper states that Ceferino Rosa is my father may make it true. How much he loves me and how his heart is still burdened to care for his baby girl may even prove it to be infallible; but when I finally accepted and promoted him as my father is what made it gospel.

In the same fashion, not only do we have to believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on a cross, rose on the third, and the reason why He would choose to do such a thing; but also He knew what He was doing and who He was doing it for. That good and bad, He was with us the day of each of our births, He will be there the day we will die and is with us every day in between. Once we choose to accept and promote that as infallible is when we will know the Gospel Truth!

Free to Dance – Day 16

She stood mesmerized by the lightning storm that filled the night sky. No rain. No streetlights. No car lights. Just lightning. Flashing continuously without a care. No rhythm. Just flashes of light.

As she gazed out, she felt His strong and warm arms pull her close to Him from behind. She loved His embrace. The lightning storm seemed brighter, stronger. Slightly more frightened, she drew deeper into His arms.

You seem so far away. More distant with each flash of lightning. Are you okay?

“I wonder if I could ever be as free as lightning? Free to dance wherever I pleased. Filling the dark sky with my brightness without a care of who I would disturb.” She replied.

The things that flow from that sweet mind of yours. So unique. Do you know that is why I love you?

She couldn’t see His face, but she could feel His smile through His words. She let out a small giggle and said, “only You could!’

You still believe that?

She didn’t reply. Both still amazed by the light show on display, He continued.

Your heart was never whole. The pain you are now feeling are the cracks being filled. The love you never felt, you are now feeling. The loss you never knew is now real. It was never my intention to hurt you.

But she was hurt…a strong ray of light flashed, filling the sky and penetrating her heart.

You may have held on too tight this time, but you will learn to hold with a looser grip. 

He could feel her trying to pull away, but He had to let her know how much He loved her.

Only I know the pain and scars you carry. I know it makes it difficult to trust, but you can trust Me.

Once He felt her struggle lessen, He pulled her close once again.

You can trust Me. Believe Me. I will never allow anything that would tear you down. Even if it hurts horribly, you will grow from it.

You question my motives, but I see the larger picture and the war down the road. The battles you will fight, will require you to fully trust in Me. You will need a full armor of what only I can give. Your life is a constant battle, but you are one of the few I can trust to handle such things.

I see your strength and perseverance. You are far better than you were yesterday. And tomorrow you will be better than you were today. Lean on Me. Trust in Me. Love on Me, but most importantly, let Me love on you! Be free to receive. Be free to let go. Be free in all you do…knowing if the joys of today are not the joys of tomorrow, it does not make them less joyful. There are new joys everyday!

Protect your heart, sweet one. The actions of today may prolong unnecessary pain. Pain I only intended for a short while. Please don’t extend it any longer than it needs to be. You know what to do to guard your heart. Just trust your heart because I live there. I will give you the wisdom you need. Just remain in Me and I will remain in you.

She no longer felt His arms around her, but she knew He hadn’t left her. She continued to stare at the flashing night sky. Now smiling because somehow she knew, the lightning wished it was as free to dance and to shine as bright as her heart did tonight!