Habitualized by God

 

Practicing is probably one of the most misunderstood bits of advice I have ever offered yieldor been offered, but is, in my experience, the most successful advice when understood as being truly habitualized.

 

Habitualized? Is that a word? Yep. Practice, train, habituate, teach, program, make used to. The urban dictionary is, on this word, attuned with Brother Andrew, a lay-brother among the monks in the 1600s!

 

Our country is greatly habitualized – commercials, television, social media, sermons, Ted Talks, politicians —good and bad— all aim to habitualize us. Children are habitualized to watch television, teens to watch movies; young adults to drink coffee. Adults (especially in America) are habitualized to overwork, and overconsume.

 

But – to habitualize – to make a specific behavior a habit, is actually scriptural.hand-reaching-out

 

Jesus’ example – stepping beyond personal will and comfort – Matthew 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

 

Paul’s advicePhilippians. 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you

 

Peter’s painfully learned wisdom2Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.

 

Fake it till you make it? Is that what I am saying? That is what a young woman with marital discord thought she heard – “pretend” until I start to believe it, and hopefully it becomes real. No. Pretending will only increase bitterness, even if it is the best we, in our flesh, have to offer.

 

Habituation is discipline – the discipline of deference. If I am practicing the presence praying-hands.jogof Christ, as Brother Andrew teaches, I am deferring my (bouncing and boinging super-ball of) emotions and (selfish, resistant to pain) will to God.

 

That takes discipline. Not, an “I will start when” attitude. Not an “I am going to… after” attitude. Discipline is a now decision – a though-I-don’t-understand decision, and a scared-silly but I-am willing decision – to trust, accept and rest in the presence of Christ over, and over, and over, and over.

Brother Andrew defined practicing the presence as discipline of constant prayer (turning our attention toward God) and praise (responding to God’s attention and promises toward us). He considered it his honor and his duty. To him, this habituation is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.”

Does not end.

 

Continuous.

 

Unrelenting.

 

Consistent.

 

Comforting.

 

Never leaving. Omnipresent. Faithful. Constant. Never tiring. All character qualities of God – not what he is like – but who He IS.

 

Really – it is just accepting the truth. Jesus is the truth.  IMG_1918

Jesus said, I am with (together in place or purpose; committed to supporting and completing) you. Jesus said, I will never leave you. He is always available.

 

The question is: are we, am I, available to His presence? Am I constantly and consistently acknowledging, turning to, practicing His presence? Allowing Him to be “with me.”

 

The more I practice His presence, the more I recognize it. The more I recognize His presence, the more I crave it. And the more I crave it the more I welcome it. The more I welcome and experience it, the more satisfying and completing I find it. And, like a soldier in battle, the more I practice this discipline, the more I realize my survival depends on it.

 

Habitualize the presence of Christ. Start today.

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Battered, Broken. . . and Blessed

You may be experiencing a recent loss, a difficult diagnosis, or the end of a relationship miltary3that once was your lifeline. Or, you may feel battered and broken about a goal that now seems impossible and unfeasible. You may be watching loved ones suffer.

 

In this abusive world we have much that can make us feel battered and broken. But how can we feel blessed while being tossed about?

 

Luke 22 has the answer.

 

Jesus in Luke 22 was speaking to Simon (also known as Peter) – you know, the one who was outspoken in denial at Jesus’ warning that he would soon be in the sifter.

 

I found three things remarkable about this verse. Footprnts insand

 

  1. The Lord told Simon to get ready for a huge trial. Only the Almighty can give permission for his children to be put through the sifter. We don’t often get a warning, but when we do we need to sit up and take notice.

 

Whatever is happening, can only happen with God’s permission, and when God allows it, it is for a specific outcome.

 

The sifter takes many forms of oppression, varying degrees of creeping doubt, pain, accusation, false guilt, and common denominators like battering and bruising of the spirit and tears.

