Archive for December, 2013

Can I Trust Him?

This morning for my devotions I read Psalms 19….

“The heavens are telling the glory of God, they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship.

Day and night they keep on telling about God. 

Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world.

The sun lives in the heaves where God placed it and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding, or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race!

The sun crosses the heavens from end to end, and nothing can hide from its heat.”

I had to pause and ponder the magnificent awesomeness of our Creator God.  Everything God created is stamped with His fingerprint.  The vastness of the universe, the galaxies, sun, moon and stars all speak about the greatness and goodness of God.  Every single human being on earth can tilt their head backwards a few degrees and see, feel and and experience in some way the marvelous display of His craftsmanship.  We may live thousands of miles apart but we all see the same moon, the same sun, and the same stars.  How can we fathom such a phenomenon?

It is in You and You alone, O God, that I put my faith.

Recently I was asked a question that has left me pondering, “Can you trust God regardless of the outcome”? I can believe in God, admire His handiwork, and know that He is but do I trust Him?  I believe that He knows my beginning and end. But do I trust that all the jumble in between will be for my good?  Can I trust that He is somehow weaving together the many threads in my life with purpose and design to make a beautiful tapestry?  Faith and trust do not necessarily go hand in hand.  Trust is not a prerequisite for faith but I sure do have to have faith in something I trust.

Several weeks ago I sat in my pastor’s office and shared  a concern and worry I was facing.  An unknown spot had showed up on a chest x-ray following a bronchitis relapse. Then a few days later they found a suspicious spot on a mammogram.  Further tests were scheduled on both.  What was I facing? I didn’t know.  One spot was worrisome enough but two spots in the same vicinity of the body was very worrisome.  I wanted to share it with my family and friends so they could lift me up in prayer.

My pastor asked me two questions.  What are you thinking about and can you trust God regardless of the outcome?

What was I thinking about????  Well, in the middle of the dark night…cancer, death and heaven.  In the middle of the day it is easier to conjure up a “I will beat this” attitude.   But regardless, there is still a little dark  storm cloud following  you around.

Can I trust God regardless?  It made me pause but for a second….yes, yes, yes.  I can trust God. I had told God that if I have to battle that unspeakable “c” word that He was in it too because He was going to have to walk beside me.

Nature reveals to me the greatness and beauty of God and His Word shows me His character. But it is only through my journey that I experience His abiding, faithful and loving presence.  It is because of my history with God that I can trust Him with my unknown future.  Life  is not always  “easy street” and I have experienced some very difficult troubles and trials. But I can say without hesitation that my God has been faithful, His peace has surrounded me and His mercy is ongoing.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can trust Him.

Corrie Ten Boom penned the words to this poem that poignantly  reveal the precious truth of God’s sovereignty in her life.  Her life story of God’s abundant grace, care and faithfulness  is told in the book “The Hiding Place”.

Life is But a Weaving

Corrie Ten Boom (The Tapestry Poem)

My life is but a weaving

Between my God and me.

I cannot choose the colors He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;

And I in foolish pride

Forget He sees the upper

And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent

And the shuttles cease to fly

Will God unroll the canvas

And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful

In the weaver’s skillful hand

As the threads of gold and silver

In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;

Nothing this truth can dim.

He gives the very best to those

Who leave the choice to Him.

.

Note: Both tests (chest c-scan and breast ultrasound) came back negative.  I am so relieved and grateful to God for His mercy.

The Magi’s Star

PP Verse-John 7 38 (Fall) Whoever believes in me streams of living water

The star is a well-known and beloved symbol of Christmas.  We put a lit star on the top of our star-decorated trees. Christmas cards show a star hovering over the manager of baby Jesus and sugar cookies are cut in the shape of a star.  Homes and businesses used to have lit stars for decorations and farmers sometimes had one on a silo 60′ feet in the air.

I love the star and we have one on the stable on the hill in our front pasture overlooking a major thoroughfare-Route 60.  I light it the day after Thanksgiving as a reminder to people the true meaning of Christmas. When we ride the roads in December I look for stars and wonder, where have all the stars gone?  Gaudy Santas, sleighs, reindeer, trees, candy canes and gifts have replaced the Christ-child, angels, stars, managers and worship.   Lies confuse truth, the fear of offense squelches the joy of the sacred and the holiday of gross commercialism  has stolen the “reason for the season”.

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In reality the star was not present at the stable where baby Jesus was born. Matthew 2 very clearly tells the story of Wise Men coming from the East when Jesus was about two years old. They were astrologers, wise men or magi who studied and gazed at the stars.  Since the dawn of recorded civilization, stars played a key role in religion and proved vital to navigation.  Ancient cultures saw patterns in the heavens that resembled people, animals or common objects.  Job 9:9 and Amos 5:8 mention the names of several stars; the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades.  The magi knew and understood the orbit of the sun, moon and planets. They also knew and understood the ancient prophecies about the coming Messiah.  

The star that the Magi followed to find the young Jesus was no ordinary star.  It beckoned them to follow, it spoke to them of something deeply sacred and profound.  Somehow it was interpreted to them as sign of the birth of the King of the Jews. It is thought that the star first appeared at the birth of Jesus and took them months to follow.  The star, an unexplained phenomenon, was a GPS system sent from God himself and directed these men on a journey of hundreds of miles to a house, until it stood over the very house where the young Jesus lived with his parents. They knew they had found the Son of God, the long-awaited Messiah and they presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  They fell on their knees in worship of the Christ-child.  

And then they quietly slipped unnoticed out of the country. They had been divinely warned in a dream to not go back and report their findings to the wicked, jealous King Herod as they had been instructed to do.  At their departure Joseph was also warned in a dream to flee with the young child and Mary  immediately.  Under cover of night they quickly fled for their lives to Egypt.   This event set off a cruel and brutal massacre of innocent lives.  Herod in his desperate attempt to kill young Jesus had all males 2 years old and younger slaughtered. This story is recorded in Matthew 2. 

Neither the star or the magi are mentioned in scripture again.  To me the star represents something bigger and more profound than a lovely Christmas ornament. It beckons me to remember, to remember the story of wise men who obediently followed the star and in their wonder and obedience they found the Christ-child.  The star beckons me to also journey and search until I find Christ-the Messiah, my Savior.  And when I come into His presence my response is also to fall on my knees in worship.

Note: December 18.

Two years ago I felt God laid on my heart to encourage Christians to put up a star as a way of saying, “Christ lives here”.  I didn’t follow through and had planned to do it this year. I forgot. It suddenly came full force into my mind again over the weekend when we made a four-hour road trip and I did not see a single star.  And here we are just a few days before Christmas again!  I am asking Christians worldwide. Put up a star. Let’s light the dark evening with rays of joy that say, “Christ lives here”!

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