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Posts Tagged ‘waiting’

sinai

In Exodus 24:1-10, God has just given the most important guidelines for human behavior ever given to man.  After Moses receives the ten commandments and the promises of God, he immediately begins working to share them.  Good leader Moses told the people what God expected of them.  Good leader Moses wrote it all down.  Good leader Moses got up early and worshipped.  Good leader Moses read the words aloud to the people.  Then, he covered them with the blood of the sacrifices.

Notice that Moses did not cut the people up into pieces, burn them on the altar and sacrifice them in order to please God.  No.  He covered them with the blood of another as they came to the place of worship.  Likewise, when we go to a place of worship, we should not be beaten, killed, and left to bleed on the altar for our sin by the leaders.  A sacrifice was already made for us for that very reason.  The blood of Jesus Christ should be applied to us by the servants leading worship.

After God reveals himself to the leaders, he calls Moses back up the mountain.  Then, he tells him to do something very difficult: wait.

The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.”  ~Exodus 24:12

Wait, Moses.  Go where I tell you and wait there.  The reason for the waiting given to Moses was, “that I may give you the tablets of stone…”  Moses was to wait so God could physically give him the tablets with the commands written on them.

Moses obeyed.  He took his young friend Joshua and he went where God sent him.  He put two others in charge over the people while he was gone.  He is told to wait, and he in turn tells those under him to wait as well.

Note, good leaders do not leave those they have been given responsibility and charge over without delegating that responsibility and leadership to someone else first.  He who is not faithful with what he has been given will not be given more.  What he does have will be taken away.  (Matthew 25:29)

Moses goes up and a cloud covers the mountain.  God’s presence descended and for six days Moses waited upon God.  It was not until day seven that Moses heard God call out to him.

Note, even when we obey God’s commands and instructions perfectly and without delay, he often still calls us to wait upon him for further instructions.

When God does appear, the text says, Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.” When God appeared after all Moses’s waiting and righteous obedience, it was not just him that saw God.  All the people below saw God appear.  Moses wasn’t making this stuff up and they knew it.  There could be no mistake.  God was doing something of unmitigated importance.  They all saw and they all knew.  Makes you wonder how they could ever choose to make and worship and idol while this was still going on.  But, as we all know they did just that with the golden calf.

Anyway, Moses is no stranger to the fire of God.  When he was called to deliver God’s people out of Egypt, it was a burning bush that God chose to reveal himself and speak through.  Make no mistake, Our God is a consuming fire and he will not be sold out as a dry and lifeless ember as some would seek to have him be.  Little wonder the Bible says, “Quench not the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

God kept Moses forty days and forty nights as he elaborated upon all the laws and also gave Moses the physical tablets of stone with the law written down on them by His very own finger.

Note, when God is giving instruction to leaders that he has placed over his people, he often does so for a great amount of time that they may be duly prepared for the difficult business he is about to employ them in.

Just to recap, here is what Exodus 24:12-18 gives us practically to apply in our lives today:

1. Moses did not cut the people up into pieces, burn them on the altar and sacrifice them in order to please God.  No.  He covered them with the blood of another as they came to the place of worship.  Likewise, when we go to a place of worship, we should not be beaten, killed, and left to bleed on the altar for our sin by the leaders.  A sacrifice was already made for us for that very reason.  The blood of Jesus Christ should be applied to us by the servants leading worship.

2. Good leaders do not leave those they have been given responsibility and charge over without delegating that responsibility and leadership to someone else first.  He who is not faithful with what he has been given will not be given more.  What he does have will be taken away.  (Matthew 25:29)

3. Even when we obey God’s commands and instructions perfectly and without delay, he often still calls us to wait upon him for further instructions.

4. Make no mistake, Our God is a consuming fire and he will not be sold out as a dry and lifeless ember as some would seek to have him be.

5. When God is giving instruction to leaders that he has placed over his people, he often does so for a great amount of time that they may be duly prepared for the difficult business he is about to employ them in.

