The problem with being a natural-born giver is the loneliness that eventually comes with it. At some point the giver realizing, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” becomes more of a mantra than a way of life. Because this type of person gives and gives with no thought for themselves; rather, to be a gift to everyone no matter what they can offer in return.
And this is the heart of it. Too many are never aware that they don’t even return at all. This giver of heart and soul finally sees it: there are few others in this world like her.
There was a man who stopped and helped another man who had been robbed, beaten, and left for dead. He didn’t have to do it. In fact, two other men had passed right by him shying away—too scared to get involved. However, this man, with no thought for his own safety or for himself at all, wrapped love around the torn up body. He took this man to the nearest inn and paid for his shelter, food, and care. This man was willing to be Jesus with skin on to a stranger.**
Another man gave the ultimate gift. His broken body and shed blood made a way for our redemption.
I wonder why we accept His gift but then throw it away?
Letting our worries and fears break open, spilling out and running in rivulet’s down our days and weeks when we could let Jesus be a gift to us. He longs to be. He holds out His arms waiting for us to fall into them but instead we back away afraid. Afraid He won’t be enough to take care of whatever is shattering our world that day.
You keep pushing me away Telling me you're okay Not letting me inside your pain Because I already have Too much on my plate. You think by not sharing your hurt You're doing me a favor No matter how loud I shout You will not hear me out. I want, no, long to hear it all Every scribble of ugly thought
Each piercing wail you scream I wish you'd pour out on me. “That's what I'm here for,” I say. You nod your head like You know it but you aren't swayed And you tuck your head
Words, thoughts, feelings left unsaid My own heart quietly breaks Like the day I died centuries ago When I bore your every load How can you accept my gift so free Then never turn to me In your hour of need? I'm great at reading between the lines Seeing the mask of your lies When will you take time to realize Nothing ever takes me by surprise? Just one final word for you dear friend I'm with you ‘til the very end Many people will come and go But you can trust me to walk with you And shoulder your every heavy load If you'll let me.
Ann Voskamp explained to us in The Broken Way*** Bible study that the word “interrupt” in the original language means to “break into”. Some of us long for you to interrupt, break into, our day so we can gift you with a shoulder to lean on, a hug, a laugh, someone to pray with you, or whatever you may be needing.
But we can’t be the gift unless you let us in. Neither beloved, can Jesus gift you with His peace, unless you let Him in.
All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who his children are. Romans 8:19*
The fluorescent light in the bathroom has been on the brink of extinguishing for weeks now. Today it finally gave way to death. Death of energy. Death of electricity. Death of a spark to ignite the light.
Today it is a deathly, suffocating darkness in that small room. There is not a window in it to give even a speck of light. The darkness consumes my inner being causing me to gasp in its pitched thick blackness.
A lamp is turned on. A small, red plastic, battery-powered emergency lamp. The bathroom is now lit, however dimly, with one small beacon of reassurance. I look around at the shapes and shadows realizing that in this inky darkness all stains and cracks are hidden.
Until even the smallest light begins to fill this empty cavern spilling truth into my heart: even in the darkness God still sees. He still knows.
My hands find the faucet where water gushes forth to cleanse me of my filth. Water that pours out the blessing. His water, from His side, poured and spilled out with His blood—cleansing, refreshing, renewing.
“It is finished!” He’d cried. The sky so black I’m sure I would have suffocated; trapped in the breathless, still, silence of that moment.
But only a few would stay. Only a few would mourn—staying in that darkness—stunned. Silent. Angry. Hurt. Why, if He was God, didn’t He stop this? Why did He let them kill Him? What was the past 3 years for then? Did we follow blindly a man who truly had no power to save and to heal?
As the light of dawn spilled onto the earth a stone rolls away. No longer is the tomb embedded with death but the bursting forth of glorious light!
A new bulb is in place and everything looks as it should once again with one exception: for weeks the old light had cast a dim glow upon its surroundings. The true colors of the room could not be seen but now in the presence of the new bulb, I see everything clearer. A rich, clean light.
