Tag: purpose

Waiting on the Lord Part 2

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Are you still waiting?

Chances are you are waiting on something. And yes, it can be encouraging to know that other people are waiting too, that all this waiting is actually part of our being human. But knowing there are some things that just aren’t within our control doesn’t make the waiting any easier.

Can you remember a time before we all had cell phones? I was very pregnant and traveling with our 4 and 8 year olds, coming home from visiting my parents. Very long flight. My husband had said call when we got in to the airport and he would pick us up.

airport-2123274_640I found a pay phone and called to say we were here, and went to get our bags, then we all walked to the passenger pick up and waited with our luggage outside exhausted. The kids were tired and hungry and hot but we waited; standing, sitting, chatting…

After waiting an hour, I was worried. The trip from our house was usually only 45 minutes. At the risk of missing him, I gathered the boys and our bags and went inside to find another pay phone. My husband hadn’t even left yet! I just about collapsed.

Even leaving right then, it would take at least another 45 minutes to get to the airport – then another 45 minutes to get back home!

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Nothing else to do but wait.

So I decided that to keep the boys engaged and in better spirits, we would make up games and silly songs to fill the time. We made up a new song called “It can be fun to wait.” In the song we counted, marched, sang our ABCs. We made a memory.

Now, when I am waiting alongside other people, they all pull out their cell phones and focus on them. Me, I turn to prayer. There are always people or circumstances on my mind that I can talk to the Lord about. And now that we wear masks in many public places where I wait, I can even pray quietly and no one can see my lips moving.

Through this, and so many other times I could tell you about, God showed me that time spent waiting can be purposeful. It can be prayerful. It can be “praise-ful.” And all those things can help us be patient.

blur-1867402_640Later He gave me this song. I still sing it when I’m challenged to “wait on the Lord.” It helps remind me that I need to use whatever time I have to praise Him. For who He is. For what He has done. When I use waiting time to pray, it helps me be patient. I feel like there’s purpose in it.

Try praise and prayer next time you find yourself waiting for something.

Chorus 2 X:  I can wait patiently

I can wait prayer-fully

I can wait praise-fully

For God knows what I need and He provides for me

As I wait I will praise my God

and the wonderful things He has done

I will praise Him for all creation

The earth and the stars and the sun

As I wait I will praise His name

Holy and Mighty is He

I thank Him for sending salvation

Salvation for you and for me

Chorus 2 X:  I can wait patiently

I can wait prayer-fully

I can wait praise-fully

For God knows what I need and He provides for me

And sometimes I even still sing the silly “it can be fun to wait” song too.

Because, sometimes, now, it can be fun to wait!

Will you Squat or Soar?

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It may be warming up where you are, but in Colorado, we are having what may be the snowiest March on record!

And there are still lots of birds wintering here from Canada.  They’re fun to watch as I walk around the nearby lake.

Picture a cold snowy day. There is a white, icy bed of snow on the ground; ice creeping slowly across the lake.

Your eye moves from the white of the ground, to the gray of the freezing water, to the haze of the sky, hemming in the horizon with a veil of frosty air. The sun is only a bright spot in the gray blanket of low, snow clouds tucked in around the lake. Not much is moving as you gaze out across the expanse of grayness.

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There are groups of ducks and geese, tightly tucked and asleep on the ice. Another group of nondescript white birds is clumped together near the water. But there is none of the clucking and chatter that usually accompanies their presence. Not a sound is heard. The frigid air threatens to stop any communication cold, as it freezes every breath taken.

Then, above the lake, a bird appears: silently soaring, in seemingly slow motion. Its graceful wings, stretched to its farthest reach, give it a look of majesty as it hangs upon the air. It is joined by another. They turn twice, together, and are joined by a third.

The mid-air ballet continues for several moments before they separate and go in three different directions. As one flies towards you, you can see the graceful curve of its pure white, broad wings, and the delicate black tips that reach out to capture the air that lifts it higher.

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You recognize this bird. It’s the same kind that you noticed before, squatting, clumped together with others like it in a huddle on the ground. This same little nondescript bird that blended in so plainly with the frozen background displays a Godly majesty when flying. But of course! Flying is exactly what God created it for!

Soaring, is what God created you for. What is keeping you squatting in the snow?

It’s so easy to stay on the ground with our friends, huddled against the circumstances of our lives, fearing the cold, the wind.

But the air is warmer higher up. And the wind lifts you. And God has prepared you to enjoy using the gift of soaring He has given you! And His glory and majesty that you reflect, will inspire others and honor Him.

But, the choice is yours. Will you squat? Or soar?

Take the leap!  See you up there  smiley-1635449_640

Lift up your head!

Lift up your head.

In Hebrew: Naso et-rosh.

The English version of most Bibles translates this to say: take a census, or be counted. In Numbers 4:1-2 this makes an oversimplified statement of the historical activity.

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The Israelites had left Egypt, spent two years in the desert, and constructed the Tabernacle. They were no longer slaves to the Egyptians. Now they were to look to the Lord their God for new direction and a new life purpose.

Naso et-rosh does not just mean “take a census.”

In context, to those people, the weight of the meaning of those Hebrew words meant so much more!

