Marred

I am marred. Marred: impair the appearance of; disfigure (Google).

Sin has marred me.

I know God has taught me before. I have seen His work in me. Areas that seemed hopeless, God took hold and transformed. I could not have done it.

You can pray for me. I need to be reshaped.

Jeremiah 18:1-6

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.       (biblegateway.com)

I am grateful for my Maker’s hand over my life. No one loves like God.

I end this now with a prayer that demonstrates God’s great care for His disciples and us.

John 17: 6-26

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world.Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.[a] 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they also may be sanctified[d] in truth.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”           (biblegateway.com)

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A Moment in My Journey

I was recently asked to share about a significant moment in my journey with God. Just preparing to answer that question was significant for me. So I shared how the question caused me to look back and remember God’s hand on my life…

Sometimes I look back and all I can see are the negatives and how I failed God. But as I reflect and think about what God has done, I can see that He has not seen me as one who has failed, but as one He loves and cares for. Someone that He just keeps inviting to follow Him and spend time with Him more and more. For example, a couple years ago when I was feeling discouraged with myself and feeling like I wasn’t growing in my relationship with God, God showed me His love and encouragement through the vision of a plant growing inside of me along with the verse Philippians 1:6. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Jesus Christ returns.”

I have been asking God to help me understand His love for me. I have been encouraged as I read about David, learn about Abraham and examine Peter that these imperfect people were friends of God. God did not abandon them in their sin. I have been amazed that after telling Peter and the disciples of the sins they were about to commit, how Jesus took the time to pray for, encourage and explain things to Peter and the disciples. Through being asked to share, through scripture and life experiences I am slowly learning and grasping God’s unfailing love for me. How God continues to guide, comfort and call to Himself those who follow Him.

 

Fix my eyes…

I feel so blinded.

God please pull off my blinders and help me see You!

I look at my daughter and can’t help but thank you. Yet still I continue to think how futile it is to put my trust in God based on her existence. Life can sometimes be short. Thank you for giving me this gift, I want to trust you with her.

I am thankful for food and my place to live. Thank you God for these good things. Still there are those who had their homes destroyed while I slept and I know you love them and care for them. This world is full of corruption and sadness. I want to trust you in the middle of it all.

Thank you for my husband. I am grateful for days that are going so well. I love staying home and looking after my home. Still I know health, circumstances, troubles are often so unpredictable. What should I do if I loose all stability. I don’t want my world to come crumbling down around my fragile skin.

I need to know you God. I need to know your ways are real.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

How much better was it really for the people that actually saw Jesus and witnessed his miracles. Still so many did not believe and still so many wanted to crucify Jesus. Does it really make it so much better if we were the ones to see Jesus?

So I fix my eyes on God.

I did this today and I did this yesterday. When I feel so blinded I spend time with God.

“But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:3

A Changing Perspective

I have viewed my children, my work, my husband, relationships through tainted eyes. As I read God’s word, pray, listen, spend time with godly mentors I can see how God is changing my perspective.

I struggle, yes I struggle way too much. It is not like before though. I now realize a lot sooner that I really can leave all my worries with God. Mind you there has been days I have felt confused and discouraged. I wondered if it is easier when I don’t pay attention to God and the Bible. I now understand that I am going to have hard days where I feel like things just don’t make sense or are not coming together. There are going to be times that satan is going to have it in for me and will try to load me with discouragement. I have learned that I can leave this with God. God can fight these battles for me. I can see that what could have brought me down can bring me closer to God. I now take the discouragement and turn it into praise and worship. God brings me peace and I know that God is for me.

I know that God is for me. He has been so patient with me. He started nearly a year and a half ago teaching me the meaning of looking at the log in my eye, instead of the speck in my brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3). I have come to understand that it is much better to look at myself than the wrongs of another. Through being willing to learn this I have learned forgiveness, I have been learning love at all times, I have been learning gentleness and so much more. When I open myself up to the truths that God is teaching in the Bible I give way for relationships to be transformed. Sometimes the relationship is not totally healed as it sometimes takes two. Still, the bitterness that was once growing and festering inside melts. Do you know how good this feels?

I am convinced that God is for me.

Let God be your everything and you will see that God is for you too.

Thank you

Thank you God…

– for a mother who encouraged me to spend time with God during my years growing up.

– when I had my first baby we were starting to wonder when my husband would get a job. You had a job in mind and thank you for that job.

– for encouraging me to spend time with you, cause now I love it and my days are better with you.

– for my job at L’Arche and the passion you gave me to work in that field. It was good for that season of my life. A growing experience too.

– for finding my Dad praying in the middle of the night several times as a child. Thank you for showing me his heart for you.

– for grandparents that encouraged me to talk about you through their example as they shared about you in their life.

– for confirming to me so clearly that I was to spend a year in Kenya during college. (and for bringing my hubby into my life during that time.)

These are just some of what I am thankful for. I took some time recently to stop and write down some of what God has done in my life. It is encouraging and builds faith. I want this to be an ongoing practice. Then in times when I feel doubt or discouraged, I can look back to see what God has done. What everyone looks back to in thankfulness will be different. Perhaps for others it is a friend that pointed them to God, a loving word someone spoke, a kind gesture from a teacher during elementary school when all at home was awry, a word of encouragement received from the Bible, food delivered at just the right time or maybe a look at nature that reminded you of God’s beautiful hand on our lives.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD;
You are my trust from my youth.
By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You. (Psalm 71: 4-6)

As I read through Psalm in the bible I see David spending a lot of time thanking God for what he has done in the past. At times he is feeling down in the pits of despair and his circumstances look grim. Then as he turns his attention to God and all that God is and all that God has done in the past he is encouraged and is soaring in God’s love and strength.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Verses like this take on a new personal meaning as I spend time with God. Thank you God.