Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Father God

Father God, I say, You will have to show me who You are because even though I'm trying I don't know You, I can't see You.

I see a giant rainbow with red hot color sparks flying out as God's hand strikes it in the sky and hear THIS IS FOR YOU.

I see a million different animal species and enjoy their beautiful uniqueness and stand on a mountain road and overlook a vast display of trees and hills and hear THIS IS FOR YOU.

I see myself scooped (a naked baby) out of a cast-off mud puddle and robed clean and adopted


I see my heart held firmly in the grip of a strong and tender hand through every beating life has rendered me


I see my Savior Jesus crawl across the ground on His hands and knees in the dirt with his skin torn and scabby and blood dripping and I feel His heart in humility and obedience expand to take all of the sickliness and abuse imaginable to me


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Heaven Roars

I'm sitting in my quiet house on Tuesday morning. Everything seems normal, as if today is just another day. We see so little with our eyes. I can say this because it is true--and I own it for myself. There is a whole other realm carrying on while we sleep. Only when we beseech God does the door open. Only when we really want the answers does the deep knowledge start to come. What we have to understand about God is that He knows whether or not we really want the answers. He is not like Santa Clause. Maybe we could fool Him into thinking we have always been good, but God is not so easily fooled. He interprets us even beyond the point we can decipher ourselves.
I am in an unavoidable battle I become weary of because I do not see. I choose blindness to the heavenly armies awaiting my intercession, callousness to the peace and calm of God's glassy waters, indifference to His mighty Holy Spirit. Yet He is always moving. His power quakes around me more tremendously than the movement of any earthly shift. It is a wonder there is even a Kingdom He calls His own. I think perhaps He does that for my sake more than His. The universe and beyond is His home, but that is a bit too big for me. Since He wants me as His friend and lover, He understands and lays His life down for me (and you too of course). He knows how much it means to us to belong as part of a family and home, so He promises to make this special place for us.
Now here is the catch: if I want to come home to this amazing inheritance, I must also adopt the sorrows of Christ and embrace the sacrifices of His battle. A young bride is intertwined as her husband goes off to war and she is faced with the dilemma of love moving is really no catch at all since I am already in the battle whether I like it or not. Blind as a bat or conscious and alert I am marching. "Which way?" is the question to be asked.
People are looking for a limitless show of power and protection. Even those in this world who have never confessed Christ as Lord know someone's gotta help us--and quick! This longing for a larger-than-life mutant being to emerge from the ground, sky, shadows, blatant. Just go to the movies. What is our obsession with superheroes, really? Not that I don't thoroughly enjoy Spiderman's antics; does anyone know where His power comes from? And don't say a spider bit him. That is the apparent answer. No spider I know on earth could have that effect on a man. Who cares where this hero comes from, right? As long as he comes. I am really at that point, we are really at that point. (The point where we'd take power on any terms) I agree. I am, we are, desperate. Do we know who we are worshiping? Do we know where limitless power and protection truly comes from? We should beware counterfeits. One power will protect us, and one will surely betray us.
So I decide: I am in this battle. I want to rub the sleep out of my eyes. I don't wish to grope around with my vision blurred as though any pair of Wal-Mart specs will suffice. I need my prescription. And those of us who wear glasses and contacts know, only one prescription will do. Only one Power will never lead us to slaughter. Only One will always protect us, even to the point of laying down His life. Jesus would die before seeing our ruin.
I am not wise. I see dimly. I need help to see what is true. I need vision in the haze of this life. To find the goodness of God and bank my whole life on Him. Listen, look. Can you see and hear the heavenlies today? They roar. God's army marches out for love. Which way are we going? We can be certain, we are going one way or another, whether we like it or not. But God's great gift to us: we decide our direction. As we traverse this war-torn pathway, may we direct ourselves to shelter beneath only Him.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Leper in Me

When I read about the leper in Matthew 8 I wept. I'm not completely sure why I had this response but it's true that often when the Holy Spirit speaks a profound truth, the center of my heart gets clipped to make room for more of God; simultaneously I experience relief and hope with pain.
The leper's desperation touched me. He came up to Jesus and prostrated Himself, worshiping. I think, "How gutsy is that?" I don't imagine that until we have authentically known life-consuming desperation we have a chance at relating to what the leper was feeling in that moment with Jesus. This poor man confessed that through and through he was a leper with no hope for any part of his life without a move of compassion from God's heart. He was literally decaying. He confessed his need so adamantly even his physical body had to express his heart's pleading and he laid down in front of Jesus on the ground.
The reasons I struggle against intimate closeness with Jesus are many. One reason I can see in part today (thank God!): my heart still remains unsure that Jesus is willing to heal me, or even able for that matter. I say, "God forgive me" and He does.
This leper is quickly becoming one of my heroes because he says to Jesus, "Lord, if you are willing, You are able to cleanse me by completely (italics mine) curing me."
Then the precious, perfect Man-God we call Jesus reaches out His hand and touches the leper and says, "I AM WILLING; BE CLEANSED by being cured."
In the middle of recession, He is willing. In the middle of a thousand physical ailments that seem to press upon us relentlessly, He is able. Enveloping our cold, dead hearts He is our preservation against decay. There is still time, there is still hope. Will we throw the desperate leper inside us on the ground in front of our Savior? Can we offer up our last mustard seed to God, determining to call Him willing and able? I can and today, by the grace of God, I will.