Friday, February 19, 2016

How Good It Is

My mind is having a bit of trouble grasping that we are nearing the end of February.

Christmas was just 2 weeks ago, right? 

Actually the past few months have been most difficult.

I am not sure how I can look back and time has seemed to drag AND fly by at the same time.

Just over 2 weeks ago we said goodbye to Shep's daddy.

His life here on this earth is over.  My heart ached to watch my sweetheart lose the man that taught him how to be one.

For months we watched his health decline.

Yet we hoped he would turn a corner and improve.

We wanted him here with us.

I was honored to have several days that were well spent at the hospital.  I would drive up and keep my mother in law company.

Her place was beside her man.

She took vows long ago that declared she would be by his side in sickness and in health.

That she was.

Their love and loyalty to each other would leave me breathless on most visits.

I even tried to capture some sweet moments with my phone without infringing on the tenderness of them.

These two photos were taken as she sang over him.

I just sat there and took it all in.

Her beloved husband was slipping away from her.

In faith and surrender she sang about her Savior.

It was extraordinary.

It was one of love's finest moments.

We celebrated his life and home-going on Sunday, February 7th.

All three of his sons and his son in law spoke about Pop.  Each one painting an accurate picture of the man we loved.

That evening I found myself hating to leave the farm.

I despised death and I despised that it left my sweet mother in law without her love of 60 years.

The farm even felt, different, like it was mourning the loss of its long time friend and caretaker.

We lingered as long as possible.  We laughed.  We cried.  We remembered and told stories.

I hugged her tight and long and promised to check in with her the next day.

Monday came and we exchanged encouraging texts.

My heart was still so heavy for her loneliness and grief.

By Wednesday evening I noticed she had not responded to my text message from that day.

I would soon learn that my sweet mother in law was in the hospital battling a twisted bowel.  She was very very sick.
Since then she has endured 2 surgeries to remove dead tissue and remains in  the ICU.  Her body is not recovering like we want.

I have no idea what God is doing and I certainly don't understand the timing and the pain of it.

But He has and is tending to our hearts.

Pain and grief can do a good work in us.

It softens my heart and strengthens my resolve.  At least that is what I have found.

Only God could pull that off.

Each day in the past week has brought with it uncertainty.

For that alone I have relished in the certainty of my God.

I run to Him.

I hide in His arms.

I cry and weep and groan there.

And I sense His peace and comfort.

How Good It Is!

If you knew my mother in law she would be tickled to know end that I would be bragging on her Jesus this way.

Even with my heart longing for the sound of her voice...she would chide me to search to hear His.
Even with grief overwhelming my senses....she would tell me to think upon His goodness and grace.

I am not sure what pain you are enduring this day.

His comfort trumps any other.
His peace is this mysterious gift that engulfs you.
His mercy reaches past your anger...even at Him.

"But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do." Psalm 73:28

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Not How....But Who

Recently a new friend and I were exchanging texts.

She asked my opinion on a difficult subject.

In her zeal and hunger for the Lord, her mind wanted to somehow fathom how He can be who He is and how He can do what He does.

As I read her text I tried to think through a response that would prove WHO God is and HOW He holds all things together.

I am not sure that a response like that even exists.

No person can grasp the HOW of God.

How He creates something from nothing.
How death answers to Him.
How He can know every single person that has ever lived and those yet to live.
How He names the stars and still bends low to listen to my voice.
How suffering works a glorious purpose.
How a virgin can give birth.
How water can be turned to wine.
How sinners can be clothed with grace and made new.

These statements don't even begin to scratch the surface of our how questions.

The How's of God are endless.

We will wear ourselves out worrying over questions that are already handled.

The How of God isn't our concern.

He invites us, instead, to WHO He is.

This answer would seem to be simple and concise, yet it isn't.

The answer to the WHO of God is like a gift each morning...sitting there waiting to be unwrapped.

The recipient of that gift gets to be delighted and surprised by a God that dares to rock our worlds and meet us with the grace to ground our feet.

He is the answer to our deepest longing.
He is the mystery novel we cannot figure out AND we cannot put down.
He is the drink of water that seems to refill itself and quench our most parched places.
He can be seen in the written words of scriptures as well as the a sunset that won't let us look away.
He stands guard and never sleeps.
He will right every wrong.
He is light and no darkness dwells in Him at all.
He is intimate with our secrets and yet the vastness of the universe is under His feet.
He was faithful.
He is presently faithful.
He will always be faithful.

I have several obstacles staring me in the face that taunt me with their size and immovability.

Fear wonders how.
Faith believes who.

The choice is mine.

If you find yourself fretting....check your choice.

God invites us into His divine space.

The place where our yoke is easy and our burden is light.

Have you ever been under extreme anxiety, heartache or stress and wondered how our burden can be light?

Because our only responsibility is to know God.

And He desires to be known.


Knowing Jesus Christ gives us everything we need to face the unknown that lies ahead.

(Revelation 21:3 NIV) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.