 

Christ told Simon he would be sifted, “as wheat.” 1_basket

 

A wheat sifter in Bible times was usually a basket. The grain was placed in the basket and tossed side to side by shaking the basket. This was done to separate the wheat from the chaff. The wheat would be battered, but wheat (like gold) is heavier than chaff and settles, broken, falling though the tiny holes in the bottom of the basket. What was sifted out (the chaff) was destroyed.

 

  1. Christ told Simon he would return to Him after sifting (He understood the sifting of Simon Peter would drag him from Christ’s presence). The separation was an expected, although temporary, side effect of being sifted.

 

Christ himself prayed for Peter, (and for any future disciples including you, and me). He prayed that his follower’s faith should not fail. Sifting, it seems, would weaken any DSCF0723person, even someone as strong as Peter, tempting him to let go of his faith.

 

But here is the blessing ‑ Jesus himself prayed for us long before we were born. He knew that we too would undergo sifting, and be so battered and bruised we would be tempted to give up.

 

3.But, Jesus said, the sifted will return. He begins with this:

And when you have returned to me.

 

Isn’t it comforting to know we will not remain tossed back and forth in the winnowing basket forever? Jesus knew the sifted ones would return to him. Not IF, but WHEN. The wheat needed to be removed from the chaff. Simon Peter thought he did not have any more chaff in his life to be removed, but he was painfully wrong. But not as wrong as the sifter that God allowed in Simon-Peter’s life – and mine – and yours.

 

Christ’s care for us, and his personal prayer for us is stronger than the sifter. The one who has been sifted comes out able—stronger than before, according to the rest of Christ’s message: And when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren.”

 

I have met many soldiers of Christ who have been sifted multiple ways – physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Somehow, it seems those most bruised and broke are the stronger and most able to strengthen us. You. Me. Others. IMG_2596

 

Let’s take a moment today, and send a note of thanks to the soldiers who have strengthened us.

 

And, if we are still being sifted, let us not give up.

 

Let us remember that Jesus is praying for us.

 

And promises

 

we will return.

 

 

 

Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

 

 

 

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The Gift of Repentance

Repentance – the only cure for what we used to joke about – Guilt – the “gift” that OS02023 keeps on giving. But guilt is no joke. The dictionary defines guilt as “a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong.” Isn’t that a good thing?

 

 

Yes, but. Look at the rest of the ‘story.’ – 2Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (bold emphasis mine)

Andrea2 So what’s the difference?

Worldly sorrow is focused on me – guilt because I did something wrong, guilt because I got caught or worry over what people might think of me. And wanting to punish myself instead of believing the truth – that God has forgiven and erased it. Even that false guilt can separate us from God because we are so focused on me, instead of Christ’s Word.

Godly sorrow is focused on God – guilt over hurting/offending God. It brings with it a change of attitude about the sin, and a desire to be washed clean of it.e the sorrow thatIMG_1918_2 is according to the will of God

  • that kind of sorrow produces repentance WITHOUT REGRET (original word meaning to care about afterward, to repent of, to regret, and to be an object of care or worry).

 

Scripture’s say that it is a kindness of God to lead us to repentance

(Rom. 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?)

 

Is. 43:25  “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

If God will not remember, why do we continue to allow guilt to reign?

False guilt (untruths or reminders of guilt that has already been forgiven and erased)  can be a destroyer of life and peace.

I particularly found the  meaning of God’s forgetting to be meaningful – (it means without geneology). So whatever has been brought to God in repentance is now without geneology. It’s gone, but it’s not just was here, now gone – The way God no longer sees it – is as though it never existed! What we are worrying over has no geneology.

 

Heb. 8:12   “FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES,2332

AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.

Heb. 10:17          “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS

I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

 

Psa. 103:12         As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

 

So if I have guilt – sorrow – care – worry – about something already brought to God and forgiven, it is not then, a godly sorrow. It has been kept and wrongly fed instead of left at the foot of the cross.2105

 

 

A tweetable conclusion – the thought I feed is the one that grows.

 

Repentance – a turning away from. When I bring my sins, worries, cares to the cross, my part is to leave them there, and turn away from the behavior. To no longer feed those thoughts.