And I wonder if that is what this life truly is. Only a dim reflection of who I really am in Christ until I reach Heaven. A new light. Where I will see with unmasked, unveiled heart (and eyes) the Light of the World in all His glory.
Fix your eyes on Jesus look fully in His glorious face. The things of this life that haunt you
will wonderfully, suddenly fade. Heaven will break open in splendor the clouds will rush away and all darkness of suffocation will vanish in the pure light of His amazing grace.
rivers of living water will flow from within them.
Brilliant orange, pink and purple burst forth across the ridge of the mountain tops. I had to stop. I had to drink it in. Either that, or I was going to crash my car. It was absolutely the most breath-taking sunset I’ve witnessed in a long time.
I fumbled with my cell phone and took pictures. Then I grabbed my Nikon camera from its case and shot more pictures.
The moon, too, was large and full with a soft yellow ring around it. On one hand, it soothed my soul and on the other, I shook a little at its eerieness as clouds scattered across its face. I took picture after picture of the moon (but none of them turned out well so I deleted them).
But I just couldn’t get enough of either sight. Bold, beautiful, stunning, marvelous. How I wish I could paint the vision for you with my words.
If love is a river Then I want to be Swept away by the current Of your love for me.
If love is an ocean Then I want to ride On the waves That bring in faith's great tides.
If love is a valley
Then I want to rest In the bosom Of shadows sweet peace.
If love is a mountain Then I want to scale To new heights Higher than fear can reach.
If love is a waterfall Then I want to bask In the delight of Your glory in rainbows promise.
And I want to love God like I loved that mesmerizing sunset. I want His Spirit to flow through me like a river flows into the ocean. I want to live so close to God that His love will flow from me to all who are near me.
But how do I do that?
According to John 7:38 I must believe. Believe in Jesus. But not just believe with my head. No, I must believe with my heart as well. And when I believe, trust in Him, then His Spirit will flow through me like springs of living water.
And when His living water flows through me, then I no longer feel so dry and thirsty in my soul.
I pray that this week we will each long so hard after God that His Spirit and love will flow through us so much everyone will truly know God lives within us without even asking.
O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. Psalms 63:1-5
I have written and rewritten the first line of this blog post at least five times now. Maybe more. I cannot seem to come up with a single thing to add to this poetic piece. I have prayed. I have sought the Lord. I have pleaded.
But He seems to be a bit silent tonight. And I wonder if I have done something to quiet the Holy Spirit within me. I realized that even though I have had a quiet time every day this week, I have not felt satisfied.
I asked from You for days to spend time basking in Your grace not doing any tasks or errands just sitting inside Your Presence.
Worshiping in prayerful adoration Reading Your words in prayerful concentration Speaking Your words in prayerful recognition Being still, quiet, in prayerful contemplation.
Seems life has been too busy
days filled with worried agony longing for peaceful security finding a need for Your constant company.
Thought maybe all of these days doing nothing resulted in a lazy and irresponsible identity realized the truth that sets me free spending time with You is priority.
Today a longing for God developed that I cannot quench. I feel so depleted — in need.
“But how can this be when I have spent time with You Lord?” I ask.
I spent time talking out loud to God in the car the other day and after a bit I said, “You know Lord, I think I’m doing too much talking. Perhaps You have something You’d like to say to me? I’ll just get quiet and listen.”
My mind tried to wander but I squelched it. I honestly needed and wanted an answer from God in a certain matter. His answer? (I kid you not. I heard this loud and clear.) “Wait...” Stopping at a light I sat back confused. Drained. Empty.
Today a longing for God to fill this empty vessel moved within me. I am not sure how I got to this place of emptiness, I just know this one thing:
When we fervently, sincerely, genuinely, honestly, openly seek God He will find us. He will satisfy us with from the springs of everlasting water only He can provide.