Friday, June 1, 2018

Have you been drinking from broken cisterns?

Tonight I feel compelled to write. I am not writing to teach...I am writing out of my deepest, empty, aching need. Maybe I am not alone in having spent too much time lately dipping from broken, useless cisterns?

So reader if, as you read, something strikes a chord, please hear my heart, I am not writing as one who has answers. I am writing merely as a traveler, moving along this dusty path following hard, panting after the One who Knows me and yet loves me still. He knows you too. He Knows, Knows, to the core knows and loves. This is the dancing and singing over you, type of loves you. 

Have I opened up the Word lately and dug in deep? 
I have to say no. 

Are there problems and deep turmoil in my life that are larger than me? 
The problems are chasing me down and I can hear them calling to me in the darkness.

Are you overwhelmed?
I know I am.

Jesus longs for us to see Him as He really is!

He cares about our biggest struggles & our deepest needs.

There seems to be this gap between the knowing and the experiencing.

And yet... in spite of my inability to grasp a hold of, WHO He is...even still. He is the God who came down and tabernacled with us. He dwelt with us. He left the glories of Heaven because only by doing so could He minister to our deepest hurts, bear our sorrows and fulfill our greatest need.

Do I know Him as the God who IS with us? When we can't pay the bills and the choice is between integrity and the next bite for sustenance...then, in that moment, do I know Him as the God who is enough? The God who is with us cares about our needs, our wants and our heartaches.

Have I leaned into Him?

Or am I running? 
My fear of vulnerability drives me on... there I go dipping into an empty well, when there He sits, longing to offer me the living water. 

Oh how long will I hurry and scurry? My soul weighed down, heavy. I can no longer bear the weight of it, but oh how I try. Stumbling, bleeding, bruised and broken I lug my cares along with my broken pot back to that empty well.

He knows my stresses, your stresses & wants us to know Him as the God who is enough, the All Sufficient One.

He is constant amid the changing. He is Faithful when all we know is faithlessness.

He wants us to know Him.

Pause with me here for a moment. I know I have not plumbed the depths of this mystery...You know that longing in my soul to be known? Really, really known? You know that longing in your soul to be understood? To be heard? Catch this... it is but a mirror of the Creator, God of the Universe's longing to be known. Not just to be known as we might know the stats on the favorite sports star or favorite team. 

Not just to be known by someone...but to be known by You. 
To be known by me.

God is longing for intimacy with you...with me. He is longing for true relationship & connecting. That longing we have is but a piece of our reflecting the image of God.

John goes so far as to say that this knowing of God is eternal life.

Do I know Him?

Do you?

Is He our closest confidant? Do we know Him as He truly is?

When Isaiah saw Him, he saw himself as he really was.

Do we know Him? Have we spent time beholding Him in His Word? Have we contemplated his Life & His great sacrifice? 

How long has it been since I have had my soul laid bare by this knowing?
It has been too long. The path to the throne is overgrown and the one to the broken, empty well has become a groove.

Have I found in Him my purpose & source of life?

To know Him is to love Him. But we cannot know Him as it is our privilege to know Him if we don't spend time with Him.

My problems with stress and worry reveal my lack of true knowledge of Him. My problems with integrity reveal I do not know Him. My life reveals I don't know Him. My lack of peace, my inconsistent joy, the discord of my home, my addictions, the tone of voice I use, the way I drive by someone in need, the way I spend my money, the way I spend my time, the clutter of my life...all these reveal the truth. I do NOT know Him as I could. I do not KNOW Him as I should.

My attempts to reform my own life reveal I do not really believe Him, nor do I really trust Him, nor do I really know Him.

The solution is found in Him.

He was not exaggerating when He said, "apart from Me you can do nothing."


Don't continue that path! YOU canNOT fix it. 

Come to Him, just as you are...just as I am. Let Him melt your heart.

Dwell in His presence. Contemplate His amazing self-less life. Chew on the literal, lived out way He gave up everything to minister to those who did not benefit Him at all. Ponder His humility and His willingness to give and give and give until there was nothing left

Know Him.

In the Knowing you will be changed.

In the dwelling in His presence the earth will lose it's allure. Your heart's tendrils & my heart's tendrils will entwine themselves with what thrills His soul. 

We will find, that when we are taken up with Him, nothing else is really quite the same.

When we see Him, we will be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Last Message

"It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth."

I have been really grappling with this and pondering this message lately.

Tonight I re-read this chapter, "To Meet the Bridegroom," from the book Christ Object Lessons. It looks at Matthew 25:1-13.


