Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Just Three Days Difference

You would think that Spring would not surprise me every year.  I mean, I have seen a few of them.  But, still each year the mystery of Spring just radiates in my heart, and I find that the treasure of God's creative hand only gets richer with time.

I was driving for a good bit on a road that I travel twice a week.  The previous trip was filled with browns and greys.  The non ever-green trees were bare barked sticks lining the roadway.  Even the rivers were grey along with the sky.

But not this day.  In the midst of a foggy early haze, the brightest green lay like a new blanket over the hillsides and all through the fields.  Golden sun was peaking through the trees.  The river was a muddy brown and rolling.  Pink buds were bursting on skinny limbs.  It was a whole new world.  Just three days difference, and it was a whole new world.

My heart was instantly pierced and fluffed simultaneously.  Three days makes a world of difference when God is involved.  Death to life in three days.  I know someone that did that...

The grey of the world, the sludge of all that was wrong, the heavy sky pressing down on a fallen people was forcing a rescue or a disaster.  In a tiny stable with young hearts beating frantically, Rescue came on the scene.  It was fragile.  It was human.  It was Divine.

Rescue grew to be a man that few understood.  Rescue dared people to love in ways that nobody had ever loved before.  Rescue was a man that forgave sins and restored souls.  Rescue lifted the chins of the fallen and sent diseased hearts running to Him for relief.  Rescue took beatings and hatred and in return offered grace and Mercy. Rescue was Jesus Christ.

Rescue was not well-received.   He was mocked and betrayed.  He was crucified, and ultimately His very life was taken.  But, that was never the end.  That was only the beginning.  For just three days difference and death came to life.  Jesus made all things new and He touched this world forever with His love-drenched rescue.  It is forever and unending.

When the dead of winter is awakened with pink bursting buds, that is Jesus.  When Friday is bleak and gray full of winter and Sunday is suddenly breathing and green, that is Jesus.  That is Resurrection still rescuing.  He makes this fallen earth so bare become suddenly bursting with new life, and He is ever reaching into humanity offering rescue.

If He can rescue the barren willow tree, then He can rescue me.  If He can speak life to stiffened dirt, then He can speak life to me.  If Rescue can spring forth branches on a withered vine, then Rescue can erect life from my barren soul.

Just three days difference, a world is saved.  The blossoms and blooms trumpet His return.  The bird in flight spreads the banner across the sky that Rescue, that Jesus, is not finished.  His arm is still reaching, His grace is still pouring, and His promise is still being fulfilled.

Come out of sadness from wherever you've been. Come broken-hearted let Rescue begin. Come find your mercy, O sinner come kneel. Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can't heal.  ~ David Crowder, Come As You Are

Just three days difference.....

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Because a Paycheck Can Never Define a Purpose

I can't explain what takes place in my heart when I am urged to write.  It is a deep stirring inside that pulls me to create, to share, to put words to a deeper sense in my world.  I can lose myself for hours when I am feeling the pulse of words beat through my heart.  In those moments, I know that somehow this is a gift from God.  He poured this passion into me. I write because I need to expose Creator God, even if it is for only me.

Sometimes, I do get anxious.  I know something of the longing to see words behind my name that gives more depth to my existence. It is easy to believe that all the small parts of my life will not add up to any great thing. It isn't as though I want fame or fortune; I simply hope for depth.  I hope that my life is meaningful. I hope that my purpose is being fulfilled.  Is there meaning if I write only for me?  Is there real substance?

But then I hear the whisper in my heart.  I know it as clear as I know my own voice.  The whisper is reminding me that a paycheck can never define a purpose.  My life is lived in many different ways.  My days are spent doing much more than any title in my email signature.  In the middle of dirty laundry, emptying the dishwasher, and bedtime prayers, I know that who I am is really more about Whose I am.

When I teach a room full of children and feel their hugs at my waist, I know that every part is beautiful.  When I sing on the stage and lift my hands to worship, I see the beauty in the patchwork. When I process payroll for my employees, I see how precious it is to be a part of other people's purposes.  When I have to confront conflict or wipe another's teary face, I understand more and more of the art of a life.  The art, the creation, in a soul is simply stunning.  It has everything to do with a loving God, and nothing to do with any title.  And then, in those moments where I see so clearly the stunning work of God, I have to write.  I become a writer when God shows me His story. And that is my purpose, the sharing of the stories of God.  That is the purpose of every heart.  It works itself out in so many different ways; sometimes it is in the toddler room with playdough, sometimes it is on the keys of a piano, and sometimes it is on the keys of a computer.

Sweet sisters of faith, let's find our purpose in Him.  Let's allow God to define us and little else.  Let's tell His stories the best ways we know how, and let us delight in the beauty of living out His creativity in our souls.  And together, let's remind each other that a paycheck never define a purpose.

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