on my way to unearthly things

“As Jesus was on His way, the crowds almost crushed Him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.”            Luke 8:42-43

 

He was on His way and I think of how often I am on my way. He stopped and I think of the times I haven’t.  And then I’m not reading anymore, I’m thinking and then I’m pacing because I don’t like these thoughts but He is the one bringing them up and you can’t stop Him. You just can’t. Like a dog on a bone, He is relentless.

It’s a small house and I quickly run out of rooms to go in and back out again. When there is no way out from under His gaze the pacing stops and I let Him teach my heart what it needs to learn. Because as much as I want to run (pace) away from seeing what is about to be exposed, I want to be like Him.

people-rushingLife as a Jesus follower can’t be lived on my way to something else.

 

He was on His way but He stopped for that one. That needy one who was looking to get something from Him. The beggar with her hand out to grab onto hope. Living like Him means stopping like Him. Stopping for the one in front of me. The one desperate for something I have.

But I’m always on my way. Work, class, errands and a life that can’t wait. Sometimes I’m just on my way to the couch because I’m tired from being on my way all day. And true to form I try to argue my point with God. Life is busy and my plate is so full and there are just some things, things that aren’t a couch,  that can’t wait while I stop. Important things.

Lesson:  Don’t sit down at the table with God no matter how good you can shuffle. He will always have the trump card.

“I was on My way to raise the dead.”  Game over.

 

I want to be like Him. I want to follow Him where ever He goes, because I just can’t live without Him. I want to run my race slow enough to stop when He stops for the one in front of me.  I want to see the needy, the hungry, the desperate ones that are on my way to somewhere else.

I sat down to spend time in His Word and I ended up with the thoughts on this page. Thoughts that I need to slow down, take notice. And then I laugh right here and now as I realize what God was really after. This one final thought that sinks in past my mind and into my heart.

I want to be on my way to raise the dead. 

womens_prayer-1I don’t want to be on my way to work anymore. I want to be on my way to speak life to someone at my workplace. I don’t want to be rushing to get to class, I want to be on my way to speak encouraging words to someone in that class who needs to hear them.

I can stop going to the grocery store to buy groceries and be on my way there to tell the weary woman in the check-out line that Jesus loves her and has strength for her.

And now I find myself not pacing but clinging once again to His feet making a mess with my tears. He always goes so deep when He encounters us, you know? He didn’t show up in my bible reading moments just to tell me to slow down and pay attention.

He showed up to teach me that while He was on this earth, He was always on His way to something unearthly. And to invite me to follow Him while I’m on my way.

 

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i have to stop drinking

Mr.rogers-300x295It was an off-handed comment, really. She and I were discussing God things, and “love your neighbor” came up. Without thinking I added “as yourself” and I saw a look pass across her face and I knew, so I said it. Looking into her eyes, I said “you have not loved yourself, have you?”. And we both began to cry.

Since then I can’t stop thinking about it, those words Jesus said… “love your neighbor as yourself“.

agapaō

“to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly”

Because what was true for the woman across from me, is true of me. Neither of us has loved ourselves well…I was just better at hiding it.

But we both live in a world that drinks down self-loathing that goes deep into hidden places.

So she and I are not alone but it is my story here on this page and I tell it in the hopes that we can all stop drinking what is killing us.

darkness-flees-from-light

Because God doesn’t let things hide forever, you know. He is light and those hidden things can run but, well, you know the rest. 

And when what is hidden is hit by light it can take our breath away…

 

If I loved my neighbor as I love myself, I would find their every flaw and never let them forget them. I would remind them of them every. single. day.

I would not be kind… to their bodies or their emotions.

I would call them names. Not truth names, but lie names. Instead of “beloved, chosen and forgiven”, I would call them “unworthy, messed up, and incapable of going one stinking day without stepping in sin.”

I would make them work harder and harder to try to get it right, and every day I would judge them for getting it wrong.

I would berate them for not being better. I would compare them to others, and they would always come up short. And sometimes I would wish they were someone else.

