Monday, May 14, 2007

Made By The Master

Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. Psalm 95:6

In our First Place study last week, we spent some time looking at God as our Maker. We looked at scriptures such as those in Psalm 139 where we're told that He knit us together in our mother's wombs and that we were woven together in the depths. I knew these verses. I knew that God was my Maker but I really let myself meditate on these words. I thought about a master weaver at the loom. It's a picture that my generation has nearly forgotten. I thought about how it's the intricacy of one color woven together with the next that makes a masterpiece. How the more contrasting the colors - the more beautiful the finished work. That's what the Lord was wanting to talk to me about. When it comes to Him weaving me, I want the bright colors! Golds and yellows, even reds and pinks but not black or deep greys. Whether through prayer or complaining, I tend to ask my Maker if He knows what He's doing when the dark days come. In the words of Isaiah, I strive against my Maker. How often do I rebel against the tension as one color is tied into the next? Why do I not wholeheartedly trust the Master? He has the wisdom to know what is best, the power to accomplish it, and is dedicated to working all things together for my good.

Lord God Almighty, my Maker, I trust you. Teach me to trust in You with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding. I don't want to come unravelled, so go ahead and use the tension that You deem best as You change colors of thread. As for those colors, Lord... You know the pattern that will yield the most beautiful design. O that I would be grateful that You are at the loom and that I don't have to figure it out. Please teach me to rest in Your hands. Teach me, Lord, to live everyday, whether gold or black, with the sweet anticipation that I am becoming more and more beautiful. A priceless work in the hands of the Master. Remind me, Lord, that I've been purchased in advance by Your Son. The price has been paid. The deal is done. May I be joyfilled each day as I say "so be it"...

I received an e-mail yesterday from a friend of mine. She isn't part of my First Place class and she had no idea of what the Lord had been teaching me through this illustration. She simply heard the Lord when He told her to send this poem on to Karrie...

My Life is but a Weaving

My life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow,
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not 'til the loom is silent
and the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
in the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares,
nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
who leave the choice with Him.
~Author Unknown

Friday, May 11, 2007

He Delights In Me!

Sometimes it takes Truth a long time to travel from the head to the heart. Today, the knowledge that the God of the universe delights in me finally settled into my heart. I was reading in my old Bible, from a time when life was harder, and I came to the verse that this blog is named for... Psalm 18:19. I saw the question mark that I had placed behind the words "spacious place". I remembered the doubt that used to assail me when nothing seemed spacious and instead my world seemed to be crashing in on me. I had highlighted the phrase "delighted in me" and written in the margin the question of my soul do I bring You delight, Lord? From the midst of the battle - when the foe appeared to be gaining ground - it was nearly impossible to believe that anyone, let alone God, could find delight in me. But praise God - He does!!

When I look back upon those years of my life, I can see the Mighty Hand of God reaching down. "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters." Why? Because I'm His child. Why? Because He chose me. Why? Because He has assumed full responsibility for me. And yes, His Word says that "He rescued me because He delighted in me"! I have been rescued - there is no doubt! Praise the Lord! I choose to stand on the Truth of His Word and praise God I sing a new song!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Time of Refreshing...

"For the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is His Name."
Luke 1:49

God amazes me! The more that I take the time to look for and acknowledge His Sovereign Hand in all of life's circumstances, the more I realize that He's been working all things together for my good - even years before I turned from my rebellion...

LORD, I thank You that You are so faithful to Your Word. Every promise is yes and amen! You are constantly at work in my life and the lives of those around me (even afar off) to accomplish that which concerns us... to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future. LORD, I thank You for faithful servants. Each simple act of obedience to You has far reaching rewards... many of which we will never know until eternity. I thank You for Cindy's obedience to ask Becky to go camping nearly 15 years ago. How could anyone (but You) ever know that this simple obedience would change my life hundreds of miles away. LORD, thank You for Sandra, Ann and Betty who joined with Cindy to show Christ's love to Becky. Thank You for the wealth of experiences and teachings that I now benefit from. Thank You for uprooting Becky and planting her in the rich soil of Houston First Baptist. I praise You that You don't waste a single heartache. Thank You for Carole! I praise You that she was anchored in You when tragedy struck. That she didn't hesitate to testify to Your amazing grace in the midst of her grief. I praise You that You had me in the right place at the right time - at the end of me! Only then was I able to acknowledge my need. Thank You for stripping me bare of all the horses and chariots that I had placed my trust in. If You had left even one I wouldn't know You as my true King. I can thank You now for the death of my Dad. He is at peace with You and I know You more. Thank You for the barren land that I was in at Thanksgiving 2005, for the e-mail from Gospel Light that gave me a taste of Carole's new book and for the link on the website that made it possible to contact Carole. Thank You for the new friend that Carole had made in Becky and that the e-mail was timed just when Carole needed it. Thank You that You prompted her to share it with Becky. Thank You for leading me to check out the website and giving me a deep desire to go to FOCUS week. Thank You for starting a new work on me there. Thank You that this new work has extended past me to my family. Thank You for the friendship of friendships with my "sister" Becky. Thank You that despite the fact that we don't look a thing alike, people see Your glory resembled in us. Thank You for wonderful acts too numerous to mention but O LORD, You know! Thank You for Kent who is so generous with me! Thank You for these past days of refreshing! Thank You for fun & fellowship, great food & good books. Thank You for the most amazing times of worship! How awesome that You don't fit in any box or any mold. Thank You for allowing me to be a servant of Yours. Thank You for arranging the class on consecration, for prison worship, for Jewish marriage customs... Thank You for technology so that I can "sit" under such awesome teaching. Thank You for a husband who is extravagant with me and purchased me an i-pod. Thank You for allowing me to be in Houston with my sister and for the 20 minutes that were so important to me before I boarded the plane. LORD, may I never complain in hardship or trial. As You have proved over and over before - they are just steps to the next mountain top! I praise You, LORD! Amen and amen...