Victory of the cross includes freedom from guilt. IMG_1939

 

 

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Holiday Expectations

Here come the holidays – the time of greatest depression.

(Not referring to me, but to the world in general)Thanksgiving Story

I remember a Thanksgiving years ago where it seemed “everyone” was talking about going home to turkey and all we had was bologna. If you are in that situation, Google your town and free Thanksgiving dinner – if you are like my dad you might want to volunteer as well as have dinner.

 

 

The other greatest catalysts of holiday blues are expectations. Mine, and others.

 

My Expectations

  • Expectations of self – how I think I should look, feel, dress, cook
  • What I think each holiday should look like – house, food, gifts, etc.
  • How things always were – or keeping up with others traditions

Others Expectations

  • What family members might want to do or not do for Thanksgiving or Christmasjudytablesm
  • What others might express they are doing ‘making’ me think I have to do similar
  • What I think I should answer when others ask what we are doing
  • Realizing that most are not really others’ expectations – but what I THINK their expectations are

 

How I will simplify this year:

  1. Poll the family about food – have a pot luck, serve dinner somewhere, or get together for games and snacks only.
  2. Skip the gigantic Christmas card list. Make a simple card and email or snail mail only to those at a distance.
  3. Do something different –get gifts for the toddlers only and do a “white elephant gift exchange” for the adults. We all need to clean house, and it is always fun to see what crazy things show up. OR draw names and find or make something fun for a crazy price – say $5.00 or $7.50 and if you make it or find it for less, include the change.
  4. If small children are involved, have them act, sing, play instrument, do a puppet show – even adults could participate in a talent night sharing the meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.
  5. Poll family if next year we can do a red envelope tree – each family give a red envelope containing a gift like chickens or blankets to a mission (MAF), or a gift for Angel Tree or Toys for Tots, or each one give a bowl for Empty Bowls Racine in March.
  6. Keep the traditions that count — We like to attend a Thanks-Giving service at church the night before the holiday, and it’s tradition to go through the greeting cards and pray for the senders – before and after Christmas.

 

The Smallest Candle

The Smallest Candle

Most importantly, spend time with those you love!

 

 

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Being Present in the Present

The many words of comfort and stories I’ve received this past month (since our daughter,  IMG_2909Laurie, went to be with the Lord after a sudden and unexpected stroke), particularly from other parents who also lost a child far too early, have helped me to focus on the wonderful memories I had with my child. In one sense it helps to write out the memories and to “live in the past” for a moment in time. It is helpful to look back to our ‘first loves’, physical and spiritual, and I’d like to stay there, 24/7. But there are others who lovingly tell me they need me in the present.

 

Much of the ‘present’ these days for all of us is filled with people who are not really present. Our culture accepts as normal if they are on their phone and ‘with’ someone else mentally while you are with them only physically. We are truly gifted to have those in our lives who have learned to be present, even though many are from a distance. To gift a note, a word, a prayer or a promise of prayer. They have given strength, and the power of those prayers continue to strengthen. Many I speak of are reading this and I thank you for being a present one.

 

I’m reading Falling in Love with God, by Bob Hostetler. I’d purchased the book at a 1-loveGodindexconference a while ago, and an online pastor friend steered me to Hosea. I thought of that book, which I’d opened, and put down ‘for later’ because Hosea is such a painful story. But now I needed it.   That is my precious present right now.

 

I also re-read a precious lighthearted Christian fiction story Sisterchicks in Sombreros by Robin Jones Gunn. Though the Sisterchicks stories are fun and entertaining, their essence has an underlying message of deep truth which I always find applicable to my life – and this one is Falling in Love With God. Isn’t it amazing how things get brought into our lives in themes!

 

Both of these books are encouraging me to let the future of I John 5, to guide my present. A quote from Augustine in Gunn’s book:

 

I came to love you late, O Beauty, so ancient and new; I came to love you late. You were within me and I was outside where I rushed about wildly searching for you like some monster loose in your beautiful world. You were with me, but I was not with you. You called me, you shouted to me. You broke past my deafness. You bathed me in your light, you wrapped me in your splendor, you sent my blindness reeling. You gave out such a   Footprnts insanddelightful fragrance, and I drew it in and came breathing hard after you. I tasted, and it made me hunger and thirst, you touched me, and I burned to know your peace.