But light has shot into deep places and what was hidden in the  dark squirms in discomfort. 

can no longer be comfortable telling someone else they are worth loving if I cannot say it to me. 

line-in-the-sand11

And right there God draws His bottom line in my sand of self-hatred and unworthy thinking. And if I am to step across the line, I must be willing to speak truth to me before I can speak it to you.

I am worth loving, because God loves me and He does no unworthy thing.

He is good to me. He is kind to me. He is oh so merciful to me, and gives grace in abundance. He does not finger point, but lovingly corrects me.

He delights in me, sings over me and surrounds me with Himself.

I was forgiven, I am forgiven, I will be forgiven because the blood of Christ leaves a stain sin cannot wipe away.

I am called to imitate my gloriously good Father, and live a life of love and that means loving me, this daughter of the King. It means calling myself names that are true and not lies, treating me kindly both body and  soul, giving me grace when I fail, taking His correction and refusing my condemnation. It means looking past all that I am not and seeing ahead to all that He has destined me to be.

self hate

It means I have to stop drinking what is killing me.

 

 

 

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Saying ‘yes’ again…will you?

They said I should post a blog about it. I said “you’re right, I should!”, and so here I am. As with every post I write, I have no idea where to start or how it will turn out, and I want to cry. But I’m going to write it anyway.

IMG_20131024_214049On one of the first days of class at the Antioch Discipleship School, I looked around the room at the nations’ flags, and the world maps, and I began to dream. “I wonder where God will take me this year.” I knew we would go on an international mission trip at the end of our year. I scanned the maps…Africa? Asia? Europe? And then my eyes landed in the Middle East and I knew. I was surprised, because the Middle East has never been a place my heart has wanted to go, but in that nano second my eyes landed and my heart followed.

 

Months later I found out I would be going to the Middle East this June. Go figure.

And now the hard part. Because this blog post is part of my fundraising efforts. Oh please, don’t stop reading. Hear me out. This is not easy for me, asking for someone else to give so that I can go. It is humbling and hard and rejection is not my favorite thing. So at least wait until I’ve closed this thing down before you walk away.

I believe with all my heart that God is sending me to the Middle East. I also believe that He provides the money to go where He sends me. He always has. But He has yet to rain that money down through the imaginary hole in my ceiling like I wish He would. He always provides it through people. Sometimes the most unlikely of people. Maybe, just maybe, that’s you. Someone I know, or a stranger on the other side of my computer screen. Someone who has been reading my blogs for a long time, or someone who just stumbled in here.

I am an ordinary woman who is unwilling to stay seated. I am 53 and believing that the best is still to come and that God still has purpose and plans for me. I believe the same for you, whoever you are and however many years you’ve been on this earth. Somewhere inside of me I hear God calling me to keep going, keep dreaming, keep saying ‘yes’ to Him, and I love Him for that. If you are one who has sat down, I urge you to get up. Start dreaming with God. Let go of whatever it is you are holding, and say ‘Here I am God! Send me!”. There is work to do. God is building His Kingdom, one soul at a time, and He wants you to be involved in what He is doing!

So here I am, saying ‘yes’ to something that is beyond my ability to do on my own. I will go across the world, into a place that the rest of the world considers ‘unsafe’, to take His love and His gospel to people He loves and longs for. And I am asking you to say ‘yes’ with me.

“Yes, I will give. Yes, I will pray for you. Yes, I will help send you out to do what He is calling you to do.”

The amount isn’t the issue. The issue is your ‘yes’. IF you have read this far, and IF you feel He is calling you to give…then please, oh please, say ‘yes’. Not for my sake, but for yours. Because His blessing flows through our obedience. Because your ‘yes’ delights His heart. Because saying ‘yes’ to God never, ever leaves us with regret.

TO GIVE ONLINE GO HERE. IT’S SAFE. This link will take you to my church’s giving page set up specifically for the night school mission trip. Just click my name, KARLA WASION, in the drop down box.

TO GIVE BY MAIL…

Make check payable to ACC (Antioch Community Church). Send it to the following address:

Antioch Church
ATTN:  Karla Wasion
505 N. 20th St.
Waco, TX 76707
 
WAYS YOU CAN PRAY:
  • For the provision of the $3,200 needed to go.
  • For SAFETY, for me and my team.
  • For God’s purposes in sending us to be fulfilled.
  • For my husband. I will be gone for two weeks, and he will miss me!

