Open My Eyes

I can be so blind!

Blinded by the immediate.

Blinded by what everyone else thinks.

Blinded by my routines or traditions.

Blinded by worry.

Blinded by trying to control things in my life .

There are times when its a major struggle to open my eyes…

open my mind….

open my heart…

to the truth….

to a different reality – God’s reality.

Sometimes I can be just like Elisha’s servant in the Bible who was afraid of the huge enemy army which surrounded the city they were in. Elisha wasn’t afraid. He knew something the servant didn’t know. Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so he may see.” 2 Kings 6: 17.

And when the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, he looked up and saw the hills around Elisha full of horses and chariots of fire. God’s army.

Elisha was not worried – he knew the truth.  God had his back and there was no cause for alarm. Elisha understood and trusted in the power and faithfulness of his Father God.

His eyes were open.

Please open our eyes, Abba Father.

Psalm 139, 2021

You know me well, LORD.

You know where I am and what I’m thinking about.  You know where I go and when I stay – you know all of my habits.   Before any words come out of my mouth, you know what I’m going to say.  You walk close beside me, with your hand guiding me.

I will never totally understand you – you are too awesome!

I know I am never alone – you are always with me.  Where ever I go – you are already there.  My life is in your hands.  You are constantly guiding me, protecting me and loving me.

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I feel alone and everything seems very dark.  But you are there –

you are always there.

Darkness is not dark to you.  Your light shines through.

I know you created me, dear Father.  You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you for how unbelievably wonderful you are!

You create masterpieces!  I know – because I am one of them.  You knew me before anyone else.  You saw me.  You formed me.  And you made plans for my life before I was even born.

Your plans are precious to me, God.  Please show me the path you have designed just for me.

I want to spend all my days with you, Abba Father.

(This picture is my grandson- Jackson.  We got to meet him last year on August 1st.)

Psalm 121, 2021

When I need help, the only place I need to look is to my God, the Creator of Everything.  He does not let me stumble.   God watches over me all day and all night – he never sleeps.

How great is the LORD who stands by me all day and all night!

I know that God takes care of me – day and night –

as I come and go –

both now and forever!

Thank you, Abba Father!

Psalm 51, 2021

I ask for a pure heart, O God! I want my life to be focused on you.

Keep me close by your side and grow your spirit within me. Bring back the joy I felt when I first asked you to save me. Give me a faithful heart so I stay near you. Then I will tell others about your saving grace and I will share the truth you have revealed to me.

Please lift the burden of my guilt from me, O God, and I will sing of your goodness forever. When I open my mouth, Lord, let it be to praise you.

I know you don’t want me to just ‘show up’ at church because it’s the right thing to do. I know you don’t want me to give money to the church just because it’s the right thing to do. I know you don’t want me to read the Bible just so I can check it off of my reading plan for the year.

You want my heart to be broken open,

repentant,

humbled,

willing to be filled with your truth.

Amen. Let it be so, Abba Father.

Psalm 57, 2020

(My version – a great psalm for our pandemic situation)

Have mercy on me, God.

Keep me safe.

Every day I come to you and you give me strength and peace.  Please wrap your loving arms around me and hold me close until this pandemic has passed.

I count on you each day, Father, to save me from the growing danger pressing in on me.  You are always loving and faithful.

I am surrounded by invisible, deadly germs.  They are everywhere……waiting.

I praise you, Father, for being in control of everything in heaven and on earth.  Please help all of us to understand how awesome you are – we need it now, more than ever!

This virus is spreading a net over the earth, trying to catch us.  Trying to make us sick.

My heart continues to beat for you, Father.  I will sing your praise for the rest of my life.  As the sun rises this morning, I am reminded once again of your faithfulness.

I will tell everyone about your power and mercy, God!  For great is your love, reaching around the world and beyond.  You always keep your promises.

I praise you, Father, for being in control of everything in heaven and on earth.  Please help all of us to understand how awesome you are – we need it now, more than ever!

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

I’ll Never Know

I’ll never know all of the things God has done for me.

I’ll never know all of the ways he has protected me and guided me.

I don’t see it all and I don’t always recognize what he is doing.  Much of what he does is subtle – a whisper here and there in my ear…

I try to stay aware of his movements but the cacophony of the world around me so easily drowns God out.

While preparing the Israelites to enter the Promised Land without him, Moses said, “For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t blister or swell.”

Looking back on their last forty years, the Israelites could see how faithful God had been.  Forty years and their clothes didn’t wear out?  What an obvious act of God – and very practical.  As they continued to move across the desert, replacing clothes would have been difficult.  So God took care of their clothes as well as their feet.  A massive crowd of people walked through the dry, hot desert for 40 years and didn’t have problems with their feet?  Only God could do that.

