Dear Love, Holy Moments, life making, Praise Songs

He Brings Grace Like FireFlies

It is the end of summer. And my soul aches to say goodbye to it. Number two pencils have begun to  fill jars instead of sweet tea and crisp burst of air invade mornings hinting to a new season. So many have eagerly awaited the fall, and as each leaf drops there is a momentary celebration as they anticipate all the more to come: bonfires, holidays, and that inspiration that seems to accompany the season. But for me, I can’t help but wish I could have a few more days of summer. All I can think is where did the time go? How did this season, this season full of so much fun, so much to do, end so quickly? And my heart chews while I look out the window. And I realize I am watching time pass right in front of me, stillness is only a trick of the eye, and even in my awareness it is a magic trick I can not figure.  

I am southern through and through. And I roll around in the hot season like a dog on grass, mouth open, tongue out, tail wagging. It is the magic of the season that I cling to. Summer days, summer nights, and memories that smear into ideas. Memories of childhood. Memories of running through sprinklers with my brothers and sister, while wearing that swimsuit-the one with the iridescent purple- all day long and deep into night, catching fireflies in between gloppy spoonfuls of half melted ice cream, memories of laughter, so much laughter. Is that why it calls to me still? On nights so humid that I feel the curtain of vapor that hangs heavy in the air, my own theater, with its cicada symphony tuning up, readying its song, making melody in its own kind of chaos. The conductor taps for attention, and suddenly light. My mind its own kind of camera. And there is action. As fireflies light up the sky, light up the trees, light up the air, swooping, jumping, gliding. Its own miniature ballet. And I, all child and wonder, am captivated by the season. I sit in my front row seat with mouth ajar, and memories smear into idea. Yes, it is the magic of the season that I cling to.

I watch them. Those tiny dancers in the sky. I wonder why they charm me so much. But I find myself watching, glued to their choreography. I cannot look away. They are brief moments of joy, arranged in sequence, one after the other, for my delight, for my pleasure. Moments of grace. Moments of joy.

Yes.

Moments of joy.

The phrase catches me off guard. Had I forgotten joy? In the midst of sitting out the season I loved so much, in the midst of watching rather than experiencing, had I forgotten about the very thing that makes me smile? When was the last time I felt joyful? When was the last time I sought it out, looked for it as often as I look for my keys? When was the last time I considered myself a joyful person? Consider it all Joy, brothers, when you fall into various trials. Trials? Yes, I had that. But joy? I’m not so sure. Consider it all joy when you fall. Fall? Yes, it feels like a fall. I hear the oomph as I hit the hard pavement of a broken world. I look down to scratched knees and trickling blood. I feel the burn of air to exposed nerves. So many exposed nerves. So much burning. I fell. I fall. I keep falling. Trial after trial after trial. How do I find joy in the fall, in the falling into?

My mind comes back to the moment. I am sitting under full moon in the land where fireflies come together. One by one they unite in their synchronized  dance. I smile. I half giggle. I reach for them. I remember. I remember the nights mom sent me outside with a jar in hand. A jar to catch as many as I could, jumping into the air, hands cupping into the sky to seize the moment (moments of grace? Moments of joy?), to seize those dancers, but what else? It is more than just bug catching that made those nights so memorable. It is more than just creatures pulled to jar.

