Rest that Endures

1-shutterstock_113875279

“Come out of sadness, from wherever you’ve been, come brokenhearted let rescue begin. Come find your mercy, Oh sinner, come kneel. Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal. So lay down your burdens, lay down your shame, all who are broken lift up your face. Oh, wanderer come home, you’re not too far, so lay down your hurt, lay down your heart, come as you are. There’s hope for the hopeless and all those who’ve strayed. Come sit at his table, come taste of His grace. There’s rest for the weary, rest that endures. Earth has no sorry that Heaven can’t cure. So come as you are. Fall in His arms. There’s joy for the morning, oh sinner, be still. Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.”

(David Crowder)

1-shutterstock_250745014

Today I’m resting in the presence of God. Trusting that He is who He says He is. Remembering, that even when life is hard and painful I serve a God that desires to bind  my broken-heart and mend my wounds. My Savior beckons me when I am “weary and  heavy burdened, to come to Him and find rest.” (Matthew 11:28) My Sweet, Sweet Lord, who promises me “my tears may last for the night, but rejoicing will come in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) He shows me that in the midst of danger and distress, He will quite my mind and show me His faithfulness. I do not have to bow down under the source of my sorrow because “He is the lifter of my head,” (Psalm 3:3) ready and willing to restore my dignity and honor for His glory. He summons me to come home and to be still, as he “prepares a table for me, in the wilderness. He invites me to sit and taste of His great goodness and love.” (Psalm 34:8) I come, just as I am, into His presence, wrapped in His arms, without any fear or dread of what tomorrow holds. “Yes, my soul finds rest in my God; my hope comes from Him.” (Psalm 62:5)

Goliath

I love the story of David, the little shepherd boy who defeated Goliath. There were these big men, trained soldiers, who went out to face Goliath and couldn’t derail him. But yet, when David, who was just a child, went to battle against the giant he slayed him using only a sling and five little stones.

1-shutterstock_144599825

When the soldiers confronted Goliath, they saw Goliath. Their discussion centered around Goliath. He was their fear, their focus. When David went out to face Goliath he talked about God. Not Goliath, but God. God was His Focus. Does he see Goliath? Of course! You can’t not see him. But he doesn’t key in on him. He lifts his eyes to the only One who can thwart the giant.

If, for just one second, David removed His eyes from the Victor and saw the enemy, he would have been consumed by His fears. He would have noticed that he was just a little boy facing a massive monster. His cry would not have been a battle cry but a cry to retreat. David left his eyes trained on the Champion who could win the war. David was “God-focused, not giant-focused.”

Our enemy would like nothing else than to see us get up each morning, only to fall under the fear of our giants. Our Goliath may not come to us in “flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12) but he waves swords of defeat, shame, guilt, depression. He walks “through your office, your bedroom, your classroom. He brings bills you can’t pay, grades you can’t make, people you can’t please, whiskey you can’t resist, pornography you can’t refuse, a career you can’t escape, a past you can’t shake, and a future you can’t face.” (Max Lucado) Goliath wants to be the first thing we think about in the morning and the last thing we worry about in the evening. But I’m not willing to give in to that. I want to see God more. I want to start my day with God, not with Goliath. I want to end my day with God, not with the giant.

1-shutterstock_174579497

My Goliath may come and go or he might not ever be removed. But I know, I have a choice. I can either buckle under the intimidation of Goliath or I can look past the giant, focus on the God of angel armies, and wait in thankful anticipation knowing that the “battle belongs to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 17:47)

(Inspired by 1st Samuel 17 and the Book, Facing Your Giants, by Max Lucado)

The Sunflower

Every day God is so good to give us reminders of who He is and who we are as His children. I’m learning that if I’m actively looking for Him, He is there! Always ready to reveal Himself. This afternoon when I was driving Leah and Rachael home from school we drove past two giant sunflowers. They were absolutely beautiful. To my surprise, Leah, didn’t share my same point of view and voiced her opinion about the sunflower. She told me she thought they were ugly. “What!?”  I said, “Leah, do you know why I think the sunflower is so cool?” Without getting too scientific, (re-calling what I learned as a little girl, and not what I can find on the internet about “solar-tracking” and the misconception of sunflowers), I told her how the sunflower follows the sun.

