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Everything Changes

The more messed up this world gets, the more God makes sense.

Laden

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
~ Jesus [Matthew 11:28]

The Human Condition

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"...one of you will betray me."
~ Jesus [Matthew 26:21]

I've been betrayed, many times. You probably have been too. Betrayal sucks, especially when it comes from someone that you have given your trust to, placed your confidence in or become accountable with.
"...woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
[Matthew 26:24]

When Jesus called out Judas as his betrayer he had a choice. Or did he? John 13:27 says that once Judas acknowledged that he, in fact, was the one who would betray Jesus "Satan entered into him."

I am always intrigued by the stupid decisions we make as humans - choices that open us up to the schemes and plans of the enemy.  In another gospel account Jesus has just healed a leaper and "strongly commanded" the man not to tell anyone [Mark 1:43-44].
"INSTEAD he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news." [v.45]

The healed leper made a choice to disobey Christ's warning.  His decision shows me how vulnerable we are as humans to make bad choices.  Choices that have consequences for us and those around us. Thank goodness that God sent His Holy Spirit to be our guide and companion along the way.
"...if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve."
[Joshua 24:15a]

Elizabeth Naeckel wrote a song called Then There's You that came to mind today:
When you've done all you can, and there's nothing left to say
When your hearts a wreck, your mind still can't comprehend
Sometimes we can't fathom, the mistakes we make
Sometimes we can't help, the pain others create

Then there's you, that's where you come in
I give you my heart, and you mend it again
Then there's you, that's where you come in
You bind up my wounds to make me strong again

In Deuteronomy 30 God says to us, "I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction..." [v.15].  If we choose to love God, walk in obedience and keep His commands we will "live and increase" [v.16].  OR... we can turn away from God and not obey Him and "certainly be destroyed" [v.18].
"Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life..."
[Deuteronomy 30:19-20]

Outside In Lonely Places

Thursday, July 10, 2014
"Jesus... stayed outside in lonely places." [Mark 1:45]

In Luke 5:16 it tells us that "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." In the New International Reader's Version Isaiah 53:3 says, "He knew all about sorrow and suffering."

Sorrow is all around me - two weeks ago my dad passed away; six days ago my 15-year-old neighbour died suddenly in a skateboarding accident; yesterday "Gramma Gray" went home to be with the Lord at the age of 105.

Today? I couldn't get out of bed. That hasn't happened to me in a very long time. I feel numb and don't know what to do.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
~ Jesus [Matthew 11:28-30 | The Message]

Once I finally dragged myself out of bed I went outside to a lonely place. There is something about retreating from the world and its callings that brings peace in the midst of confusion and sorrow. And to know that Jesus did this often helps a lot. Because He knows how it feels. He experienced what I'm experiencing. And His simple response to me is to stay in His presence and find rest there [Exodus 33:14].
Sometimes I feel like cryin'
Sometimes I feel like dyin'
Life seems so complicated
Sometimes I don't even know if I'll make it
But then I hear a voice within me sayin'...
I am your strength, I am your strength
Come to me and rest
I am your strength, I am your strength
Lay your head down and rest
~ Kelly Willard