It is joy. Joy that sweeps in and out of those days and nights. It is joy that sweeps in and out of these. Like a child I run here and there with my jar, catching them like fireflies, hoarding them in my little catcher, determined to gather, determined to keep my stock, determined to press face hard against glass and watch the glow. The wom!, wom!, wom! of light that fills air, fills sky. If but only for a brief moment it is enough, it is enough to fill dark moments with hope, for another glow, and another, and another. And like a child addicted to the thrill I watch. I whisper. I watch, quiet and still, careful not to scare the magic of hope away. It is sacred. These summer nights thick and muggy. It is sacred. These nights of magic as I watch grace spread out and fill the backyard, fill the trees, fill the air. And bouts of light appear. Suddenly, and just as quickly it is gone. The moment fickle. But I do not care. Because the magic has thrilled me. He has thrilled me! And I am child once more, bubbling laughter out and over like a fountain, like a fountain of pure joy. And I know. I know my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. And so I run, I run into His creation, I run into thick, muggy, humid life and I let drops of vapor cling to me. Because it is hot, and it is stale. But in the hot, in the stale, whether it be middle or end (does it really matter?) yes, in the hot the fireflies come. In the hot the magic bursts into open air. In the hot, not in the cold, life comes out of crooks and crannies, birthing, birthing, always birthing. And light is found. Yes, in the hot it comes. In the trials. Consider it all joy when you fall into trials. Consider it all joy, for it is in the hot, in the trial that hope can thrill. It is in the trial that the fireflies burst their light. He brings grace like fireflies. And it is only in the hot, muggy nights I see them. Only in the dark is their magic spectacular. Only in the trial does the wonder come. Yes, I see it now. Consider it joy when you fall into various trials. Consider it joy, clap hands in wonder with each catch. Knowing that the testing of your faith, the catching of these moments produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect, complete, lacking in nothing.
It is the end of summer. And my soul aches to say goodbye to it. But I hold my jar, full of grace, full of joy. Little glowing reminders of the hope He has for me. My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. And I see Him in every glow in that jar. He is my grace. He is my joy. He brings grace like fireflies. And light, light, always light, sometimes in moments, sometimes in hours, sometimes in whole seasons. And no matter its length, I do not care, Because the light has thrilled me, and I know, I know, my help comes from the Lord. For I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.

 

Psalm 121:2 | James 1:2-4 | Song of Songs 6:3

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A New Day, Healing From the Inside Out, Praise Songs

He has called me Day

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

In the beginning God created. He created me. Before then, I was nothing. I was dust. I was formless and void. I was empty. My life was formless. My understanding void. My heart empty. And there was darkness over the surface of my deep. But the spirit of God saw me. He saw me. He saw me and He moved. Moved over the surface of my waters. Into the rivers of my heart. And the spirit of God was moving. Even before I knew it, He was moving.

Then God said, “Let there be light and there was light”

He saw me. He chose me. He brought forth light. Commanded light to come. Let there be light. And there was light.Light in my heart. Light in my understanding. Light in my life. Let there be light. And there was light. God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. He separated me from the darkness.
Sometimes, I don’t feel like I have been separated from the darkness. Sometimes I don’t feel like I am a new creation. That old things have passed away. It is easy. It is easy to see the darkness in me. To feel that I am still a part of the darkness. But I am light. We are light. The light of the world. Because He is in us. He is the light of the world. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  We will never walk in darkness. We do not walk in darkness.

For The spirit of God was moving. The spirit of God is moving. He moved over the surface of the waters. Over the surface of my waters. Over the surface of yours. He separated the light from the darkness. He took us from it. And now it is no more a part of me. No more a part of you. He separated the light from the darkness. He took us from that place. That place of hurt. Of misunderstanding. Of isolation.Once I was darkness. But He brought forth light. And now I am light. I am separated from what I was. I am a new creature. Old things have passed away. Behold all things have become new. He has called me day. For I am a new creation. Never to be darkness again.

I have a new name. For He has called me Day.

Never to walk in darkness again.

Genesis 1

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Praise Songs, When It Gets Dark

So Much More Than Rain

I woke up today to rain. More rain. Heavy thick drops. Falling on my roof. Falling on my windows. Falling everywhere. I went to the window, putting my finger on the blind and pushing it down to see for myself. There is was, all laid wet before me. Rain fell from every corner of the sky, painting the world with cold and gray. I am so tired of the rain. It is cold. It is wet. It is uncomfortable. More rain. So much more than rain.

As I looked out that open blind, I looked to see the damage of the weather. But rather than noticing damage,  I could only see the bush. The bush I had looked at a thousand times before but never seen. The bush I had taught myself to look through rather than to look at. The bush that never before held significance, and yet now held all the significance of the world.  It wasn’t just a bush. Or maybe to me it was. But for those birds, it was so much more. It was a haven, a home, a safe place. And there they sat. Inside. Some huddled, some on their own, pulling their wings in as close as they could, settling down inside that bush, away from the storm and enduring the rain. Beautiful birds of all sorts of varieties. Faded ones, gray ones, red ones, blue ones. Some were beautiful, some not so much. But they all sat in the same beared down squat, waiting out the storm, taking the drops as they came, and when they needed to, shaking off the water. No fear, no anxiety, no frustration. They sat and endured. They waited and shook off. And the drops came, and sometimes it fell soft, and sometimes it didn’t. But the birds didn’t move. Because in that bush they were sheltered, and that was all they needed.

