Starting over

 

There is a time for “starting over.”

Even when a house is torn down, the foundation is left to build upon.

The foundation old and solid, the building all new. Gloriously new.

The past is the seasoned instruction manual. Not for dwelling deep, but for gleaning wisdom in the forward motions of hope and joy.

Starting over. With revelation of the preciousness of each breath.

I will write for my kids. Because the Lord told me so. Just as He said to Jeremiah so many years ago, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. Jeremiah 30:2.

I frame words already written, tucked away under black leather covers. I bring out to light words in the old song books that are living through the ages of time.

I’m starting over, yet in reality, I’m continuing ahead.

So, I will write with each new day, what the Lord has shown me in His book. I will leave it at that and pray that God draws you near to Him with each moment of each day.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on Jeremiah 30:1-11 writes what I believe God wants to show me, and you, and all the children who take the time in God’s word and take note of what’s been heard:

Matthew Henry Commentary

30:1-11 Jeremiah is to write what God had spoken to him. The very words are such as the Holy Ghost teaches. These are the words God ordered to be written; and promises written by his order, are truly his word. He must write a description of the trouble the people were now in, and were likely to be in. A happy end should be put to these calamities . . .”

How glorious are the old words written! Does this not make our appetites yearn to taste and see the promises within?  Matthew Henry continues in his writings on Jeremiah 30, which encourage us today in the trials we endure:

“Though the afflictions of the church may last long, they shall not last always. The Jews shall be restored again. They shall obey, or hearken to the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of David, their King. The deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, is pointed out in the prophecy, but the restoration and happy state of Israel and Judah, when converted to Christ their King, are foretold; also the miseries of the nations before the coming of Christ. All men must honour the Son as they honour the Father, and come into the service and worship of God by him. Our gracious Lord pardons the sins of the believer, and breaks off the yoke of sin and Satan, that he may serve God without fear, in righteousness and true holiness before him all the remainder of his days, as the redeemed subject of Christ our King.”Jeremiah 30:2 Commentaries

This is it. This is why I write. I write for myself and perhaps someone else will benefit and grow in discovering treasured words under dusty covers.

I’m starting over, but I’m really just persevering on.

May we be faithful to take time to hear His voice. May we be faithful to talk to Him, to wrestle with Him. To seek Him evermore. Start over we will, with each new day.  Let us live the life He has for us.

God’s given us breath. Let us take the next breath He has given and read aloud God’s inspired wisdom:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-17.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.[b]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

Read these words aloud. They are living: This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life. (Psalm 119:50, Amplified).

 

Fact, not feelings: “As thy day, thy strength shall be”

Feelings aren’t facts. But they are very real.

Feelings can whirl with tornado-type style. They make havoc of the present moments and solid things even fly wild.

Based on facts of circumstances and realities in this life, our hearts become ripped up in the midst of overwhelming feelings.

But all the while, one thing remains, though we can’t feel Him,

Jesus Christ stays.

We leave.

We mis-perceive.

But He’s present. God doesn’t change.

“Afflicted soul, to Jesus dear, Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear; His faithful word declares to thee That, “as thy day, thy strength shall be.” 

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  (Poem found in CH Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible, p.142, based on Deuteronomy 22:35).

“Why should I continue to read,”some will say in the midst of the storm, “Why do you state that Jesus is God? Why does Jesus have to be in the mix? I can do fine with just God in all this.”

Others will say, “I need a lot more than Jesus right now. Get out! I really don’t want to hear you right now!”

The fact remains, God stays the same. Whether we believe or not – Jesus loves, period. You are precious, period. Yesterday this was true. Today this fact stands. Forever, He is God.

God is love.

Can we come close to understand?

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. Words breathed from God in the Old Testament persuading, but not only that, these living words provide peace that’s alive. Living bread for a hungry soul.

Comfort true. Comfort whole.

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  

“Your bars shall be iron and bronze, and as your days, so shall your strength be.” These are verses from the Living Word. When the Book is open to Deuteronomy. Chapter 33:25, and by chance one will open the dull looking Book, only to discover precious breath within each word.

For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.“Deuteronomy 32:47.

As thy day, thy strength shall be . . .”  Will you believe?

Abide in Me.

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,

 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom;

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-6.

Who was it that came down and rebuked the winds and the sea became sound?

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him! (Matthew 8:23-27).

“Afflicted soul, to Jesus dear, Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear; His faithful word declares to thee That, “as thy day, thy strength shall be.” 