Naso et-rosh means to lift up your head, gaze intently into the clarity of the Holy One and accept the purpose and the passion for who you were created to be.

religion-3452582_640Usually we live life running busily from one task to another – even trying to multitask to get more done in less time. But in these times of worldwide pandemic and isolating at home we have plenty of time on our hands to take a moment for a spiritual refreshing.  We can make the time to seek in prayer and in God’s Word the essence of who we are and who God wants us to be.  

Many of us will emerge from this pandemic with cleaner houses and a few extra pounds.  But you have the opportunity to emerge with a new sense of God-given purpose and direction. 

Set aside 10 minutes each day this week to hear from the Lord.  Wait expectantly to hear something exciting.  Imagine yourself, His child, passing through ascending tongues of fire (like Moses saw on the burning bush – fire that burned but did not consume the bush) and coming into His presence.

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Ask God to speak to you, and then listen – with your spirit.  Write down anything you believe you hear.   About who you are. About how He created you with special gifts and talents and a unique personality.  About where He is already working and how He invites you to join Him in that work.

Confirm what you have heard by comparing it to what God says in His Word and with the fruit of the spirit.  For more on how to do this see my blog post Googling God part 3 click here.

“Naso et-rosh”  invites you to spend time with your Creator in order to seek out and receive from Him.

Accept the invitation.

Lift up your head!

You CAN survive !

Sailing across the Sea of Galilee was an amazing experience.  When we got to the other side we visited the museum of a 2000-year old boat.

In 1986, two brothers discovered it when a severe drought lowered the water level of the Sea of Galilee.  This boat has been dated to the First Century AD.  It’s about twenty-six feet long and eight feet wide, and has been painstakingly preserved.  It is believed to be the kind of boat Jesus rode in.  It shows us, at least, what boats used for fishing and transportation across the lake were like then.

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So this boat is 2,000 years old.  Yet it survived!  It had not simply sunk, but had been buried in the sea floor – safe from where the minerals, plant and animal life and the erosive effects of the water’s currents could take its toll.  But why this boat?

Evidence suggests that it had a hard life – broken timbers had been reused; lots of repairs and patching were observed.  Yet it survived.

The use of twelve different wood types, and the types of repair jobs, suggests that its owner was a fisherman of meager means.  Yet it survived.

This vessel carried simple fishermen.  It took them where they needed to go.  It kept them afloat.  It provided a base from which they worked.  And it survived.  It may have even been used by the Jews in a battle against the Romans in 67 AD.  Yet it survived!

Think about it:

How many of us, like this boat, have had a hard life?

Been batted about by the waves of life.

Faced storms?

How many of us have experienced brokenness?

Been patched up?

Maybe we even have scars from past battles.

We too, are vessels.  As Christians, we are vessels of the Holy Spirit.  We too, may have been damaged and repaired.  We too, may be of “meager means.”  Yet we can be like that Ancient Galilean boat.  We too, can survive!

It wasn’t the fancy boat of a wealthy man.  It wasn’t a boat made of the strongest wood.  It wasn’t the biggest.  It wasn’t the best.  Why did it alone, survive?  Because it was a boat that God had a purpose for!

Do you know God’s purpose for you?

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He tells you in Jeremiah 29:11.  He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Because God has a purpose for you, you can survive!

 

Whatever you are facing now, you can survive.

Whatever you have faced, you can survive.

Whatever you are about to face, you can survive.

Against all odds, because God has a plan for you, you can survive!

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God won’t ask you to be what He didn’t already make you to be

One morning I started out walking around the lake very early.  The sun had not come up yet.  My mood was as dark as the sky.

I had been thinking about some of my friends who seem to have their successful lives totally together.  And by comparison, I was not measuring up.

car-160343_640.pngSo much of our life is spent in comparing ourselves with others and ranking our performance.  Men compare jobs, incomes, physical strength, intellect, cars, houses and material possessions, then often glean their self worth from how they rank against those around them.

Women will gauge their self-approval by their career versus home choices, their physical appearance, their children’s behavior and successes.  Even Christians will compare ministry participation, missions’ involvement, or spiritual gifts.

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I felt that I could hear God say to me: “Don’t you know I love creativity!  I didn’t use a cookie cutter – I made you  – and each individual different.  I love you and I’m pleased with you regardless of who else I made, or how I made them!”

 

Although it was getting lighter, His message wasn’t getting through my gloom.

I rounded the far end of the lake and headed back to the east.  By now, the sun had risen in the sky, but because of cloud cover, the sunlight was not direct.  It was, however extremely bright.  As you looked toward the sun, there were parts peeking through, but the thin clouds were so brightly illuminated they were glowing!

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God was showing me something new.

Seeing the brightness reminded me that we, as Christians, are supposed to be light in the world.  But the sun is so bright!  I told God I couldn’t possibly be a sun.

 

It was as if God said, “My dear, I don’t expect that.  But see how much brighter it seems because the clouds are scattering the light?  And what are clouds made up of?  Tiny drops of water!”

droplet-161679_640It brought tears to my eyes!   God is the sun, but I can be a drop of water!  I can reflect the light God has illuminated my life with, to others!

That is so doable.  And not so threatening at all.

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Accept who God has made you to be.  Don’t compare yourself with others, or the life they are called to or the gifts and talents they have.   Accept God’s love for you – for who He has created you to be.

Whatever He calls you to be, He will equip you to be.

It can be as simple as a drop of water.

Could that be what He is calling you to do?

You can simply reflect the light He is bringing to your life to those around you.

And in doing so, magnify Him.  What an amazing purpose!