 

I burn to know His peace. And to be present for you as you have been and are for me.

 

 

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The Audacity of Grief

Lord, if only. . .sadbywater

 

I can understand Martha (because she seems a lot like me) saying Lord, if only… but Mary too?

 

Mary, Jesus said earlier, had “chosen the good part.” Articles and books have been written on the spirit of Mary, and how Martha should have/could have been more like Mary.

 

Yet here are both sisters. Martha, overworked, worrying about too many things…saying, Lord, if only…

 

And Mary, seemingly the more spiritual one, with the identical response…Lord, if only. . .

 

How many times have I said or thought if only… OS09078

 

If only…

I’d pay the bill on time, seen the deer, remembered to turn off the stove, mended that relationship… and on and on the list goes. Usually directed at myself. If only I had…

 

But Martha does not say, if only I’d cleaned one more room, If only I’d made a better meal or even if only, I’d been more like Mary…

 

And Mary does not say, if only I’d sat at your feet longer, Lord, or if only I’d helped Martha more.

 

Both of them instead, do something far more dangerous. They tell God things could have been different, (right, better) if only He had shown up!

 

Imagine God’s puny creation daring to tell him he was not in the right place at the right time. That this situation is HIS fault and out of His control. It could have been avoided IF Jesus had been more caring. Others echoed Martha and Mary’s sentiments in John 11:37 But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have kept this man also from dying?”

 

When Jesus assures Martha she will see her brother again she assumes he means the lightedcrossresurrection, our ultimate assurance from God. But Martha’s reaction was like “Well yeah, sure, you will do that. Someday. But I wanted him back now, and you weren’t here when you could have been.” Lord, if only…

 

I so relate to them. They could not see the Master’s hand. I cannot always see His hand either. They only knew they wanted their loved one back, and that Jesus could have stopped death. I too know that God alone controls life and death.

Job 14:5     Mortals have a limited life span.
You’ve already decided how long we’ll live—
you set the boundary and no one can cross it.

If only.

And how did Jesus respond to the ‘If onlys’? Jesus wept. Because he loved Lazarus or because he sympathized with Mary and Martha’s grief? Possibly, but I think Jesus wept because his closest earthly friends did not ‘get’ the eternal picture of why Jesus had come. It’s natural to look to the short-term miracles rather than eternal purpose. Grief focuses us in blindness, not grasping that He WAS there, that Christ IS God, and that He is the God of the past, the present and the future. He goes before me.

 

A friend recently posted how something happened to upset her and her daughter reminded her it was “a non-eternal.” That puts life’s upsets in its proper perspective.

 

Several years back my sisters and I made a red-bird challenge. Our daughters later joined in praying for one another whenever we saw a red bird. It’s been amazing how many red birds we see, and the sense of being prayed for we have experienced. One of our daughter’s last gifts to me was a felted red bird.

Join us in praying for perspective, to not allow non-eternals to sap redbird1strength, and to keep the eternal perspective front and center even if, especially if – and when, like Mary and Martha, I really don’t understand.

 

 

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Submerged For A Purpose

Submerged

The Cracked Teacup in the Well might be a more explanatory title.

tea cup med

Yes you guessed it. I am the cracked teacup. I do, however, mean that in a different way than Christian comedian Patsy Clairmont’s God Uses Cracked Pots.

 

Have you read her cute story about the woman who has only a cracked pot and carries it to the water, but of course leaks out a great deal on the way home? The moral of the lesson is that seeds were also spilled on the path, and the woman is inadvertently watering the plants while trudging over her arduous journey. Not that God hasn’t surprised me and used me despite my frail and damaged condition.

 

My desire today is to share about the possibilities when dunking the cracked teacup into the well. What I would expect is not good:

  1. The teacup would float a minute, tip and fill with water, and then sink.
  2. The teacup would be useless because it could not retain the water from the well to bring anyone refreshment
  3. Putting a cracked teacup into a well and withdrawing it makes about as much impression as putting your finger in a bucket of water and pulling it out.