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  

 

I’m Changed, Daily

“The garment [expressive] of praise instead of a disheartened spirit.” Isaiah 61:3, Amplified.

Changes are necessary.

A change of clothes is a natural occurrence, for everyone, hopefully, at least once a day.

We begin clean and fresh but through the course of time, we can acquire smells.

My fragrance changes from healthy to pale when words arise in my ears and eyes. In a moments time a report can bring down great amounts of torrential rains.  Be it news, an assignment, the correction, the debt owed.  The diagnosis, the prognosis, the dropped ball, the “no show.

How sudden everything bright can be enveloped by sighs.

How quickly anxiety and fretfulness wrap around like a weed and there’s no clarity of thought – only thoughts reckless and headstrong. Yielding no peace.

I’m guilty of fear, which brings on regret. I speak unkind words that I can’t retract.

Escape I must, so I run to a place, . . .

of hiding and silence and God’s quietness. He waits for me and makes me lie down on pastures of green, so familiar in sound.

And God speaks to my soul: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (1). For the “spirit of heaviness,” let Me change your clothing and help you put on a  “garment of praise.” (2).

Lord, I cry, in my weariness, I’m weak. I have no strength. I can’t find a thankful thought. Trouble has clouded my eyes. There’s pain of blood dripping from my heart, and the only language I seem to speak, brings confusion to the ones closest to me.

“Don’t try to figure it all out. Don’t worry about all the “stuff.” That’s an unknown future that you can trust Me with, you know. Let Me take this garment of heaviness from your mind and your heart. Let me remind you that each past failure, has been a teacher bringing about great growth. Let Me help you put a robe of “thankfulness” on. Let Me remind you of good things with amplified reports.

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” (3)

“Read aloud My word, Amplified, in whom, the Son that I did send opened the Book and read aloud in the hearing of man:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me
To bring good news to the humble and afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted,
To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives
And freedom to prisoners,
 
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance and retribution of our God,
To comfort all who mourn,
 
To grant to those who mourn in Zion the following:
To give them a turban instead of dust [on their heads, a sign of mourning],
The oil of joy instead of mourning,

The garment [expressive] of praise instead of a disheartened spirit.
So they will be called the trees of righteousness [strong and magnificent, distinguished for integrity, justice, and right standing with God],
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Remember Me. Let me lift your heavy heart. Sing a hymn, I will change your garments to Praise.”

The garment of Doxology will be my starting point. Thank you God, that You know my name.

 “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. (The Doxology).

(1) Romans 12:2.

(2) Isaiah 61:3.

(3) Hebrews 12:12.

 

 

 

The prayer in the hymn. The answer within: “Just from Jesus, simply taking …

Deep inside, tired. Deep within, weary. Like a wilted plant longing for reviving water. We hold out our hands, and our spirits seek God. In our weakness of faith, we cry out to Him.

And He hears our silent voices. He sees our seeking hearts. He breathes upon our frame mysterious peace though nothing changes.

Personally, as for me, deep inside my heart, I write what the Living God, through His glorious Spirit does, as I long for so much, time and time again. My morning prayer is written – from an age old hymn.

Not the first part, nor the middle – but the last thought becomes my prayer: “… O for grace to trust Thee more … O for grace to trust You more.” Silent words repeated over and again, but with wholehearted meaning and truthfulness: “O for grace, to trust You more.”

The next thing I know is a resurrection takes place. My eyes lift up and my whole countenance has change. “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.” This is the Spirit of God speaking: “Trust Me.”

“Trust, … Me.

I know the old words. What a treasure store. The Spirit brings them to my mind to answer and restore:“Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.”

Simply take from Jesus: life and rest, and joy and peace?

Then the realization is brought to mind, in my weariness, I’m not taking from Jesus – anything. Like stagnant waters with no movement and sound. But to my rescue at my soundless call, the Spirit woos me to remember His Song.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

The next thing I know, my heart responds. Being reminded of my Love who is mine, evermore. And the song, though silent, stirs in my heart and revives me and prays the words I longed for:

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Then those words, almost hidden, they are. Words that could be so easily missed – become highlighted to me and repeated again …

“Just from Jesus simply taking, life and rest. Joy and peace.” 

“Take from Me. Take from Me.” I feel my Jesus answer.

“I offer life. I offer rest. I offer joy and peace.”

What do we say, to the old hymn’s reminder? What is our response this day, this hour?

Let’s respond with the old words that are written, and be renewed in the spirit of our minds once again. Let us rejoice in the Lord, always – no matter the mess we’re in.

Let us sing, even aloud with our voices today,

“Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You. How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! Oh, for grace to trust You more!”

