The Angel who had been leading them, now went around behind them. Ex 14:19
This feels a little scary. Like God know longer leads me, like there is no destination to aim toward, like God is done with me. You go behind me and all that’s left for my life is to clean up after me. This makes me sad. Gosh, Lord. But I just remember how I guide the children into the classroom at Day school. I place my hand on their back as I guide them. I don’t march ahead, expecting them to follow, I stay close with my hand on their back. Lord, stay close and guide me. Amen
The way I see it,” she said, “a person isn’t nothing more than a scarecrow. You, me, Earl Wickentot, the President of the United States, and even God Almighty, as far as I can see. The only difference between one that stands up good and one that blows over is what kind of a stick they’re stuck up there on.
Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees
In today’s crazy and worrying world, be a scarecrow stuck up there on God’s spirit of truth, peace and justice. May God’s power make you straight and effective, protecting the precious from the harmful. You may be silly-looking, but you are useful and needful in God’s economy.
The Psalmist asks, “Who is welcome to live with you in your holiness?” (Psalm 15) Then makes a list of those who are qualified to approach God’s holy dwelling.
The first on the list of invitees are, “those who walk blamelessly.” Blamelessly? Really? It seems you are disqualified from the get-go. Your life is not without blemish. You do wrong, sometimes purposefully, other times unknowingly. You are certainly not blameless. You’re off the list.
Hmm…another thought arises. Could it mean that you walk without blaming? Not holding it against anyone when they act wrongly. Forgiving all, including yourself, of actions done because “we don’t know what we do.” (Luke 23:34) Living compassionately?
Either one of these is hard to achieve, but they are targets for which you can aim. Do right by all. Speak your heart’s truth. A moral and kind life leads to God’s holy hill. I pray God forms such a life in you and me. Amen.
With you on the journey,
Which of these words do you need to hear from God’s heart toward you today? Make it your breath prayer for the day. From Jeremiah’s canticle in chapter 31, verses 10-14.
You find ourselves scattered, a piece of you here, part of you over there. It is not God’s design for you to live in such a thin way, spread out, tossed about; without substance, unable to be wholly present to your life. So God sets out to gather the pieces of your soul, to return them to a whole. The puzzle parts of your life only make a beautiful picture when set in place by the master artist. God is committed to re-membering you and keeping you safe. Thank you God.
You are home, thank the Good Shepherd. God bought you back from the enemy, traded his life for yours. You no longer are the plunder of the enemy. Your life is reunited with your Life. What can you do? Shout and laugh with great joy, why contain the pure and holy energy that runs through you. Move with delight. Like Jack with his fireworks. Join the other ransomed ones who are running toward God’s blessings: abundant nourishment, pure enjoyment, absolute comfort, eternal safety, appropriate power. You are a beautiful garden that is watered from secret sources, you will never lack what you need to flourish.
All the innocence in you is released, all the strength and curiosity in you is unleashed, all the wisdom in you is unsheathed. All that has saddened you is converted into joy. God, the great consoler, acknowledges the sorrow you’ve experienced and comforts you in such a way that it is transformed into glad character. God lavishes you with what is perfectly suited for you and fills you with uncountable blessings.
The word of God for the people of God.
With you on the journey,
God’s got a great day planned for you today. Here’s how to prepare for it…
There are shouts of joy and salvation in the tents of the just. ‘The Lord’s right hand has done mighty deeds, his right hand is exalted. The Lord’s right hand has done mighty deeds.’ Psalm 118:15-17
You are God’s “right-hand man.” You are the one God depends upon to create spaces of joy and safety for the people you love and serve. Focus on God’s love for you and then pray for the grace to capture God’s power to delight and to save. Share what you’ve been given with the world you’ve been given to. They will be glad you exist and are connected to God. Through you they will know the joy and the safety of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. They need you to be at God’s right hand, in the Spirit’s close counsel, and like Jesus ready to do will of his father. You are God’s “right-hand man”. Live bravely and generously. Amen.
Relax – put trust into play
I waited patiently for the Lord. Psalm 40
Is there a difference between waiting and waiting patiently? Yes.
I wait for the bus to arrive. I am not patient: I look down the road for its arrival, or I check the bus schedule app on my phone, or I look at my watch only to see less than a minute has gone by since I last looked at my watch. Time passes – maybe I should say time drags, torturing me. Ten minutes seems an eternity. Consumed with what is missing – the bus; aware of my inconveniences, I’m late, It’s cold, I’m bored. Agitation and irritation rule my experience.
This is waiting without patience.
Waiting patiently doesn’t mean the bus will arrive any sooner, the same ten minutes pass; but what is different is my relationship with the passing time and the focus of my attention. My attention is not on what is lacking, but on what is present. I remember the bus is coming, it will be here when it gets here. I cannot change it’s arrival time. It has come every day around this time, it will come again today. So I might as well relax. The passing time reminds me I am not in control of my life (as much as I would like to believe I am!)
When I relax I am putting trust into play. There must be a better way to use these ten minutes than pacing and cursing and being frustrated.
I have a lot to say about waiting check out this for more thoughts and watch for more posts about the subject. You’ll be glad you did.