Monday, September 29, 2008


Everything seemed so at odds today. A restless, agitated feeling permeated everything I did. I was impatient, unkind and unsupportive. It was a day I seemed to tear down rather than build one another up. I prayed several times for a friend particularly in need. Were they prayers of a righteous woman that availed much? I’m relieved to know many others are praying also.

Why are some days so crosswise?

I started my day in the word with quiet time and prayer. I tried to keep praises singing in my heart. I felt like His spirit was on the other side of my closed door. A door I tried to open, only to slam my shoulder against its heavy timbers. Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough or focusing on God with all my energy. The day is done and I’m still asking.

Why are some days so crosswise?

Just get up tomorrow and do it again. What God? The mountain top is a peak, not a plateau. Most of the journey is either up or down. Can’t I just plop myself down at the top and hang out a while? I love doing that! It’s so much easier and what a view. That isn’t where the cross is. Today you’ve come crosswise. You have to choose where you go beyond the cross. Up to Me or down to you.

Some days are so Cross wise.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Scale Tales

There it was in black and white. My not so innocent deception. For the past year I've placed a higher priority on my health. I'm concerned about blood pressure, bone density, muscle loss, basically old age getting the best of me. Ok, vanity says, "It's your appearance". There's a lot of me headed south for the Winter, and I'm not in Texas.

Being concerned about "health", I had a scale but didn't let it rule my life. I set loftier goals. Getting back into the jeans I haven't had on in years being one of them. So what's a number on a scale anyway? Honestly, I didn't know my exact weight, I could change the scale by five pounds just by how I stood on it.

Then God in His great humor, tricked me into buying a new digitally balanced scale that can even track my progress. I can hear Him chuckling now. From the moment I set foot on it, I knew it was going to be a tenuous relationship. There is a reason it is black. How dare the scale say I weigh that! (Actual weight not pictured.) Stepping off and back on again, a great trick on my old scale, did nothing to change the outcome. Drat the accuracy, the unflinching truth.

The chuckling died away and God got serious. How do you measure yourself? The cover of the magazine? What your friends think? Or, what you think they think? Big difference. What scale will you use to measure your life?

My word. Perfectly balanced. Always accurate. That's your scale. Balance your life, your emotions, your growth by what I give you in scripture.

A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight. Prov 11:1

Like my old white scale, the world is fickle, changeable. I can lean a little to the side and get a response that makes me feel better about myself. Far too often, I let the world dictate my spiritual fitness. Not often enough do I weigh myself against the accuracy of scripture. Alright God, I hear You. I'm stepping onto Your scale and into Your word. You've given it to me in black and white.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Backing Forward

“Still, accepting God’s existence is one thing; honoring his command is another matter entirely, especially if we’re required to go back when we’d rather go forward.”~Liz Curtis Higgs

I had no choice. Every part of my life was ripped away and shattered beyond repair. The dark giants were celebrating their victory as I lay immobilized in pain and confusion. How could my life have come to this point? I have tried to be faithful. I thought I was following God. I tried to stand for truth and listen to Him. Admittedly, my life was not completely honoring Him. I had allowed the rebellion of others and their pursuit of sin to infiltrate my life. But did I deserve this? Deserve it or not, I was being fed to the wolves. I made the hardest phone call of my life, and back I went to a familiar, now foreign place. Home. I’ve stayed since.

The day I left home I was young, full of hope and sure I was headed where God wanted. Returning years later, every hope crushed, I was desperately alone. All I felt was shame and failure. I constantly cried out to God. Can I have any part of my life back? You want me to do what? Where do you want me? Who do you want me to be? Show me God.

At first the answers came in bits and pieces. As I grew stronger, I saw answers faithfully and lovingly come, even when I didn’t like the process.

Fast forward over a dozen years. The hurt of that dark time has faded so that I have trouble conjuring the emotion. I am changed and I am so completely thankful. I would have never become who I am now in my former circumstances. I pray dozen years from now I look back at today and say, I am changed.

Is there really any going back with God? What if my puny little mind just doesn’t get it. The journey I mean. Is it about going back, or staying or going? It’s inside. Scraping away what is not Him and asking Jesus to fill the gaps and make me over.

There are days I wish He would allow so many things to be different. Times will come when I long to hear "Go". On those days, I will fall back into His arms, stay in His care and go where he leads. And I can do all that right where I am.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Laying It Down

Lay It Down. How can something that releases such pressure and pain be so excrutiatingly difficult? I have been through the process more than I care. I'm trying to be like more Jesus. What else should I expect when there is so much not Jesus in me?

Sometimes I surrender what is already gone.
Sometimes I surrender what will never be returned.
Sometimes I surrender and God allows it to remain.

I won't know which until the act is done.

Does God sometimes only want my willingness to lay it down? I wonder if that is the toughest surrender of all? God wants to be the one who shapes my thoughts, motivation, actions. He must be the only one who shapes them. When He allows it to remain, it is for His glory. It is not a ticket to take over. It is a reminder to be available, watchful, obedient, useful for His purpose.

Once again, I'm searching my heart and laying something down. Because I have so much practice, I know this time will not be quite as hard. Sometimes I stumble past my road blocks, but I always find on the other side of surrender what I am really seeking-an encounter with God. That wrap me in your arms, intimate availability when I know the particular, special love God has just for me. I lay my Isaac down and I pick up hope.

So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Heb 6:18-19

You promised me God, I have run to You. In the storm, Your anchor holds me. Your hope sustains beyond surrender. I lay it down.