Thursday, November 13, 2008

What Christ Offers

"Assuredly, like the coming of the dawn the Father's love song goes on, drowning out my bitter songs, breaking through walls and barriers. Christ swoops in, removes sin, picks up His bride and carries her. So I can sing, in agreement with the King this thing. There's only one thing that pleases the Father, the God-man on the tree in midst of the scoffers - now I finally see that CHRIST IS what Christ offers. And I'm finally free, in the love of the Father."
 - Jimmy Needham

My mind's been reeling for days about the future.  Understandably so, with graduation creeping upon me.  This is the thing: most of us feel our lives are going to mean something, that God will shower us with His abundant blessings and pave the way to a safe and purposeful existence.... and we believe it will just HAPPEN, because we are His. 

So many times in my faith journey I offer up petitions asking the Almighty God for big movement in my life, big opportunities to come my way and big meaning to be found in my cross. 

Then one word comes, and truth begins flooding my fragile and wearied soul.  Suddenly, my mind and heart unite under the power of a sovereign God.  And there, in a little bedroom tucked away in North Texas, the Lord of the heavens not only meets with me, but brings deep understanding of what it means to be His. 

Maybe God isn't looking to make all of my pie in the sky dreams come true, maybe He's looking to make me come TO truth, He is my Reward. 

My reward is not a Masters degree, nor a television segment. My reward is not a host of friendships or a nice vehicle.  My reward is not a great job or a husband..... in all of life and all it has to offer.... Christ swoops in, removes sin, picks up His bride and carries her.... now I finally see that CHRIST is, what Christ offers...

I took Habakuk 3:17-19 last night and replaced some statements within it to describe my own desires. Habakuk communicates that his reward was not the fruit of his labor... but His God. I pray we be like Habakuk and realize our reward is Christ... not the "blessings" of a well-lived life. 

Though my love life may not blossom, nor friends be on the vines. Though the labor of my studies may fail and the work yields no job. Though the dreams may be cut off from the path and there be no promise in the sky... 

YET, I will rejoice in the Lord. I will take joy in the God of my Salvation. The Lord is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet & He will make me walk on my high hills. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Let This be My Prayer

Graduation is one month from tomorrow.  And while my heart fills with relief and accomplishment, I cannot help but feel anxiety and fear of the unknown.  

You see, I went straight into Graduate school without even a small break.  I finished up at DBU and started UTA in the fall of 2006.  While I have definitely felt the weight of exhaustion these last two semesters... I recall all that God has done for me in the past year. 

If you followed my writing at FirstNet, then you know what I have been through, what I have faced and where God had placed me different moments throughout the year.  And now, with graduation one month away, I begin to wonder - - - what now Father?  Where do You want me?  Will every dream I have ever had for myself begin to come true now?  Will it not?  Will I handle life with grace and love, whatever the situation may be?  Help me Father... help me to love the unknown, for it is what pushes me into a deeper dependence upon You... the Only thing worth treasuring in this life. 

My sister Lacey bought the newest Celine Dion CD a few days ago, and allowed me to borrow it for a listen.  Do you remember the song, "The Prayer", Celine sang with Italian artist, Andrea Bocelli?  Well, this song has been the comfort of my soul for the past few days. 

If you listen to the lyrics, you begin to understand the song is written as a petition of people to the Almighty God... asking for His guidance in all of life.  Asking for His blessing on all we do.  And asking Him to be the light for every one of us. 

While I have no real knowledge of Celine or Andrea's faith, I have been singing this song to my Father and Savior for days.  It has been a source of not only comfort to my worried soul, but has also helped me communicate to the Almighty what I truly long for in this life.

I pray for wisdom, in times when I don't know.  I pray to be led by only His light for the rest of my life. I pray to be guided and comforted by His grace. I pray to find a place of safety solely in His arms. 

Now, I couldn't find a good video of Celine & Andrea... but here is one of her and Josh Groban, which is completely wonderful.  Take a minute, and offer up your personal prayer to the Almighty. 

All my love,