Friday, January 27, 2012

Every Tear...

Sometimes the seeing of God in our every day comes in the form of the ordinary and ends up reminding us of the extraordinary. I believe He sometimes uses the here and now to remind us of or give us a picture of what is to come and this sweetens the struggle of living in this present life. This is how it began...

I spent some time yesterday with a friend and her sweet little boy. They come to visit here once a week. She used to be a teacher before having the sweet little boy and now she helps teach my youngest some reading skills. While she is tutoring my little girl I enjoy playing with her little boy. Playing with little boys is so different from playing with little girls. The play is action packed and this little one likes to climb. While he was here he tried to climb onto the bench at the kitchen table that his mom was sitting on. Somehow he lost his balance and ended up sliding backward. He tried to hang on but ended up hitting his head and getting wedged between the bench and the wall. I have never seen the little guy cry so hard! In the whole 18 months I have known him I don't think I have ever seen him upset! Of course his mom scooped him up right away and kissed his sweet little face and the sore spot on the back of his head. He continued to cry and she said to him "Show me your owie so I can kiss it away." He buried his face in her shirt and she kissed his sore head some more and then she wiped the tears from his eyes. This is when the ordinary reminded me of something extraordinary.

I was reminded of our loving God. Someday He will wipe away all of our tears just like my friend lovingly and gently wiped away the tears from her little one's face. Only this little boy's mom could make him feel safe, loved, quieted, and whole again after being hurt. Our world is full of hurts like disease, addiction, injustice, heart ache, and death to name a few. The comfort we receive from others on this journey called life is like a band aid that eventually will fall off. It is good but temporary. If we lay bare our wounds before God just like the little one showed his mom the owie, then we open ourselves up to Him to be comforted. God has the power and tenderness to heal our hurts just like my friend's kisses healed her boy's hurt. Even better yet, some day there will be no more tears.

Isaiah 25:8-9 says this , " He will swallow up death for all time, and the LORD God will wipe away tears from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from the earth; For the LORD has spoken. And it will be said in that day, 'Behold this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.' "

Do some imagining with me for a moment... Can you see the mighty hand of God reaching to wipe away the tears from all faces? Think about it. This is the same God "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand" (Isaiah 40:12). This is the hand of the God who created the universe. This the hand of the God who conquers death. This same hand that is attached to the all powerful God is going to ever so tenderly wipe the tears from your face once and for all!

I hope that as you and I face the hurts and struggles of this life we can remember these verses and be encouraged by them. I don't want to forget this glimpse of the future that I was given in the ordinary. Remember there is no Comforter like God and let's look ahead with joy to the day when God's hand lovingly wipes away the tears from our faces!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Word for the Weary...

I have been pondering some words from Isaiah these past few days. Isaiah 40:28-31 says this:

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."

I know of a lot of weary people right now. Parents with wayward children, friends whose family members have cancer, people waiting for test results, and my husband and I find ourselves once again expecting job loss. One hundred more teachers are to be laid off this school year. This means that I know a whole school district full of tired people! Yet God is not tired. How is that? I grow tired of coming to Him with so many burdens. "Hey God it's me again! Yeah that's right I was here two minutes ago but I have another one for you!" He never sends me away and He always encourages me to continue interceding until all is completed.

It amazes me that God doesn't grow weary. Think about it...no one is busier than God. God who daily listens to all of our cares, concerns, complaints, hurts, needs, wants, fears, and anxieties is NOT weary. We run to Him and our needs are endless. We are a needy people. Yet He never grows weary of the listening, the providing, the loving of us. What's more amazing is that these verses say that we can have the same strength and lack of weariness that He does. "Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength".

Somehow that word "wait" has a note of expectation to it. It is in the waiting for God to act, the waiting for God to answer, the continuous letting go of the burden into His hands that we find strength. Waiting for the Lord provides the strength we need in the struggles of every day life on this earth. Waiting for the Lord provides the strength that we need to continue to go to God and intercede for others. It is the expectant hope that our God hears us and will respond. It is the expectant hope that God will grant us the strength that we need to continue on in the things that He has called us to do.

I don't know about you but I could use a good dose of this "new strength" He is offering. Let's look to God when we are weary and remember the words of Isaiah. Remember that no matter how tired you are God is never tired and always has "new strength" to offer those who wait for Him. Join me in waiting for Him so that we can "run and not get tired, walk and not get weary" together!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What You Sow In Tears...

