Have you ever felt like you were caught up in a whirlwind? Do you long for a place where you can go to throw away all your cares? Do you hunger for a time when you can just be you? If you answered “yes” to all three questions, then join me at my Father’s feet. It’s a place where you can come just as you are–weary, worn and empty. It’s a place where you can lay your head on Father’s chest and hear him whisper words of hope, words of peace, words of affirmation. Hear Him say, “You are mine. I have loved you with an everlasting love. I accept you just as you are. There’s room for you. No one can take your place. I have a special place reserved for you. Lay your head on my shoulder. Hear my heart beat for you. Come into my presence. Lay aside everything you’ve heard about me and let me show you who I am. I see the longing of your heart. I know your insecurities. They do not intimidate me. I love you. I miss my time with you. Those special moments. I’m still here. Waiting. Longing. Loving. Accepting. Renewing.”
Remember the simple song you used to sing when you were a little girl or little boy: “Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, for the bible tells me so.” Come as a little child, with wonder, with expectation, with eyes wide open. Offer a kiss to Father, come as you are. There’s a special place for you. You are the apple of His eye.
Sometimes I find myself seeing Him through the eyes of others and I sink under the weight of false expectations. Then I stop and say, “I’m my beloved’s and He is mine. His banner over me is love.” If you’ve been going through a time of struggle, know that you’re coming out stronger, wiser, flying, soaring to new heights. Your time in the cocoon is preparation for your next place. While you’re there, sit at Father’s feet. There He tells you and me who we are in Him. He covers us with His feathers and heals us with His love. His grace is sufficient. Come, find rest at the Father’s feet.
I was shocked at what I saw on the way to church this morning! I couldn’t believe my eyes. It had been six or more months and the beautiful white house with the wrap-around porch looked the same as it did the day after the fire. I had admired the house with the southern charm ever since we moved into the area six years ago. I could imagine sitting on that porch in a rocker sipping an ice-cold glass of tea in the afternoon. Late one night I remembered hearing on the news that a fire had occurred near us and that one of the newscasters had seen flames shooting from a house as she rounded the bend. Fortunately, she stopped, banged on the door and saved the lives of everybody in the house. When I looked closer, I recognized the precious porch house. A couple of days later, every window was boarded and a trash dumpster eventually placed nearby. A “No trespassing” sign was the icing on the cake.
I’ve been waiting to see some visible sign of progress every time Willie and I round the curve. This morning I was disappointed again. “When are we going to see change? I wonder why it’s taking so long.” As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized God was showing me something. I looked over at Willie and said, “There’s a lesson here. We are so busy looking for outward signs of change that we fail to realize God is busy doing something inside of us. God works from the inside out, not from the outside in. While we look for our situations to change, He’s more concerned with our character. He desires that we change. The situations we experience are simply change agents. God knows what we will be like once we go through the process. He covers us with a blanket of love and gives us the strength and resources to come out shining on the other side.
So if you’re discouraged because you feel stuck or disappointed that your situation has not changed, know that if He brought you through before, He’ll do it again. Go ahead. Look in the mirror. You may not feel victorious, but He calls you “Victory!” Give Him praise for where you’ve been, where you are today and where you will be tomorrow. “The best is yet to come!”
Be encouraged and know this truth from God’s Word: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17 NKJV).
I am grateful for the gift of family! And I’m thankful that in the midst of pain and joy my family has been there for one another this month. Here are the moments I’m celebrating:
1. Having the opportunity to celebrate my birthday at the Greater Philadelphia Writers Conference.
2. Having my brother Buck and best friend and sister-in-law, Varle, at my house on her birthday and worshipping with them at New Mercies yesterday!
3. Celebrating the birthday of another friend and sister-in-law in Florida and looking forward to her writing! Yah!
4. Thanking God for His faithfulness as I remember my brother’s birthday.
5. Thanking God for His grace and mercy as my extended family drew together to lay an older cousin and her daughter to rest in a double funeral and celebrating their glorious entrance into heaven! A couple actually got saved at their funeral! To God be the glory!
6. Celebrating the wedding of our oldest son Duane and his lovely bride Maria and rejoicing in a new beginning for them! I just realized I gained four more grandchildren through the union! Wow!
7. Thanking God as I anticipate the birthday of our oldest daughter Andrea and celebrating her new beginning on a new job!
8. Also worshipping with my daughter Christine, son-in-law, Dameion and the boys at New Mercies yesterday.
For these things, Father, I’m grateful and it’s only August 18th. In the good times, praise His name. In the bad times do the same. In everything, give the King of Kings all the thanks!