Ifs and Enoughs

6 03 2015

You are so deeply loved. Stop for a minute, and let that soak down deep into your soul. You are loved. You are treasured. You are special. You are delighted in. You are wanted. These are God’s words to you. He speaks them to your heart, longing each minute for you to be filled and defined by their reality.

The world will tell you differently. It will spend a lot of time adding the words if and enough to those sentences. If you are pretty enough. If you are smart enough. If you are wealthy enough, powerful enough, or famous enough, then you might be loved. Sometimes we add our own ifs and enoughs. If I am good enough. If I do enough. If I know enough of the right answers, then…maybe.

The truth is that God’s love for you is limitless. Read Romans 8:38-39, and watch the obstacles to love fall away beneath His determination to love you. Everything about God’s love rests entirely on His decision to love you. It frees you to stop performing to earn His love and start responding to His love. God wants His love for us to be a starting place for joy, a launching pad for surrender, a haven of peace, and a safe place to experience the transformation He longs to work in our lives.

My Jesus Resolution today is to celebrate God’s love for me. I get hung up on too many ifs and enoughs. I let too many voices convince me that I have to measure up or that love is dependent on my ability to meet someone’s expectations. No matter what the world screams at me today or what the whispers in my head might say, I am going to choose to live in the truth of what God wants me to know about His heart. “I have loved you with an everlasting love;” – Jeremiah 31:3b


4 03 2015

Right now my son is sitting in an airport. He is supposed to be home, but bad weather, traffic patterns, mechanical difficulties, and a caterpillar crawling across the runway (just kidding, but it seems like a lot of excuses…) have slowed down his journey. Delays are no fun for anybody. Patience melts, good humor evaporates, and grouchiness just seems to explode. We all want to get to where we are going. Waiting just isn’t in our DNA.

While we would like to erase all waiting time from our schedules, the Bible repeatedly encourages our souls to wait on the Lord. God doesn’t seem to need to tell us to hurry, but He frequently reminds us of the importance of slowing down and waiting on Him.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” – Psalm 62:5

It turns out that waiting is an important part of our spiritual journey. Waiting on God means making the deliberate decision to stand in His love rather than running ahead of His presence. When we do, our eyes begin to change. We see things we might have missed in the blur of our hurry. Our thoughts are transformed as we exchange worry for waiting. Our souls become more Christlike as we learn to keep our focus on Him. Waiting changes our perspective, realigns our priorities, and stretches us so that we might be filled with His power.

My Jesus Resolution today is to wait with grace. I often feel like I am only making progress when I am moving, but God often works best in me when I am still and waiting. When I become frantic and frustrated, my voice is the only one I hear. It pushes me to hurry up, go faster, and do more. That is the way of the world. Waiting with grace challenges my heart to walk a different path – one of trust, surrender, and praise while I wait. Perhaps delays are not as much about obstacles and barriers as they are about learning, over and over, to lay everything at His feet.

Praying the Pews

2 03 2015

They walked in the background, very quietly. Up and down the pews they moved with gentle grace. To some, it might have looked like they were checking song books or picking up trash, but it was so much more. They were preparing the empty seats for God to move. They covered each row they walked down with prayer. They prayed for the women who would be there with heavy hearts. They prayed for the ones that needed a friend. They prayed for burdens to be lifted, joy to be poured out, and lives to be opened wide for His presence. They prayed for each soul to see Jesus. They prayed that glory, grace, and goodness would flow out of our time together.

They inspired me, and challenged me to see differently.

Too many times I see things as things – chairs, beds, toothbrushes, dishes, cars, and desks. I pick up toys, loads of laundry, and empty cereal bowls, thinking all the time about the tasks to be done and the to-dos to be accomplished. People, however, are attached to all those things. My little friend from down the street plays with that ball. I can pray for him while I put it away. I can pray that the hungry tummies that sit around my kitchen table will be equally hungry for Jesus. I can pray for my children as I make beds, rinse out toothbrushes, and wash dishes. The empty car next to me in the parking lot is owned by someone whom God loves. I can pray for them. I can move around the desks in the office quietly praying for my co-workers and their families. I can pray for people from whom I receive an email, the newspaper guy when I pick up my paper, or the mail carrier when I get the mail from my box.

My Jesus Resolution today is to see things differently. My friends reminded me to see things as tools attached to people who need Jesus, and each one as an opportunity to pray. Everywhere I walk today, I want to ask God to touch the people who will soon touch these things in my path. Things are more than things. They can serve as reminders of love, glimpses of glory, and opportunities for God to be at work as I pray.

(Taking my own advice and praying over a blog and you as you read it. Enjoy your blessings today!)