Friday, October 30, 2009

What Are You Doing?

“Whatareyoudoing?” Somehow when my little grandson Zach says those words, all run together, it brings a smile to my face, for he is asking gently, out of curiosity. Often it is when I am out of sight, perhaps upstairs as he is finding ways to keep himself busy downstairs. As though in need of reassurance, he simply inquires to know that I am still nearby.

I am sure he has heard those same words often, from the lips of his mama, in a slightly different vein, “Zach…What are you doing?”

You have to know, Zach is an adventurous, busy little fellow who could be up to most anything. Think Curious George. Most likely he has found himself doing something he probably shouldn’t have.

I am so like Zach. I come to my Father and ask, gently, “What are you doing Lord?” Not so much that I might correct Him, but that I might know He is there and has a purpose for what He is doing in my life. Like Zach, I just seek to know and be comforted by the sound of His voice, to know that He is near and watching out for me.

Yet that same voice which has brought comfort and reassurance so many times also asks of me, “Robyn…What are you doing?

And I am reminded that I am but a child whose heart is prone to wander, to lose sight of Him, to find myself caught up in places I ought not go. I pursue my way down footpaths of fear and streets of self-will, tempted to enter rooms of rebellion through doorways of doubt. Like Zach, I sometimes find it hard to be content within the confines of the place I am asked to stay.

And so, like the sweet Psalmist of old, I am thankful that God knows my heart yet loves me still. I welcome the touch of his nail pierced hand.

Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Psalm 139.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Sweet Fragrance

Had you stepped outside early this morning you would have felt it. The wind was blowing. That in it’s self is not so unusual here in the high desert, but this morning was a rare gift, for it is mid-October yet the morning was warm and beckoning. I could not resist. Quickly I grabbed my cup of coffee and slipped outside to watch the majesty of God’s colors unfold in the rising sun, even as the breeze danced through the tops of the towering pines.

As I was touched by it’s force and embraced by it’s urgent whisper, I was reminded of how Jesus likened the Holy Spirit to the wind, blowing where it will at God’s direction. We feel His touch and hear the sound of His voice, without always realizing from whence it has come. Yet it is that same Spirit which indwells each child of God, blowing in and through us…picking up the fragrance of our heart… allowing the world around us to catch the sweet savor of God emanating from our lives.

How I have longed for that sweet fragrance to be what flows from my life. Yet I am reminded that it only comes in one way. Mary understood this. Just days prior, she had caught a glimpse of eternity, as Jesus had called forth her brother Lazarus from the grave. Life triumphed where death once ruled, but the ultimate victory would only come at a great price.

Jesus had now come to their home at the start of that final week. In just a few short days, all history would climax around the Son of God who willingly became the sacrificial Lamb of God. In adoration and love Mary brought that which was to her, most precious. Sorrow mixed with joy as she knelt at the feet of Jesus, breaking open the alabaster jar she had brought with her for this very purpose. Tenderly she anointed his feet with the oil that spilled forth from the broken vessel. In love she ministered to her Lord, the unmistakable sweet aroma of what she had given to Jesus filling the room.

How I desire that my life might put forth that same fragrance; that the wind of the Spirit might carry it to those who are in need of refreshing. How I desire it, yet how I tremble at the cost. I look for an easy way that I might avoid the breaking. I ask God to release a sweet fragrance even as I remain whole. It cannot be. It is in the breaking process that I find myself at the feet of Jesus. As I minister to Him, others are touched by the overflow of what has been given and is now given back to my Lord and Savior. There is no other way.

And so like Mary, I turn my focus to the One whose body was broken for me. I kneel before the One whose blood was spilled out that I might be saved. I see Him as the one who gave all for me and I know, I can offer no less. And through my tears, I feel the wind begin to blow…..

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Show Me Your Glory

Moses, who had found favor in God’s sight, Moses of whom God said, “I know you by name”. This same Moses was summoned by God to a place of meeting on the mountain where God promised to show him His glory.

What anticipation must have filled his heart as he awaited the next day’s dawning, for it was in the morning that God had promised to reveal Himself to His humble servant. Alone and in awe he climbed the mountain, pushing upward to the place the Lord commanded. At last he positioned himself in the cleft of the appointed rock, high atop Mt. Sinai, surely wondering to himself, “What will I see as God’s glory passes by?”

Then it happened, “The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…”

Moses response was as Isaiah’s- and Peter’s- and mine. For once I have seen the true nature of my Lord, once I understand He is a God of righteousness and justice and truth, my only recourse is to run into His arms of mercy and grace, to find shelter in His steadfast love, for that IS the glory of God. Like Moses I bow my head in worship, amazed that the God of all creation would choose to love me and forgive my sin, and to take me for HIS inheritance.

I have seen His glory. For the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” I have known His glory, for I have known and am known by Jesus.