Your Name

6 08 2014

Look for your name. You can find it on a soft drink bottle these days. The clever marketing campaign by one of the country’s largest soda manufacturers has people digging through the shelves, taking selfies, and buying soft drinks for their friends. The product in the bottle isn’t new. The novelty comes from finding the bottle that has your name on it.

Your name is important. It does more for you than differentiate you from the next person. Your name speaks to your identity. When someone knows your name, they know something about you. Your name comes to represent your heart, your character, and your focus. When you mention the name of a person, more comes to mind than just outward identification material. Say someone’s name and you will recall something about their attitude, actions, and the substance of their soul.

Finding your name on a bottle is fun, but did you know that your name has a holy residence? Isaiah 49:16a says, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Look at your Savior’s nail-scarred hands and you will find your name. He did it for you. He loves you so much that He inscribed your name on His hands. Jesus etched your name on His hands so that you could wear His name and live in His presence. This isn’t a summer marketing ploy. This is God’s deep desire and grace forged together so that you will know that you are known and loved.

My Jesus Resolution today is to look for my name. Every day God plants blessings and opportunities in my path just for me. They have my name on them. God doesn’t work generically. He knows my name and the number of hairs on my head. He also knows how to speak to the deep needs of my heart. I have to learn to look for how His hand touches my name. God is watching me with a father’s eyes. He loves me with a father’s heart. He reaches out to me with hands that are engraved with my name just so I can be reassured that I am never forgotten and never far away from the arms of my God.





Droopy

4 08 2014

My roses are looking kind of droopy. We have had a great summer – plenty of rain and not too terribly hot. A few weeks ago, my roses were thriving. Red and yellow blooms looked like jewels against a lush green background. Today the green has kind of faded and the blooms are gone. The rose bushes look a little beaten up, a little worse for the wear, and just a little sad. I pointed out the droopy roses to my husband. Looking them over, he said that they need a good feeding. Giving them the right nutrients would perk them up.

The roses are a mirror for my soul. Sometimes I am droopy. Just like my flowers, my heart needs the right nutrients in order to thrive. The right external circumstances are not enough. My soul needs to be fed, tended, and cared for if I want it to do more than survive.

Isaiah offers this invitation from the Lord. “Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.” (Isaiah 55:2b-3a) God’s Word is the food that our souls need to thrive, soar, be joyful, and live in His abundance. When we are diligent about listening to God, it shows in every part of our lives.

My Jesus Resolution today is to enjoy God’s feast. I know how to savor a physical meal. I slow down. I am deliberate about tasting each bite. I let myself experience the food through all of my senses. The same principles hold true when we come to God’s table to delight in the rich food of God’s Word. I need to slow down, be deliberate, and enjoy every bite. When I do, my soul will radiate with life and reflect His presence and power. No more droopy for me.





Impatient

1 08 2014

“Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.”John Ortberg

I get tired of waiting. Do you? I have tried being patient, looking on the bright side, and grinning and bearing it. Sometimes the time seems to drag, my heart hits a wall, and my spirit struggles to face one more day without an answer. I know God loves me. I know He is powerful, able to meet my every need. Why isn’t He moving?

There are no easy answers. The command I find myself struggling to surrender to is His call to wait and trust His goodness. The promise I am clinging to with both hands tells me, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24) The truth that gently touches my bruised heart reminds me that just because I can’t see God moving, doesn’t mean He isn’t at work.

Sometimes God works in very quiet, behind-the-scenes ways. There were four hundred years of silence between Malachi and Matthew. Many believed God no longer cared, that He wasn’t listening, that He had left them alone. Galatians 4:4 tells us, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Do you see it? In the fullness of time. We can look back at those four hundred years and trace God’s fingerprints as He moved nations, spread a common language, and built roads in preparation for the perfect moment to bring Jesus into the world. The people of the time only saw enemies conquering their land, their faith being challenged, and their hope dwindling with each invader. God was moving, just not in the way they were expecting. Maybe the same is true for you and me.

My Jesus Resolution today is to wait. Waiting isn’t something we do just to pass the time. Waiting is sometimes the most difficult part of transformation. Waiting requires me to surrender to a solution I have not seen because it is coming from a God who only gives me His best. There is nothing comfortable about waiting. There is nothing easy about waiting. God does work, however, in times of waiting to move me deeper into His love and His eternal purpose for my heart. Maybe that is the answer that I most need.