TGIF…No really, thank God


But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NASB)

That’s what today is all about.

It’s Friday. Jesus is made to carry his cross. They pound nails into his flesh. He hangs there and dies an excruciatingly painful death. And he dies.

He loves. And he dies.

He is the sacrifice to atone–to bring into one. My sin, your sin, our choices to feed our selfishness and our greed have separated us from the One who not only created us, but loves us.

But he didn’t wait to do that after we sinned. He did it before. He did it with us in mind. He did it for us. He did it because of us.

This was God’s plan from before time began.

That’s how much he loves me. That’s how much he loves you.

At our darkest point, he loved us…loves us. Provides for us.

That’s grace. That’s amazing.

PRAYER: On this solemn day, we say thank you for the expanse and expense of your love. Amen.


Waiting through Suffering

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18, ESV)

I did a search for images of suffering. I was in the library. I sat there and wept.

Suffering is all around us.

I’m not talking about hangnails, hair loss, and hurt feelings.

I’m talking about life crushing brokenness.

But no matter where our suffering falls on the scale of horribleness…no matter what or how we suffer, it can’t be compared to the glory that will come.

What if we would opt to look at the suffering in our lives like these teeter totter acrobats? The heavier the weight of suffering, the higher we will soar…the greater the glory to be revealed.

I know some people who are ready to fly. God knows it too, and he’s got the glory ready.

PRAYER: God, I don’t understand suffering. Help us to trust you even when we don’t understand, even when glory is the furthest thing from our minds. Help us to endure as you endured…to your honor and glory and hope. Amen.

Day Sixteen: Boredom’s Cure

(Sorry for the lapse.  Computer and then internet issues have sought to sabotage my commitment to daily writing.  Thank you for hanging in there with me.)

Being bored has never been a good thing. When I was a kid, if I told my mom I was bored, she would gladly find me something to do…and it was never pleasant. Remembering this, I did what all mothers do: I passed the same trick along to my children, foster children, and grandchildren. The mere threat of my finding something for them to do generally cured any malaise.

So what about me? How as an adult do I do battle with boredom? I began by considering the antonyms for boredom, as suggested by amuse; thrill, enrapture. Hmmm. The last few days I’ve been amusing myself with my new Nook Tablet. I have enjoyed learning its intricacies and capabilities. That has been good. Thrill? Not big into thrills. I wasn’t blessed with an abundance of curiosity or daring. I’m not even sure I’ve thought of thrill in a positive light for a very long time. Lately all I can think of is saying that I’m not thrilled about something or other, usually about feeling like I have no choices. My time doesn’t seem to belong to me. I don’t have any pocket money to blow. What would I do if my time were my own? Would it be thrilling to make a few choices? To say no when everyone expects me to say yes? Hmmm.

Enraptured. Now there’s something to think about. I just dashed over to again to check whether I really knew what the word meant. To me it’s an all encompassing kind of word. It’s a feeling of being lost in something. It’s an experience engaging all my senses.

One of the actual definitions is: to delight beyond measure. And therein, as my mother would say, lies the rub. I’m not feeling much joy these days. I can’t tell you why or when joy took a hiatus, but I’m definitely missing it.

So I turned to the scriptures to find my cure. First stop, Psalms. Now I realized I was feeling like David in Psalm 13. He was one depressed dude. But in the end he returns to the source of his faith. Later he reminds himself in Psalm 37 not to worry about how good the other guy has it but trust in God who will give him the delight of his heart. Finally I landed in Psalm 51, where David writes: Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. I had trouble finding the verse. I put in several different combinations and each one included: the joy of my salvation. Now that little difference may not jump out at you, but it spoke volumes to me.

Do you wear glasses? I do. I started wearing glasses when I was 40. I’ve always had trouble with my eyes (4 corrective eye muscle surgeries before I was 9), so I was familiar with the ocular device where the doctor asks you to consider which lens is clearer, “This one or this one? This one or this one? This one or this one?” This part of the examination seems to take forever, and some of the differences are so minute that they’re practically indistinguishable.

That’s what I started thinking about as I considered the difference between “my salvation” and “your salvation.” How much difference can one word really make? For me, in this case, a huge difference. As I reflected, I realized that I was once again at that place where I want things the way I want them. I had been relying upon my wisdom, my strength, my salvation. Interesting side note: I just spelled that slavation–as if doing it my made me a slave to my self and didn’t provide what I needed most: salvation from the only one who can truly provide it, now and forever. No wonder I had lost my joy.

I wish I could say that I have determined three steps to reach my goal of restored joy. Wouldn’t that be nice? Right now, all I can muster is a determination to seek after God and his salvation through greater dependence on the word and more time in direct communication with him in prayer. And trust me, I’ll let you know where that gets me. Shalom.

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