If you have read this far, I want to thank you. To my faithful readers, and to anyone who stumbled on here…thank you for reading, for praying, and for saying ‘yes’ if you are one God is calling to give.

Karla

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i will not die in this place

desert-campingI had a vague sense of what God was calling me to this year, but it was just that. Vague. Wispy. Fragile.

But I knew He was calling. I could hear His voice. Ever have that? You know He’s speaking, but you can’t make out the words? Like the wind picks them up and carries them off before they can reach your heart.

Until you draw closer. Until you get up from your wilderness spot where you’ve set up camp and head toward the sound of the voice that makes the hunger in you start to gnaw.

Until you get close enough to realize He’s saying the last thing you expected to hear.

“So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” 

Third chapter of Hebrews hit me like a brick in the back of the head. Those people who seem so far removed from me wandered in their wilderness until they died because they did not believe God.

I had stopped believing (cue Journey song. In your head. All day. You’re welcome).

And from the book of Hebrews His voice rose to meet my weary hunger. “Wilderness wandering is not your destiny. It is not what I had for them, and it is not what I have for you. 

Do you believe Me?”

 

20140105_072642So I went to the place where my belief was safely tucked away. Fifteen or so journals filled with the cries of a heart that believed God.

20140105_072543

I read and remembered and cried because I don’t know what happened.

I read and remembered that my life is proof that God hears and God moves.

I read and remembered that all things are possible with God.

I read and remembered what I believe.

And I don’t know if I came out of the wilderness, or if He tired of calling me and came in after me. 

All I know is His voice is clear, His call for me this year is certain, no longer vague and wispy, lost in the hot wind of my wilderness.

This year, I will pray again with boldness and passion. I will ask Him for impossibles because I believe all things become possible in His hand.

I will pray for those I love who do not walk with Him to have knock down encounters with the living God. Encounters that leave no room for doubt that Jesus Christ is both Lord and Savior and that the danger to their soul does not pass with magic words but with knees that bow and necks that bend.

I will pray for marriages to be restored and not just restored but made brand new.

I will pray that depression and despair pack their bags and depart from the Beloved and that the door hits them firm on their way out.

I will pray for the broken to be healed, the chained to be set free and the lukewarm to be set on fire.

prodigal-son

I will pray for prodigals to come to their senses and come running home to a Father that is waiting to kiss their neck.

woman warrior

I will pray for power from on high to come upon the Bride of Christ and make her into the formidable foe to darkness that she is meant to be.

I will pray because I believe God moves and the spiritual realm shifts to attention when the people of God cry out from the faith He has given them.

I will not pray from a place of desperation or resignation. I will not utter words from my lips while my heart remains silent in unbelief.

I will not pray for what is possible for man, but for what is only possible for an all powerful God who sits on the throne of heaven with His feet on the footstool of earth.

This year, I will pray because I believe God.

This year, I will not die in the wilderness.

 

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drum beats and open doors

It began with Believing for Wonderful. Then there was a teaching in the discipleship school. We wrote on a name tag the negative word that  describes how we really tend to identify ourselves. My name tag was too small. I wrote Insecure because it was the least revealing  and I wasn’t ready for this class of 33 strangers to know that I could have covered my whole body in name tags.

doorwayAnd I hated that this door had been opened because I’ve marched to the rhythm of what is behind it and I don’t know another way to march.

 

 I want to slam that door but God opens doors that no man can close. 

 

And now my soul is open and my name tags have been exposed and I can feel the beat of the liar playing my song full of ‘you are’s…’ and ‘you are not’s…’. And I know I get to choose but choosing is hard when you’ve marched this long to one song. Even when you know the song is a lie.

And then this…

“So He replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” Luke 7:22

Tell John that I am changing identities.

Whatever I was I am not anymore and this is good and this is true but it is not enough to drown out the drum and stop my feet from marching to its lying beat.

It takes a small still voice to do that.

