He Knows

8 10 2012

“During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel – and God knew.” – Exodus 2:23-25

Sometimes it seems like there is no way out. Stress mounts and presses in on our hearts. Debts pile up. Obstacles block our way. Worry eats at our souls. Deadlines, dilemmas, and disappointments fill our hearts. We try to tell others about the way anxiety is pushing us down, making us feel small and helpless. They listen for a minute, but are drowning in their own seas of stress and pressure. We stand alone and groan under the weight of worry.

That is why these verses in Exodus are so precious. Even as we stand in Israel’s shoes, they point us to the heart of God. God hears. God remembers. God sees. And God knows. Those four God-verbs are the antidote to our anxiety.

God hears. Cry out to the Lord. Ask for His help. Call on His name. He hears you. He is listening with the heart of a Father toward His beloved child.

God remembers. Don’t underestimate God’s faithfulness. He remembers His promises. He won’t neglect His purpose in your life. He remembers how fragile and precious you are and is ready to unleash His power into you.

God sees. This seeing is more than casual observation. God’s seeing always leads to God moving.

God knows. No one else may understand. No one else may care, stop, or notice. But God knows, and it is in being known that we are set free.

My Jesus Resolution today is to know that He knows. I can be certain that He hears my cries, listens to my weariness, and wipes away my tears. I want to remember that I am remembered. I want to open my eyes to the truth that God sees me. Not as a faceless number in a crowd, but as the daughter of His delight. God knows my situation, my struggles, my sin, and my sorrows because God intimately knows me. Today, I am going to find strength in knowing that my God knows.

Under Construction

5 10 2012

I like to watch those home renovation shows. It is always fun to see how drab and dreary becomes bright, functional, and beautiful.

My favorite moment is “the reveal.” That is when the designer takes the family into the home and unveils the finished project. The family has been a part of the process from the beginning. They examined the plans, got covered in dust, and have tired muscles from moving and lifting. Yet in the end, they are always surprised. There is a look of wonder on their faces as they soak in the entirety of the renovation.

Watching one of those shows with my daughter, we listened to the home owners complain about the debris, doubt the designers’ know-how, and question the value of the project. They whined about the wait, and were grumpy about unexpected hitches on the way. I turned and looked at my daughter. “Don’t they watch this show? The designer always makes it turn out beautiful in the end.”

I put my head in my hands and repented right there on the couch.

We are all under construction. God is working an extreme makeover in my heart. He is tearing out old motives, mismatched attitudes, broken dreams, and sin-stained perspectives. The Master Designer is realigning priorities, laying a solid foundation, cleaning out my junk, and installing new … everything. And just like those people on the show, I complain during the construction, doubting His wisdom, questioning His design, and grumbling about the timeline.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” – 1 John 3:2

My Jesus Resolution today is to trust my Designer. He has a vision for my life. He has a plan for my heart. He is taking the old, making it new, filling it with beauty, and bringing to life His desire for my soul. Standing in the middle of the dust and debris, it is sometimes hard to see how His plan is unfolding. Instead of progress, I often see problems. But my Designer knows what He is doing. He has everything under control. There is often a mess before marvelous. I can’t wait for the big reveal.


3 10 2012

The orange traffic cones were everywhere. Construction signs warned us about lane changes, closed roads, and detours. I groaned as my friend steered the car into the opposite lane than the one we wanted to be in. The long way around.

I could see my destination, but now the path was blocked. We would have to take a different route, drive in unexpected places, go an unfamiliar way, and take extra time getting there. I looked at my watch and growled. I was tired and in a hurry. This was not my plan.

I glanced over at my friend expecting to see my frustration mirrored on her face. Instead, I saw a smile. “I’ve never been this way before,” she said. That is when I understood. I viewed the detour as a burden. She saw blessings lined up in those orange cones.

We are all going to face detours. The path we have mapped out becomes blocked, broken, or bungled.  Family struggles, health problems, job concerns, faith questions, or money worries become big orange signs that demand that we change direction, alter our path, adjust our plan, or just move out of the way. Sometimes the detour comes from God Himself. He opens a door of opportunity, closes a door we had been counting on, or just points us in a way we hadn’t expected to walk. Either way, how we choose to see those detour signs has a dramatic impact on our level of joy.

My Jesus Resolution today is to count the blessings in my detours. Detours are not dead ends. They may not be the path I expected, but they are roads on which I can experience the presence of God. In the detour, I have the chance to see new things, learn new lessons, experience new joys, and trust in new ways. God has already been down the path I am walking. He already knows and is prepared for what lies around the corner. I can grumble about the detour or determine to see Jesus in every orange cone. I am going to travel down this road one way or the other. Am I going to do it with grumbling or grace?

Everyday Miracles

1 10 2012

We are surrounded by everyday miracles. Every day, God moves in our world. He answers prayers, lights the stars, spins this planet, and touches our souls. His presence is found in the wind. His light is seen in the sun. His mercy is felt in the rain. His love saturates our world like the unseen air that fills our lungs.

I have come to take miracles for granted. Sunsets, flowers, butterflies, and smiles grace my days. Too often, I don’t see. Friends walk out of hospitals, and I forget to stand in wonder. Peace comes in odd shapes and packages in the middle of dark nights, and I breathe again without stopping to worship. Blessings pile up at my door, and I walk around them to get on my busy, distracted way.

There is nothing ordinary about the miraculous. There isn’t anything ho-hum about the movement of God in our lives. Grace is a gift to be celebrated – every day. The cross stands as a reminder that the ordinary, everyday stuff of life is being transformed by the supernatural presence of God With Us. I am being changed into the likeness of Jesus, and that is a miracle all its own.

My Jesus Resolution today is to count my everyday miracles. I don’t want to live a distracted life. I want to have my eyes and heart open to all the ways God is at work around me and within me. I want to celebrate His nearness, exalt in His goodness, rest in His love, and satisfy myself with His grace. I want awe and wonder and worship to come as easily as breathing. I want every heartbeat to remind me that I am surrounded by everyday miracles. If I can count those beats, I will just begin to count the ways that God is at work around me.