I was in the car traveling to meet with a friend last night. I really enjoy my car time. Sounds funny doesn't it? Let me explain. I enjoy those rare car times when I am alone in the car headed somewhere. It gives me an opportunity to listen and enjoy quiet, sing really loud to my favorite music, or talk to God out loud without anyone over hearing. Last night I began my car time by talking to God. I was telling Him about someone I have been praying for, how I am at a loss to know how to be there for this person,and at a loss as to how to pray about the circumstances they find themselves in. Sometimes just listening is the best and only way to be there for someone but sometimes it feels like it's not enough. This has been one of those times. I asked Him to show me how to be there for this person the way they need me to and how He wants me to pray. Then I put in a CD and enjoyed singing along with it. I got to this one verse in a particular song and it felt like God smacked me over the head with a brick! The verse was " Jesus, you are stronger more than any other."

I turned off the music and began to talk to Him again about the brick I felt He smacked me with! How quickly I forget how big, strong, and capable He is. How quickly I forget that there is no such thing as an impossible person or situation for Him. Sometimes the things in our lives or the lives of others that we pray for seem so dark, heavy, hopeless, and impossible that we are at a loss as to how to even pray about them anymore. God is never at a loss for anything. I had to ask Him to forgive me for forgetting that He is stronger and bigger than it all. As I sat in the quiet He reminded me of some verses that I have been holding on to for a while. They are Psalm 126: 5-6 " Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing forth his sheaves with him."

Just like a seed is planted and it takes months or even a whole year before it grows, so it is with prayer. Sometimes I am literally planting those seeds of prayer in tears on my knees. Sometimes the wait for the answers to prayer can be excruciating. It's easy to wonder in those moments if God sees the tears as we sow or hears the prayers we are praying. He sees and He hears. He has promised that what we sow in tears we will reap in joy.

I write this to remember it always for those long moments of waiting for the harvest and sowing in tears. I also write it for those of you who are sowing in tears right now. For the mothers and fathers who are praying for their wayward sons and daughters to return to God, the wives who are praying for their husbands to be freed from their addictions, the husbands who are praying for their marriages to be healed, the man or woman praying for their spouse's salvation, the singles who are waiting and praying for God to bring them a spouse, and the woman who prays that God will give her a child. No matter what prayer seed you are sowing God sees, He hears, and He keeps His promises. Don't be discouraged and don't forget how powerful and loving our God is. Keep on sowing...

Monday, January 2, 2012

His Hands and Feet...

I have recently been asking God to use this blog beyond what He already does in encouraging others. I am not entirely sure what all of that involves but a week after praying about it I received an email from a ministry that my husband and I support. In the email they mentioned that they were interested in using bloggers to spread the word about those who need help. I saw it as part of God's answer to my prayers, a way that He could use this blog to further help others. Occasionally you will be reading a blog post sent to me from Water Melon Ministries. As you read these posts please ask God how you can be His hands and feet in helping those you are reading about. It's a way to speak up on behalf of those who cannot speak up for themselves. Thank you for reading this and taking the time to allow your heart to be broken with what breaks His. Please join me in actively being His hands and feet in this year of 2012. Let's start with saving the Nuba.



Have you ever wondered what you would have done had you been alive in 1940 and was one of those who knew about the Holocaust?

Would you have been a person of action or a person of silence?

It is perhaps one of the most important issues to wrestle with. More than once in our lifetime we will find ourselves at a crossroad, one where the decision we make will reveal as much about our character as our convictions.

There is a genocide happening right now in Northern Sudan. The government is eradicating their own people. If we don’t speak up and help, no one else will. Each time North Sudan launches an attack to kill their own people, and we in the Western world remain silent, we give our permission to continue.

It is easier to overlook what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Sudan because the task feels overwhelming and thinking about it can make us feel helpless.

The truth of the matter is that one person alone cannot save the Nuba People. But a community of people acting in unison can.

One of the most extraordinary acts found in mankind is when a member of the human race deliberately goes out of his way to help another. It is love in action. It is loving your neighbor. It is doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

This month, The Persecution Project Foundation has launched a campaign called Save the Nuba. In order to prevent another genocide, they need the help that only a community can offer.

For those who can afford it, the need for food and medicine is desperate.

For those who have little to give, they’re asking for petitions signed, for awareness to

be spread through social media (Facebook, Twitter and blogs.)

For those who are passionate about this cause, they need your help raising awareness.

Will you join us in speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves?

Please visit www.SavetheNuba.com to learn ways you can help.