A God outside of Time.
This weekend my Pastor was speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven, and attributes of the God that fills it.
I got stuck on several points...but I wanted to share one with you.
We read it in the Bible, and we quote it to each other in times of struggle...let's say it together... "The Joy of the Lord is our strength."
I have said it so many times, yet never really thought about it truly. What does it mean?
I have used it as a way of beating myself up for not being joyful enough ,to get through something. Because, being joyful is how I am strong...that's how I "manage". So instead of being in a pity party, I put on a smile, I act like I'm great until I trick myself into believing that I am...or until I am thankful enough that I truly am good again.
But I was so convicted this weekend as I heard him talk about Joy. This scripture says absolutely nothing about my joy...it says the joy of the LORD is my strength. If nothing else that I do or possess on my own is ever enough why would I be so foolish as to think that MY joy,(my forcing myself to find joy), would ever be enough to get me through something? And that is where the Truth is... it is through Christ only that anything is ever and has ever been accomplished in my life. His joy is true, not forced.
So how does His joy become my strength?
My understanding of Joy is so very limited. But God's is not. It is untamed, it is unrestrained, it is never ceasing, it is timeless.
God himself is not bound by time, I am. So the joy that I understand may be experienced in one moment, and then another, and another...but to God, ALL joy is His, always.
That's so powerful...and so, so much more powerful than the tiny bit of joy I might be able to muster up on my own. Of course that joy that He holds is my strength!
That kind of Joy could move mountains!
So today, if you're needing an extra dose of strength...instead of running to a cup of coffee, and a fake smile...try remembering the Joy of your Lord. The joy of the God that came down from Heaven on high to be near you. The joy that He knows when you are near to Him, that you belong to Him. The joy of every good moment, every good word, every sweet memory, all joy...all is His.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Certain of the uncertainties, and their certainties.
The first thing I am certain of is that life is crazy confusing sometimes. There are many "unknowns" , "wait it outs" and "hang in there's" .
But I know that even in life's uncertainties, there are always, always some certainties.
Is certainties even a word?
There they are...right there where they should be, in a sea of uncertainties...looking at you with big, wanting eyes just begging you to hold out in hope.
There's always this waiting out the uncertain moments..wading through the flood waters, wondering when your help will arrive. You know that your location is known....you are not destitute by any means (though it can feel it at times). Your need is known...because, let's be honest...you have made. it. known. Now you wait...latching on to the promise to come, knowing that God will come. He will provide. That's all there is to it. Of that I can be certain. I hold that truth.
Swift. No, not T.Swift. Swift. The adjective meaning promptly; suddenly. That's how God rolls.
I am also certain of that.
Twice, maybe even three times now that I think of it, in the past week this has been brought to my attention. And by completely random people, unconnected to one another. That God does not act slowly, but swiftly and suddenly. How true is that? You wait, for what feels like an eternity...and then when you least expect it...BAM...done.
But the truth is, God was working all along. You felt like you were waiting forever for an answer...when really God acted swiftly, you just don't see it until it's finished.
It's like a surprise party for YOU! You think it just happened, all of a sudden your friends and family are all there shouting your name and "Happy Birthday!!" And there's cake (or ice cream if you're me) and presents, and laughter, joy, and crazy amounts of love coming your way. But truthfully...that party has been in the works for a long time, months even. All because they knew your birthday was coming, and they wanted to make you feel the joy and magnitude of their love for you. So much so that it would shock you...
His love is like that. He comes to your rescue, and He NEVER under-delivers.
Of that you can be certain.