“O for grace to trust You more.”

So, today I will go, knowing I will fail Him often. Especially in my trust in Him along the way. But there will be a day, when He calls me to meet Him, and I will finally be able to truthfully say:

“I’m so glad I learned to trust Him, Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend”

but today, I will believe with all my heart the hymn:

“And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end.”

Let us sing with rejoicing and be ignited with praise:

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood
And in simple faith to plunge me
‘Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

 

Where is love?

Here is love: The Man was taken. Condemned. The people’s cry, “Crucify!” Wrists tied.

The hands that fed. The hands that healed, served, and prayed. The hands that lifted as His Word proclaimed, and “it was so.” As the story goes.

From long ago. And the song is sung, “Jesus loves me this I know.”

Do I know? Do I consider? Do we even think of the rejection, the pain? And yet, He was w-i-l-l-i-n-g?

If we become confused, and forget where to find love. We must stop looking outward, we must “set our eyes above.”

A purple robe, a crown of thorns. The mocking, the laughing. It all could be heard. Stripped, then whipped. And this was only the beginning …

I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

 “For the Lord God will help Me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced;
Therefore I have set My face like a flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.”  The prophet Isaiah proclaims in chapter 50. Who is the Me? Can you and I see?  “Jesus loves me.” Do I even come close to knowing?

Obedience to His Father who sent Him to die, on the cross that the Lamb of God might make complete sacrifice, for you and I. Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. (1)

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah the prophet in chapter 53:6. 

The Scriptures proclaim. The Good Word speaks. How could we want to put the Truth out on the street? If God was waiting for me to get it right, He would still be waiting, because I fail every time.

We love Him because He first … loved us. (2)

” ... He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” These are the words the prophet reveals. (3)

God loves the sinner. The guilty. The lost.

We don’t.  Naturally, we don’t (period.)We love “justice.” The human race doesn’t love the “unloveable.” But God does.

God is just. And God is also grace. How can we even think to turn our back to His face? Do we really love God? What is love anyway?

God demonstrates: He laid down His life for all of the human race. Whoever turns from the world’s disgrace, to look and seek for the Savior’s face will find forgiveness poured out. Guilt departs. Peace floods the broken heart. A new day dawns.

There is rest on green lawns. The sound of bird’s singing can be heard once again. Fluffy clouds in the sky abound in joy to our eye. “Today” is all that matters in this moment of time.

He’ll take the sin, the ugliness.  And He gives – His love and His righteousness. We do one thing, turn and trust. He does it all, that we might know …

Love.

Lo! glad I come; and thou, blest Lamb, Shalt take me to thee, as I am: Nothing but sin have I to give; Nothing but love shall I receive.” C.H. Spurgeon.

(1) Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

(2) 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.”

(3) Isaiah 53:5, “But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”

 

Not just a Teacher

Not just a Teacher with impossible commands, “Be holy, be blameless, let love rule your heart. Trust Me with your life, take hold of My hand.” So much of His Word, we simply don’t understand.

Impossible with man, His commands prove to be. For example, “Love  – your – enemy.” But Jesus is more than a Teacher – He is. He’s Redeemer. He takes from us weakness, and gives His power in return. He takes from us doubt and reason of thought, and gives us hope and faith beyond what we are.

He’s not a rule-book, or judge, yet He is both of these. But first and foremost, He’s Redeemer and puts His very nature in me. Who wants to hear, “Blessed be the poor in spirit,” ? Jesus’ words exactly.

So the book is closed, because it brings about a storm, in the heart of man as we walk out our paths. And, step by step, our feet  become worn, and in our own strength, we become defeated and torn.

But, His Book is the main event. His Book is the main Story. Not about man and how he messed it all up, but about Jesus who was given to bring life back from death, to restore man’s weak breath, to open blind eyes to see, and give to ‘the poor in spirit’ the power of God’s glory.

The Book, the Bible, God’s Holy Word is a love letter to His Bride, His Redemptive Story. There is no understanding at all for a man, until he’s poor in spirit, then God fills his heart and his mind to understand.

Then a complete change in the spirit so poor, filled with the love of God that just wasn’t there before. Power to overcome, to hope, to believe. Resurrection power, not once and for all, but step by step, by the Spirit within. The Spirit of God, beyond our comprehension.

He’s not just a Teacher. He’s the Son of God. He’s been sent to be Savior, Savior of the whole world.  And He died, but He rose – that we might receive, all that He is at work now, in me. The very nature of God empowers a surrendered heart, forgets all that’s lost and brings a new start.

