Glorious Sunset

 

God is gorgeous. Truly.

I was feeling far from the Lord a few weeks ago. Every time I went to pray, it seemed there was an elephant in the room among us, but I honestly didn’t know what species the elephant was…pride…resentment…doubt?  Doubt. That was it.  Feeling at a loss for understanding, I fell to my knees next to my bed and prayed God would expose my unbelief. .  God recently had called me to take a small step out in faith. I feel I was obedient.  Surely, my outward actions didn’t reveal doubt, but what about my heart? God was staring into my heart, and my heart finally flinched.

On my knees, I felt led to open my bible.  I offered up a ‘”show me what to read’,” prayer.  I opened up to Haggai.  Haggai?  Really Lord? Yes. Really.

Here the Lord was stirring up the spirit of Zerubbabel to begin rebuilding the Temple. The Jewish people had grown discouraged in their obedience and had stopped working on it. Haggai was sent to encourage them to take action; but they would always be building in the shadow of Solomon’s Great Temple and its entire splendor. In Chapter 2, verse 3, it says:

Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? But now be strong, Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. ‘

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heart

 

I  had the honor of being with both my paternal grandparents when they went home to see Jesus.  Although physical death is ugly, I listened to my Poppa whispering scripture and pointing at angels before he died.  My Nanny was circled by her family praying and singing.  What a gift to have that last chance to say the words sitting on your heart.  Not all people die this way.  I may not die this way.  My husband’s brother died at 20 years old in a car crash.  No time for a last minute good bye or I love you..

You could argue that God allowing someone to die without the opportunity for goodbye is cruel…proof that we bow to an unloving God.  But isn’t this just a way to take the blame off us and point it elsewhere?  Is God really denying us the chance to say how we feel because He keeps hidden from us the date and time of our death?

What about TODAY?  What about the past 10, 20, 30, 40 years we’ve been walking this earth?  The last 20 minutes I’ve been typing…every single breath I’ve taken during this tie…a gift.  Every second lived on earth is one more chance to speak life into those you love.  It’s arrogance that argues, “what if we don’t have a chance to tell people how we feel?”  We need to take a step back, dust off the timid words tucked away in the crevices of our hearts and release them like roaring waves onto the people we love.

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clouds, sun rays
As I write this we are almost home from a 2,650 mile driving vacation! Because my husband is now retired, we decided to drive up to Vancouver, Washington to visit our son and his family instead of flying. We drove up the coast stopping in Carmel and Monterey, and then, drove more inland stopping in Redding and then finally Vancouver! We spent a wonderful week with our son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren!

We took a slower time driving home because we wanted to stop and savor the beauty of the Oregon coastline. There is something mesmerizing and enchanting about the charming little towns along the ocean! Incredibly beautiful scenery met us continuously on our drive. The combination of sand and unique rock formations along the beach, the waves of the ocean, and the tall evergreen trees is so relaxing and calming in its beauty. The charming little towns offer quaint shopping, antique looking, good food, and friendly conversations with its residents. One evening we saw a pod of grey whales swimming and feeding from our balcony! We climbed the rocks near the water’s edge and collected small rocks, agates, and shells. Little souvenirs to bring back these memories later! We enjoyed beautiful sunsets and walks along the beach. It was charming, restful, and enchantingly beautiful to enjoy the handiwork of God! It was all I had hoped it would be!

During our last night in Yachats, Oregon, we met a man at the next table during dinner who was showing a video he had taken of Thor’s Well. Thor’s Well is about 2 miles south of Yachats and is a collapsed sea cave about 15 miles across. It was an incredible sight to watch his video as the waves surged up through the well and over the rocks with such force. It was even more hypnotizing to watch the large opening suck back in everything within reach with such force it was frightening. The action repeated itself continuously and was indeed hypnotic! His video was a bird’s eye view from the top. I looked up UTUBE videos of Thor’s Well and they were taken from the side. It is just not the same! This bird’s eye view has a beauty that draws you in…even though your mind is telling you of its enormous danger. It is interesting to note that Thor’s Well is also known as “The Pacific Gateway to the Underworld”.

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Love Turns Dust

 

Pride is such an ugly thing.  When we pour ourselves into doing good deeds, it can be hard not to feel we are doing something out of the kindness of our own hearts; that it is truly ‘our’ idea.  Serving others is God’s idea.  Caring for the poor, the widow and the orphan… they are the heart of God.   At the center of it all, He has chosen US to be His hands and feet until He returns..  We humans, no matter how ‘good’ we think we are when we love others, sometimes need a reality check. There is just no way to emphasize accurately the enormity of this truth: It should have nothing to do with our goodness, and everything to do with God’s goodness.

How can we look at a poor mother and not see the poverty of our own spirit without the King’s riches. How can we look at an orphan on this planet and not see a picture of ourselves without our Redeemer? We are nothing without our Heavenly Father. We were starving, poor, thirsty and without shelter before He bought us with His blood. Is there not a more powerful display of God’s love then the price He paid to call us His child? And that is what we are. We are children of God, He gave us that right.

 ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are” 1 John 3:3

Our good deeds should scream of what He has done for us!

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