Monthly Archives: January 2013

Come to Me (Part II)

Snippets of RainCome Closer to Me

Close enough to feel –
My embrace.
The softness of
My presence.
The gentleness of
My touch.
The stillness of
My voice.

Come so close
You hear My heart,
Beating with love
For you.

Don’t neglect to
Come very close.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

I’ve Got You Covered!

From His Heart for blog“And the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
Matthew 10:30

     Sometimes, while I am brushing my hair, I think about this verse above. I get a mental picture of a heavenly counter, ticking downward each time a strand of hair falls to the ground. It is so amazing that God would even bother keeping track of something so trivial. Even more amazing, though, is the fact that He is able to keep such accurate tallies on-going and about every person who has ever lived!

     I guess God could be called the ultimate bookkeeper because no human could ever accomplish this task of precisely logging everyone’s hair. Think about it. It would be nearly impossible to even count your own! You could begin at the front of your head and attempt to delicately separate each strand into rows. As you work your way through, you could keep track of those already counted by tagging them somehow. However, by the time you made it to the back of your head, you would most likely have lost a strand or two along the way, causing you to have to start all over again. Now, multiply that task times the millions upon millions of people who have ever lived and it becomes quite evident that this is impossible for man. Only God can keep these kinds of records.

     What’s the point, though? Why would God feel the need to track such trivialities? The primary reason is found within the context of the passage. In Matthew 10, after Jesus chooses His disciples, He teaches them about what to expect before they are commissioned into service. He also warns them about persecutions they may face for being His followers then tells them they don’t need to be afraid. To make this point, Jesus reminds the disciples just how much He really cares for them. Matthew 10:29-31 reads,

“Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So, don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows.”

Like for them, God has our hair strands numbered to demonstrate how intimately He cares for us and just how important we are. To Him, there is nothing about us that is trivial.

     However, there is another reason why God records our ‘hair data.’ He does so to demonstrate He cares but He also wants to reveal to us that He will take care. In another passage of Scripture, we learn,

“Those that hate me without cause are more numerous than the hairs on my head…”
Psalm 69:4

God not only keeps logs about the hairs on my head; He also knows the exact number of my enemies! In one book, God tracks intimate details about me and in another He keeps tallies of my enemies. In doing so, He communicates to any of us that He is fully aware of what is going on and that He will take care of His own! Though our enemies are apparently enormous in number, God is greater still!

     Obviously, these enemies of ours, which God so carefully tracks, are not merely our human foes. Due to the quantity, they can only be those referred to in Ephesians 6:12,

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, …powers,…rulers of the darkness…, spiritual wickedness in high places.”

These demonic foes are bent on seeking our destruction, primarily because we have pledged our allegiance to Jesus. Ultimately, though, even though their numbers are huge, since they are really opposed to the Christ in us, they lose! He has won the victory!

     God’s detailed records, both of the numbers of our hair strands and the volume of our foes must serve as a reminder to us. In terms of our enemies, although they are many, God has already numbered their days. For us, even though we may not even have hair anymore, He lovingly records our days, down to the minutest of details, even something as trivial as the hair which covers our head. It is almost as if God is saying to Satan and his cohorts, ‘I’ve got you numbered’ but to us, ‘I’ve got you covered!

Be Thirsty

Snippets of Rain

Remember each day to thirst,
For Me.
Think of how you feel when thirsty
Really thirsty.
And how a drink of cool
Clear water tastes.
Be that way for Me.
Thirst for Me above anything
Or anyone else.
I will satisfy your thirst.
I will give to you freely
Of My loving, living water
Which will fully quench the
Thirsting of your soul.

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When shall I come and appear before God?”
Psalm 42:1, 2  (NKJV)

A Bucket of Dreams

Bucket with shackPhoto taken by Chuck Stephens

A Bucket of Dreams

So many dreams when I started,
Just kept thinking some would work out.
But they didn’t.

Somehow, they all dissipated,
Vanished away from whence they came.
Guess they couldn’t…

Make it from the start to finish
And overcome things that thwarted.
They just weren’t…

Meant to flourish and climb above
The dreary clutches failure brings.
Though they shouldn’t…

Since He ordained them all along,
Those promises birthed from His throne.
Seems He wouldn’t…

Take what I bore, then breathe His life
And mesh it with His purposes.
Or He hasn’t…

Finished all He has yet left
Undone, things only He can see.
And He isn’t…

Ready thus far for me to view
The big picture framed perfectly.
Right now ,He can’t.

