Monday, May 23, 2016

He never wastes a yes

"You don't give Your heart in pieces....You don't hide Yourself to tease us." 

This song, Pieces by Amanda Cook, has been wrecking me lately. And when I heard it this Sunday during worship I felt His whisper on my heart, "I never meant for you (all of us) to live in pieces either."

What if we really started believing that when God sent His son, Jesus, to the earth to die...? What if we really started believing that when Jesus said YES to laying down His life for us...? What if we believed that ALL of that was JUST so we could have relationship with Him? What if we truly believed that He wants to speak to us, that He gave it all and continues to give us all and that He's not withholding anything or any of Himself? Because why would He do that to hide? Why would he do that to stay silent? "You don't give Your heart in pieces..." If you believe that then know He never intended for any of us to live in pieces either.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit. 
(Psalm 34:18 NASB)

But maybe you've felt like I once did, justified in feeling broken. Maybe you aren't ready to let go of hurt or disappointment. Or Anger. Resentment. Fear. Worry. Maybe you're not ready to forgive and let go and move on. Or maybe you've felt that freedom just wasn't for you. That this was your thorn, your cross to carry. Maybe it's not even possible.

I'll tell you what He told me. He said, "I never waste a yes. No matter how late. Or how small."

No matter how great or lacking your faith may be, no matter how hopeless or helpless you may feel...He never wastes a yes. A simple surrender, no matter how late or how small. He can use. Maybe you can't say today, "I'm all in, have your way, take it all." But maybe you can say you're willing to be made willing. He loves that. He loves those prayers.

Can a nation be brought forth all at once?
“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord
(Issaiah 66:8-9 NASB)

Maybe you wonder why I used those two verses. The word "brokenhearted" from Psalm 34 is the same as the words "bring to birth" in Issaih 66. He didn't bring you this far to leave you. He didn't come this far for you, just to distance Himself now.

So offer all you can. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. 
(Proverbs 4:18 NASB)

Let Him be on the journey with you. Say yes where you can. The path will get lighter, my friend and one day the sun will shine.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Field and a Garden

There's this place that I go sometimes. My Field. I go there with Pappa, God. It's not a physical place you can see. It's a place in my dreams and my prayers. He leads me there often. Sometimes He stands at the gate and calls. Sometimes, well, sometimes I don't go. But He waits. Waits for my return. I find Him there often. When I go looking for His voice. When I feel far. He's there, in a corner, up high on a hill. There's a tree with a swing. I go there and I sit and He pushes me. I look up and I see blue skies. It's warm and the breeze in my hair as I swing is just right. We talk. About everything. We laugh and we sing. He chuckles sometimes. No other word to describe it. It is the laugh He has when is amused with my antics or those of my children. Sometimes He shares with me His heart for people I know. He'll say things like, "Remember her? Oh I have great plans for that one." And I can share my heart and ask Him to help me see the one's He loves the way He sees them. Sometimes, in my field, we just walk. I feel the sunshine on my face and hear the grass in the wind. He sings to me. And we dance. There's always peace here. Always rest. Why did I leave it? Why did I not come when I was called the first time? But I'm here now, and we walk and walk and walk and when we've already talked about everyone on our hearts I look up and see we are in a new place in my field. A stream. It's a beautiful, little trickling stream. I go there often with Him now. And we play, careless and free. Sometimes I come heavy and burdened but we splash and skip rocks and He says, "tell me all your troubles." And I do. Before I know it, I'm laughing. Sometimes I swim there, float. Sometimes we go and we drink. Sometimes I wash my hands. Then one day I crossed. The further I waded in the lighter I felt. The freer I felt. Before I knew it I was on the other side. And He's always with me. We cross often now. On the other side of this river is a place in my field I hadn't seen before. Hadn't wished to see. Had not wanted to know. I don't like to stay long. But I follow Him when He leads. I feel His heart grow full. Full with ache, full with sadness and longing. And my heart aches. It's less peaceful here. It's hotter, dryer, windless. I can only stay so long before I tug on His hand and ask to go back. He always looks at me and smiles. He always nods and we turn. But always. Always. He looks back. I know this is a place in His heart, dry and hurting. And I want to share it with Him. He doesn't push me though. I love Him so for that.

Let the field with all that is in it exult.

Then all the trees of the forests will sing for joy
13 before Yahweh, for he is coming; 
Psalm 96:12-13a

Recently, I discovered a new place. My Garden. Have you ever watched a child, maybe you're own child, discover or play with something new? Have you ever stood around the corner secretly watching him read a book, play with a train set, color a picture, or make music on an instrument? Have you watched the wonder of discovery unfold? Witnessed him delight in something new? In my garden He's not by my side. But He's there, quietly observing me delight in the discovery of treasures found. My garden is still new to me. I've only just started going there. It's a large garden. There are many places of neglect with plants overgrown. There are rows of dry, withered plants that need pulled. At the front of my garden are rows of tilled and fertile earth, ready for seed. And I've planted and watered, I've even discovered, as I dig my hands into the soil, vegetables already ready. I've harvested while I've planted! Oh, imagine my delight at such a thing, my surprise. A little further in are rows and rows and rows of abandoned plants. Thirsty for water but alive and in need of pruning. And weeding. Sometimes I've even found plants with fruit on them. As I pull back a dead stem, branch, or leaf, I'll discover fruit. Still further are plots marked out but have yet to be tilled. The ground is hard and the grass and weeds are abundant. How can I work in these places when so much needs to be done elsewhere? So much easier, more enjoyable work? But my eyes often look that way, my feet often carry me to this place and I find myself standing before it, thinking about which tool I need, wondering if I have the strength to clear it. I know there's much work that needs to be done in my garden. I know He's there with me, even helping me, if only by His encouragement and pleasure at being there. I know this place is a place for joy, delight in what I love doing. So there's no need to be overwhelmed by all that there is to do. He leads me to just where I need to be, that place that needs my attention, my love, my care. I wonder why He's not with me in it, working beside me. But I feel His heart beat then, know His presence. I'm never alone. His heart is full in my joy, seeing me be, work, and delight in all He's provided and created me for.

Sow with a view to righteousness,
Reap in accordance with kindness;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord
Until He comes to rain righteousness on you. 
Hosea 10:12