Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wrong Perceptions

How many times have we had the wrong perception of the circumstances surrounding us? How often do we swallow the lie that it’s all about us? In the midst of loss, pain and tribulation, what do we believe about God? Do you believe that there is no hope and God must be against you? Do we forget all the blessings that are and have been poured out all around us? Do we forget who He is? Do we forget who He is to us?

Yes loss and tribulations are hard; it hurts when we have losses. Grieving is good and it must be done, but we shouldn’t become dead in the land of the living. We can’t grow bitter and angry. We must not sulk and have pity parties. Why the LORD gives and takes away is beyond what my mind can wrap around. This I do know God NEVER takes away for our harm or defeat. There is more to this season of pain, loss or tribulation than we may know even if we can’t see it. If the enemy can keep us in the pit of despair we’ll never experience the good God wants to bring out of our losses; He does want to bring good out of our losses. He does and He will if we cooperate. We must get our eyes off of ourselves.

Looking at two Biblical figures will show how wrong our perspectives can be. Job and Naomi both thought that God was against them. Yet in Naomi’s life God is up to something huge! He’s up to opening the way for the Gentiles to know His salvation. He’s up to providing the way for man to be reconciled to Almighty God. This is world changing and life transforming stuff. It’s all about the LORD”S Christ. She thought that God was against her when in fact He was very much for her and had a great future and hope not only for her but for all of us.

Then there was Job. He too began to believe that life as he had known it was all but over. He thought that God was against him as well when in fact God was using him as an example for faith God Himself had chosen Job to show Satan that our faith can be steadfast in the midst of tribulations. Job’s faith in His Redeemer that he knew he would see face to face is a beacon of strength for us. Job showed us that we are to love our God not because of what He gives or can give but because He is God.

What are your circumstances at this very moment? Are you feeling like God is against you? Are you feeling hopeless and without a future? I have encouragement for you today. Those feelings are all based on a lie! Don’t allow the enemy to lead you to defeat and steal your joy. The Lord is never against His children. He always works towards our best interest. He is our Father; therefore He never operates apart from His Fatherly love for us. Remember you are apart of something that is bigger than yourself. Cooperate with the flow of His hand and witness amazing things unfold.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Home Sick

Have you ever been there? Away from your home, enjoying the time you are away, yet an inner yearning to be home. Here I am in this very strange place. I was not made for this place. It is a place that beckons me to be one with it. This place constantly reminds me of who I was and seduces me to believe I am home when I am not. No matter how many say, "You have a home here," my heart cries out, "It can't be so!"

Have you ever been in a crowed place and found yourself lonely? Have you ever had that strange feeling that something wasn't right but for the life of you couldn't figure out what it was? What about a time when everything was absolutely all in its place and good only to find your heart aching and you don't know why? My answer to all the above is a loud, "Yes!"

Since I met God and Jon I have lived in several different cities other than my hometown of Dallas, TX. Some were: Virginia Beach, VA; Wilmington, DE; Wake Forest, Roxboro & Greensboro, NC; Nigeria, Africa; Johnstown, PA; El Paso, TX and now in Kannapolis, NC. Places that I loved. Each place had its own unique qualities that captivated me over and over again. I thank God for each of these special places. El Paso had the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. I was told that the sunrises were just as pretty; I told them that I would take their word for it. Nigeria had the most awesome display of lightning. Johnstown had glorious snow and the mountains would blaze with the brilliant reds, oranges and yellows. Wilmington had rolling hills and great museums. North Carolina has back roads & miles of trees. Now in Kannapolis God has blessed me (for now) a great table at a wonderful window that has a birdfeeder and tree right outside the window. I have seen Blue Jays, Blue Birds, Cardinals, Woodpeckers, Pigeons, Owl, Hawks, Wrens and others. Again, each of these places has great beauty and blessings not to mention the memories made at each place. Each has brought beautiful friendships. Yet, I never felt like I was home. You may be thinking that I never felt at home because my home is Dallas and that is where all your family is. I do get homesick for my family but never for Dallas. After being away for so long it feels less and less like it once did, home.

So what does my heart ache for and why? I was not created for this place. As the Psalmist cried out in Psalm 84:2 (NKJV) My soul longs, yes, even faints, For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. I long for the day when I will see Him face to face. I dream of the wedding feast when I will be standing by His side as His glorious Bride. I know that when I'm feeling out of place that it's because He is reminding me I was made for Him and another place. I believe that those strange feelings are His whisper that He longs for me to be with Him as well. You see God is the one that placed that longing in me to begin with. Look at Eccles. 3:11b (NKJV) He has put eternity in their hearts. Does God long for us? John 14:2-3 (NKJV) In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

I mentioned earlier that I do get homesick for my family. I truly love my Mom, Dad, Sisters, Brother-in-love and nephews. I do have the privilege of calling and even emailing them from time to time. Yet we all know it isn't quite the same thrill as seeing them face to face and embracing them. This is true for us here this side of heaven as well. We have the great privilege of talking to Him and reading His love letter and responding with our own devotion. Still I can only imagine as good as my time with Him is this side of glory what it will be like to wrap my arms around His big beautiful neck and kiss His glorious hands and feet. I can't imagine the thrill it will be to take His big hand into mine and we take our first of many walks trough the field of daisies. I yearn to get out my lengthy list of questions as "God and woman at table set down." Even so Lord Jesus come now; I am all Yours!