When in heaven, He will unlock
Every detail He’s kept hidden.
For we haven’t…

Yet understood, our dreams are mere
Drops in a bucket by compare.
There, we shall not…

Ever question again, but will
See our dreams were but part of His plan.
At last, we’ll doubt not!

A Really Good Name

Proverbs Post“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches; and loving favor rather than silver and gold.”
Proverbs 22:1

When people speak your name, how are you known? More importantly, when you are gone, how will you be remembered? Even though I haven’t always, I now try to live my life so that I will be remembered in a good way. Like I used to, and probably still do at times, many go through life living only for themselves, with no thought for others or for tomorrow. However, I suspect that deep down everyone wants to leave behind a trail of good: a legacy. We all want our lives to matter.

The problem is that no matter how hard we try to do enough good in order to leave a legacy, we are always going to run head-on into this little problem called ‘reputation.’ Our reputation is always on display and thus at risk for being marred. Unfortunately, as humans, we are always prone to messing things up. Sometimes, it isn’t even something we have done wrong but rather something we have been accused of doing. Just look at what can happen when rumors run rampant online! When a reputation is damaged, it is very difficult to repair. Ask any politician! Time and time again this is seen as devastation is brought into the lives and careers of public figures who have made wrong decisions. They would likely pay any amount to undue it, but once it happens, there is little that can be done to amend the damage of a ruined ‘name.’

In the verse above, God demonstrates the value He places on a good name and also that He understands we cannot of our own doing obtain a good reputation; rather, it is only by our choosing. He knows in advance that we are going to mess up and that our priorities are really flawed. We place value on things, like money or fame. We try to make a name for ourselves, hoping to pass that onto others someday. He wants none of what we bring to the equation in terms of reputation. Instead, He asks us to choose a name: His Name. He wants us to bank our reputation on the One who lived ‘above reproach.’ It is only through coming to know Jesus and then letting Him daily clean up all the messes in our lives that any of us can ever get it right. When we die, if others remember us as people who chose Him above all else, we will then leave behind the only legacy that really matters: the legacy of a good name. A really good Name!

Our Tears

Rose with raindrops

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.”
Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

     Whenever we go through suffering, our tears may seem to go unnoticed. We begin to feel alone with our pain. Or we may feel guilty for feeling so sorry for ourselves when we stop and consider how little we have suffered compared to others with heavier burdens and trials. For instance, when compared with the sufferings of saints of old as described by the apostle Paul in Hebrews, saints who were even sawed in half because of their stand for Christ, it makes our problems seem insignificant. But our problems, however small compared to others, are not small to God. We can take comfort in knowing that He is not blind to our pain. He sees each tear we cry and saves each and every one of them in a bottle!

     The tears we cry matter so much to the Lord, in fact, it is as if He sees them as drops of dew on the leaves of a beautiful rose stem. While unnoticed in the hours before daybreak and in reality only water drops, dew is suddenly transformed into glistening diamonds, shining unashamedly with one glimpse of the morning sun. We cry our tears and in the midst of our pain become convinced that nobody cares or understands. The darkness consumes us and clouds our understanding. Our tears are like dull and meaningless drops of water. However, God sees them differently. When He looks upon our tears, He is able to see what’s veiled beneath the pain. He views each tear shed by one of His own, as sparkling glimpses of hearts that deep down love Him dearly. Though seen as cloudy drops of despair from our perspective, those tears from His vantage point are brilliant examples of our true love for Him. Each and every one of our tears shines all the way to heaven and grabs His full attention. And though we may never see their glisten or understand their meaning until we reach heaven, God beholds every tear and views them each as precious, brilliant examples of our love.

     God does not enjoy watching us cry and though we may never know all the reasons for our pain, He does. In fact, our pain matters so much to Him that throughout eternity, our tears are not simply saved in a bottle, they are also kept by Him. It is really amazing to realize that He not only saves our tears in a bottle but also keeps records about them in a book. God catalogs them! He will remember the date we cried a certain tear. He will recall where we were when we cried. Most importantly, though, He will record the reason behind each tear. We may have cried one hundred tears in one sitting or we may have cried until the tears no longer fall, but He will remember them all. 

     One day, when we finally get to be with our Savior, He will be able to show us that tear bottle and that tear book which He has so diligently kept for each of us. However, He will have one final task regarding our tears. We are promised that when we get to heaven, He is going to permanently wipe away all of our tears. We will cry our very last one and the bottle containing our pain will be forever sealed. Since He has kept careful records, He will with love be able to reveal the real reasons behind every tear we cried. Tears that never for a moment went unnoticed by Him.

Photo taken by me in my backyard one sunny, summer morn.