 

You have my picture. Me. The cracked teacup. Painted to look good but deeply flawed.

 

Now take a look at the well.  IMG_1826_2

 

This well is not filled with ordinary water. It is living water. John 4:10.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

 

The woman at the well in this story was considered ‘damaged goods’ by her neighbors and the community. Yet Jesus asked her, as he asks me for a drink.

That is humility in action. Give Him a drink? Can I (damaged goods) be a vessel to refresh Christ? Or is he testing me to show me who He is?

 

When I put myself in this story I see the broken cup – maybe delicate English china (I wish), or a thick and clunky mug – but no matter, for it is cracked. No more -brand new,’ but broken. Not serviceable. Ready to be recycled or remade.

 

Now the master – the owner of the well – the creator of living water, actually wants to refresh me, remake me, but before he does, he asks me to take a risk. To choose. To let Him re-form the clay, dry, chip, sand and immerse me, an unworthy vessel into the well.

 

Pretty scary. I don’t like water anyway. And to be immersed! Out of my mind with fear and trembling.

 

But if I do submit…when I do… He promises He will fill me, and I will not sink. I will not sink because He will place his thumb over the defect, rub the clay back together again and fill the refined vessel. Submerged is to fill and surround with His living presence.P1000292

 

And so I remind myself, that is where I am now. Hourly being plucked out from almost drowning –unusual uplifting – a certainty of rising out. Resting. Floating without fear and the promise of one day – being recreated whole and useful again.

 

How is your teacup? Are you, like me, more than slightly cracked? Join me for a 20 day submersion.

 

Meet you at the well.

 

Col. 1:27 – Christ in you, the hope of glory

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Focusing On The Truth

How are you doing?  1-sisters

 

Forgive me if I hope I never ask that question again, especially to someone who is grieving.

 

Joni Tada said, “Suffering is the textbook that will teach you who you really are.”

 

My suffering has revealed painful truths. I am a weak and grieving mom whose mind can’t stop the play, rewind, repeat of guilt, or the mystery and guilt of having peace amidst the pain.

 

How can that question be answered? What do people want to hear? Can I answer truthfully without also spilling all the pain and wondering?  OS09078

 

My first honest response, I am struggling was not what I wanted to say, but it was truth. Drowning in regret it wasn’t me. Guilt that I didn’t recognize or research her monthly ibuprofen use, and guilt because I dared to question God. Truthfully I am also trusting. I do have peace that God is in control. If I didn’t truly believe that God alone holds the keys to life and death, I would snap. Well, actually…

 

I did snap at a loving and gentle friend when he asked me how I was doing. “That is not a good question,” I sobbed. What is a good question, he wondered while comforting me. I pondered that. No questions, I decided. Please, no questions. Just truths.

 

She was a good woman, She will be greatly missed.   I love you. I am praying for you. I am here for you. Focus on the truth.

 

That was another friend’s response. Only a week prior I’d advised her to fight off the enemy’s lies and to focus on truth. “Focus on the truth,” she repeated, reading back to me the page of truth scriptures I had given her. It made me wonder – was God guiding me to prepare my own counsel when I answered her need the week prior?

 

I am humbled at that friend’s story and the dozens of stories from others who have also lost a child too suddenly and too soon.

passoverclipart

I remember God opening my heart to how much He loved me through an incident with Laurie. I wonder at our other daughter’s peace when God allowed her son to die. I wonder at God’s feeling when his son hung on the cross. He allowed that – for me. Did He also feel the cost was too high?

 

I wonder at Jesus after losing his best friend John, escaping to grieve, and being greeted by crowds wanting him to do for them, what he was not permitted to do for John. I wonder at Job, experiencing the loss of all his children. I wonder how those who do not believe can bear such loss.

 

And I wonder at the peace I have, despite the pain.

 

You all have incredibly poured into me this past week. I thank you for the many acts of love and mercy and prayer.

