But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
As 2013 draws to a close and we look at the birth of a new year it is good to remember whose we are. The Creator formed us, redeemed us, and knows us each by name. He sees us as treasured, cherished and holds us close. I was/am blessed to have loving parents. When Dad would lift me up and set me upon his lap, I felt love, safety, security. Let’s enter 2014 knowing that we are treasured, cherished and held close by God, Creator, Redeemer and Friend. We are loved, safe and secure no matter what life brings our way.
God Bless You with His measure in 2014,
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
The above picture was taken almost four years ago when my Mom was still singing in the church choir. Mom’s voice stood out; that woman could sing!
Now four years have passed and Mom can no longer walk; she depends upon a wheelchair. The hands that made noodles, soothed boo boos, gardened, and she used to lift in praise; now sit idly while others comb her hair and clothe her. Sometimes her eyes are alive but more and more I see them clouded over as if she is somewhere else. She spent a lifetime in daily devotion and now her Bible lays neglected layered with dust. We still see glimpses of the women who raised and loves us but more and more her body and her mind fail her.
I visited Mom last night as I try to do every night, even if just for a few minutes. We talked a little; mostly I talked and she smiled when I looked her in the eyes. We picked out her clothes for the next day; I picked, she said, “okay.” I told her about the cold weather and how the work is coming along on my house. She then asked me what it was like outside and I told her once again about the cold temperatures. I told her that I needed to get going on home and we kissed and said, “I love you” to each other. I walked around the corner in her room to get my coat and gloves on before walking out into the deep freeze. I heard Mom saying something and so I leaned in closer. “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so, the Bible tells me so, the Bible tells me so, tells me so. Jesus loves me. Jesus love me for the Bible tells me so, tells me so.” She had her eyes closed, rocking her head from side to side and repeating over and over lines for the song we are taught as children, “Jesus Loves Me.”
Mom sings a new song. It is not a song with multiple parts and flourishing piano chords. It is not a top ten hit on the radio. It is not a song that tells of her days and nights. Mom sings a new song; Mom sings her heart. Mom’s mind is not always with us anymore, but her heart sings out loud and clear!!!!!
I pray to be as full of Jesus as my Mom one day.
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
Does that sound like a god who wants to tells us when to stand and when to sit and when to speak? Does that sound like a god who is a dictator? Does that sound like a god who is far off from His people? Does that sound like a god who is into guilt and shame? OR does Isaiah tell us about our God who calls us into relationship with Him? “Come now, and let us reason together.” Not “sit down, shut up and do as I say”, but “let’s sit down and figure this out together.” Our God calls out to us and reaches toward us……how awesome is that?!!!!! Might be pretty cool to sit down with Him today and see where the conversation flows.
May He give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.
God often calls us to places and events that are way out of our comfort zone, foreign, strange, even scary. I have found that to be the pattern of my life and have struggled with it for decades. I have declared that I am a foreigner in a strange land and found that basis for complaint, and excuses. Where does that get me?…..frustrated and alone.
I am just now beginning to learn to search for the purpose of my life in this “strange” land instead of getting stuck on the fact that I am a “foreigner.” If God has put me here, then He finds value and worth in what I can accomplish with Him for His Kingdom in this place and at this time. He trusts me. He has a reason. He has a purpose. It is time to celebrate who I am in the Lord, rest in Him and go about living so as to glorify Him.
The above picture is of a dear, sweet friend. She is who she is no matter the circumstance and I admire her honesty and faith in action. She is a foreigner in a strange land and she celebrates her uniqueness in the Lord.
God’s promise is that we will one day possess the land that He set aside for us long, long ago. Where we walk now may feel foreign but one day the promise will be fulfilled and we will walk in His Kingdom; not a strange foreign land but the home of our Father. Amen and Amen. Live today celebrating who you are in Christ wherever you have been called.
From One Alien to Another,