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wait

The truth that God’s Word is living and active fleshes out in many practical ways, but there is one way which, to me, is really exciting.

Usually, whether during personal study or a sermon or a bible study, the subject has a main idea and focus.  Sometimes, though, God is pleased to cause a completely different truth to, in a sense, jump out at us.  I liken it to the disciples who mused that their hearts “burned within” them as a disguised Jesus talked with them.  Surely this is what they felt!  It is a knowing, a burning in the soul that will not be ignored.  Our God – the consuming fire as he refers to himself – is speaking.  God is speaking.  God is speaking.

And he is speaking directly to us, individually.

Before everyone packs up and heads for the hills, I should add the disclaimer that no, not all tangents from the appropriated lesson are words from the Almighty.  Let’s face it, sometimes we are just daydreaming or so deaf and dull that we are severely disinterested in what is being taught us from the scriptures.  Therefore, these things are marked by 1. being true and 2. corresponding with what the rest of the Bible teaches.  I am not talking about Susie’s mystical hour of cultish extrabiblical revelation and flippant use of the terms “God told me” or “God said” thus and so.  I’m talking about Holy Spirit inspired understanding of the scriptures in a way – albeit an orthodox way – in which one has not understood or recognized beforehand.  This is one way God teaches his children through the Holy Spirit.

Anyway, this happened to me last night.  I was sitting, listening to Beth Moore speak on the tabernacle and as she began to read a passage from Hebrews 6, a verse that I had never considered in any kind of extraordinary way “burned” in my heart and mind.

Afterward, I had a difficult time tracking with her because this verse so puzzled me.  It says this:

“And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.”  Hebrews 6:15 (emphasis mine)

The second I heard that verse read I began to question what on earth it could possibly mean.  Thoughts move rather quickly when attempting to apply logic.  The first thought I had was to take the verse at face value.  Abraham did thus and so and the effect was obtaining the blessing.  Suddenly, my logic came to a screeching halt.  I began to break down the verse with my historically centered thinking cap on.  The progression went something like this: Did Abraham wait patiently?  Did he?  He did?!  He did not!  This cannot be a face value kind of verse.

Abraham.  A childless man whom God called to father a great nation at age 75.  Yes, he believed God.  He even moved without a clue where he was going just because God said so.  But Abraham, in my estimation was anything but patient!  Why does the scripture call him patient?  And let’s not even get started on how full  of doubt and fear this man often proved to be.  Yet God called him both righteous and patient?!

Why?  How?  How is this possible and if it is possible is there hope for an impatient, anxiety-ridden, stressed out doubter like me?

I looked over the story of Abraham spanning from Genesis 12 – 21.  This is the time between the call and the promise and the first fruits of fulfillment with the birth of Issac.

From the time God called Abraham until Issac was born was 25 years.  Twenty-five.  That is a long time boys and girls.  Hold on to your hope.

After God called, Abraham obeyed.  The next thing he did was lie.  He rolled his wife under the bus to save himself.  Apparently that did not faze God or his promise.  Consider the mercy in this verse:

 “And for her sake he dealt well with Abram…” Genesis 12:16

For her sake.  God cares about the spouses of doubting, sin stuck, insecure men and women.

Next, Abraham questions.  Hey.  It’s been a long while since that promise, God.  No son here.  What’s the deal?

In his mercy, God confirms his promise and Abraham believes him.  Unfortunately, Abraham and Sarah decide they should “help” God fulfill his promise.  In other words, even though they believed God, they did not trust him.  Moreover, they trusted themselves more.  Talk about a split personality!  I feel you, Abe.  Abraham has an illegitimate son born out of – you guessed it – his own self-sufficiency, unbelief, and sin.

Finally, God again confirms his promise, giving detail this time.  He tells Abraham and Sarah how and when the promise will be fulfilled.  This is twenty-four years and a whole lot of impatient waiting after the promise was made.