“You are concerned with the wrong identity.”

 

And I knew and I could feel the shift in my soul and who I am lost significance and the drum beat faded.

drumBecause I was not made to march to the rhythm of me and my and mine. 

Knowing who I am in Christ is important but it is pale.  I am chosen, loved, sanctified, justified, saved and set free, but this is not the I am that must set the rhythm for my life. 

I AM the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God—the one who is, and who was, and who is still to come—the All-Powerful!” (Revelation 1:8)

He opened a door in my soul marked “Identity” and I tried to kick it closed because as with most things, I thought it was about me.  Instead, I found freedom. And let me just tell you this…there is no freedom as sweet as the freedom of discovering all over again that it is not about me.

Is has always been and will always be all about the great I AM. The identity changer who never changes. The One who saw me, saved me and chose to make His dwelling in me.

Wherever I go. Whatever room I walk into. Wherever I speak.  No matter how hard the liar beats his drum, my heart will move to this rhythm…

“Christ in you, the hope of glory”.

(Colossians 1:27)

 

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what i’m learning at the fire hydrant

fire hydrantI had no idea what it would really be like, this year devoted to going deeper with God. They tried to warn me. They told me the discipleship training school would be like trying to drink from a gushing fire hydrant.  But, I’ve never tried to take a drink like that, so it was like trying to explain childbirth to a woman pregnant with her first child. All it really ends up doing is scaring the stuffing out of her, because childbirth has to be experienced, not explained.  This can also be applied to drinking from a fire hydrant.

But now I know.  The gushing water is overwhelming, and you miss a lot of what is pouring out. But what you are able to drink in is glorious. What you drink in brings the revelation that you were dying of thirst.  What you drink in makes you abandon trying to catch water in your hands and compels you to go in face first. Yeah…it’s that good.

I love words, but even I don’t have enough of them to try to explain all that God has been teaching me and doing in me.  On top of the training school, I just spent a week receiving training in the core values of my church; teachings I would have paid money to receive at a conference. Yeah…they were that good.

So, I will try to pour out drops of what is being poured into me. Drops, in the form of direct quotes from some of the teachings, along with my own quotes, written in flurries into my journal during the sessions.

 

“If we lower the bar so that we can live up to it, we miss the whole point, which is total dependence on God. God never lowers the bar.”

 

Instead of “what do I do?”…it needs to be “what do I believe?”. We behave what we believe.

 

“The capacity to perform the things of the Kingdom is directly tied to the depth of our intimacy with Jesus, not with the breadth of our knowledge.” 

 

“We will never get to the end of ‘in Christ’.”

 

“Insecurity produces dominance.”

 

“We can preserve our physical virginity, but prostitute our hearts.”

 

“The ulterior motive of God is to bless you, not to use you.”

 

I didn’t ‘find‘ Jesus. I ran from Him and He pursued me and caught me.

 

“I refuse to allow the praises of men or the revilings of men to deter me from the will of God.” 

“Are you deaf enough to the opinions of man, to fulfill the call of God on your life?”

 

“The most deceptive people in the world are deceived people who think they are speaking truth.”

 

I was made a sinner without sinning, and I was made righteous without being right.

 

“Judgement came after only one sin. Grace came after many sins. Which is stronger?”

 

“Do not make assumptions. They make bad theology.”

 

Brokenness…a condition of the heart that is becoming aware of its utter and complete need for God alone.

 

“When you [walk in] sin, something dies, and you don’t get to choose what dies.”

 

Brokenness is a lifestyle, not an event.

 

Will I fall on the Rock, or let the Rock fall on me?

Rock

 

I don’t want to miss the point of a position of authority.  It is not about me, it is about raising others up.
 
Underleaders:  Are passive. Only do what is asked of them.   Overleaders: Aggressive. Do too much. Usually start out prideful.  Both are marked by insecurity. Collaborative leaders:  Humility dominates. They come with a vision. They ask “what do you think?”. 
 

Pride will cause me to fight for my gifting.

 

I am an ambassador. I represent God everywhere I go.

 

            The Kingdom cannot come without the Gospel.

