Thursday, July 14, 2016

A God for Emersyn

The ending of the story was already written. A carefully formed nest lay fallen from my redbud tree, beside it a shiny, turquoise egg. A frail, broken, newborn robin lay on the cold, rain-soaked ground, abandoned, apparently forgotten. Heartbeats pulsed visibly beneath translucent pink skin, slowing as the bird blindly twisted his body, hopelessly fighting for life. I held the bird in my hands, powerless to save it, yet comforted to know the truth as I placed it beneath the soft, green Lamb's Ear leaves. The God who created this bird sees every moment of its life. It is tenderly loved.
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? - Matthew 6:2

A fragile, newborn Christian is entering a life of faith this week. I accidentally gave her a wrong phone number for my cell. I've been concerned because, while she can email me, I'm not as immediately available to her as I had hoped. She's a survivor of a cold, pain-soaked life and I feel powerless as I wait to hear from her. It comforts me as I realize she knows the truth. The God who created her sees every moment of her life. She is tenderly loved.

There is a God who sees and is available always. There is a God who is able to do more than we ask or imagine He can do. There is a God who loves with an everlasting love.

Emersyn was born into our family this week, and, after months of waiting, she has arrived wrapped in warmth, safe from the storms of life and cherished beyond measure. Her body was covered with prayer multiple times daily as God knit her together in my niece's womb. As her story unfolds, I know Emersyn will have disappointments, pain and losses. It comforts me as I realize she will know the truth. The God who created her sees every moment of her life. She is tenderly loved.

The ending of your story is not yet written. Pain and disappointment may have left you broken. You may feel abandoned, apparently forgotten. The God who sees you every moment of your life Is available to wrap you in warmth and hold you in His hands, safe from the storms of life. You are worth more than you realize, cherished beyond measure. You are tenderly loved.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have tenderly held you with compassion. -Jeremiah 31:3

Monday, February 29, 2016

Running Alongside Samantha

Her world seems small. Face down, giving total focus to each painful step, my neighbor inched her walker along the street.

I was caught slumping wearily in the lawn chair debating whether to go for a run. Was it too hot? Was I too tired? Did I do enough yesterday to give me a pass today?

Samantha. pausing to rest, looked up. Her face glowed from sweat, but she grinned and waved. I smiled and waved back, walking toward her for a short visit.

"Hi, neighbor," she greeted me. "I can't believe I walked this far today. Just had to enjoy the sunshine before I spend my day at rehab."

Freedom. Peace. Joy. We wrongly assume those depend on circumstances. If life looks the way we hoped, joy overflows. I'm so blessed, we say, overcome with a delightful peace. I got the job! I got past my sickness. Good news has come! God has answered my prayer the way I wanted! I'm so grateful!

That's living in a small world, a world where we can see and understand. We feel worthy because we are given what we value. We live gratitude because God offers a season of refreshing ease.

Walking by faith is also sweating from the hard work of inching our way along, face down, focused on each scary step. It's ignoring the excuses and drama and difficulties to view our circumstances through God's eyes. We try to squeeze a big God into our small world, our small, human minds because our life looks too hard.

"Do you have time to walk me home?" Samantha asked. "It would really be a gift to me. I'm tired. The road didn't look this far when I started out. I'm afraid I might not make it home without falling. It won't seem as far if you're encouraging me."

Walking by faith is knowing our life journey can be harder than expected. We may not make it home without falling. We may view our circumstances as failure, but it's in the brokenness that our world grows larger, our eyes see more clearly what God values.

The journey for someone else won't seem as far if we are alongside to encourage. We can proclaim freedom to those in prison. We can bring joy to those that mourn and peace to those who are afraid.

"Thanks!" Samantha yelled as I jogged away, looking forward to my run. "You got this!"

Commit your works to the King, soldier-princess, and your plans, will be established. Your God is bigger than you think.