God’s Family

The tragedies of the week caused us to put aside our differences and remember that we are a beautiful community closely connected by the love we share. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God’s family would do the same. I can only imagine what this world would be like if we all quit squabbling about details and arguing over petty differences. God loves all His children, and it breaks His Son’s body and His own heart when we break apart. We learned this week that we are more alike than we are different.

Families stick together, and that is never more true than when tragedy strikes. When death enters our safe haven, we cling to one another. Love causes fear and sorrow to take a back seat, and those things that once seemed important enough to fight about no longer matter. God loves this world, and He watched His only Son die to save it. When we remember His loss, we draw nearer to Him and to one another. When we get caught up in our agendas and plans, we begin to argue over who’s doing the most or who’s right about this or that.

Satan sits back and grins when we poke at one another, place blame, or point out sins in each other. God shakes His head and wonders what more would it take to get us to come together and see what truly matters. Jesus said to love God and our neighbor. This week, our sweet community has been a beautiful neighborhood. I pray that we will hold on to that spirit and not allow anything to come between us and those we love. We should love each other and celebrate our differences. God created each of us, and we are all beautiful to Him. Would that we would be to one another, so His kingdom would come, and His will would be done.

It is possible to love in God’s kingdom now. If you didn’t see that this week, you were not paying attention. Join me in praying for unity as we love God with all that is within us and love each other as we have this week. The praying life is all about community. Satan argues and fusses about being right and loves to see separation and discord. God creates us to be a loving community because He knows it’s the very best way to get a glimpse of Him. We each must decide who we want to be like, and I saw an awfully lot of God this week. I’m excited about all He has in mind and look forward to seeing it work out in the faces of the beautiful folks in this community and in the world.

A Breath of Fresh Prayer

When praying becomes as natural as breathing, the praying life becomes a reality. In a week filled with so much hurt, I found a breath of fresh prayer this morning. I’ve sighed and cried and supplicated this week, but the greatest sense of relief came when I breathed a deep sigh of giving in and giving up. The sorrow of the week helped me see the futility of trying to understand that which I cannot understand, and that gave God the space He needed to breathe His Word into me.

I came to the end of my prayer rope this week and made the freefall of faith that must occur if I am to trust and obey Him completely. I would not have let go if I could have held on.  I suppose I thought I would hit something or crash when I let go, and that shows a lack of faith in and of itself. What I found was David’s sweet psalm that I always had my students memorize. The Twenty-Third Psalm came one line at a time, and it was like breathing in sweet fresh air after being underwater or in a stuffy cellar.

So thankful for His precious Word that filled my heart and lifted my spirit. Psalm 23

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lordfor ever.”  KJV

With each line, God breathed new life into my weary heart and taught me that prayer is not only asking and crying out, it is also breathing in His Spirit. Too often, I don’t turn to God until there is no other hope or when tragedy humbles. Praying, like breathing, involves taking in the comfort and joy God has to offer or simply enjoying His precious presence. I’m guilty of talking to Him and then hanging up before He has the chance to answer. That’s as silly as only breathing out.

Take time to take in a breath of fresh prayer, and you’ll find that the freefall of faith is a simple sigh of release followed by a deep inhaling of His Spirit. It makes all the difference in the world when it comes to praying and living the life He has in mind:)

Is There An Easier Way?

It’s been a week of great loss in my community as we mourn the death of two precious young men taken too quickly from the loving arms of their families. I also lost a dear friend who was a big part of my life and very like a sister. My heart has been going through a difficult time lately, and I found myself wondering if love is worth the pain.

The cost of loving is great, and my heart will be broken each time I chose to love.  I know that well, but as I prayed this morning, my heart begged God to help me understand the pain. Isn’t there an easy way to love? Of course, I knew the answer before I asked the question. If there were an easy way to love, Jesus would have shown us how to love without hurting. His way of loving involves great pain, and His heart was, and still is, broken in ways we cannot imagine. Separation from God is hell, and losing loved ones is a taste of the torment of that horrid place, but choosing not to love is condemning my heart to stay there.

The good news is that God is love, and He prepared the way for us to love Him and share His love with others. It broke His heart to watch His Son die, but His resurrection sealed our hearts with the sweet assurance that His love is forever ours. Death does not stop love; it reminds me of the cost Christ paid so I could love. I plan to keep loving with all my heart because it is the only way I know how to love, and I plan to remember Christ when my heart is breaking.

An Easy Way to Love?

Why must the heart be broken

Over and over again?

Isn’t there an easy way

To love without feeling pain?

 

God’s quiet response to me

It’s the only way I know.

It broke My heart to pieces

To watch my beloved Son go.

 

Endure the pain of loving,

And then you will understand.

The joy that comes from loving

Is worth all the the heart demands.”