And I sat there, much too long than I had time for. I sat and I sat. I watched the birds and as I watched I saw a lesson unfold in my mind. Look at the birds. Are you not of more value than they? He sheltered them. It doesn’t mean they didn’t feel the rain. It doesn’t mean they didn’t get the blow of the wind. But they had no need to fear. They endured. They withstood the blows. They shook off the rain. Because in that Bush, that all branches and no leaf bush, they were protected. They were safe. They were encompassed, enveloped, held. And nothing was so strong it was going to knock them out of the bush. It wasn’t always comfortable, and it wasn’t always enjoyable, but it was always safe. Always, always safe. So they took the drops, and when they got too wet, they shook it off. And they endured the wind, and when the wind got too strong, they beared down into the branches, and let the bush take the brunt of it.

I am so tired of the rain. It is wet. It is cold. It is uncomfortable. More rain. It is so much more than rain. Because the drops that fall from life can be hard. They can be thick and loaded. They can be uncomfortable. And the wind that blows can be strong. Knock us off our feet strong. And it is always more. More rain. It is always so much more than rain. But those birds. Those birds He loves. They teach us so much. In all of their varieties, all nestled together in the same holding place. Because they are we and we should be there. Nestled in, ready to endure, but holding no fear. Holding no anxiety. Holding no frustration. Because yes the drops will fall, and yes the wind will blow, but in the end, we were never meant to take the brunt of it. For surely he took our pain, and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him and afflicted. He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him. It was on Him. Our punishment, the punishment that brought us peace was on Him. And by His wounds we were healed. By His wounds we are healed. Not by ours, but by His.

I am not safe because I have the power to endure the rain, I have the power to endure the rain because I am safe. I am not strong because I can withstand the wind. I can withstand the wind because He is strong. He took my punishment. He takes my pain. And no matter how thick the drops become, the punishment that brought us peace was on Him. Always and forever. Just like that bush took the brunt of the storm, so does He for me.

Therefore, I will give Him a portion among the great. And He will divide the spoils with the strong. Because He poured out His life, He poured out His life! He poured out His life unto death and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

All for me. All for you. All to give us hope, a home, a safe place.

The drops are thick and in their fullness they fall heavy. But we have no need for fear. We have no need for pain. We have no need for anything but Him. For nestled in Him we are safe. Nestled in Him we are saved.


Settle in, Beloved. Settle in deep. And let Him to whom all praise is due, let Him keep you.

Matthew 6:26 | Isaiah 53: 4-5| Isaiah 53:12

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Praise Songs

Seeing Beautiful

The sick started again last night. Cold sweats, chills, fevers, cramping, and of course all else that comes with this disease. I shouldn’t be sad, but I am. I want to think that this season has finally run its course. And then as soon as I ease into this idea, it comes back. It comes back with an agenda. And I think , “What do I do now?”

So what do I do?

What do we do?

What do we do when pain rises?

What do we do when fears resurface?

What do we do when once again, life is shaky, uncertain, doubtful of security?

 

We lift our eyes to the hills. Our help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.We lift our eyes to the hills.

It seems contradictory. Lifting my eyes to the hills, when I’ve let my hopes fall. I want to lift my eyes up unto the hills, where my hope comes from. I want to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life and gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.

I want to see what is beautiful. I want to look and see.

So this time, I will choose to think differently. I will choose to write differently. I will choose to see the beautiful. Because pain does not nullify beauty. Pain does not discount it. If anything pain amplifies it. And if it is true that there is a lot of pain in this world, then there must be all the more beauty. I don’t want to highlight the pain today. I dont want to think about it. I want to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. I want to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and inquire in his temple. I want to gaze upon beauty…

I want to gaze on how He does not leave us alone in our weakness but gives us a helper. One who guides us into all truth. One who speaks to us, and  declares the things that are to come.

