"Well done, You're My Girl" ... the Speaking Voice

"Well done, You're My Girl" ... the Speaking Voice

“…God is not silent, has never been silent.  It is the nature of God to speak.  The second Person of the Holy Trinity is called “the Word.”  The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God’s continuous speech.  It is the infallible declaration of His mind for us put into our familiar human words.” (Tozer, The Pursuit of God, p 82)

God is a Speaking God...not just in the past, but right now, right here. Yes, in His Scriptures, but also and very personally to you and me by His Spirit in our spirit. 

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"Your heart has knees..."

"Your heart has knees..."

I would like to tell you about Lou, a friend and brother in the Lord.  Lou was a "flower child" of the '60's.  He, of course, would never have missed Woodstock -- along with all his long-haired hippie freak friends.  And Lou loved to share.  What he always shared was the latest "turn on" he had discovered and enjoyed, no matter what it might be. But there was Something missing in Lou's life.  He didn't realize that it was a God-shaped Someone, and He had a Name.  His Name is our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

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Surprised by the Voice that I long to hear...in the hard

My sheep hear My voice...

This week I'm in New Jersey, caring for my 91 year old mom so that my care-giver sister can get a much needed break.

Mommy & Me on the boardwalk in Belmar

Mom has a number of health issues that have caused her to slowly, very slowly, deteriorate. Someone has called this period of life that many of us "baby boomers" face as we care for our aged parents, "The long good-bye." And it certainly is...and it's hard...very hard...and for a number of reasons.

First, of course, is the fact that our beloved one is declining and suffering in the process. That's hard to watch.

And my precious Mommy (as we sibs still call her) is developing backwards, so to speak.  She is declining back through the stages of human development, and that's hard! Hard to witness and hard to adjust to, especially relationship-wise.

The child becomes the parent, and the parent becomes the child.

mom, sibs, & me Aug 2012It's also hard because of the physical energy and personal sacrifice involved in the care-giving.

It's a privilege in so many ways to be able to "give back" to one who has sacrificed all for us. But for those of us who aren't naturally gifted in the care-giving, serving gifts, it can also be particularly difficult...even humanly speaking, distasteful!  For instance,  the need to wash and toilet the person goes against most sensibilities, to be perfectly honest!

Well, this week the Lord met me in the hard-ness of the serving.  As I was helping my precious mom in her embarrassing needs in the restroom, as my back was hurting and the smells and required care were overwelming, as everything within me was yelling, "This is hard," the Voice that I always long to hear broke through.

You are doing this for Me! I am in your mom! So you are serving ME!

Oh wow, Lord! Of course! You said,

As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers [or sisters], you did it to me. (Matthew 25:40 ESV)

You are doing all this to ME!

I was serving HIM! Yes, the King, the Lord, the Master! Wow, what a privilege... not only to serve my darling mama, but in the serving, to be ministering to my Jesus!

As my heart took this all in, I remembered another time, years ago, when I sacrificially served. It was joyful and hard...very hard...in the same way.  But the thing that was especially hard was that I wasn't thanked in any way, though others were.

As I was sitting outside on my porch, "licking my emotional wounds," enjoying the weird "delight" of self-pity ("I can't believe that they didn't even thank me!"), the Voice that I always long to hear broke through,

Well done, good and faithful servant...Enter into the joy of your master. (Matthew 25:23 ESV)

Oh my! I was undone!

HIS "Well Done"  was worth it all! Much better than all of the thank you's and recognition on this earth!

So dear friends, members of the sandwich generation caring for beloved aged ones and moms and dads pouring it out for the beloved young ones and everyone else in between, hear this from the Voice that in reality you too always long to hear,

...as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

Well done, good and faithful servant...Enter into the joy of your master.

Amen!

This Day, This Word

I'm going to be gut-level honest...I'm blah, feeling bruised and beaten, blank, done... I know it won't last forever...it never does.  But despite all the good things in my life, I'm low.

I'm depleted of energy after teaching 3 days in a row.  I'm facing long and arduous delay after delay in the publication of my Bible study book. I can't even "hire" an agent because I don't have a big enough "platform" (a.k.a. "following). And I've "failed" in a message that should have been an easy success (at least, from my feeble and presumptious viewpoint).

I know this is self-pity to the hilt! Did you see all the "I's"? But to tell you the truth, I don't feel guilty, because I know my Abba still loves me! Yes, even in the midst of my self-pity! In fact, "My Abba is very fond of me" as Brennan Manning used to say.

Can you identify, dear friend?  And do you know that very same truth...your Abba still loves you, even your self-pitying you! He is very fond of you too, so much so that He will meet you in all the mess!

He met me in the midst of my mess the other day...with just a word! Can I tell you about it?

As I was emotionally "crashing and burning" from all of the above listed stresses (and some), I cried out to the Lord,

Jesus, give me something...just a word...please!

Immediately, the words all, every, fullness came into my mind.  I knew them to be key words in my favorite letter of the apostle Paul's, the letter to the Colossians.  As my eyes began to take this beautiful Christ-exalting book of Scripture in, the Holy Spirit "highlighted" a word in chapter 1, verse 17:

...in Him, all things hold together!

Wow! He holds it all!

HOLDS was my word that day.

I sensed that He was saying that all the things in my life that seem to be totally out of control are NOT! Why? Because HE holds them all together!

Then He brought to mind another verse from my other favorite Bible book:

He holds all things by His powerful word! Hebrews 1:3

There it was again...holds.

HE holds it all!

I don't have to do the holding, the struggling, the striving to figure out the why's and wherefore's!  What freedom!

So I embraced my word that day, and walked it out in peace.

What are your struggles, your frustrations, your blankness and doneness?  No matter what it may be or how much self-pity you are wallowing in, cry out to the Lord! Ask Him for a WORD...just one.

He loves you...even your self-pitying, struggling you.  Your Abba is very fond of you.

Then your new "mantra" can be...

This day, this WORD!

May it be so for each of us, O our loving Abba Father! Amen!

PS I'll even let you borrow my word hold and my beloved Colossians to get you started.  Just listen for Him and His speaking voice in the depths of your soul as you wait to receive from HIM!