Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Juicy Tidbits

Some news is just too juicy to keep to yourself.  Like a grade-school girl with a secret, almost before the news has time to settle in your own mind, you're imagining how fun it will be to tell someone else.  Know that feeling??  I've got it right now....

God's Word was juicy today.  My devotions need to go public.  It was so good I had a hard time forcing myself to finish and hear everything God wanted to say to me before I jumped up to tell you!  I need to share God's amazing-ness before the awe wears off! 

I hope you're familiar with the concept of a mental train because I'm gonna take you for a ride on mine!  I apologize in advance for the jerks and jolts along the way and warn you that when you're on my train, in my brain you need to be ready for unanticipated jumps of the tracks and flights of fancy, so buckle up!

If you've been watching my blog for long, or spending time with me in person during the last year, you've probably heard me talking about the way I'm using my journal with my Bible during my devotions.  I  journal a snapshot of the worries or joys in my heart on my way to the section of John I'm reading in my Bible.  (Yes, I'm STILL in John a year later!  The book is just so rich I'm crawling like a turtle through it!)  Journaling first helps my heart see, in bold black and white, that the compassions of the Lord are new every morning!  His Word is alive and powerful and He sets a fresh table full of His compassions every morning, just for me!  His Word has the ability to meet my specific needs even when I'm just methodically studying through a book and not hunting for my own answers.  God did it again today, let me show you!!

Here's this morning's journal entry:  "My head's racing with what I want to do, I've got a Martha sized list - instead I want to follow Mary's lead about who I want to be instead of what I want to do today.  I want to be the girl who sits at Jesus feet and listens to His Spirit speak.  I want to love my family by serving them.  So speak to me Jesus, move me and let my day and weekend be what you want it to be..."  I continued by listing things for each of my children that I would like God to do something about, ways I think they needed encouragement.

Then, I headed to my Bible.  On my way to John 10, I remembered that Scott had emailed me a link to a verse about a week ago that I had never checked out.  Apparently God wanted me to see it then, because not only did He remind me of it but He put the reference right there in my head!  So I detoured to Lamentations 2:19.  Here's what I found....

Arise, cry out in the night,
   as the watches of the night begin;
pour out your heart like water
   in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him
   for the lives of your children,
who faint from hunger
   at every street corner.

Do you see that?  Do you see God answering the thoughts of my heart with His Word??  Couple thoughts came immediately to my mind. 

1.  There had been a glaring omission in my journal list about my children - I only mentioned 6.  This paper pregnancy hasn't done a strong enough job of opening a couple new folders marked "Ethiopian Baby A" and "Ethiopian Baby B" in my brain yet.  I went back to my journal and added this:  "God, also fill the bellies of my little people in Ethiopia today.  Meet their needs for food & water and for soft hands and tender words.  Use someone to love them today."

2.  I realized I had worried aloud to God about my children in my journal, but I hadn't prayed, really.  And I certainly hadn't lifted up my hands to Him for the lives of my children.  I did that, and let me tell you, lifting my hands along with my heart for the lives of my children......!!  I can't even write about it without getting choked up.  Doing this, was doing something for my children that no one else can do.  Momma-prayer is so much better than Momma-worry.

3.  I am a skeptic sometimes and wonder if I'm twisting things to make them seem to be what they're really not.  Was I doing this by going to find my own Bible passage instead of sticking to the place in John I'm at?  So I didn't stop with the detour, even though it had been rich!  I ended the detour and got back to John 10.

John 10 has been teaching me about how Jesus tenderly cares for me as a good shepherd does for His sheep.  Verse 10 compares His care to the efforts of a thief.  As the thief is coming to steal, kill and destroy my life, my good shepherd is chasing me to protect my life....and not just life, but life to the full.  Fullness and satisfaction have been a recurring theme of growth in my life.  Jesus is my biggest satisfaction, the reason my life is full....but I'm frustratingly slow at living like it at times.  So, the chain reference in the side of my handy-dandy Thompson Chain Reference Bible that read "Satisfaction" caught my attention.

