A Salvation Story. Do I come out of the rain?

God holds the Umbrella that I come out of the rain.

Why the struggle? Why the delay?

God holds the Umbrella. He cares about me.

Did I forget? Or did I simply leave?

Do I find contentment in lies that bring strife? Am I choosing to destroy my very own life?

Can I make the choice to step out of the comforts of despair?

Or do I keep my head down on the puddles, believing lies of being victim. Staying, pitifully there.

He bids me with thunder and lightning to fear and to look. In the Light, through the flash,

I see the hand of His Son.

It’s reached out towards me.

Then I see His face.

His eyes, . . .

are grace.

He calls my name. I hear the words,”Come.” 

Directly in my heart, I feel Him look.

Burning.

Revelation comes, Truth is alive.

He waits.

Immediately, there’s strength that wasn’t there.  Hope to lay down the shame. To cast off the pain.

God is offering me to come out of the rain.

Again, He calls my name.

Do I receive Him and take hold of His hand?

Why is it so hard? Why would I choose to stay out in the cold? To reject the dance. To stay wet in distress?

In an instant I choose.

I lift my eyes to meet His.

In an instant my garments are made new. Gloriously cleansed. I take hold of His hands. With all of my being, I know at last, I have found Love. He loved me first.

He desires me.

The rain is still falling, but I don’t even care. Because Love has captured all of my being. Love has called me. He has lifted me up.

I turn to kiss His cheek. He smiles.

He is pleased.

Everything new, everything possible, we dance, and we dance under the grand Umbrella. The canopy of protection, with a symphony of grace.  As it rains,  Love and I look face to face.

With a long-lost song that returns in my heart, I will sing as I dance, and make day of the night.

It’s gotta be more than ‘Sunday-school answers’…

The Sunday school-teacher prays in the back before the colorful, playful children come in, “Oh Lord, help me make it real, the truth about You, so it’s more than fancy dress and what we do on this day, and later a family meal.”

“Yes, Jesus Loves me, the Bible tells me so…”

“I know all the stories!” the 6 year old proclaimed as she skipped in the room with ‘cute as a bug’ delight! “Yes, we know all the answers, we’ve got this one down. Jesus died on the cross and today He couldn’t be found. The tomb was empty, we know the whole thing- so what are we doing today during Sunday School – sing?”

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…”

“I think I have a story or two, you might not know,” the teacher shared to the class, praying that the Lord would send His Holy Spirit,  and FAST!” “Without Me you can do nothing,” was the teacher’s very next thought, “Lord, that’s so true, so don’t leave me hanging, empower me now with a supernatural kind,  “Hosanna, Hosanna! Save NOW, my dear Lord, I pray these kids SEE and HEAR, that they see and hear from their hearts – not just their minds!

“Jesus was in agony on that tree, on that cross. Did you know that others scoffed at Him then, even then in His pain?” “Oh yes, we know that,” but their faces looked lost. “Did you know it was yelled,’Save Yourself now,You saved others in the past, Can’t You do it again? Aren’t You the Son of God, at last?'”

“Why didn’t Jesus save Himself from the cross? Why didn’t He call down the angels from heaven, the whole heavenly host? Why didn’t He stop this whole dreadful thing? Why did He suffer such pain and such loss?”Why did Jesus stay nailed and pierced that horrible day?” Children, can you tell me, “What held Jesus there, can any of you say?”

“It was our sin!” “It was our sin,” they answered again. “It was our sin,” they all thought in their minds, that’s the answer. It’s a ‘Sunday School answer’, it’s quick and it’s right, but it was lacking 17 inches, 17 inches of insight…

“Children why did Jesus stay hanging on that cross on that day?” “It was our sin.” “Yes, our sin,” ALL the children said.

“Jesus could have called down a whole heavenly host to save Him, but He didn’t, He didn’t! Children,” (the teacher stopped to catch a breath and some Help), “Jesus stayed on that horrible cross on that day because…of His love. His love, that is all. He stayed nailed to that cross on that day for only one reason, because Jesus loves you and He loves me too, not just today, but throughout every season.

There was silence for a mere moment. The children didn’t know. It’s as if they’d never heard it, never heard it before. 17 inches from their mind, straight to their hearts…”It was His love that held Him there. It was for me, He didn’t part.

Jesus loves me this I know…“,but can we really ‘know?’ We just just can’t understand it.  Our sin didn’t keep Him on the cross on that day … Time went slowly, the agony and pain, were endured because Jesus was thinking our names.

He didn’t save Himself, even though He could. He chose to suffer, so we would never be alone.“Jesus loves me, He who died. Heaven’s gate to open wide. He will wash away  my sin, let His little child come in…”

It’s gotta be more than the dress and the show. It’s gotta be more than ‘Sunday School answers’ you know. If they could just hear His heart… “If they could only understand it all, Father.” “My Son, My Son, We witness them growing. They SEE, they HEAR, and they will one day KNOW, and they will be like a seed, planted by flowing waters, We will watch them, as the years come, as the years go… yes, they will  grow.”

“Father, they are so beautiful, so beautiful to Me. I love each one, each and every child. Right now they have all the right answers, but oh, how I long, how I long for their hearts. Do You think they can see Me in that seed that they planted, in that little pot of soil? Bless all teacher’s toil!  They didn’t know that the seed had to die, but that’s what I did, so that they could have life!

“Jesus take this heart of mine, Make it pure and wholly Thine; Thou has bled and died for me, I will hense-forth live for Thee.”

