Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yearning of the Heart

'In the deep recesses of man's soul lies an
overwhelming yearning toward the Creator'
(A.W. Tozer)

I love that God created us to yearn for Him. To crave Him. To want to know Him intimately and personally and deeply. I love that God wants to be wanted. And I love it even more that I want Him in that way. 

I am not satisfied with the depth of my relationship with Him. I want more.  But it's not just enough to want more. I know that I have to do more to get more. I have to spend more time in His precious Word. Not just reading but digging deep. Studying. Searching. Fervently seeking new revelations. I have to be expecting an encounter. Desiring to experience Him in a mighty way.

Tozer says that " a person must know where he is before he can comprehend where he needs to be". It's knowing what the scriptures say about what the life of a Christian looks like and then striving to line our life up to that. It's about acknowledging the depth of our own sin. Our own depravity. Our failure to line up with the example that Christ set before us. And then determining to do whatever it takes to strive daily for a life of holiness. And godliness. It's about the realization that we can never be anything more than that without the grace and mercy of God. All we are and all we can be is only because of what He enables and empowers us to be through His precious Son, Jesus Christ.

How amazing is it that of all the creations of God, man is the one who gets to experience the majesty of His presence?  Our purpose on this earth is to fellowship with God and to delight in His presence. And when we do that, we desire to share that with others. In fact, we can't help but do that very thing. When we know that greatest thing in the world, it is only natural that we want others to know as well.

Our relationship with our Savior is one that must grow daily. Our spiritual walk has to be increasing in its intensity and depth if we are to ever be who God intends us to be in Him. We must cultivate a spirit of fervency in our quest to experience Him and His presence in our lives.

I am overwhelmed at the height and depth and breadth of God's love for me. And His patience and long-suffering with me. And the amount of mercy and grace He has dispensed to me in my life. He is absolutely amazing and He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. 

As I sit in a hospital room watching my sister get a massive dose of chemo that will wipe out her bone marrow in 24 hours my heart is heavy. But as I think about the 12 million stem cells they harvested from her 3 short months ago and think about the fact that tomorrow they will infuse them back into her bloodstream to give her new life and I am in awe of Him. I stand amazed at the wonder of who He is. And how He has carried my sister and my family on this roller coaster of a journey we have been on. 

As I ponder the sweet goodness of my Lord, I purpose in my heart to try harder to be more like  Him. I have so much room for improvement in my spiritual life and I want to please Him above all else. In the words of Tozer himself, I want to want Him. I long to be filled with more longing. I thirst to be made more thirsty still. And I desire to rest in His presence. 

I will come before Him in silence and just sit. Listening for His voice. Waiting to hear. And then I pray I will begin to see the pulsating Heart of God. And respond to it with passion.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

miracles do happen

I love the recounting in the book of Mark of the woman with the issue of blood. A woman who had been in deep need of healing for 12 solid years. A woman who had been in a state of despair and defeat for a very long time. A woman who had spent everything she had seeking an answer to her problem to no avail. A woman who just needed a Healer. A Savior. Jesus.

I love that Jesus was on His way to heal another person. A little girl "at the point of death", the King James Version tells us. And as Jesus walks with her father to attend to her need of healing, this woman hears of His presence and presses in to the crowd and reaches up and touches his garment. For she knew that if she could only just touch His clothes, she would be made whole. She had that kind of faith in the Lord. The kind of faith that delivers wholeness and healing to the broken and battered. The kind of faith that brings hope.  And the scriptures tell us that immediately, she was made whole. 

As our Lord walked on His way, he felt the power leave Him. He knew that someone had touched His clothes.  And as He inquired as to who had touched Him, the woman fell down before Him and admitted to being the one. Our precious Lord said unto her, "Daughter, thy faith had made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague"

What a picture of the compassion of our Savior! What a picture of the deep love He has for those who reach out to Him in need!  This woman sought out Jesus and then took the initiative to just reach out and touch the very clothes that He wore. She sensed the greatness of His power. She just knew that He was the One who could heal her. And He did.

Oh, if we would just reach out and touch the hem of our Savior's garment! If we would just have the kind of faith that this woman had. We would be made whole and be more useful for the kingdom of God!

Why do we find it so easy to believe good things for other people? Why do we find it easy to believe that miracles happen to others, but just not to us? Why don't we believe that our Lord wants those amazing things to happen in our own lives? It is called unbelief. And it is bondage. And we have to break free from that if we are to ever live in the kind of freedom that Christ desires for us. 

You see, the word unbelief in the original Greek language is the word "apistia". It is a word that means faithlessness or uncertaintyunworthy of trust; lack of confidence in God's power.

When you look at the word in that manner, it really cuts deep. When we are guilty of unbelief, we are actually saying that we don't think that God has the power to heal us. Or save us. Or be who He is. And that is sad.

When we read the Holy Scriptures, we should read the accounts of the precious people who received healing from our Lord and embrace it! And revel in it! And we should know without a shadow of a doubt that what God did back then, He can do now! 

I love that our Savior gave us example after example of His power in the bible. He showed us over and over that He has Authority and Sovereignty. And that He can and does heal.

But the beauty of our Lord and Savior, is that even when the healing process takes time, He is there with us. If God chooses to heal over time, He walks beside you every step of the way. He never leaves us unattended. He never leaves us floundering and flailing about. He gently leads us and it is up to us to follow Him. 

As the journey of my sister's healing is still rocking on after 8 1/2 months, I can see the sweet Hand of God along the entire walk. He has been faithful and true. He has been gracious and merciful. He has been everything that He promises to be in His Word. And we have felt His presence in our lives in a huge way.  

During the 8 months of chemo, He has been good and sweet. He has brought my sister through times of uncertainty and times of pain. He has carried her and he has sustained her. He has been the refresher of her spirit and restorer of her hope. He has been there and ministered and encouraged and worked. 

As we prepare for her stem cell transplant, we are both excited and apprehensive at the same time. There are a lot of unknowns that she is facing in these next 11 days, but we know that the God who brought us to this point, will see us through. Because that is who He is and what He does.

She will enter into the hospital on April 22nd and receive IV hydration and several different medications. April 23rd she will receive a single dose of highly potent chemo called Melphalan which will wipe out her bone marrow within 24 hours. And then April 24, she will get her own stem cells infused back into her body and new life begins! We are beyond excited about finally getting to this point in her journey. We are praying that the new cells engraft quickly and begin making new and healthy cells right away! I believe that as my sister reaches up to touch the hem of her Master's garment, He is ready to reach down and say, "thy faith hath made thee whole".

We serve an awesome and faithful God. He is the God of the good times and the bad times. He is Sovereign and He is Powerful. He is our bread of Life. Our sustenance. Our strength.  And He is good.

A miracle declares "God is Sovereign"


Miracles are God's way of saying,
"I AM the ONE who is and is to come"


Miracles are always about God's timing,
power and purpose.


Miracles are streaked and stained with God's touch - 
not always explained but always embraced!