Tuesday, December 17, 2013

God with Us

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Emmanuel. God with us. I listened to the words playing in my car. I thought about God's gift of forgiveness wrapped up in human flesh. Skeptics doubt this fact. Believers bank on this as truth. Martyrs die proclaiming this message. Sometimes we act as though Emmanuel was a nickname given to Christ before "Savior", "King of Kings", "Lord of Lords", and "Prince of Peace". We wallow in loneliness, drown in fear and hurt. We text and call anyone who will listen or help. Friends are great to bend an ear,or offer an extended hand. They may even be sent by God at certain times. However, what a friend cannot do is place within us a peace and comfort that stills the soul. To expect this of someone will drain them dry and leave us even more alone. Four times in the Book of John, Jesus mentioned when He left this place called earth, He would send a Comforter. Our Creator knew our need for companionship. He knew our longing for a God who would dwell in and among us. We are not alone. Emmanuel. Prince of Peace. Counselor. Comforter. God with us.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Rodents in your walls will drive you mad. Crazy mad. My husband bought every trap the big box home store sold. Our critter was smart and somehow bypassed the traps and scurried up pipes into the wall beside our bed. Each night she scampered back and forth repetitively. She was making trips from the outside of our house to the inside of our wall, nesting. One night I punched my husband and screamed, “Go get her!” He rushed to the basement and the known point of entry. There was a showdown. My brave warrior husband with flashlight and long stick and a squirrel caught in headlights, frozen with fear, the battle began. The squirrel mustered up enough courage to run but my husband’s stick was long. He speared her. (Sorry animal lovers, but two weeks of no sleep and the chance of a wall filled with rodents drive one to extreme measures.) To our dismay one of the sticky traps left out caught two baby sparrows. I managed to free one but the other fought my efforts. With every wiggle she glued down further. Then her legs broke. The beak and another wing went down in the unforgivable glue. I tried to free her. She breathed her last. I fought back tears and recalled that “His eye is on the sparrow.” I’ve met folks like the squirrel. They try to plant roots where they don’t belong. They run themselves crazy trying to be where they shouldn’t. Those closest to them get exhausted with the perpetual frantic panic that ensues. The end of their story doesn’t include, “And they lived happily, ever after.” Then there are the sparrows. These are the innocents who wonder off course out of curiosity. They get stuck in places, with people, or substances that trap them. The submissive ones yield to those who provide rescue. The stubborn ones resist. One is freed (never the less with a bit of glue that reminds them to stay away from danger). However, those who resist a graceful rescue, stay stuck. Until a willingness to get out of the clutching trap occurs, there is a war. We watch, wait, and pray. We can’t get them out of stuck. There is a death to self will that frees us from stuck and leads to living, to a life worth living. Jesus prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done.”

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Stage

Life is not about me. I didn't just have one of those palm to forehead moments. The moment of my birth all eyes in the room were on me. I commanded attention without even knowing it. My cries were monitored and attended to with rapid speed. In due time only certain "hootin' and hollerins'" I did even bleeped across my family's radar. Everyone had me figured out and knew my little tantrums were for attention. I was ignored and took the tantrums inside my body since all outward pleas went unnoticed. Emotions such as anger, resentment,and criticism began to fester. Little did I know I was building quite an arsenal to retaliate when my spotlight was dimmed or darkened by others. I wish I could tell you this behavior changed the moment I surrendered my life to Christ. To do so would make me a liar. I am so grateful God in His mercy has zoomed the spotlight on my negative emotions and behaviors. He has done this in private (of which I am thankful for) and also in public (where my biggest lessons were learned). I've come to realize on the stage of life not everyone can have the spotlight all the time nor do they deserve it - even moi! I am able to sit back and enjoy watching the gifts and talents of others. I can rest just in case I get another turn or help backstage so others lights shine even brighter when they get a turn and I don't. This has been humbling and a necessary life skill. The apostle Paul said he had learned to be content in whatever situation he was in. I can't say I've landed the plane on that runway yet. However, I am reading the manual to learn how to be okay with where God has me, on stage or off.