“Yes, Father, as I’m the seed placed in the good soil. I came to die, but that’s not the end of the story! The seed then explodes with life and great beauty. I in them, and they in Me – the planting, the death yes, has to occur, but the promise of beauty and life is secure – forever, forever, forever-more!”

Jesus loves me! He will stay, close beside me all the way… It’s true, even if it takes years to ‘get it!’  ‘Jesus will stay’ and never give up, never, never a day! Because He showed us His love by staying on that cross. He died, but He shook up the earth in the process, and life everlasting is now the believer’s promise!

It’s gotta be more than a ‘Sunday-school answer’, it’s gotta be a Seed of love pressed in the soft soil! But oh when that happens, there is Joy evermore in the Father, the Son, and the Spirit and more – the angels rejoice and the earth quakes and the flower springs up with beauty and grace!

“Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible tells me so!”

“IF a flower could talk to a package of seeds…”

“What do you mean, I must die before my expiration date?” asked the seed tucked carefully in it’s package.

“Well, that’s only if you don’t want to remain alone and undisturbed forever.” answered the flower. “But, you are actually a ‘promise’ a promise of beauty. If you want to live, you must die, and it all has to happen before that expiration date as I said. After that, it is too late.”

“That’s ‘poppy-cock!’ answered the poppy seed. “I just don’t believe it. Please, be quiet. You are really disturbing me!”

“Well, since you mentioned it, ‘poppies’ I mean, clearly you can see that we are both ‘poppies.’ You are a poppy and I am a poppy. But, can you see any difference in me and you? Any at all?” asked the flower to the seed.

“Hey, I’ll get there, there are many ways to flower you know. I have a plan!” answered the seed.

“O.K. I hear you. But ‘when’, … I mean, ‘if’ your plan is unsuccessful, will you just listen once, to this idea?” asked the flower.

“If it means you will leave me alone, I will listen this once. Go on and talk all about that morbid stuff and ‘dying’ and all.” The seed responded, dully.

“It’s quite simple. If you ‘deny yourself’ your own way and simply ‘fall into the ground’, you will die. Yes, but that’s not the end! That’s just the beginning, the beginning of all the Promise. But if you simply remain in that package that seams to make so much sense to you, you will always be wondering, “What is my purpose?” “Why am I even here?” But in your ‘tiny bit of nothing’ is so, so, so much more- more than meets the eye right now. But you must first, fall into the ground and die.” explained the flower.

“Ho,hum.” yawned the seed.

“But then, something amazing begins to happen,” continued the flower,”after the death of you, that is- but before that expiration date scheduled on the package – you become alive. Yes, in the darkness AND the dirt – you become alive! I’m telling you, it’s true! It’s not ‘poppy-cock’ its life for the poppy! Don’t ask me a lot of scientific questions, because I’m not a scientist, I’m a Testimony! I’m telling you, that if you die, you will rise again. Everything in that ‘deadness’ springs to Life and reaches forth into the Light and absorbs the Living Water and becomes Beauty.”

“I will consider what you said. I’m not really in a hurry now. I think I have some time…” answered the seed. Only to fall asleep and miss that planting season. Only to be forever…alone.

Jesus is speaking: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me…As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love…If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.” John 15:4,9, 7.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” John 12:24.

“I’m not a scientist, I’m just a Testimony!”

perhaps I play a 1 stringed guitar

A little poem, and a hymn, and one message – again:

“Speak to yourselves, children young and old. Speak to yourselves in the hymns that are told. Over ages and ages, time after time, God’s word implores us to speak and hear truth, so through the trials of life, God Himself clears our minds. Through clouds and rain, His presence restores strength.  The dark clouds will come, but the Holy Spirit comforts and directs our fearful steps. In the name of Jesus, a forward march we make. His name is power and precious and salvation the same.”

Call unto Him. Call on Jesus by name. Discover yourself His Nature, His frame. He is gracious, and compassionate. He suffers long.

He waits for each of us, to again, sing His Song. He loves. Not like man. He loves unconditionally, in any state that we’re in.

Tired and grumpy, even messed up in sin.  He loves us completely. He waits for us to turn our face towards Him.

Remedy in a hymnal read out loud. Even though the melody may not be present, the words speak truth’s sound:

“I heard the voice of Jesus Say,

  1. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
    “Come unto Me and rest;
    Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
    Thy head upon My breast.”
    I came to Jesus as I was,
    Weary and worn and sad;
    I found in Him a resting place,
    And He has made me glad.
  2. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
    “Behold, I freely give
    The living water; thirsty one,
    Stoop down, and drink, and live.”
    I came to Jesus, and I drank
    Of that life-giving stream;
    My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
    And now I live in Him.
  3. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
    “I am this dark world’s Light;
    Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
    And all thy day be bright.”
    I looked to Jesus, and I found
    In Him my Star, my Sun;
    And in that light of life I’ll walk,
    Till trav’ling days are done.
  4. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
    “My Father’s house above
    Has many mansions; I’ve a place
    Prepared for you in love.”
    I trust in Jesus—in that house,
    According to His word,
    Redeemed by grace, my soul shall live
    Forever with the Lord.

His work is complete. He waits to offer His forgiveness, His grace. He’s paid our debt on the cross.  The Story is the same, yesterday, today, forever. Year after year, we have opportunity to come to Him. Jesus is calling, even our very name, to draw near.