Friday, July 25, 2008

When you think of Jesus . . .

On Friday nights I always feel the same way--completely and totally empty. I feel like the week has drained every bit I have left to give, and I am toast. Dan doesn't get home until 7 pm, and I have the same response every week. I need a break. I have to get out of this house and breathe. Tonight was a gorgeous summer night with a cool breeze and a beautiful setting sun. I met my friend Sharon for coffee and we sat outside and watched the Hall of Fame hot air balloon show up on The Strip. I have a true love of hot air balloons for many reasons, and I was so thankful to see them tonight. I finally exhaled.

I listened to Sharon share about how she has been since our last meeting. We talked about being real, one of my soap boxes, and then she asked me the most interesting question. "When you think of Jesus what do you see?" I know if I think long enough I see many things, but my first thought is always Him on the cross and me a wretched sinner at the foot of the cross. He is dead. I put Him there. As we talked about this response I began to cry. I realized that I still so many times see myself as not good enough. I still fixate on Christ's death without the proper emphasis on His Resurrection. He died so I might LIVE in the fullness of His forgiveness and grace.

Sharon made a beautiful journal for me that she personalized with lots of words in a collage on the front. She also brought her own journal and shared the following quote with me that had spoken to her this week. I had to copy it as page one in my new journal.

"The forgiven life. The grace filled life. It begins with an embrace; which is more than an elegant word for hug. Hugs are short lived and friendly, handed out like after dinner mints to acquaintances and friends alike. "Here, have one." An embrace is more intentional. Longer, warmer and far more personal. Wherever you are spiritually. Whatever you have been through emotionally you are already wrapped in the Lord's embrace. Held closed by nail scarred hands. Enfolded in the arms of one who believes in you, supports you, treasures you and loves you. He is waiting for you to embrace Him in return. To accept the gift He's offering you. To listen for the whispered words you've longed for a lifetime to hear. You are loved. All is forgiven." -Liz Curtis Higgs

Thank You for holding me in Your embrace of forgiveness and acceptance and love tonight. Please transform my mind and heart to know and understand all that my Savior is to me so I may LIVE! Thank You for the gift of Sharon. Please give her a peace that passes understanding as she rests in Your infinite love for her tonight.

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