Still, Abraham feared.  Even after the confirmation and the details were given, Abraham again lied about his wife and said she was his sister.  He says this:

 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought,‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. ~Genesis 20:11-12

Funny how Abraham justified his disobedience to God by pointing at others’ disobedience to God.  He accuses his enemies of not fearing God when all the while he is the one actually failing to fear God and obey him.  If Abraham believed the promise, how could he have simultaneously feared imminent death?  He did.  He lied to avoid being killed on account of his beautiful wife.

Finally, Issac is born, which was of course only the beginning of the fulfillment.  God blessed in the exact way he said he would.  Abraham is counted both righteous and patient.  Is that amazing to anyone else?  Does Abraham’s behavioral history seem patient to you?  As the mechanic says, are you pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down?

Skip to Hebrews 11:8-12.  Abraham and Sarah believed God.  They did not obey perfectly by any means.  They made a manure load of mistakes.  But they went when God said, “Go.”  They believed despite all odds.  They left their world behind and sought God.  They doubted.  They feared.  They even laughed at God’s ridiculous news.  But it was all true.  Nothing they did wrong disparaged God’s absolute determination to keep his promises to them.  And at the end, God honors Abraham calling him righteous and patient.

That is an amazing God.  That is a God of great, great mercy.  Do you see Him?  Surely he is good.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust. ~Psalm 103:8-14

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sanctuary

The last candle is lit.  The sanctuary waits.  Babies coo and papers shuffle.  Distant coughing and soft murmurs are the subtle sounds which usher in this final anticipation.  Just a moment more; a moment more; a moment more.

Advent.  Oh!  How I want to wait always this way!  For all that matters, when life hurts, when I am exhausted and hurried and lonely and thin.  Oh, that I might wait this way.

Redemption is coming.  Running.  Risking.  Ripping through the darkness to reclaim us – even us – as his own.

But we – his own – did not receive him.

Still, his coming is imminent.  He has chosen rescue in the place of revenge.

Rescue.  Do we even know our need?  Nothing short of war awaits and we are all hostages in line for execution.  There is no hope lest this baby be far better than we.

The pianist begins.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low, who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow, 

Look now! For glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing.  O rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing!

Advent is over.  The Savior is here.  He is here.  God is with us.  May the sanctuary of our hearts be filled in the midst of the melancholy, the mundane, and the miseries as we wait for him to come again.

“Olives fail.  People fail.  Dreams fail.  You feel like you fail.  A thousand things mount.  Some days it’s hard not to panic.  You can feel it – we are driven by fear of failure.  For all our frenzied running around, could it be that we are actually fleeing – trying to escape all the fears?  All this pain?  All this failure?  We all live these lives of quiet terror.  OF soundless, hidden grief.  You could just bow your head id the quiet and weep for all that isn’t.  For all that you aren’t.  

In the barrenness of winter, Habakkuk offers this gift to always carry close: rejoicing in the Lord happens while we still struggle in the now.  

Struggling and rejoicing are not two chronological steps, one following the other, but two concurrent movements, one fluid with the other. 

As the cold can move you deeper toward the fire, struggling can move you deeper toward God, who warms you with joy.  Struggling can deepen joy.
Even though.

Even now.

Even though the fig trees have not blossoms and though the Christmas tree aches a bit empty, even though there are no grapes on the vine and no struggle-free days, even though the olive crop fails, even though I fail, even though so much fails- even now I will rejoice in the Lord.

Even now I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.  

Even though, even now – Habakkuk turns the focus.  The secret of joy is always a matter of focus: a resolute focusing on the Father, not on the fears.  All fear is but the notion that God’s love ends.  When does He ever end?  When you can’t touch bottom is when you touch the depths of God.” ~Ann Voskamp

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I hate being late.  That’s why I married a drag racer at age 20.  I usually show up fifteen minutes early with a well-deserved speeding ticket and an invisible trophy from my imaginary friend who I like to call “Put Together and Prompt.”