I want to gaze upon the beauty of the One who is our Great High Priest. One who is able to sympathize with our weakness. One who has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. One who allows us to draw near to the Throne of Grace, so that we may receive grace and mercy in times of need.

I want to gaze upon the beauty of the One Creator God, creator of the ends of the earth. Creator of an earth in which sunrises and sunsets glory in colors not even the most creative of minds could imagine. The Lord, my Holy One, the Creator of Israel, my King.

I want to gaze upon the beauty of the One who is Most High. The Lord our God. The Lord who is One.

I want to gaze upon the beauty of the One who loves me and seeks me. The One who lets me draw near to Him and in turn draws near to me.

He is beautiful, is He not? He is beautiful. This One Most High. The One who seeks intimacy with me. With you. Father God, Jehovah Jireh, Emmanuel, God With Us. The One who does not let our pain count for nothing. For He creates us, and He creates a good work in us. And He completes it. It goes much farther than our lives will ever go, His good work. Hear O Israel, The Lord Our God, The Lord is one. Our God. The Great I AM.

Oh His beauty. May it fill my heart. My it create a longing for more. May I dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life. May I gaze upon His beauty. May I long for Him. As the deer pants for the water, may my soul long for Him.

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart

I will tell of all your wonders.

I will be glad and rejoice in you;

I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9: 1-2

 

Psalm 121:1 | Psalm 27:4 | John 16: 7

Hebrews 4: 14-16 | Isaiah 43: 15 | Deuteronomy 6:4

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Dear Love, Healing From the Inside Out, Holy Moments, Praise Songs

Requiem for a Redhead

We sat in a circle as we listened to them. Three boys from Alabama. Three boys, three men really, brought to California on a mission from the Lord. What that mission was, they still didn’t know. God said “Go.” And so they went. We sat, and we listened. We listened to three boys from Alabama and the one from California as well. We all responded. Inwardly, outwardly. “Amen’s!”  and “mmmmmm’s” whispered up from the circle. Some cried tears, others sat still. All were affected. Myself included. Myself more so than most perhaps. For me, tears fell uncontrolled. I sat and listened to these men of God. These Alabama boys, with an accent familiar of home, and an unfamiliar thirst for another home. I remember asking, “How do I get desire like that?!” I remember being jealous, for the thing they found that I had yet to find in these 28 years.  I remember wanting to listen and for their words to never stop. Until, that is, the extra one, the one from California began to talk. His words fell from his lips to my soul. He spoke his story and yet, somehow he was speaking mine. A story of push and pull. A story of love. A story of worth. A story about a guy from California, who found the gospel in the town of Occidental. It wasn’t accidental, his Occidental encounter with the One who loves the California boy most. And even though it was the story I needed most, it was the hardest to hear. I wanted to run from His story. Because it hurt too much. It hurt too much to confront old demons and steady lies. Lies that I wasn’t loved as much as that one, the one from California. I wanted to believe it. I desperately wanted to believe. But as much as I listened the more I heard.

I heard the lies. “You’re different from him. God will never give you a story like that. God will never love you like He loves this one from California. You are different. You are unlovable. You are unwanted. You are the outcast.  You don’t work hard enough. You aren’t enough.” These lies that pierced and provoked so much pain. These lies were all I could hear. Paul’s story was over, and now it was time for the enemy to tell me a story. And his story was loud. It was painful. And it was lonely.

So I sat there and I cried. I cried in defeat. I cried in rebellion. I cried in grief. I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe it wasn’t true. I wanted to believe I was more. To someone, to Him. And every time I closed my eyes, I saw Him, The One I longed for, my Father God, covering me with His Mantle.  But I couldn’t. I couldn’t believe. These lies had become my companion. These lies had become my comfort. These lies had become the only unconditional thing I could cling to. Because when love can’t be unconditional, why not let the lies be?

Only in that moment, being confronted by every desire I’ve ever wanted, it was too much. And the idea that love like that was attainable for some but not for me. It was too painful. And in that moment all I wanted to do was run. Run far. Run away from the dream that never could be. Run away from the vision of this mantle covering me. Away from the grief that told me I would never receive the one thing I was made for.  I would never receive love like that. Love from a Father who knew me better than any other.  So I sat, and I cried, and I waited for the house church to be over. I waited for chatty clusters to group together. I waited for any chance to get away. I just wanted to be skipped by, to be ignored.