 

Thank you for sowing peace and patience as I learn to leave the questions with the Lord. Bibleheart

 

 

 

 

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It Is Well With My Soul

I will be honest, I am struggling, through the emotions, the enemy’s many fiery darts and our heartbreak, but I know Laurie would remind me that God’s promises have not changed.

It is well with my soul.

Those were the last words I said to my daughter, reminding her of precious memories of her playing that on her flute, and of her pressing her forehead against mine and saying, “Don’t worry about me, Mumzie – It is well with my soul.” IMG_2812

It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

Lauriemomsm

 

BABBIE MASON


Trust His Heart Lyrics

All things work for our good
Though sometimes we can’t
See how they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth
lauriewoods
Our Father knows what’s best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just can’t see Him,
Remember you’re never alone God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His Heart
He sees the master plan
He holds the future in His hand,
So don’t live as those who have no hope,
All our hope is found in Him.We see the present clearly
But He sees the first and last
And like a tapestry He’s weaving you and me,
To someday be just like Him He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you

when you don’t understand
When you don’t see His plan

When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His Heart

 Laurel Lee – written into the Lamb’s Book of Life at age 4.

Please pray for me, and for our family.

 

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Whose Team are YOU on?

Prolific author Cec Murphy gifts many writers each year with conference scholarships. I was one of those blessed to attend Maranatha Christian Writer’s Conference. IMG_4879

 

Every Writer Needs A Team was the theme. I went to find a team, but found a lot more – including new friends, a confidence transfusion, constant kindness ‘attacks,’ and a lesson I’ll never forget.

 

On the 6 hour drive, singing and praising God for the blessing, a part of Genesis 24:27 ran through my mind. To keep awake I did a mental verse study. Word by word the phrase, I, being in the way, the LORD led me, took on a deeper meaning.

 

National editors, publishers, writers, speakers would be there as some of my Team – co-workers to share God’s good news with others.

IMG_4825

So I ask myself, what is being in the way?

 

Beingexisting – present -

Root word – golem, go´-lem; (existing) i.e. as the embryo:—substance yet being unperfect.

 

In – bending towards, immersed, a part of, enclosed or surrounded by something else, and showing want, as in needy

 

Thepoint forward to a following qualifying or specific thing  1-GodAllowsUTurn

 

Way – has many meanings depending how it is used. When in doubt I head to the original language.

 

Way – originates from derek, deh´-rek; figuratively, a course of life (in the act of moving forward, including eliminating obstacles to move forward) or mode of action such as guiding an arrow by bending it to draw into the right path

 

 

Led – (this one surprised me) geled, ghe´-led; from an unused root meaning to polish

 

Don’t you love it!

 

Paraphrased now it says

Still needing completion, Delores, immersed in taking action as a disciple of Christ, and bending to His will, was yieldpolished by the Lord.

 
Polishing has great results, but the process can sting, as well as require a lot of effort. Two of the people I spoke with told me it was obvious to them that God was leading me and to stop seeking more on my own – to just focus on and complete what I’d already been given.

 

Once again God reminded me that He is more concerned with my relationship with him than with my outreach and that the second will come out of the first. Maranatha was an incredibly affirming time, meeting encouraging editors, staff, speakers and teachers, and part of my Hartline team.  Harlineteam

You know me, I want to do it all, and by Friday I was wired. I whined in prayer that I wished I had not made so many appointments when God gently prodded if it ever occurred to me that perhaps some appointments were for me to encourage the presenter and not just “all about them encouraging me.”

Thus my takeaway was dual – one – stay actively present – inclined “in the way” and the Lord will lead me. (and He has – remarkably!) Two – I need to give first – to pray for and support – my team – not just expecting them to serve and feed me.
Now freshly observing the team at Maranatha striving to benefit us, I could see their exhaustion and sacrifice. The surprised looks and gratefulness when the tables were turned and I offered to pray for and encourage them was a gift.

 

I needed to realize God also placed me on their team!  Maranathanight

 

How has God led you and polished you while you were ‘in the way?”

 

I’d love to hear about it!

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