Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thought #1: Waiting, will Hope in God

Anytime I am given a few extra days off my brain goes into hyper thinking/processing mode. I've stored up all these experiences and deep thoughts and now I must go through them one by one.

Given two 6 hour long car rides and my brain is all excited and processing. I was thankful for a number of days off from school.

Thankful for the time to rest. To dwell in the House of the Lord. To feel his nearness again.

 Here's what I've heard:


I talked with a friend a few weeks ago about marriage and its beautiful reflection of the Lord. It's the covenant. Jesus and the church all in love and stuff. Each part of our lives offers that reflection though. Where in waiting is the Gospel?

What a strange thought, but yes, I see.
The waiting has been seen over and over. Since Adam and Even, through Abraham, past Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, they've waited for the Christ. He came. He promised to come back. We wait again. I feel that pain in waiting, as birth pains. We are living in an unreconciled world. I feel the hope in waiting, that what is promised is true.

And a promise is only beautiful from the waiting.

Fast food is ugly. You order it and it comes and you eat it and feel weird afterwards. But if you haven't eaten in days (or did the 30 hour famine in high school), you wait and sit down for a meal, smell the aroma, even get offered a beverage, and then the meal comes and it's SO good. Yeah waiting is beautiful, and tasty.

Last post I talked about a few prayers, buried in the Lord. My hope deeply set. I wait. Prayers still unanswered but I have the promise. I recently listened to a sermon surrounding the text of 1 Peter 3.
John Piper spoke about Women as if planted trees.  http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/the-beautiful-faith-of-fearless-submission
Since the Lord keeps illuminating this illustration, I'm going to keep following it.

A tree in the summer months grows its fruit, leaves soak in the sun and create sugar. As fall comes, the leaves fall not taking in the water from the roots any longer. They fall to the ground and the tree stores all its energy in its roots. It grows its root deep during this winter season. Every tree has an anchor root, the big mama!

This anchor root for a woman, as Piper described, is: Hope in God.
 And it is beautiful.

 From Hope in God, Women form great strength. They are able to persevere in the face of suffering. They are able to laugh at the days to come without worry. They lead their husbands and children by their beautiful hope in God.

  Back to winter, waiting 
Growing deep, bring energy down 
 Anchor into Him: hope

 What a blessing when the Lord brings purpose in the midst of a season. It's not always to be expected, but a blessing it has been to see this waiting as glorious. This waiting is my Hoping in God.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hope, buried

I sense you winterizing many things in life, God. Some relationships put to rest, some forever, an ending of a season, the change that seems so cold. All this hope, these prayers, are deeply buried in you, My Lord.
A few months ago, just as the wind turned cold and neighbors began their fall yard work, I buried some bulbs. Tulips-with the delightful store name of “Springtime hope.” How perfect.
The recent changes in my life have left my soul a bit tattered and torn. Quite a few questions for the Lord. And a different kind of loneliness than I’ve experienced before. Simply put, pain.
God lead me to pray.
In a different way, to plant some hope in Him. I dug deep holes, the recommended 8 inches. Lifting out the dark dirt, placing the small bulb in the ground just right. Lord, I give these prayers to you. These people and their needs are yours. Setting the dirt on top, pressing hard.
I wished for immediate response.
For the bulb to see its potential and sprout before my eyes.
I wished these people that I love so dear, that their prayer would be answered.
I know God can do it.
But he chooses to have me wait.
Raising Lazarus wasn’t hard, but Christ waited.
Instead, I watered them and reluctantly walked back inside my house.

What happened next surprised me. I had a very hard time leaving those bulbs alone. I checked on them multiple times a day, like a mother checking to see if her babies breathe escaped as he slept. I was concerned.
A squirrel came a few days later and dug up a bulb, leaving a torn hole.
I wept. I’m not joking. I was so upset that my prayer had been stolen by a rodent! I will not tell you what the prayer was exactly.

God started reminding me of something. Prayer is digging hope in God, and putting it to rest in him. It’s not like a kite, let loose in the air and still bound to you. My prayer is left alone in God, not mine any longer. He chooses how it should grow, if it should be taken by a squirrel, or the care it needs in these winter months.

Now that the snow has fallen, my hope buried down deep under the cold mound, I wait. Trusting the Lord for his goodness, his wisdom, and his faithfulness.

Monday, November 21, 2011

21 Days

21 days
I recently learned that any habit can be learned or refuted in 21 days. Setting its course in your brain, this new habit becomes a natural part of your routine. Or on the other hand, as it is commonly taught in addiction support groups: remaining free from a substance for 21 days is a beginning step to releasing yourself from addiction. In both scenarios, there is a dependence needed on the power of Christ, to work in us and to will us according to his good purpose.

If you could have any new habit, what would it be?
This question sailed my thoughts for a few weeks. First anchoring on: to do yoga each morning, to write prose everyday, to memorize scripture, to pray diligently for others, even to write down the gifts the Lord has given each day.
The deeper pieces of my heart had something else to share: to finally commit my thoughts to God, to pursue Him wildly, to be unscattered in my diligence to read the Word, to forgive them finally, to remain faithful. Faithful.
There is that word again.
What a great and terrifying word. Great in its conquering of me, the Lord took me into the wilderness and spoke tenderly to me. He remained faithful, even when I didn’t. I swooned at his faithfulness, when brokenness returned. I came to be his, His greatness consumed me. And terrified me: for I am unfaithful. And pursuing to be like Christ is the hardest task donning my soul. I pray I remember I cannot die to flesh and walk in the Spirit by my own will, but out of the power of Christ in me.

But, what are the habits I wish to break?
21 days of abstaining from: grumbling and not giving thanks, Pride of Time, Pride of Relationships, staying away from dairy (I had to throw in a strange one right? But diary makes me feel weird inside but it’s really hard to avoid adding a dollop of cream in my coffee some mornings.)

“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

The commitment time comes.
Ah! But to hear the call, speak of it, and refuse the action is to live foolishly.

My new habit to work diligently on for 21 days: to pray earnestly for my family
My habit to renounce: give up grumbling