Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tonight is the eve following a catastrophic storm at Union University in Jackson, TN. This was my alma mater. I met my husband at this school and we courted, fell in love, and planned our lives together all while at Union. I was a resident advisor at Union and remember enduring 3 tornados in Jackson, TN in one year. Two of the tornadoes were powerful enough to cause extensive damage and terrorize frightened young girls who were just learning how to live without the protection of their parents. The great damage caused during those storms (millions of dollars worth) is easily shadowed by last night's devastating storm. Many students were trapped by the buildings caving in all around them. Cars were strewn on top of cars (many, not just here and there). 20% of the dorms are liveable now. Buildings were destroyed. The power of the storm is unimaginable. But all students survived. God had His strong hand on His people. God kept the bathroom walls surrounding his frightened children intact while everything around them crumbled. It is illogical when you look at the pictures and see walls stripped completely from buildings, roofs gone, and the bathroom walls are still strong and stable.
Yes, we know that God could surely have taken people home last night. He could've done whatever He wanted to do. All He does is to draw His people to Himself. Last night He protected the people of Union University. They faced a storm and ran to God, their "refuge and strength"
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
Psalm 46: 1, 2
Their Bibles were opened as the fierce winds attacked and their voices raised in prayer and petition for their lives, for protection, for God's glory in the midst of suffering. Their prayers were answered.
And today, my earth gave way in a manner of speaking. God brought to my attention that it is not my job to fix everything and that God is perfectly capable (that doesn't do Him justice!) to take care of things on His own time and in His own way. He showed me this by allowing a circumstance that I can do nothing about. Benjamin is sick and will need outpatient surgery. It breaks my heart that he is so sick. It also hurts to know that I cannot fix it for him or take it from him. God has given him such stamina. I want my son to be well, but I also want to know God, to know what he is doing with these circumstances to show Himself to us. I know that God wants me to see Him, to grow with Him, to trust myself less and Him more. I weep as my empty hands have nothing to offer my suffering son. But God's hands are strong and His supply is endless. He is the protector and provider, creator of all things, and He will provide in this circumstance as well. He promises to never leave or forsake His children. He has plans for Benjamin's life that will bring glory to His name. If that includes deafness, then God will do it. If that includes a full recovery and miraculous healing, then God WILL do it. And I will pray that God's name be honored in the midst of this, that God increase our faith in HIS all sufficient power.
These everyday, physical needs, pains, desires encompass so much of our life, but Christ has SO much more to offer. He offers water that, once we drink of it, we will never thirst again. He has salve for our spiritual eyes and spiritual food that is fulfilling and rich. He offers life, eternal with His Holy father. True rest and a heart that is at peace. Lord, I want all you have to offer and more! Saturate our family with spiritual blessings. Continue to give us opportunities to run to you, whatever it takes.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
All thanks to God our Father who has forgiven every debt I owed and placed His sweet hand of peace over my heart. Help me show the same mercy, to reflect Christ in offering both cheeks, giving my cloak and tunic, going the extra mile or more and being willing to lay down my life for another man, regardless of what I (a mere human) believes they might deserve. Father, You are giver of ALL things, and things are not YOU. YOU are the real deal, and You are all that we want, all that we need!
Here is scripture for today that is quite significant.
Matthew 18: 15-35
A Brother Who Sins Against You15"If your brother sins against you,[b] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'[c] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[f]
23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[g] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."