I just feel like, "wow," pretty much sums up my experience.
I have just had a stripping away experience that has left me with a pretty clear conception of my lack.

I have not been falling upon the Rock and living broken.

It is such an interesting thing to be a living sacrifice. Yet, this is what we are called to. We are called to present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). Dead sacrifices stay on the altar… When self is truly dead then I can live the alive, yet staying on the altar, experience.

As I read this chapter it was as if my heart was laid bare before the eyes of heaven. I have not been living the connected, abiding life.

How do I know? Well I will just ponder a couple concepts. The author pointed out that we are called, not to strive to shine to the dark world, we are urged to LET our light shine. It is a picture of the obstructions being removed so all can see the Glory of God clearly. Those who have Christ abiding in their hearts will shine forth His glory.

In the trial and in adversity the true character is revealed. I am all too aware that in the trial and in the moment of temptation what is revealed is an un-sanctified life.

I am not trusting Jesus. I worry and fret and don't rest and trust.

I don't have His joy abiding in my heart.

So when I go back to the top quote…

It is not just the world that is shrouded in the darkness of the misapprehension of God. It is my mind. My life is not a testimony to the truth, but to the darkness.

I have been living a lie.

But the truth is TRUTH, even when I have not been living it.

The Light WINS!!!

God is light (1John 1:5) in whom is NO darkness, at all. NONE!!!

The promise is available to me and to you and to the world… The light(2 Cor.4:6) has illumined our hearts. The knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus.

He has promised to finish (Philippians 1:6) the work He has begun,

To make all things new(Rev. 21:5).

Do I believe Him?

He says that it is His goodness that leads us to repentance(Romans 2:4).
So I am deciding to bask in light of His goodness. I am going to draw close, fall broken, surrender, lay aside my pride and take off my filthy robe and let Him clothe me in His righteousness. I want the truth!

I am going to lay claim to His promise. My need is my right to the Promise. He has promised that He will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him, because he trusts in Him.

I am going to stay my mind, by His grace and by His power. I am going to abide so that I can receive the sap from the vine.

I want my mind to be lightened with the truth of the Glory of the goodness of God. I want the Truth of who He is to change my thinking and change my living so that He can use me as a vessel to pour His love thru onto a world that is hurting.

I am pleading with Him to take my life and use it to bear witness to the power He has to transform a life. I don't want to be used by the darkness and I don't want to testify to the darkness I want to testify to the LIGHT and to the TRUTH.

God is good. He is trustworthy. He is love. He is Light.
"But in our contemplation of Christ, we are only lingering round the edge of a love that is measureless. His love is like a vast ocean, without bottom or shore." Review and Herald May 6, 1902

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Grave is Empty

She went to rest on March 21st. The ripples are everywhere as the buzz of blogposts and memories are shared through the Internet waves. I did not know her as well as I would have liked to. Yet every memory I have of her is run together with joy and peace and the rest of one who knew what it was to rest herself in the hands and heart of the Almighty. 

Oh to know that type of peace. It was not the peace only to be found on a sunny day with the flowers blooming. It was the peace before the storm, the peace in the middle of the storm and the peace that could not be touched by the storm. Her God, her Comforter was bigger. 

Her one desire was to be used for her wonderful loving Father in life or in death. 

Death's cold tomb may hold her body. 

But the chains are broken.  She will rise, for our Lord's tomb is empty. 

Prayers for the Harvest

A draft that has long sat and needed publishing.

Today in the mail I received a warmly written card from a dear sister very far away.

Inside on a slip of delicate paper I found this penned gracefully in purple:

"The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having unhindered way, because the last abyss of his nature has been satisfied by Him. The only impression left by such a life is that of the strong calm sanity that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him."

~ Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest - January 7

Deeply, I am challenged by reading this. For more often than not I am all hindrance instead. . .

To have every crumb and corner of myself filled with His presence.
For transparency. For Him to have unhindered way.

For these things I pray.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Need to Wait

Gardens are places of hope, of work and of dreams.  There are cycles of change and growth lived out among the plants.  Yet, we are separated by too many generations to understand the reality of being dependent upon the garden for life.  We have a back-up plan.  We are very tied into taste and preference and know little of what it is to eat for subsistence.  When the cantaloupe doesn't taste the way we like we drive off our property and go to the store and bring one back that does.