 

                      The Kingdom coming means hearts are transformed. A Kingdom means there is a King.

 

                                    “There are greater places in God than we have ever been.”

 

Fire will come upon my works. Only those done for Jesus will survive. Am I doing things to feel better about me? To gain a position? To promote me or my gifting? Motive matters!

 

“We will not be fascinated with the gifts, but fascinated with Jesus.”

 

“It is more about reliance on Him than development in me.”

 

For every “yes” you give to God, you give 1,000 “no’s” to the world.

 

“Life is at work in places because death is at work somewhere [in us].”

 

“None of us has the capacity to be the full revelation of God.”

 

captive

“Living in bondage will cause us to forget our identity, and God’s identity.”

 

We cannot filter our beliefs through experience. 

 

We cannot separate the voice of God from the Word of God. The more we are grounded in His Word, the more we will hear His voice.

 

If what drives us is the need to be somebody, we will not complete the call of God. It can’t be about us having a cause or a mission…it must be about God getting glory and people getting His salvation. It has to be about Him and Them.

 

I cannot confuse identity and mission. If I do, then when I fail (and I will), it will shake me. I will determine that my ministry success is my worth. And, I will reject what God speaks if it does not line up with what I believe to be my calling, ministry, gifting, etc. 

 

“God, what is the next step of obedience for me?”

 

Fulfilling the great commission means putting a burden for others above my need for identity.

 

I can’t look at God’s mission through the very narrow lens of my part in it. I have to look at the whole mission, and then ask for my part.

 

I don’t need to hear, “well done, good and powerful servant”, or “well done, good and perfect servant”. Just let me be found faithful!

 

“What is God’s will for my life?” needs to be “what is God’s will?”.

 

Do I see what I have as mine, or as God’s?

 

“Any dingbat can be a problem finder. Leaders find solutions.”

 

Indicators of where my treasure is:  what I spend my time on; what I talk about; what I am unwilling to give up; how I live my life.

 

Do not despise even the smallest provision.

 

I need to grow deep enough in God to handle not getting what I want when I want it.

 

They’re just drops of water. Scribbles from the journal of a thirsty woman who has found herself, by the grace and goodness of God, positioned in front of a fire hydrant.  There is more, so much more, that I haven’t dripped out here.

Next weekend, we will go on our Fall Outreach, where we will share the gospel in Norman, Oklahoma, with our church plant there. In the spring, we will go on an international outreach to a location still unknown.

In between those two events, I will be found face first at the fire hydrant.

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chasing what cannot be caught

“You’re chasing after what cannot be caught. You were made for a different pursuit.”

In the midst of the song Relentless Pursuit (Kim Walker-Smith), His voice broke through and brought piercing revelation of what my chase had become. Chasing time, trying to gather enough up in my hands to stop the feeling that my life had gotten ahead of me.  Chasing after feelings, hoping to finally feel qualified to do what I do, to feel like I am right where I belong.

I knew something was wrong, but in the chase of lesser things, nagging feelings are easily outrun.  What cannot be ignored is the worship song that gets caught somewhere between your throat and your heart.

musical notes

It’s a relentless pursuit, relentless pursuit
I will not stop chasing after You
It’s a relentless pursuit, a passion in pursuit
I will not stop chasing after You

But I did. If you saw me running, it would have looked like I was chasing Him, but I wasn’t. I was chasing the work of ministry. The time that got away from me. The look and the feel and the ‘doing’ of Christianity.

Even my time alone with Him and the study of His Word had become more about seeking for what someone else may need to hear.

Chasing revelation rather than the One it reveals.

Chasing what cannot be caught. 

And then these words worked their way through the ache in my heart…

musical notesYou’ve taken the keys and you’ve opened up all of me
And now I’m running,I’m running after you
The love of my life
Oh You… the love of my life

And in the flood of understanding came the echo of a long ago cry from my heart, a cry from the Song of Songs, third chapter third verse…

“Have you seen the one my heart loves?”

And there I stood, panting from my fruitless chase of all things less than and wondering how on earth I had lost sight of the Love of my life.

What broke into my relentless pursuit of the One my heart loves?