That said, at three days into the New Year, in Loriland, this article is extremely late.  This time, my lateness is purposeful.  I believe it actually reveals something about what God has been doing in me over the past year.

As many do, I like to recollect my thoughts, evaluate my life, and process what I have learned and where I’m heading at year’s end.  I usually start summing up the day after Christmas.  By the time my tree is down, my time is up – if I want the trophy that is.

This year was different, though.  This year was exceptionally deft.  It was also unusually difficult.  It taught me – a recovering intuitionist – to slow down.

Oh, by the way, if you don’t read me often, I also make up words.  That’s what creative writers do when there aren’t adequate describing tools.  Don’t worry, though, we usually also define them.

Intuitionist – a person who trusts intuition and instincts to a fault and frequently inserts both feet into her mouth.

Being intuitive is not bad.  If you’re a single woman or a witch hunter, it’s likely highly beneficial.  The problem is that intuition is likely responsible for creating both the Mr. Perfect illusion who keeps single women perpetually single and the Salem witch hunts where innocent people were mistakenly murdered.  The truth is that fear, past experiences, and personal insecurity can easily be mistaken for the highly regarded, supposedly fool-proof test known as intuition.

Enter: pseudointuition.  (Yes, I made that one up, too.)

Pseudointuition is very dangerous for those of us who like to think of ourselves as naturally intuitive.  It causes us to conjure up flawed hypothesis, enter into premature judgments, and jump to hasty conclusions about many matters.  Without adequate prayer and fasting, pseudointuition will destroy true discernment and leave us paranoid, cynical, and thoroughly untrusting – just like single women and Salem witch hunters.

Like I said, though, I am recovering.  I am learning.  I am slowing down in a good way.  I no longer say everything that I initially think.  I am avoiding any reliance on first impressions.  I am refraining from dismissing that which I cannot put under an interrogation lamp, study intricately, and dissect until it stops moving – yet.  I am learning to wait upon the Lord – longer.  I am beginning to hide my face like Elijah and pray five, six, even seven times for the tiny rain cloud that I must believe will annihilate every desert and doubt surrounding.  Even when every weather man insists that there will be no rain for many more days,  I resolve to keep on believing for the very best.  I resolve to put down the pride that prods me to pounce when people and places seem particularly peculiar to me.  I still have my wings.  I’m just not sure how often the Lord really wants me to fly.  I think, maybe, he gave them so I might spread them to protect far more often than I project.

Bottom line: Life is not an algebraic equation.  A + B does not always equal C.   If anything, life is more like geometry – you’ve got to be able to prove how and why the pieces fit together before you really find a concrete solution.  If you cannot, you are probably suffering from a bad case of pseudointuition with the underlying etiology of fear, bad past experience, and personal insecurity.  Life really isn’t like math anyway – despite how desperately I need it to be.  I think it is more like creative writing – there are too many words to ever comprehend them all but never enough of the right ones.

That is why my New Year’s recollections are, according to the schedule of a neurotic race runner, late.  My goal for 2014 is not to be less intuitive or timely, but to be more patient, prayerful, and, God help me, precise before I act, write, or speak.

  Happy New Year!

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
    but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. ~Proverbs 28:26

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztjhHkH7OvQ

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Advent: n. noun 1. The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important.

Thirty-seven.  That’s how many chapters one has to study in the book of Job before God shows up.  I have completed thirty-six.  If you can do first grade math, you know I have one more chapter before God answers.  One.  More.  Chapter.  And I just have to say, I am outrageously excited!  I am as giddy as my children are waiting for Christmas to arrive.  He is coming!  Soon!  After all the searing pain, all the ill-advice, all the false accusation, all the doubt and desperate questions, Job is about to hear from God himself.  I simply cannot wait.

Yes, I have read it before.  Yes, I know the outcome.  Yes, I could skip ahead.  But, no.  The Lord has his timing and it does not line up with mine.  

