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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Tent

A tent is a temporary dwelling place. When I was a kid it was pretty fun to go camping and sleep in a tent. But after a few days I couldn't wait to get back home and sleep in my own bed, to be back in my own house.

The Bible says that my earthly body is a tent. This tent of mine has some serious problems. It's not really holding up like it's supposed to. There have been times that I have been pretty tired of all the rips and tears, and all the problems that come with living in a diseased tent. I really would love it if God would give me a new tent, if He would heal my body of this disease. I know He can, without a doubt, in an instant. I have asked, and He has answered. His answer is, "Not right now."

That is an answer that I can accept. Not because it's easy, but because Almighty God is a good God, and He loves me. I trust Him completely; He has never given me a reason not to. He is my Heavenly Father and He knows the plans He has for my life, and those plans are good and full of hope. Hope because Jesus has said -
"Let not your heart be troubled...In My Father's house are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for you...that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:2

Jesus doesn't want me to be troubled and worried about my tent. He cares about my tent. He is the One who made it for me. But it's not His main concern. What He really cares about is the person inside the tent, the only part that was made to last forever.

When this tent has seen its last day, that is the day I will be healed. I will be in the presence of my King, giving Him all the treasures that I have stored up in Heaven, just for Him.

"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down--when we die and leave these bodies--we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies. Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he
has given us his Holy Spirit. So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. T
hat is why we live by believing and not by seeing."

2 Corinthians 5:1-7 (NLT)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Worship

Worship has been so much on my mind and heart for a while. There is such a richness to worship. It is so meaningful on so many levels. Worship is so much more than the songs we sing on Sunday mornings. I think about Job, how after he lost everything, he worshipped the Lord (Job 1:20-21). And Abraham, after waiting years for his son of promise, obeyed the Lord when He told him to offer him as a burnt offering. He said he and Isaac were going to worship (Genesis 22:5). These men did not know the end of their story when they worshipped God at probably the hardest time of their lives. Job didn't wait until God restored everything that he lost. Abraham didn't wait until God provided a ram to take the place of Isaac for the burnt offering. Their hearts were set on the worship of Almighty God.

The definition for worship is "To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect." I came across a quote from Warren Wiersbe, "When you find yourself in some trial, and you hurt, immediately lift your heart to Christ in true love and worship. Why? Because this will take the poison out of the experience and replace it with healing medicine." Another definition for worship is, "To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission."

I love the time of worship at church. It is a beautiful thing when we all lift up our voices in song to the Lord. It's like practice for Heaven. But I feel my heart longing for more. I want to worship my Lord Jesus with all that I am, to honor Him with extravagant love and extreme submission. I think this kind of worship has nothing to do with my circumstances, or maybe it has everything to do with them.

So, when I'm having a great day, when I'm feeling good and the kids are good, I will worship my King. And when I'm having a hard day, when I'm so tired it's exhausting just to go to the bathroom, I will worship my King. When I'm feeling so weary and like I just can't do it anymore, I will worship my King. He is so very good all the time. I know I can trust Him and submit to His will for my life.

Today I will look for ways to honor Him with extravagant love. I will worship Christ when I make lunch for my kids, when I get dressed so I can be looking good for my husband after his long day at work, when I'm looking out the window at God's beautiful creation, and when I'm resting on my bed. 

I know how my story will end. I will be on my feet, raising my hands in worship, singing with all of Heaven, "Holy Holy Holy!" Until then, may my actions shout "Hallelujah!" my words sing with love, and the posture of my heart be continually bowed down in worship.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Alacrity

Tonight, in my evening devotion, I was challenged (or encouraged) to take up my cross with alacrity. Alacrity? Now that's not a word I use in my daily vocabulary, so I looked it up. It means “cheerful willingness”. What is my cross? Living with MS in a wheelchair. So, I am to live with MS, in my wheelchair, with cheerful willingness. And then Mr Spurgeon tells me to go on my way rejoicing.

This, to me, implies a daily, moment by moment kind of living. Kind of like breathing. In and out, over and over. At times that is all I can do. Just breathe. Like those times I feel I just can't do it. Or I get stuck in the “why cycle.” Why does everything have to be so hard? Why can't I just hop in the car and go to the grocery store? Why do I keep dropping everything on the bathroom floor? Why does it have to take so much effort just to get my pants on? Why? Why? Why?

I know someone who asked why a whole bunch: Job. He had a lot more reasons to ask why than I do. But I think we both get the same answer. God answered Job. He never told him why he suffered so much, but He did tell Job who He is. And Job's answer is my answer, too, if I can just be still and know that God is God. Job's answer was, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee.” Job 42:5

Almighty God has revealed Himself to me. It is because of my cross that I see Him instead of just hearing about Him. It is because of Jesus that I can keep breathing so that I can worship Him in my surrender with cheerful willingness. I can say Thank You to my Savior for my lovely cross that makes me want Him more, to love and adore Him more, and to need Him more than anything else.

And now, I will roll on my way rejoicing...