Monday, June 27, 2011

Molehills and Mountains

"When we make mountains out of molehills we create valleys for ourselves."
Kris Vallotton

Yep. Been there. Done that.

There's a small bump on the horizon and the mind instinctively kicks into...

What if...?


They might...

It could...

In fact, I'm pretty sure there have been times that I've made an art of it. And found myself in a valley.

I've lived in a valley before and I know this: There is a lot less sunlight in the valley than on a prairie or a mountaintop.

And so it is in the Worry Valley. A molehill becomes a mountain of my own making and it blocks out the light. In the gloom, the soul is suffocated and unsure. Depressed and anxious.

Much has been said about what Jesus might have meant when he said, "I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' it would move; and nothing will be impossible to you."

Whatever else He might have meant, I know this: When I declare to that mountain created by worry, doubt, insecurity and unbelief that it must move, that God's plans for me are good, that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, the mountain moves!!

And really, truly, nothing is impossible to me. Hope. Redemption. Reconciliation. Anything!

God can do anything, you know--
far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!
He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us,
his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Ephesians 3:20 MSG

Matthew 17:20

Thursday, June 16, 2011

At a Bar in Bowness

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I found myself in a bar Bowness. Not my usual Sunday afternoon haunt, but a friend of my friend was playing in a Blues band there and... I love good music and it was fantastic! If I closed my eyes, I could easily imagine I was listening to Diana Ross. If I opened them, I could see a fascinating array of characters...

There were the brokenhearted, the love-hungry, the poor and the rich, some who appeared slightly off their rockers, those who loved to dance, some who just tapped their toe and listened...everyone was there for the music that afternoon. In the midst of this kaleidoscope there were three women who captivated me...

The first was an ancient granny whose wrinkled black face was adorned with a beautiful smile. Her vibrant patchwork skirt and vivid yellow tights shouted out joy as she stomped to the music, hunched over her gnarled tree-limb walking stick.

I want to live with that sort of unabashed joy.

The second was a woman of significant proportions who could dance like no one I've ever seen before. She was completely unselfconscious. Her faced glowed with happiness. She embodied the music and it was beautiful.

I hear the rhythms of heaven, but I am too often conscious of myself and what others may think. I want to abandon myself to the music, to the song that the morning stars sing. I want to be a physical expression of the cadence of glory.

The third was a lady with only one leg. When the band began to play Lean on Me, she came up to the dance floor on crutches, set them aside, reached for her partner, and began to dance. Not hop, but dance. I don't quite know how she did it, but she wasn't hindered by what she didn't have. She was having fun. She had someone to lean on. Tears came to my eyes as I watched her.

I live much too aware of my weaknesses and inabilities. I want to live more aware of His strength. I want to lean on my Friend and dance, have His presence make up for what I lack.

I've been invited: "May I have this dance?"

I want to shout out my yes with abandon, without self-consciousness. I want to embody the rhythms of heaven.

For the Lord has redeemed Israel from those too strong for them.
They will come home and sing songs of joy
on the heights of Jerusalem.
They will be radiant because of the Lord's good gifts--
the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil,
and the healthy flocks and herds.
Their life will be like a watered garden,
and all their sorrows will be gone.
The young women will dance for joy,
and the men--old and young--will join in the celebration.
I will turn their mourning into joy.
I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.
The priests will enjoy abundance and my people will feast on my good gifts.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
(Jeremiah 31:11-14)


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Created to Be

Today a woman hugged me. She looked into my eyes and spoke a few words. Much-needed hope and comfort was brought to a weary place in my soul. It was something I didn't know I needed until I received it. There's a calm tonight that I've been lacking. Simply because she was being who she was created to be. Instinctively. Intuitively. Unabashedly.

No university degree was required. No days of weary preparation. No arduous journey. She simply opened her heart and let the God-light shine through and I was affected.

There are things we have been created for that do require the journey, the education, the preparation, the labour and effort...but they all start and end with us being the individuals we were created to be. Not someone else. Not more of this. Or less of that.

I don't want to count the times I've wished I was more like someone else. More... Less ... Essentially raising my fist and saying, "The potter who made me is stupid." All the while wasting the precious resources I've been given. Depriving someone else of the facet of God-light I was meant to reflect to them.

I'm so thankful my friend is who she is.

Someone in your world needs you to be you. Your Creator likes you and has a plan in His design for you. You don't get to be the judge of the value of that. You're simply meant to release the God-glory deposited within you and others will be changed.

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."
Catherine of Siena

Isaiah 29:16

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Seed Will Grow

Last weekend we planted the garden.

I love the soft and perfect smoothness of the freshly tilled soil...the perfectly straight lines...conversations with the kids about seeds and weeds...the way the kids seem to intuitively draw the parallels between the garden and life.

I love the promise every seed holds.

Once planted, all that seed requires is for me to provide the right conditions and it will grow.

Last night we turned on the sprinkler.

In two weeks I'll need to weed.

The seeds will grow. That's what seeds do.

There's been a Seed planted in my heart. Sometimes I get anxious and feel like I need to be doing something to make it grow.

As if we could somehow make a seed grow. The Creator of the seed is the one who makes it grow.

I need to vigilantly pull out the weeds of bitterness, unforgiveness, hopelessness, fear and unbelief...all the ugly stuff. I need to water it with truth. The Creator is the one the gives life to the seed. The Creator is the one who makes it bear fruit.

"Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith."

"I am certain that God who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished..."

"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him..."

"He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says..."

"God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful..."

As my son would say, "That's a LOT of truth!!!"

Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 3:6, 2:13; 1 Corinthians 1:8-9; 1Thes. 5:24