Monday, June 11, 2018

The Jump

Sometimes in my relationship with God, I have felt like an outside observer to my own life, watching God move and work in ways that I can only describe as “all Him.”

I’ve been astonished, time and time again, at how God can use a somewhat socially-awkward misfit and textbook introvert in His plans. I have been a guest speaker … more than once. To those who know me well, this should raise a huge, “WHAT?” To which I would answer, “I KNOW!” Who would believe it? Certainly not me. Not about me. But when I consider God, His incredible power, His joy in using the people He loves in unbelievable ways, and honestly His sense of humor, then it is not surprising at all.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Yoke

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

As I was reading this passage in Matthew, I was struck by the incredible contrast between the first and second sentences. In the first, Jesus is offering an invitation. He invites all who are weary, all who are tired of the evil in the world, jaded by the lack of empathy, shattered by the mass killings of children by children, overburdened, dissatisfied—done. To these people, Jesus issues a summons and a promise: “Come to me … and I will give you rest.”

Monday, April 30, 2018

Fear Not

I have had a problem with fear most of my life.

Oh sometimes I can be fierce. Sometimes I’m the first to jump off the high dive. Or chase my little brother’s bullies down the street.

But other times the fears of life seem overpowering, lurking in every shadow, causing me to question every decision, every move, until I am afraid to make a choice, or move a step—even a tiny millimeter—forward.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Child of God

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was a child. I understood the meaning of sin in a simple way: the things we did that hurt people and hurt God. And I certainly knew I had already committed enough of them to separate me from a Holy God.

My Sunday school teacher explained that God loved us, but our sins separated us from Him and there was nothing we could do to restore that relationship. I was horrified, and it was one of the bleakest moments of my young life. I felt the separation and it was terrifying. Then the teacher delivered the good news, the best news:  

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Back to Normal

After a string of stressful events, I long for life to return to normal—for me to return to normal. We all have our ways of dealing with stress, coping mechanisms that kick into gear while we try to balance it all until everything calms back down. I can usually roll with the first couple of punches that life throws, but after the third, fourth, fifth, or more, I start looking for a bed to crawl under. If there is no bed to be found, no relief from the onslaught, then I get a little cranky. Maybe not just “a little.”

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Why

 Great is the Lord and mighty in power;
His understanding has no limit.
Psalm 147:5

I loved soda. Loved to drink it, loved the bubbles, the flavor, and the bite. I drank it every day, sometimes for breakfast. My mother hated soda and hated that I drank it. Over the years I did attempt to quit, but my resolve didn’t last long. The headaches would start, then the cravings. And I missed it. I just really liked drinking soda.

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Well

“It Is Well with My Soul” is one of my favorite hymns. I love the traditional version and the new praise song remakes. The words speak to my heart: “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know: It is well, it is well, with my soul” (Horatio Spafford).

When sorrows as big as sea billows have rolled into my life, it has brought tremendous peace to know that my soul has not been abandoned to the waves, but is held safe by larger hands.

Yet, during a recent stretch of hard life circumstances, coming from many different fronts and threatening several of my loved ones, my soul did not feel well … it felt crushed. And when listening to this favorite hymn, the words that used to encourage instead seemed to mock.

It was not well with my soul.