The Holy Spirit Comforts and guides and helps us at best. He reminds us, Jesus is not just a Teacher – He is Peace, He is Love, He is Hope, He is Life, He is Bread, He is Shepherd, He is Patient, He is Kind, – the whole entire Book, the whole of the Story is about the Redeemer, that we might presently, and eternally – have rest.

______________

Matthew 5:

1One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes
3“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
6God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
7God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
9God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
10God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:1-10.
These are the words of Jesus. New Living Translation, simple, not sweet. But written for life’s transformation.

 

 

 

The Gift Giver

Freedom to choose. Freedom to love. These are given to man from God, our Creator above.

The Author of life, with an eye for design, gained pleasure with color and sound, shape, and line.

But His greatest joy, I believe I have learned, is when we choose to believe, receive and love Him back in return.

Then a song develops deep in our heart, and abiding in Him, strengthened by Him, joy returns with each day’s new start.

He’s a gift giver, our Father in heaven, reaches out His great hand. He sees, He knows, He is able … and He waits … ’till we reach out to Him.

If we don’t, we won’t see – that our Father in heaven sent Jesus to save us and the Holy Spirit of promise to keep, comfort, and help us.

The gift of God is gloriously expressed in heavenly sunsets, and sunrises. He is the Master Artist, the Author of life, and patient as He waits … for us to call Him beside us.

He’s the Creator of all that we see. He is Great. He is God. And we all have a choice. To live in the Spirit in fellowship with Him, or walk away from Him and follow the lead of our own voice.

Freedom to choose. God, the greatest gift giver.  Freedom to love. When we choose Jesus, we bring God complete pleasure.

Revelation 3:20, Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

John 1:12,  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

 

“Thy power … can change the leper’s spots …”

“Lord, now indeed I find, Thy pow’r, and Thine alone, Can change the leper’s spots And melt the heart of stone. Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” Elvina Hall, 1800’s hymn.

“Lord, …” means, ‘master,’ or, ‘captain of my ship. “Lord, now …’, means, this moment, the one I take orders from,’ or ‘the one I choose to obey.

“Lord, now indeed I find, …” brings me to a place where I’m searching for what You have to say.

“I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small; child of weakness watch and pray, find in Me, thine all in all.”

 Even before he, (God), made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, …

and it gave him great pleasure.” (1) The Bible is said to be true. Ask God to show you if these words are trustworthy. Ask God, Himself. He will answer you. 

“But, I’m full of fault, Lord! Now what do I do? I fail, everyday. I am far from being holy. Sin has left a crimson stain, tell me again, the Gospel Story.”

“Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own, …”(2) – don’t you remember, “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His … family.” (3) His desire is to bring us back home.

The Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to die for us. He paid the debt we couldn’t pay, He laid down His life in sacrifice. So “we stand before him covered in his love.” (4) We are perfect, we are washed, we have hope of heaven. We have peace in this life.

“For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim; I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son, …” (5), this is the Good News found in Ephesians 1.

 “He forgave our sins.  He has showered his kindness on us, … along with all wisdom and understanding …” God now reveals to us, all that regards Christ – all that’s mysterious!

God reveals, He will fulfill His own good plan. “And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth.” (6) He was, He is, He is coming again.

The Gospel Story is that He saves you. He saves me. We can’t save ourselves – we all desperately need help.  But we are surrounded by voices, we are deceived by lies. But God reminds and instructs each one of us: Look up. “I will guide you with My eyes.”(7)

” … when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised, …”(8) He has purchased us with His blood on the cross, this is how Jesus proves that He – lovesus.

“Lord, now indeed I find Thy pow’r, and Thine alone, Can change the leper’s spots, and melt the heart of stone. Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

We’ve been bought with a price. He knows our weakness. He knows our strife.  Yes, in receiving Christ, we become His Bride. “I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine. He browses among the lilies. (8) He is the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys” (9) I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. 

For now, for tomorrow, for all of time.

“And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete, I’ll lay my trophies down, All down at Jesus’ feet. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

He washed it white as snow. My past – I let it go. In the present, I choose to go:

“And now complete in Him, My robe, His righteousness, Close sheltered ‘neath His side,  – I am  – divinely – blest. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

  1. Ephesians 1:4, New Living Translation
  2. Ephesians 1:4, Living Translation
  3. Ephesians 1:4, Living Translation
  4. Ephesians 1:4, Living Translation.
  5. Ephesians 1:5, Living Translation.
  6. Ephesians 1:7, New Living Translation.
  7. Ephesians 1:10, New Living Translation.
  8. Psalm 32:8, New Living Translation.
  9. Song of Solomon 6:31.