As soon as the morning breaks, the sunflower is basking in the warmth of the sun. Throughout the day it moves with the sun. From sunrise to sunset, it is always facing the sun. It doesn’t leave the sun’s presence. What happens to the flower if it doesn’t follow the sun? It won’t thrive. It will start to fall over, slump, droop. If the flower is deprived from the sun, its beauty will start to fade. Without the sun there is no flourishing flower.

sunflowers

And it took just a moment, for God to whisper to me, “This is how I want you to live.” Whether it’s myth or legend, the sunflower reminds me of the perfect example, the exact visual of what God desires His children to do with His Son. We are to be Son followers. In the morning hours we should wake with the Son. We should Seek His presence and soak up His rays. From sunrise to sunset, our “eyes should be fixed on the Author and Perfecter” of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) In the warmth of the Son we will find great pleasure and satisfaction. “Planted in the House of the Lord, we will flourish.” (Psalm 92:13)

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the LIGHT of His glory and Grace.”

Finally Home

At around midnight on June 1st, 2013 my Aunt took her last breath and flew away to Heaven.

“Just think of stepping on shore – And finding it Heaven!

Of touching a hand – And finding it God’s!

Of breathing new air- And finding it celestial!

Of waking up in glory- And finding it Home!”

It’s hard to find the words to express what it feels like to sit with someone who is dying. During the days of May 25th-June 2nd my Aunt’s family tried to have someone with Aunt Marge around the clock. We all took turns spending time with her, sitting with her, just being with her.

It was an odd feeling. We were not sitting with her helping her fight for her life. We were not holding her hand and hoping that she would recover and go on living. We didn’t have the hope that she would get better.  Instead, we were sitting by her bedside knowing that the end was drawing near.  How do we sit by the side of a loved one that has no hope to get better. No hope to pull through. No hope to improve. No Hope for this life. But Hope. HOPE. Miraculous Hope. Hope in Salvation. Hope in Eternity. Hope in a new Home. Hope in a new life. Hope in Jesus Christ.  Hope that “one day in His courts is better than thousand’s elsewhere” (Psalm 84:10). Hope that “precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of one of his saints”(Psalm 116:15). Hope that “He prepares a place for us and when it is ready He will call us home,”  (John 14) And although we mourned this last week and will mourn in the weeks to come, we mourn with hope!

Underlined in Aunt Marge's Bible

Underlined in Aunt Marge’s Bible

When I think back to the last several days with Aunt Marge and wonder how her husband, her daughter, her sister, and brother-in-law, her nieces and nephews were able to endure her approaching death, I will remember that it was because of our hope and faith in Jesus Christ and eternity. When we took our turns to be with Marge, she was unable to communicate, so we simply held her hand, told her we loved her, prayed for her, cried for her, read scripture to her, played hymns for her.  We sat in the presence of our Savior, her Savior. Sometimes, we wondered why He wasn’t calling her home when, to us, it looked obvious that she needed to go. Doctors and nurses would tell us what they thought, maybe days, maybe hours, 72 hours, 48 hours, maybe weeks. And we would wonder. And we would tell her “to go home.” But then,  we would realize no one knows! Only God. And her life is in His hands, and only when each and every detail is in place and her job on earth is done He would take her home. And while her job on earth ended last night and God called her home, her testimony, her hope, her faith, her love for Jesus Christ will go on. Her legacy of faith will continue to reach generation after generation.

This week, I had the privilege of seeing a living example of 1 Corinthians 13:13, “now faith, hope, and love remain – these three things.”  Our faith in Jesus, our hope in eternity, and our love in Jesus Christ and for our family. These things remain.

Underlined in Aunt Marge's Bible

Underlined in Aunt Marge’s Bible – Her Favorite Verse