These chains are another reason my study of John has only taken me through only 10 chapters in the course of a year.  I want to understand and have these words and stories I'm reading penetrate my heart.  I've read John a whole lotta times since I first memorized John 3:16 as a child.  It's hard to hear the familiar words as fresh words from God.  Instead they sing through my mind like a beloved fairy tale if I don't wrestle with them and stare at them long and hard.  So, I follow a lot of the chains listed in the side of the passages in John. I take a topic from the verse that snags my soul and let the chain link me to other spots in the Word that speak of the same thing.  It's like picking up a pretty shell, brushing the sand off and holding it up to the sun while you turn it this way and that.

The pages rustled as I turned from page to page and I found my heart being bolstered with thoughts finding satisfaction by seeing the Lord's face as I awake.  I longed for God's river of delights and the abundance His house has to offer.  I was in awe of the benefits of salvation and the way God's work in my life drives out fear and lets me drink great gulps of joy from that well.  When I really sit still and look Him full in the face, God Himself brings me so much more satisfaction and full life than anything else I've ever found.  I'm so in awe of Him, and that He chooses me.

And then, here's where it gets good friends, I came to Isaiah 44:3-5.  Now, before I let you read it, I want you to get the whole experience, so click on the link below and you'll be hearing part of my morning's playlist, the exact song that "happened" to be playing as I read...pajama pants and a lukewarm cup of tea are optional!





3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
   and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
   and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
   like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5 Some will say, ‘I belong to the LORD’;
   others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
   and will take the name Israel.


Please just sit still and let your heart soak this up.  God Himself will reach down with a jug full of the living water of Himself and pour it on your thirsty parts, He will soften up your dry ground with the lush-ness of streams.  Do you feel the refreshment?  And if you don't break out in sobs at this next part, you're not a Momma!  God will pour out, not sprinkle or offer, but pour out His Spirit and blessing on my offspring!  My little babies, that I want so much for, will spring up like beautiful grass that grows unattended in a meadow.  They will be as strong as poplar trees growing in a place of nourishment and right-ness.  I will get to hear some of my beloved babies declare out loud that they are the Lord's.  Others of my sweet children will make a name for themselves that make it obvious that God has chosen them for greatness.  And still others will live a life in which God prevails.

Oh, and did you hear that?  Did you hear the lyrics of the song playing?  "....for here my soul is satisfied, within your presence...."  Coincidence?  I think not!

God brought satisfaction to my soul this morning, and to the journaled needs of my heart through His Word.  He reminded me that He is the source.  My satisfaction is utterly, totally, irrevocably dependant on my connection with Him.  And He did it through His living, active, powerful Word that is sharper than any two-edged sword.
In His sweetness, He also brings my life fullness and satisfaction through the way He works in my children's lives.  Oh, I know He doesn't promise lives free from pain, consequences and detours - for love to be love there has to be a choice.  I know that from the garden of Eden.  But He promises to be at work, to be doing things in my kids' hearts, to be acting on their behalf to draw their hearts, even the little ones, to Himself. He does it in spite of me and for my benefit. That's enough to bring me satisfaction and peace. 

How can He do this for me day after day and yet there are still days that I'm too busy with my Martha list to have a Mary moment?  God's Word, God's heart....aren't they amazing??!!  Writing this certainly wasn't on my list of things that needed to be done today!  But I'm so glad I did it.  I'm so glad I sat at Jesus feet today instead of running off on my own!  It was satisfying to share my plate of goodness with you today!  Can't wait to see what juicy tidbits He's already cooking up to set on the table for me tomorrow!

2 comments:

  1. Neighbor StephanieOctober 12, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Thanks, friend. Tears are streaming right now. I needed to read this today. Thanks for taking the time...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing it with me! The sweetness doubles when you can enjoy it with someone else!

    ReplyDelete

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