 

brown paper wrapping with a scarlet chord

brown paper wrapping with a scarlet chord, amidst sparkling and glitter and silver and gold.

not chosen first. often chosen last – but when the gifts are all broken, all tired and worn, then on a lonely, cold night, the plain wrapping comes in sight.

Finally a curious glance at the scarlet red chord – and the question,”What’s it all for?”

To choose to pick up the package of brown, and loosen the scarlet chord tied around, feels uncomfortable, even painful in part. As if it’d be easier to simply quit, and not make a new start.

“I’m hungry. I’m in the dark. I don’t know which way to go. I need some guidance. I need a new life. I need breath -it’s time to grow.”

So, the choice is finally made, to take hold of the scarlet thread, and unloose the Gift that was given, of the Story that I’d only known, … in my head.

Great discovery was made – the boring package – magnificent – water and light and a sword for the fight. Gold and pure. Dispelling the lies.

God really cares. Even when I cared-less. When I refused to listen to His gentleness.

When I chose not to believe, and He wrote, “I believe in you.” With nail prints in His hands, He said, “I – believe – in you.” No matter what you do, I have paid your debt.  I Am truth.”

Now what? what do I do?

The package in brown, in Scarlet chord all around, is a mystery revealed in the pages of the Book.

Who wants to surrender against their own selfish will? “No one.” Is the answer. But He laid down His life on the cross. His is the example. Be still and know – He is God, and I am not. The Gift seems less, but it’s most. It’s not as I thought.

Jesus waits and watches: “Will they receive Me? Or will they not?”

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, …” Jeremiah 29:11-14.

I am the bread of life. John 6:35 and 48. I am the light, John 9 verse 5. 

I am the resurrection and the life, John 11: 25.

I am the good shepherd. John chapter 10. I am the door. John 10 verse 11.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7 verse 7.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.

Do you believe this?” John 11:25 and  26.

“Will you receive Me?” Can you hear Jesus asking?

 

 

May I share a hidden treasure of a hymn-“It came upon a Midnight Clear”

Christmas hymns can become familiar and sterile, yet when the waves of a storm are greatly brought on, there is a searching that comes,

as we look for a glimmer of hope, or the light of the dawn.

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, That glorious song of old, From angels bending near the earth To touch their harps of gold. “Peace on the earth good will to man, From heaven’s all gracious King!” The world in solemn stillness lay To hear the angels sing.”

The hymnal is opened, Edmund H. Sears work is displayed. “The world in solemn stillness lay? …” There is nothing in this world that is still, it seems, except for the broken in heart and children’s dreams.

But the flood has come, or we’ve been made to walk through the fire, but the hymn sings in our ears, the words of the angels: “Peace on the earth, good will to man, from heaven’s all gracious King!”

My eyes catch the words of the hymn-writer’s story, (thank you Robert J. Morgan for sharing, Then Sings My Soul, in this hymn book I was given.) Recorded are lost words not known, quite forgotten, (still sung with the same melody and rhythm:)

“Yet with the woes of sin and strife/ The world hath suffered long; Beneath the angel-strain have rolled/ Two thousand years of wrong; And man, at war with man, hears not/ The love song which they bring; 

O hush the noise, ye men of strife/ And hear the angels sing!”

I’ve been hushed. I’ve been striving against my Lord. Perhaps the brokenness has brought me life:  “O God, bring me to hear the angels sing. My vocal chords have been stilled for far too long. Dear Jesus, will you restore to me, Your song.”

And so, I read in my Christmas gift hymnal, a verse I’ve never in the past seen:

“For lo, the days are hastening on, By prophets bards foretold; With the ev-er circling years, comes round the age of gold. When peace shall o-ver all the earth, Its ancient splendors fling;

And the whole world give back the song Which now the angels sing.”

So perhaps, this ‘mid-night’ has been made clear, as my eyes caught the promise of the glorious King. God Almighty has restored to me sight, and brought back a song that was hidden in night.

I will sing of my King, and give back the song: “Peace on earth …” this earth that is me. This Christmas  has brought revival and song. Lord Jesus, my Savior, God with us, Immanuel – I bow my knee …

I bring my offering … to worship Thee, my glorious King.”

If you feel revival in heart is needed today, Admit your wrongs, Believe Jesus loves you, and Call out His name! He hears, He loves and forgives and restores. Jesus is here to give you life evermore.