It was me. I don’t know the moment, the day, the week it happened, but once my life became about me my feet changed course and I began chasing my own life. What mattered was how I was feeling, what I was doing or not doing, what I wanted, needed, thought, believed.

Because we are all prisoners of war and all of life is a continual act of surrendering ourselves over, and whatever has received our surrender we will follow.  It is only when we refuse the call to surrender to ‘self’ that we are released to run after Jesus.

We cannot surrender to two masters. 

musical notesYou can have all of me
You can have every part of me
And I, I am released to run after You, oh
And I, I am released to run after You

Jesus, You are the One my heart loves. I surrender once again to pursuing, chasing, seeking after You with my whole heart. I was made for this chase, this relentless pursuit of the One who promises to be found by me.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”  (Jeremiah 29:13)

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beautiful encounter

“Will you give me a drink?”

A tired, thirsty Savior came to a well to encounter a tired, thirsty outcast of a woman.

I find it to be beautiful.

Hands_through_waterMy eyes take in the beauty of Jesus breaking through the barriers to come for her, and my heart is overwhelmed by the sacred conversation between a woman and God.

I am captivated by His words that reveal what He is most after here at the well.

“If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.” 

If you knew who I am.

This is what He’s after. This was no chance meeting on a hot day. This was Jesus, coming to a thirsty woman to offer her the only thing that would quench her thirst. Himself. Not just a sip. Not just a drink of Him on a hard day. His offer is a never-ending drink of God. A drink that would get into her so abundantly it would flow out of her.

And then He revealed what He knew of her. And it is here, right here that I find a deep beauty in this encounter. He wasn’t just uncovering her sin.

He was revealing that He knew her.

“Back in the village she told the people, “Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out.”

Then I hear what His disciples dared not speak out loud.

“Just then His disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn’t believe He was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.”

do-not-cross-lineSo like us. Thinking His love should not cross our boundary lines drawn by hatred and religious bigotry.

They had their reasons for thinking that surely His love would not extend to someone they despised.

And we have ours.

I am struck by the beauty of a love that disregards the opinions of men.

A love that refuses to obey our rules.

The woman leaves and this beautiful story comes to a close. Almost.

“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”

They saw a Samaritan woman, and would not have looked her way, let alone spoken with her.

He saw a woman who was thirsty.  He saw a harvest.

John 4:1-38 – from The Message

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let me walk upon the water

I don’t even know where to begin, how to tell you what it is that is trying to bust its way out of my heart.

I think it began when I turned 50 and told God I wanted the last half of my life to count, to be about His Kingdom and nothing else. Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s where it began, but then again, maybe it started long before that, in the continual yearning to just crawl up into Jesus and stay there.

A couple of weeks ago I heard a song, and my heart beat fast. It was trying to tell me something I couldn’t hear. And then a scripture that went with it shouted at me but I was struggling to make out the words. A conversation about being grateful to not have a lot of choices in front of me left me with something on the tip of my tongue, but remained elusive. Another conversation that left me frustrated because I couldn’t put into words the true longing of my heart.

And then this morning happened.

This morning I played the song again. And I sang it loud and in the midst of my head back arms wide open worship moment, I knew. And I laughed because I realized God knew all along and had brought conversations and scriptures and songs together to tell me all about my own heart…about me.

I want to walk on water.

walkingwater_LargeI want my faith to be taken out to deep waters, away from the safety of the shoreline, away from a boat it can climb back into. I want that desperately. And I’m not sure why.

And I fight the urge to give way to that old familiar feeling. The feeling that something in me isn’t normal, isn’t quite right. Because who says they would rather have nothing than to have whatever I could get for myself?

Who thinks they would rather go where Christians are dying for their faith than stay where they are living for themselves?

What normal person would rather be beating off demons with a stick in a jungle somewhere than rocking comfortably in a chair on the front porch?

And that feeling rises in me, and something that looks like shame comes with it. But then I hear it again, and I am ready to throw off my shoes and dive out of the boat.

Because when deep calls to deep, something inside falls in worship and being normal doesn’t matter anymore. Something inside remembers the taste of His faithfulness and the feeling of grace falling over me when I’ve been in deep waters, when I’ve felt the growing pains of faith because trusting Jesus was all I could do.

