Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Comfort


Psalm 23
King James Version

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Anyone who knows about David knows that when he wrote this Psalm, he knew what he was talking about. Most of us can identify with him in one form or fashion at some point in our life.  Whether it is his failures, his sense of injustice or his joy in the presence of the Almighty God.

Sounds a lot like me, in fact.  I have failed in more ways than I'd like to think about.  I've definitely felt like life has been unfair at times.  But, oh, how I have also felt the comfort that can only be felt in the presence of that very same God that David rejoiced in.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Healing Touch

Matthew 14:35-36
English Standard Version (ESV)

35 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick 36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment.  And as many as touched it were made well.

My heart goes out to those around me who are in a physical and/or emotional need of healing.  When you know someone is hurting, saying, "I'm praying for you" just doesn't seem like enough.  And whether someone is healed or not healed, sometimes seems like a mystery.

I read this scripture passage and I felt like a little bit of the mystery involved opened up to me.  If we could travel to a particular place and touch a particular thing or person and be healed, wouldn't we?  Yes, we all would.  We would pay whatever the cost is and go.  The people in this story did just that and they received their healing...just by touching the hem of His clothes.  I don't imagine that it was a calm line that formed or there was a number to take...when they heard that Jesus was nearby, what I imagine is a mad dash...or crawl...to reach out and touch Him.

I'm sure by now, some of you know where I'm going.  I believe we still need to reach out and touch to receive our healing.  And just like we can imagine the crowd around Him - the distractions and doubts of life - it may be that we have to scramble and crawl and push our way to His feet.

If you are reading this and you need your healing, of any kind...don't give up. Scramble, push, crawl your way past the distractions until you touch Him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Namesake

Luke 8:1-3
New Life Version (NLV)

After this Jesus went to all the cities and towns preaching and telling the Good News about the holy nation of God. The twelve followers were with Him. 2 Some women who had been healed of demons and diseases were with Him. Mary Magdalene, who had had seven demons put out of her, was one of them. 3 Joanna, the wife of Chuza who was one of Herod’s helpers, was another one. Susanna and many others also cared for Jesus by using what they had.

Who wouldn't want to find their name in the Bible?  Not only is mine in there, but it's only in there once. Well, for some reason the other day, I decided to just glance at it again.  I read that last phrase and it jumped out at me.  Some, who know me, know that I have never been completely comfortable in the some of the roles I have found myself fulfilling.  I'm kind of the type to likes to blend in with the crowd.  I don't like public speaking, I don't like being the center of attention, in fact, I'm rather shy and reserved.  All of that sort of explains my feelings of angst when it comes to some of the roles I fulfill.  There have even been times, and still are some times, when I have raised an eyebrow at God, as in - what, exactly, are You thinking?

I've looked around me and seen examples of what/who I thought I should be like...and that just makes me feel like I am playing dress-up.  So, for reasons of His own, I have continued to fulfill certain roles and functions in my life. Comfortable or not.  I have already come to this conclusion, of course, but as I read this scripture, I saw exactly what He has been teaching me all this time.  I may not do it like someone else, or like I think someone should do it, but that isn't what He wants.  If He has assigned me a certain task, then all He is asking is that I use what I have and who I am to fulfill that task.  

Each of us are different.  Differently personalities, different strengths, different quirks, different struggles.  Not only does the Word say not to compare ourselves to other people, it really is a completely pointless thing to do.  I think we are all safe in assuming that God made us different because that's the way He wanted us.  And just like the Susanna in the book of Luke, we should serve Him by using what we have, what He gave us.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Momentary Flare


Psalm 62:1

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

I must calm down and turn to God; only he can rescue me.

Sometimes there are days, even weeks of chaos in one's life.  Sometimes it just a momentary flare.  I find myself having those moments every now and then.  Usually because I let myself dwell on things that I cannot change - whether it be circumstances or what someone else thinks.  

Forgiveness is a pathway to freedom, no doubt.  And as I have let Him, God has shown me that path.  But can I just be honest right now and say that while the choice to forgive frees one from unnecessary bondage, it doesn't always take away the hurt and disappointment that one may have.  It doesn't make you forget the people you once loved and counted on, that helped make your life complete.  It doesn't give back innocence or that face-value trust that one might have had.  

I know that I am not the only one who has those "momentary flares".  We all rub shoulders with those who either maliciously or ignorantly have caused us to feel hurt, loss, disappointment.  Most of us go ahead and put the smile on (thankfully!) and forge ahead...life does go on!  

But on that forgiveness pathway I know there is also the healing and rescue if we turn towards it. I think a deep breath is in order. Calm - God - Rescue.