Thursday, September 19, 2013

I Thirst


"I thirst!" He cried. 
and I couldn't comprehend
Thirst it screamed within His soul
    His life is near the end

"I thirst!" He cried

    Separated, Sacrificed
He drank the Cup of Wrath
    Pleased, God crushed Him
Justice on our behalf.

"I thirst" I cried

Thirst created by a chasm
    Heightened by the pain
Cloaking me in darkness
    Keeping me in shame

He thirst, He died
   The dividing curtain tore
He thirst so I
   May thirst no more. 

KG 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What I know ......

Reflection. A pause to ponder things of the past. Lately, things have come across my path - blogs, conversations - that have caused me to reflect. I will celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary this year. Amazing! It sounds so cliche' but "Where has the time gone?"  I have changed so much in 25 years. My ideas. My beliefs. My goals. Where is the 18 year old girl that thought she would be a pediatric psychiatrist and put her children in daycare? I look and see that she and I are so different. Yet a part of her still dwells in the shadows of me. 

How times change! When we swaddled that first child and brought her home, we were the progressive parents and we were going to get it right unlike the generations before. Progressive would have been better titled permissive and child-whipped. By the time child number two was coming home, we came to the conclusion this isn't working. We joined a parenting class that taught us a lot about discipline, but not much grace. This was definitely it! God has a way of changing our minds. Child number four had challenges I could have never prepared for. She shook our parenting world and knocked it upside-down. Gentle parenting definitely the answer or is it? God never fails and His work in us never ends. Twenty five years of parenting and still balancing out truth and love! The perfect mix that is taught by the only One in which it exists. 

As I have seen our parenting pendulum swing both ways over many years, I have also seen that the swing is less dramatic. God changing me from my extremes into a softer sculpted image better reflecting His work in my life. 

I have realized that what I believed may have changed some over the years. I have also learned that some things become stronger, more defined and have greater conviction. As a child of God I know:
  • Who God is matters! Not the god man makes or believes is him, not the newest theological fad .... God is truth and His character NEVER changes. Know Him!
  • When I don't like what I learn about who God is or His truth is .... He always has a way of changing my mind.
  • Learning who God is will change you.
  • We were saved for holiness
  • God never leaves us and will complete a work in us. He is sovereign. 
  • It is okay to not have it all figured out.  God has got it handled. 
  • Grace and Mercy are incredibly powerful and life changing. Seek to understand it and in the gift of understanding comes great responsibility to give it. 
What I know is some views will change in the years to come. I was born desperately stupid and it has taken God forty five years to remove some of it and He has a lot more to go. I might not be finished. I might still struggle with things that in five years I decided are not important. I know that the God the dwells within me will continue to lead me, love me, change me and my family and friends AND that is more important than everything I know or don't know. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lessons from Jonah

Consider Jonah. A man chosen by God to reveal the words of God to the people. What a calling! God also called him to preach to a highly feared and violent group of people - the country of Nineveh. He did what almost any of us would do or at least think of doing - he ran. He is swallowed, broken and Jonah preaches. However, the story isn't about Jonah. It is about God!

Jonah is the picture of any child of God that goes astray - the child that stamps his foot and says my way is better.  God met Jonah in the middle of sea.  Romans 8: But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Including the middle of the sea.

God, in His great mercy, took a hold of Jonah and put him in a place that he was alone and would have to listen. And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah. I love that word - appointed. God in mercy does that same to us. What circumstances does he arrange to get us alone? How does the Father that loves us pursue His children? He who began a good work in us will complete it.  Jonah cries out. "I am dying. Lord help me. "  There doesn't seem to be a lot of repentance. He recognizes salvation is alone from God. He confesses who God is. He is given mercy. God gives him a picture of what He wants to do for Nineveh. He wants to pour out mercy. Then, in His sovereignty, he spits Jonah back into the center of His will. God does what he needs to to make Jonah obey. He disciplines those He loves, even if like Jonah, we go begrudgingly. Mercy. 

Jonah goes to Nineveh. It is kinda funny to me. You don't see a great sermon. You don't see a passion for the people. You don't see some great program planned. You see simple and reluctant obedience. "Forty days, God is going to kill you all!" I can't imagine any preaching a sermon like that. Did he say more? I don't know. It isn't written down. It seems to me the writer of Jonah wrote down the gist of it. "Forty days, you're dead." Looking at the humor of it, I am amused to think they didn't kill him because they would have had to touch him. He just spent 3 days in the belly of a fish :). However, the truth of it is, God works in the hearts of men. A magnificent sermon isn't needed. Just God. God in His mercy drew the Ninevites.

Jonah was called to share in the work of God. Jonah was called to see God's mercy at work. God drew Jonah to Himself in the belly of the whale. God extended mercy to Jonah. Jonah missed the point. Jonah missed a blessing. He missed knowing God better.
 I will have mercy on those whom I have mercy. He has had mercy on me and may I show that mercy to others.  His will is never thwarted and His work in those He calls is always completed.

What a wonderful book to give us a glimpse into the heart of God! To Him be all glory!