When crops fail, we go to the grocery store, and perhaps think about not having a garden next year, after all, we put money and time into it and it didn't produce the way we would like.  It is new and unknown and frankly, we aren't very good at gardening.  Our grandparents did not pass this information on, we live in Texas and it is hot this year and surely people in Texas only ate cows when grocery stores were harder to come by.  We don't like work very much and are too used to convenience.

That is the troubling part, where convenience and ease have met up with the human need for struggle and growth.  Butterflies never learn to fly if not allowed to fight their way out of their cocoon.  We need the struggle.  The steep learning curve should draw us into a deeper understanding of spiritual realities.  But American Christianity knows little of fight, of standing against or for much of anything.  Christianity here is easy, and that is what makes it hard.

In a society where we don't have to wait for anything, how do I encourage in my spirit the patience to wait upon the Lord?  Long gone are the days where communication meant writing a letter and waiting weeks or months before you would think that maybe it got to where it was going.  It took more weeks and months before you would even look for a response.

We can have it all.  Sometimes we try.  In the end we end up with not much of anything.  We lose interest when you can't harvest peaches from the tree you planted that year.  There is much too much waiting involved.

Yet there are other portions of life that will not be rushed.  Babies walk when they walk, talk when they talk.  Pregnancy cannot be rushed.  Gardens cannot be rushed.  Spiritual development cannot be rushed. It is a process, it takes time and happens gradually.

We need to learn in the school of waiting, especially now.  We need to know what it is to be dependent upon God and not lean so much upon the grocery store.  We need to learn to be patient.

Perhaps if we grow another garden next year we will learn a bit more about patiently waiting on the Lord.  We are leaving our garden in a few short days.  Next year, or perhaps in a few short weeks if we get some land we will start again.  The learning curve will still be steep, I am sure.  Yet, I am beginning to think it necessary.  For ease is not conducive to growth.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

When the Seed Dies

Without the death there is no growth.

The seeds must be buried.  They must go into the ground and die.  Somewhere in the death process is the hope of life.

And yet there are times when the seed is buried, and nothing comes up.  It is buried, it dies and nothing. Hope dies out.

We just planted some corn recently.  Most of it came up.  But there are these spaces, where nothing happened.  So we replanted.  There are still these spots.  Empty places.

Empty spaces.

Like the emptiness that sometimes fills my heart.

I pray into the empty spaces, hopeful.  Longing.

But it is a tentative longing.  I find myself wanting to hope, but afraid that I will plant one more seed of hope and find it also dies out, snuffed out by the heat, the dry-ness, the weeds will choke it out, or the bugs get to it, before it even has a chance to get established.

How does one pray for God's will?  Do you find that when you reach out toward praying for His will that you must battle your will?  When you fight your will, pushing it down, trying to get your will to give in to the realization that He gives what is best, does it fight back?

In the end I must trust Him with the seeds.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Musings Part 3 and the Garden

So I began this disclosure by stating I was struggling with my conceptions.  I continued it by stating that I stumbled upon the idea, yet again, that God is a person.  You see, I was trying to measure my way to closeness to God.  Asking myself intellectual questions, like what does the mature Christian look like? how will I know if I am one (After all, I only know about knowing that I am not.  LOL!)?  It was here among the mess I was making that I realized that relationships don't get measured that way.

I cannot tell you the last time I asked myself how will I know if Mark and I are close to each other.  How will I know if we love each other?  Why?  Because that is not how relationships are developed.  There is no checklist.

So among all my silly, disorganized thoughts I stumbled upon one coherent idea.  It was this idea that in the garden, before the fall, man could just be with God, like with a friend.  You know the type I am talking about, the friend who you can sit with in silence and just enjoy the pleasure of their presence.  There is no striving.  There is no measuring yourself against others, wondering if you are the favorite.  There is no wondering if you might be rejected.  There is no reaching or grasping toward the unknown there is just the pleasure of being.

In the garden, I am sure there were times of questions, of learning, of joy and searching.  Yet, when God came to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day, I am sure there was that easy comfortable just being.  The basking in the joy of being with one you love.  The joy of being fully known, fully accepted and fully loved.

Before the fear came in.

The truth is that God still rejoices over us.  He still fully knows us.  He still fully loves us.  If we will but accept His amazing gift we can know what it is to be His.

I am learning the tentative steps of faith.  I am learning, slowly to trust the goodness of His heart.  I am learning to make my way to the foot of that tree that demonstrates God's goodness and His love.

"What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great “I Am”;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on."
~Alexander Mean 

God is urging us forward on this journey, back to the place of no fear.