Full and Hungry

Dusk. Sitting under a dome of deep blue, seeing the last glow of light in the sky, looking into it, through it, past it. Feeling my soul aware of a Power and Presence beyond the evening, beyond the beauties I saw. Glad to feel my heart touched, moved, ministered to, fed and watered. Old lyrics coming to mind... "Pardon for sin, and a peace that endureth. Thine Own dear Presence to cheer and to guide. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside. Great is Thy Faithfulness...". Sweet. Precious to taste the food for my spirit, to drink the cool and refreshing water of life. Wondrous to feel the Spirit allowing me to know hunger and thirst for Him. Blessed to know that I am "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation" though "for a season" I find myself "in heaviness through manifold temptations" and trials and sorrows. Peter 1: 5-6.

Many times of late, these trials and temptations pull me down to earth, distract me, worry me, draw me away. So many things I won't describe here. But at dusk, in the morning, driving in the glow of sunset, sitting at work, there He Is. I am humbled and thankful to feel my heart being warmed, moved, comforted, and empowered. I rejoice in reading "they that stumbled are girded with strength" and "He will keep the feet of his saints, for by strength shall no man prevail" (1 Samuel 2: 4, 9). I am relieved in knowing by our own strength, we... I, cannot overcome, but He can overcome! I am glad to feel so full, so stirred and full of His Spirit... and yet so in need, so hungry for more of Him, more strength, more wisdom, more submission to His Will, more love. Every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4: 12-13.

Storms in Alabama

You may have heard about the severe weather that passed through Alabama and other areas of the deep South the week of April 27th. The storms were strong and destructive, everyone in my area was without power for about a week, and many people lost their homes and all of their earthly possessions. My daily living is back to "normal" now, as there was not much material damage to my direct community, but many around me are still facing some of the most difficult earthly trials of their lives. Thankfully, many are stepping up to help, and hopefully the gestures each of us makes towards these folks will make a difference and bring them comfort as well as real, practical support. It stands out to me when people make comments, such as saying "God was with you" when someone explains how they survived the storm and didn't endure much "damage," when the truth is that God is everywhere all the time, with a plan and power to do whatever is best, and He is with His children always! Over and over, I heard a man say on the radio that these storms were perfect, that they were put together so well, that they were structurally sound and would hold together over long distances. Words like these can inspire religious fear, since we know what these deadly storms can do, but it's also amazing to think about the way nature works, the nature God created in all His power and glory.

 A tornado forms when the atmosphere is struggling, working against itself with hot air and cold air not switching gracefully, usually when cold air is moving in and hot air doesn't gently move along to make way for the cold. An ongoing characteristic of a human life that is seeking and hoping to live for God is struggle, struggle between two wills - the will of man and the will of God. Every day in a million situations, in relationships, and even in tiny little actions, this struggle goes on in man's soul as he chooses between God's will and his own. By God's grace, we walk up to a crossroads and have to decide which way to go, and that decision can be like the gentle, graceful movement of hot air to cold air, a little bit of wind or a shower maybe, or it can be like the agitated, confused, whirling struggle of a tornado, destroying what's in the way to make way for the new. I believe God leads us into storms sometimes, spiritual storms, storms in our hearts and minds, to bring us to the place we need to be. Places of stillness, places of awe at His power, places of having lost things that perhaps we were clinging to over vehemently, places of starting over from scratch. Whatever place He brings us to, if we are still and know He is God, if we let go of what is insignificant or distracting, if we lay aside weights that are pulling us down and become more focused on Him, if we stand up and run the race that is before us, trusting Him to provide what we need, we can be sure God was and is with us in a mighty way!

Sometimes it is Enough

In every blade of grass, in every fragrant breeze from a cluster of lilacs, in the yellow shine of every buttercup, in the rays of light from the sun, in the electric light of the storm, in the rich red dirt, in heart-pounding rolls of thunder, in every thing, He is there. First and last and in between, the most powerful, the truest, the best, He is. To grasp such ever presence, such sameness, such consistency and continuance is a meditation, a work of belief, a moment of worship. The Spring is so full of it, so full of Him. The growth, the newness, the beauty. So many things at once as gorgeous, golden day turns to a stormy day of muted greens and blues and grays. 

He is there in all, waiting, watching, working I think. There is work to be done, wisdom to gain, faulty steps to straighten, a path to walk, humility and love to show, but sometimes when the earth is glowing or crying and wonders fill every piece of it, to be still and know Him, to walk with Him in worship, deeply appreciating all He has done, is enough I think.Enough to smell the dirt, to watch the baby things play, to stare in awe at this miracle of colors and new life that has come again. Enough to say, It's wonderful, my Father Husband, my God, I adore You. Accept my thanks and have mercy on me.