As I read this, I am comforted to know that God is taking care of issues like this in my life as well.   Every once in while, God gives me a glimpse of a potential problem that he has taken care of in my life and it reminds me of how much more he blesses me and watches over me each day.

When I look back, the distractions of today drop away and I can clearly see God’s faithfulness in my life from before I was born.  I can come up with a very long list of  little problems and huge issues that God has handled – caring for me and loving me through it all.

And he hasn’t stopped.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Revealing

When times are tough, what I genuinely believe about God comes to the surface.  In the center of the struggle, my actions show my real feelings about God.

When I’m in the center of the storm, do I turn to him?

As my world spins and swirls, do I look to him for direction?

And – the big question – when its dark and discouraging, do I trust him?

Do I trust him when my heart is shattering into a million pieces?  Do I trust him when all of my future plans have just been blown apart?  Do I trust him when my life becomes sad and painful?

These are the situations where my true feelings about God are revealed.

The good news is that these are the same situations where the strength and power and grace and love of my Father God is also best revealed.  He’s always there – right in the middle of all the questions and problems and frustrations.

“I am Yahweh – the Lord.” God said these words to Moses thousands of years ago when Moses was faced with the extremely challenging task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt.

‘God Almighty’ is my God.  He has revealed himself in new and beautiful ways in the middle of the tragedy I have been going through these last 2 1/2 years since my son was killed.  God has been faithful through the storm of grief and emptiness.

He is always faithful.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

 

Why?

Why me?

Why now?

Why more?

We often ask these questions when trials and tough issues come our way.

When I ask this question, God gives me answers.  One of the answers is Romans 5.  “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

I have learned to watch for God moving in my life as I’m persevering through trials.  Where is he re-molding me?  What thoughts is he renewing in my mind through this suffering?  What is he washing out of my life through all of these tears?

I know he is building my faith as I persevere because it’s never more obvious to me how much I need him than when I’m going through a painful experience.  And I have watched him strengthen my character as I persevere.  He reveals areas of weakness in my thinking and replaces them with his truth.  He tests my convictions and transforms me as I ask for wisdom in my trials.

Through all of this, he gives me hope.  I can see him working.  My trust in God grows as I watch him bring light out of the dark sufferings in my life.  He has a purpose.  He has a plan as he draws me closer to him.

As I count on him, God covers the pain with his grace and love – every day.

This is why.

Thank you for answering my question, Abba Father.

Mediocre

Unexceptional.

Uninspired.

Unexciting.

Unremarkable.

I have been told that the definition of mediocre is inconsistency.  I agree – a lack of consistency will get you mediocre results every time.

If I had to use one work to describe the Israelites after they were freed from Egypt, I would use inconsistent.

We read in Exodus the dramatic account of God dividing the Red Sea to let the Israelites go through on dry land – a wall of water on their right and a wall of water on their left.  Wow!

Then God drowns the Egyptian army right in front of their eyes.  That’s exactly what should have happened to the Israelites!  But it didn’t.

We’re told in Exodus 14 that the people “feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.”

For awhile.

They actually trusted God and Moses for just a very short time before they started grumbling.  Right after their song of praise to God, we read they are complaining that they were going to die out in the desert.

Inconsistent.  “I believe” one day.  “Oh, maybe I don’t” the next.

Mediocre.

Is our faith like that?  One day we’re trusting God with everything and the next we’re grumbling and doubting?

This really challenges me because I don’t want to have an inconsistent, mediocre faith.  I don’t want to have the same ‘on again, off again’ response to God that the Israelites had.

That kind of faith will not stand strong through the trials that keep coming my way.  A mediocre faith will sink under the waves of frustration, anger, sadness and pain that wash over me as I try to deal with all the ‘stuff’ life throws at me.

A mediocre faith just won’t cut it for me.  So consistency is one of my goals.

I have found that this helps – when I feel doubts and questions starting to surface, I he-is-alays-faithfulremind myself of the many ways God has blessed me in the past.  I remember all of the promises he has kept and all of the mercy he has shown me through the years. Remembering his faithfulness to me helps me continue to be faithful back to him.

Consistent.

Not mediocre.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Faith Is….

confidence in what I do not see.

I don’t see God, but I feel his love.  I see him moving in my life…

arranging the pieces…..orchestrating his plan.

I hear his voice…

through his written word and when he speaks into my mind.  Sometimes he speaks through others.

I experience his strength while I’m struggling with the issues and questions of today.

Every morning, as I witness the sun rising in the sky, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness to me.sunrise

Right now, he is holding the world together….for me.  The gravity he created is keeping my feet on the ground.

He is providing my next breath.

I rest in your love, Abba Father.