Only you can’t be ignored or skipped over by The One who loves you most. You can’t. He is love. And Love is kind. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.  Love endures all things. Even those days when all you can feel is pain. He endures it with us, because He loves us. Our God, The God, Creator God, He is love. And Love, Love rejoices in the truth. So He sent one of those Alabama boys, the one that was a California turned Alabama boy. Love sent Brad, to share His message.

And this is the part I don’t know how to write. This is the part that seems impossible to make tangible. Because we were just talking. Me and Brad, and my friend Shirlee. We were talking hard questions but we were just talking. And then, somehow in that conversation, Jesus came in. He came in and He healed me. He showed me that vision again, the vision of Him covering me with His mantle, and I knew. It was a blanket. He covered me with His Mantle. He enveloped me in that blanket, and He loved me. He had always loved me. And something inside of me broke. And I cried. Harder, so much harder.

He covered me in His mantle. He swooped me up in His blanket like a father does His child.  He loved me. He delighted in me. He wanted me. That was the day the lies lost their power. That was the day death came to life. A requiem for a redhead, turned romance. That was the day He gave me a new song. The day He showed me that He was not bound by time. He loved me with an everlasting love. He loved me with a timeless love. For love never fails. Love never ends. His love never ends. He showed me that as I had walked through this life, so had He. That He was always there with me. He was always there with me. Every day. Every moment. Every time I had been pushed aside. Every time I had felt rejected. Every time I had been rejected. He was there. In those moments, in those days. He was always there with me. He was with me now. And He will be with me then, in days to come. I am His delight. And I was made to let Him be mine.

Love has always been broken to me. Love has always been conditional. And then that night, with chatty clusters in the background, I found truth. It was in an instant. In a moment. Grief poured out of me, with wailings beside. And love healed me. Love found a way. When nothing else could help, when nothing else could fix me. When I was lost in the state of my own depravity, love found me. This girl with red hair and freckles. This girl with a passion that often turns to awkwardness. This girl who gets it wrong more than she gets right. This girl homesick for something she didn’t know. This girl. This redheaded girl. He loves me. And oh that love. How great it is. How healing it is. How right it is. It is what I was made for. I was made for His love. I was made to be loved, by Him. Always by Him.

We love Him because He first loved us. 

I Corinthians 13: 4-8| I John 4:19

 

 

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Healing From the Inside Out, Holy Moments, Praise Songs

Life Problems

Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

Exodus 2:23-25, NKJV

 

I am sitting here now, in this moment remembering. I was asked to give my testimony at my Bible study last night. And with it I was required to remember the years gone past. Those ten years of sickness. Those eighteen before. All full of problems. Friend problems, money problems, family problems, heart problems, school problems, people problems, health problems, car problems, mind problems…

Life Problems

We all have them. And they seem to sit there, stinking and rotting in our life, annoying reminders that things are rough and hard, reminders that God has yet to take out all the trash in our lives. Some of them we feel we will get through. Some of them make us feel like we will never get anywhere. All of them make us feel. All of them bring out emotion.

I am reminded of an onslaught of emotion from all these years. Tears of pain and joy and anger and confusion. If there’s an emotion to feel, I’ve felt it. My pendulum for emotions swings full and hard. I feel things passionately. I am often called the poster child for happy but I think I can advertise for sadness just as well. Emotion is alive in me. And so, as I sit here thinking, remembering, I am reminded of all those emotions, especially the grief.

I sit. I remember. I smile. Because I look back on those days of frustration and confusion, days with a burned out soul and a worn out mind, days of groaning and I see how my God, the God, remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, how He looked upon His child and He acknowledged me.

Have you ever thought of God acknowledging you? Have you ever thought of how often Father God, Creator God, Maker of all the Universe Known and Unknown, looks upon you and then acknowledges you. Do you even know what that means?

I look up this overused mystery word in my dictionary, and find a little more to make me smile.

Acknowledge:

  1. To say that you accept or do not deny the truth of existence of (something)
  2. To regard or describe (someone or something) as having or deserving a particular status.
  3. To tell or show someone that something (such as a letter or message) has been received.

