Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Bigness of God

I got some bad news yesterday. The cancer is mostly likely back and I will have to have more surgery.

My immediate reaction was fear and crying. You would think that after all God's provision that I would feel less fear. After all, He knows what he is doing. He sees the big picture and how this experience will make me a better person.

So why the doubt? Why the fear? Because sometimes the obstacle in front of me is too big and that is all I see. It blinds me to the love and provision of God. Which is why Gods largeness is so important. When we would make decisions based on fear and avoidance of pain, he makes decisions based on what would make us more like Him. If we have faith He can guide us on the right path and banish our fears.

I imagine that this was what the Israelites were going through when they were facing the Red Sea. Behind them was the seemingly unbeatable Egyptian army and in front of them the mighty Red Sea. Their obstacles temporarily blinded them to God's love and provision. They were looking at the bigness of the army, the vastness of the Sea instead of how big God is.

The most important idea to remember is that God is bigger than pain. He is bigger than cancer. He is also bigger than our tears and our fears.

He has our lives and deaths in his very capable hands. If we keep our eyes on that, we need not fear.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isa 41:10

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Home Sick

Because of my surgery, I've been sleeping on my couch for six weeks. It has it's perks, mind you, namely being able to watch TV when I can't sleep and not having to listen to my husband snore. But overall, it just doesn't cut it-- it isn't my bed. I end up shifting a lot, dealing with a fair amount of pain and waking up with an aching back. My greatest desire was to sleep in my own bed-- the yearning and the lack caused me tears a few times.

Last night I spent my first night in my bed! It was wonderful. It felt like home.

I think that this world is like that couch. It has its perks--chocolate, snuggling with my girl's, toe curling kisses from my husband. But it also is full of pain, heart wrenching pain. Even when it is going well, there is something not quite right. I end up shifting a lot, looking for that sweet spot that doesn't quite happen. It doesn't cut it.

I think that is one of the reasons that God sends painful or uncomfortable situations our way. It is to remind us that this world is not our home. No matter how good it gets, we have something even better waiting for us. Our imaginations can't even fathom the beauty and joy that will be ours. The pain is temporary and is useful for teaching us. The pleasures are nice. But our heart should yearn for something more-- our home with our Father. God doesn't want us to get too comfortable, too attached to this world. He doesn't want us to settle with the pleasures of this life. He wants our hearts to yearn for what is coming!

Hebrews 11:16
Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

True Love

What do you do when love doesn't look like you think?
When the discipline becomes too hard
When then pain too much
The exile long enough
And coveted freedom too long in the coming?

You cling to the promises and hold on to the hope
As the enemy invades and your life is stolen away
You protect the truth in your heart
The truth that God is God, he is sovereign still,
he hears the cries of his people and his promises will be kept whole

Because love--real love that doesn't feed the idols of our heart
and tell us what we want to hear--
real love Isn't all warm and fuzzy or comfortable beds
The truth is that love hurts and it often is born of fire
Fire that burns away the ugliness of our souls
Reveals who we are and
Who lives is in our hearts
Removes the golden glint of fake gold
And replaces it with real gold that lasts forever

Real love sometimes takes away what we want
so we can see what we really need --
God, only God
who was always there--waiting with arms open wide

God IS love and
one day we will see his love as it really is
when the world's lies will no longer hide it
And we will no longer be distracted by what we think love should look like.

Psalm 36:7
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blooming Where I've Been Planted

I've decided to bloom where I am planted which is no small task when you consider my garden is breast cancer. but this is from God as surely as all the bright shiny obvious blessings are from him too. What does blooming entail? Plenty of watering for sure. Being washed in the word daily. Letting the dirt and crude that holds you down run off and disappear into the earth. Drinking lavishly of the Lord's goodness and mercy and feeling the cool refreshment of his love deep down. Then, of course, turning my head towards the son, basking in his love as a sunflower turns towards the source of true light. You don't see sunflowers fooled by any old florescent lightbulb do you? Nope only the real thing will do. Then we need rich soil where your roots can spread out and stretch down real deep. Roots that were there long before the wind blew but which grow stronger every minute it continues --much more than if the roots were never tested.  That's all it takes really--no complicated formula . We make it so very hard. I'm not sure why really. Maybe so when we fail we have some excuse, something to blame when we don't bloom. Something other than ourselves-- because it was all too difficult it was bound to fail, right? The thing is that it was never up to us. You don't see a flower walking around with a guilt complex.  A flower doesn't chose the garden, make it rain, or blow the wind. She just blooms where she is planted and basks in the sun. 

The LORD will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11