Monday, March 30, 2009

Mighty to Save

This song has been on my my lips for so many reasons these days. I spent the weekend in a town in Virginia where I used to live, a place where I spent the most painful and sin filled years of my life. As I drove the streets of Harrisonburg I saw God's grace to me on every corner and this anthem rang louder and louder in my heart. Is there someone you are praying for tonight that seems just too far gone for God to reach them? He is mighty to save!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted" Isaiah 61:1

The Hebrew word for "broken" in this verse is "shavar" meaning "to burst, break into pieces, wreck, crush, smash; to rend, tear in pieces (like a wild beast) . . ." My heart is broken today. I found out news about someone I have loved my entire life. The repercussions of choices she has made will ripple through many lives in the coming days, weeks, months and years. More hearts and lives will be broken. I have painfully moved in the last 24 hours from anger and any personal hurt to a deep wounded cry to my God to save a soul that is clearly lost and certainly deceived. I am convicted because I have not spoken the truth to her in the past months. In many ways I have turned a blind eye to blatant sin because I am tired and overworked and busy with my life and deep down afraid of losing affection or what little relationship we have. What I believe is God's Word has the power to save and change lives and keep one from sin and destruction and still I held back from speaking absolutes. This failure on my part to share the Gospel is also heartbreaking.

In one of my favorite passages in the Bible the prophet Isaiah says "This sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. It will break into pieces like pottery." Isaiah 30:13-14 So, where do we go when our hearts are smashed into a million pieces? Where do I point someone I love when their selfish choices collapse around them? Isaiah follows in verse 15 with the beautiful answer for all of life's brokenness, "In returning (or repentance) and rest is your salvation." Christ was sent to heal the brokenhearted. Strong's Dictionary has a very visual definition to the word "bind up" as " to compress, . . . to stop." God defines a broken heart as one that is hemorrhaging. Beth Moore says in her Bible study, Breaking Free, "The idea of compressing the hemorrhaging heart is very much like the practice of applying pressure to a badly bleeding wound. What a wonderful picture of Christ! A crushing hurt comes to our heart and the sympathizing, scarred hand of Christ presses the wound; and just for a moment, the pain seems to intensify . . . but finally the bleeding stops. Oh my friend, are you beginning to see the intimate activity of Christ when we're devastated?"

Thank You, God, for the healing hand of my Savior on life's deepest wounds. Give me faith to believe You can bind up even this situation and the hearts and lives involved. Please give strength and grace in the coming days and, God, please show Your saving love to each soul and bring peace.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring is a Promise

Spring is a promise
in the closed fist
of a long winter. All
we have is a raw
slant of light at a low
angle, a rising river
of wind, and an icy rain
that drowns out green
in a tide of mud. It is
the daily postponement
that disillusions.
(Once again the performance
has been canceled by
the management.) We live
on legends of old
springs. Each evening
brings only remote
possibilities of
renewal: "Maybe
tomorrow." But the
evening and the morning
are the umpteenth day
and the God of sunlit
Eden still looks
on the weather
and calls it good.

It's no secret I love Luci Shaw's poetry. After a weekend of warm temperatures and open windows we are back to a cold rain today and this poem reminds me it is all good.

I spent much of the weekend holding up my dear Angie in prayer as she was back in the hospital with an infection. I wrestled with God over His purpose in allowing more trial. I prayed He would help Angie to see the "raw slant of light" in the midst of another cold rain. I prayed she would be able to hold onto the promises of her God, our God, that renewal is coming and even this is working for good. As I pray truth I struggle with my own doubt. Is spring really coming?