I mean, he could have shown up a lot sooner,not just for Job, but for humanity.  Thirty-seven chapters is an eternity when you’ve lost everything, you hurt excruciatingly, and no one seems to be on your side.  But then again, he waited, at the very least, six to ten thousand years to enter our world as a human being didn’t he?  

Yes, he was here all along.  Yes, he acted and spoke to men plenty beforehand.  But, no, it was not the same when he spoke through men as when he came himself in the flesh.  And, no, I was not there when he set his clocks.  I do not know why he waited; why he waits.  All I know for sure is that his arrival is very soon coming.  And I simply cannot wait.

So why am I writing this and not my thoughts on chapter thirty-seven?

 Because I must prepare myself.  I am unworthy, unready, unkept, and unclean.  I must stop and stare for maybe a few more moments, watching him move towards me in unmitigated awe.  I want to embrace the joy of this anticipation.  I want to remember the excitement of this heart of expectation.  

This is where we worship.  This is where we wait.  This is where we wonder.  This is where we praise.

Advent.  His arrival is upon us.  He is truly coming.  This is extremely important.  Prepare yourself.  It is finally time.

Merry Christmas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMnKcftuauU

 

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“Where do you look to find the right answers?” asked Sunday school teacher Daddy.

“The Bible or Mommy’s notebook,” replied my firstborn.

Later, that same eight year old took me sled-riding.

“Come on, Mom.”

“I’m scared to go down that hill,” I teased.

“Don’t worry.  If you’re scared, just trust Jesus.”

Confidence.  Encouragement.

I am humbled once again by a baby – a baby I received into the world what seems like yesterday.  Help me become more like her, Lord.

I am reminded of how I felt the day I found out she existed.  I remember the vulnerability and humility brought on by the unexpected newness of her presence within my body.  I recall the prayers giving grateful thanks and acknowledging utter inadequacy.  I remember the voice of a husband’s steady reassurance knowing he had the very same fears.

I listen as that same husband opens his day with that same baby.  He reads aloud the story of another baby.

” Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). ~Matthew 1:18-23

God with us.  Do not fear.  “All glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.”  Samuel Rutherford’s famous words echo as I call upon my savior.  Sometimes the greatest gifts come in the most unexpected packages.

I do not remember the exact day I believed that Jesus existed.  I do remember the vulnerability brought on by the unexpected newness of his presence within my body, though.  I remember prayers of thanksgiving for his grace when my utter inadequacy and sin became apparent to me.  I remember loving him.  I recall the comfort found in his name, his picture, his hymns, and his church brought to me as a child.  Shamefully, today, I still often fail to properly receive him, though.

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. ~John 1:11

He came to us.  We are his, yet we often fail to receive him.  We are poor and yet we fail to receive his riches.  We are blind and we fail to receive his light.  We are naked and we fail to receive his covering.  We are pitiful and we fail to receive his comfort.  We are wretched and we fail to receive his grace.

Christ was not ashamed to come.  He was not ashamed to cry out.  As wretched, poor, pitiable, blind, and naked as we are, Jesus was never ashamed to call us his own.  No.  The long-expected Jesus came.  Immanuel is here.  God is with us.  I will not miss him.  No.  I – no he – will allow no fear, no pride, no doubt, and no pain to keep my unlikely savior from me.  He did not come this far in vain.

I will listen for his still, small voice; I will wait upon his plainspoken encouragement;  I will fear no man; I will trust in him.

And when I won’t, he will pray;  And when I don’t, he will wait;  And when I do, he will protect;  And when I fail, he will remain faithful.

Oh! How thankful I am for a God that does not give up!  How grateful I am for a God of grace!  How grieved I am over my utter inability to serve him!  How deeply I long to know him!

I will read his blessed story.  I will cling to his holy name.  I will wait for his arrival.  I will pray for the grace to obey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mAFHiuJqsY&list=PLC7C7400B2381EDFC

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After defending himself against his counselors’ false accusations and judgmental advice, Job again pours out his miseries to God.

