Election 2020

I used to wish I had a large audience for this blog, forum for deep discussion, encouragement, healing. I know some people listened, received, but it was very few.

Tonight is no different.

As I watch the election unfold, I realize that nothing I say can alter the outcome, no one will change their opinions on masks or presidents.

But maybe, just maybe, you can hear this.

I confess I have been fearful these past few days and tonight, as I was praying, I told God about it. He gently reminded me, “do not be anxious about anything” – Philippians 4:6. He reminded me of one of my favorite songs.

He spoke to me about his promises. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

And ended by bringing me back to the place where He is my everything. No matter who is president, no matter where we are with a pandemic, or as a country.

He is enough.

Can’t Help Myself 

I decided to step out in faith recently.  I was going to trust God to catch me or die in the attempt.  I can see that God is catching me.  I will start working for my church in a week.  We have paid all our bills though I have had no work.  But, there are still scary things looming on the horizon.

I don’t recommend that everyone just quit their job.  I do recommend spending lots of time reading the bible, talking to Jesus, serving Him and people.

Listen.

What I’m finding in this process is that I love Him more.  I want His voice, His presence more and more.  I want to learn more and grow more.  I want to share more.  

Yesterday, when it came time for the offering, though we have so little, I wanted to give.

This is not natural for this stingy old heart.

I’m not bragging.  This came out of what God put inside, it didn’t come from me.  

I love to worship, that is normal for me.  It has been a temptation to want to manipulate God (yeah, I did this) by my worship.  I wanted to win His favor by showing Him how much I love Him.

There is a quietness, a peace that has entered the worship of my King.  That is not normal for me, but it is so good.

I don’t know what you think of all of this.  I certainly have my times of crankiness, of fear and doubt.  I don’t know where we’re going.  But, I’m starting to enjoy the ride.  I’m excited about the journey, excited about the future.

I can’t help it…

The Sons of Leah

The unloved one, the one that didn’t count, that wasn’t worth the price.  Not the beauty, not the favorite, not the one with value.  That is how Leah is pictured.  Yet, she had more, gave more than any of Jacob’s other wives.

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun were the sons that she had (half the tribes of Israel) and, interestingly, her daughter (Dinah) is the only girl mentioned from the beginnings of the nation of Israel.

But let’s not get distracted by the girls again.

The bible tells us that Leah only got married to Jacob (Israel was his later name) through deceit.  Rachel was the girl he loved and worked for.  Fourteen years of his life were sacrificed so that he could marry the younger daughter of Laban.  But in the midst of this, Leah is pawned off on him with almost the feeling of getting rid of her.

Her father didn’t love her.  Her husband didn’t love her.

God did.

Leah is sort of passed over by many of the people I’ve heard over the years but she’s one of my favorites.  Her story goes way past her marriage to Jacob.  It shows a greater hand at work, surrounding her, holding her.

Notice the two middle sons, Levi and Judah.

Those unfamiliar with Hebrew culture may not realize it but, of all the tribes of Israel, Levi and Judah are the greatest.  Levi was the tribe of the priests from which Moses and Aaron come.  Judah was the tribe of the kings.  The Davidic line comes from Judah which follows all the way down to Jesus.

Leah’s path took her from wanting her husband to love her to finding her fulfillment in God.  We see this in the names of her children.

Reuben – God has seen my misery

Simeon – God has heard of my suffering

Levi – He will join

Judah – Thankful praise

Two things stand out, she took her problems to God and she gave up what she sought as she came to understand what God was doing.  God sees and hears all that I’m going through.  He joins in my situation and joins me to my dreams.  And I am left with the only legitimate response that I can offer, praise, worship for the God who loves.

I’m tired this morning and sense that my words are cold, intellectual.  But, hear me in this.  All of history and life may forget about you, tell you that you aren’t worth anything.  But God sees, He hears, He joins with you, with me.  And out of our faithfulness in pursuit of Him, He can bring children, a legacy of faith.  He can bring life that pours out on millions that we will never know.  Out of our hearts, He can bless others with Jesus, the Jesus that lives inside of us.

Unloved?  Not favored?  I don’t think so.

I Got This!

He holds the universe in the palm of His hand.  He commands and the wind and waves obey.  He “knit me in my mother’s womb.”  He knows the hairs on my head.  He knows the plans He has for me.

So WHY DO I WORRY?????

Some things are so hard for me to see.  As I grow older, my vision is decreasing.  I wear bifocals, which is crazy, and still have trouble making things out.  Not a good sign for my job since it can be very detailed, small things that must be observed.  And I can’t see.  I can’t keep my hands as steady anymore.  Minute movements are difficult for me.

And, I can’t see my future at all.  My past is obscure.  My present is shaky and distorted.

This is just talking about my perspective, my ability to notice all that is going on.  It has nothing to do with my control of the past, the present or the future.  I have none.

So many doors seem closed.  So much feels hindered.

But what hinders HIM?  What locks shut Him out or contain Him?

So I listen as He tells me, “I got this.”