 

He acknowledges me. He accepts and does not deny the truth of my existence. He regards me as deserving a particular status. He hears me. And then, He makes sure I know that He has heard me.

And so the story begins. This story of a hero coming to release His long lost love from bondage. He comes to rescue. But before rescue He first recognizes, regards, and replies. Not because He must, but because He chooses. It’s just His way. Taking those moments deep in heavy emotions and changing them.

Oh how light they become.  Floating away like balloons in the sky. Floating farther and farther until they are gone. Gone from sight, gone from thought, gone from heart.

 

“acknowledge.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2014.Web. 14 January 2014.

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Healing From the Inside Out, Praise Songs

My Song of Pain

I am sitting at home on a Sunday night, when I should have been out with girlfriends. Once again, I am sick. Food is not cooperating with my body today. It is causing pain, difficulty, and fear. I will spare you the details. I keep wondering if this is the plan for the rest of my life. Because, truth be told, it could be. And I don’t mean that in a pathetic, self-pitying way. I just mean that God never promised our life would be without pain. He never promised a life without suffering. He never promised a life without uncertainty. And so as I sit on my bed here tonight I am hounded by what-if’s and could be’s. I think of my life leading up to this moment, and I think of what it will be like for the moments after. I am reminded of grace and mercy in unexpected places. I think about joy and its ability to rejuvenate and strengthen even the weakest soldiers.

I am weak tonight. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. I feel beaten down. I feel confused. I feel lost. Is this what that little lamb felt before his Shepherd found him? I can only imagine.

So much of me wants to give in to the pain and emotion. So much of me want’s to cry ‘why me’ deep into the night, and feel the consolation that this is hard suffering and that I am to be praised. But the truth is that I am not. The only thing that has gotten me to this point is the aforementioned grace and mercy. And I received those gifts from Him. It doesn’t make sense why He loves me so much. I will never understand His love for me. It seems paradoxical. Why choose to love a person, or anything, that you know will betray you. Why invest so much into something that will never fully understand the depth of your love. Or for that matter, why invest into someone who will never fully understand you and most of the time will choose to get to know every other thing but you. Just thinking about the dimensions and road hazards of God’s love for us shows the enormity of His character. In all honesty, I wish I could be perfect for Him. Not for my own glory or at least not all for my own glory (if I’m going to be honest), but because He deserves perfection. But, I will never be able to give Him what He deserves. And the biggest part of His love is that He knew. He knew what He deserved and that I would never be able to give it to Him. He was fully aware of my humanity long before I was. So He made a way. He sacrificed His son, the only person who could give Him perfection, so that little, unperfect me could be where I am today. And I am so grateful. Because He is the best thing I will ever have or know in this world and after it.

As I write this my fists clench up and tears fall because it is not fair. It is not fair for a God so beautiful to have such sinful and unworthy followers. Because He deserves GLORY. He deserves holiness. He deserves Beauty. He deserves every good thing. But every good thing is a gift from above. We could never give anything good outside of His help. Therefore, we will never measure up to Him. And, in all reality, it should be this way. Because what purpose is there to have a great God if we can be as great as He? And who wants to follow or look up to anything that is in any way on the same playing field as us? And how could anyone put their faith in something that performed just as well or just as poorly as he? As difficult as it is for me to accept, He must be greater, in order to be greater. He must have more than me, in order to deserve more than me.

And so, because I cannot offer perfection to Him, I give Him this sick body. This is my thought for today:  when we are in Heaven we will no longer experience pain, suffering, or tears. We will only have those things here, on this side of heaven. I am glad for it, because I am a wimp to pain and suffering. I chicken out easy. But just as Christ endured through pain and suffering for me, as a visible act of His love for me, so I can suffer for Him. I can endure with patience this situation. I can live pain out as an act of love. I can do it because I know this is the only opportunity I will have to do so. This life, is the only chance I have to endure pain for my God. It is a way to show God that He is worth everything. Because He is. He is beautiful, and glorious, and everything good. And He deserves everything I have. So, I will cry out my pain as a song of thanksgiving. May He hear it as  a melody of my praise and love for Him. Praise be to the Almighty God.

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