Only grant me two things,
    then I will not hide myself from your face:
21 withdraw your hand far from me,
    and let not dread of you terrify me.
22 Then call, and I will answer;
    or let me speak, and you reply to me. ~Job 13:20-22

Job asks two things of the Lord before he lays himself bare:

1. Stop the torment for a moment – long enough that I might compose myself to speak with you and understand.  Note, trials and pain of this caliber affect a man’s ability to communicate rationally, freely, and readily with the God he loves.

2. Afford me the confidence I need to come close and inquire of you.  Such trials skew a man’s perception of God and cause him to withdraw out of genuine fear.

Notice the very first question Job has for his maker:

“How many are my iniquities and my sin?  Make me know my transgression and my sin.”

Job looks inward.  He is not inclined to blame God or others.  He simply wants to know for what grievous offenses he is being punished.  He truly does not believe he has done anything that warrants the kind of suffering he has been dealt – and he hasn’t (he’s suffering for his righteousness, remember?)  Yet he never presumes he is innocent merely by virtue of his clear conscience.

Why do you hide your face
    and count me as your enemy?
25 Will you frighten a driven leaf
    and pursue dry chaff?
26 For you write bitter things against me
    and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in the stocks
    and watch all my paths;
    you set a limit for the soles of my feet.
28 Man wastes away like a rotten thing,
    like a garment that is moth-eaten. ~Job 13:24-28

As Job goes on, it’s quite obvious that he is convinced that God is indeed punishing him as an enemy.  He is desperate to know why.  Jesus himself asked as much saying, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

In chapter 14:1-6, Job contends that life is short and full of trouble.  He says he’d gladly accept the everyday hardships of life if God would give him some respite from the warlike tortures he is now enduring.  He concludes that if life be this troublesome, death is surely where his greatest hope and stay will be found.

Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
    that you would conceal me until your wrath be past,
    that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
    All the days of my service I would wait,
    till my renewal should come.
15 You would call, and I would answer you;
    you would long for the work of your hands.
16 For then you would number my steps;
    you would not keep watch over my sin;
17 my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
    and you would cover over my iniquity. ~Job 14:13-17

Job longs for death.  He understands that his present severe suffering may likely never see it’s end here on earth.  (Hey Joel and Joyce, take note please.)  He speaks of “change” or “renewal.”  He does not mean circumstantial change, although it would be much appreciated.  But, no.  Job is looking for real, lasting change.  Job wants full and final change.  To him, to die is great gain.  Oh, that he could be free from the bondage of sin and life’s pain!  That is our very best hope.

Nevertheless, Job vows to wait on God for glory.  As tempting as suicide may be, Job trusts his giver to be his taker.  In this, Job displays great faith in the God he longs desperately to hear and see despite his misery and confusion.

In chapter 14:18-22, we see that even though Job has great hope in future glory, he still finds it very difficult to put away his immediate grief.  He claims that God himself destroys the hope of man.  And perhaps he does – that worldly hope of all that gives an illusion of peace and safety apart from Christ – that hope death and the Taker destroy because it is always false.

In the midst of great pain, we, like Job, may find it very difficult to communicate rationally, freely, and readily with God and with men.  We may withdraw out of fear and misconception.  We may begin to err believing God is angry, hostile, and at enmity with us.  We may feel forsaken, even as our Lord felt fully forsaken.

In these times, it is imperative that we remember that our greatest hope and and joy is found in death, not life, and that we must trust and wait for Our Maker to bring that time to pass.

God, keep me from dread, fear, and despair in this transient earthly place.  Help me resist the self-destructive temptations of impatience and unbelief.  Give me grace to communicate with you knowing I am not forsaken.  Let my joy be in the great expectation of my greatest gain – eternal life with you, my rescuer; my deliverer, my joy, my all.  I love you.

Amen.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d5HbddjrTU

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