And this is it. The name of what is in my heart that fights against the flesh that surrounds it.

A desire for trust to be the only option in front of me.

Because one day my time here will be done, and when it is, when I enter His presence, I want to look into the face of the One I trusted in the journey. I cannot handle the thought of coming face to face with Him having only walked on land, in places of earthly security and comfort. It makes me want to weep to think that my life, my short breath on this earth would be spent trusting in a boat to keep me from drowning.

I want to leave wet footprints as I run from this life into eternity, as I come flying in to fall at the feet of the One I have followed home.

It all sounds very brave and quite spiritual, I know. But I assure you it isn’t any of that. Because while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak and it is war and it is hard and it often looks like flesh is winning because weak flesh is really quite strong.

But something is shifting and I know it and while it frightens me a little, it also makes me close my eyes and say thank You Jesus! You are calling me and I hear you and it’s growing, this desire to be with You out in the deepest of places where my feet may fail.

I keep thinking about the people who followed Jesus. The crowds who stood on the shore while He taught them from the boat. And the disciples who were in the boat with Him. I have, at one time or another, been all of those, and in many ways I still am.

Oh, but there’s a Peter in me. My heart can feel it. Somewhere in there deep, is the voice of Peter, standing up and saying to Jesus, “Tell me to come to You!”

Jesus, call me to walk upon the water.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You may call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,
and my faith will be made stronger
in the presence of my Savior.
 
Hillsong United – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
 
Categories: Christianity | 5 Comments

it was just two cents but it moved His heart

widow_mite_5664.thumb“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44

Oh woman, did you even know that your two cents mattered?

Once again Jesus has all but stopped my heart with who He is.  He sat down to watch and then with His crazy, upside down kind of love He showed her off to His disciples.  Showed off the one who gave the least, while others were giving the most. God made much of a poor woman and her pennies.

We all feel poor with no more than pennies, really.

(But if grace were pennies we could buy the world.)

And here is what I want to know. When she opened her hand and let her pennies fall, did she know it mattered?

And it led me to the real question hidden in my heart.

do-i-matter

And so for days this widow with her pennies has been following me around until I finally saw what He wanted me to see. I saw Him sit down to watch, and I saw that it was the giving of all she had that moved His heart.

And I knew my heart had been asking the wrong question. It is not ‘do I matter?’.

What matters to You?

It is the giving of everything, everything I have to live on.  That matters to Him. That moves Him. When all I have is two pennies of hope at the moment, I can give it away and move the heart of God.

Because I get poor on hope sometimes, don’t you?

I can be so very poverty stricken on patience, on love.  “…but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Every drop we pour out from our places of poverty matters to Him.

Every word written in the middle of the night because all we have are these words. Words that leave us vulnerable and exposed, and when we are done it feels like all we’ve given is two cents, buried under the wealth that others have given. But because it was all we had and we offered it up, it mattered to Him.

(I have to believe the words matter to Him, or they don’t matter at all.)

I may not move you. And if I matter to you, believe me I am grateful. But I have to wrestle that need to the ground and pin it tight.

Because what matters to Him has to matter more. Moving His heart must consume me more than moving yours.

Her pennies made no difference in anyone’s life, but they were all she had so she gave them up and it moved Jesus.

And it reminds me of another woman.

jesus_woman_washes_feet“A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

…Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You did not give me a kiss,but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.” Luke 7:37-48

Tears and perfume. Her love and her worship. It made no difference to anyone there, but it was all she had to give, so she gave it, and it moved His heart.

More than I want to matter, I want to move His heart.

Sometimes that’s all we have to give, isn’t it? Our love and our worship, coming out of imperfect, messy lives. Lives that matter to Him. Lives that make a difference because He is with us in the offering of our poverty. Whether we see it or not, feel it or not, our lives do matter. We matter. The enemy may tell us otherwise, but he is lying and he knows it. Because he was there that day.

He knows Jesus didn’t die for something that didn’t matter.

 

Categories: Christianity | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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