Part the Red Sea, Please – Another Take

The Israelites, following God’s instructions, were camped by the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21, 22). Pharaoh’s army was in hot pursuit of Egypt’s departed slaves. Traveling to and reaching the Promised Land seemed to be in jeopardy. But God! He caused a strong wind to part the waters and dry up the river bed. Crossing was then easy.

So it is when I approach God in my morning devotions. My mind is muddled with the demands of the day. I pray, “God, part the Red Sea for me.” He does. My concerns are pushed back and, in ease, I cross to where God is. We visit. He shares His thoughts and desires. I listen and comply. When our special quiet time is over, I look back to the standing sea. The waters close in.

So it was with the Israelites. Standing on the other side of the Red Sea, God released the walls of water, trapping the enemy who had marched on the same river bed path.No more enemies. No returning to the land of slavery. They were now free to move forward.

Same with me. The enemies that would thwart my purpose to live life, God-style, I no longer see. No slave to yesterday’s disappointments. No fear for tomorrow’s failures. Today, I move forward, content to march to the rhythm of discovering unfolding promises and unexpected delights.

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How Did You Feel…? – Part 1 of 5

How did you feel, O Earth…

when your Maker walked on your paths? Did you control your trembling because you wanted to be steady and solid for the Master’s feet? Did you cry because your paths were hard by years of travelers? Did you wish your roads were straighter so Christ could be saved those extra steps?

How did you feel, O Stones…

when you had to remain silent as Jesus made His final journey to Jerusalem? Did you resent the multitude robbing you of your opportunity to acknowledge the King that came in the name of the LORD? Did you know that their praise would turn into a curse – Crucify Him?

How did you feel, O Alabaster Box…

when your content of precious ointment of spikenard was poured out? Did you feel badly that you were now empty? Or did you rejoice that you held the perfume bestowed on the Savior’s head? Now broken, no longer usable, did you feel a kinship to Jesus who would be broken for people? Broken by surrendering His wants and will to His Father just as your owner broke you? Broken that your contents may be poured out just like Jesus’ blood poured out for people’s redemption?

 

Can You Forgive Yourself?

To forgive oneself presents a problem for many. Read a letter written by a woman found in Mark 5:25-34.

Dear Friend,

I can not express the joy I feel. You have no idea the hell I have been living in these past 12 years. An outcast shunned by all – even you. No one knows the many nights I cried myself to sleep, desperately wishing I would never awake on the morrow.

All my savings were spent on so-called doctors. They were quick to take my money even though they could not help me. I only grew worse. I couldn’t work. My physical condition robbed me of strength. More than that, I was considered unclean. To touch people or their possessions was unthinkable. I could not even worship at the temple.

Oh, how many times I repeated the words of the psalm: Has God forgotten how to pity? Has he in anger stifled His compassion? All hope was gone. All avenues of help were exhausted. Dead ends, all of them. But then I heard of one who had healed many. Truly, this man is a prophet sent from God, I thought.

So when I heard him passing by, I quickly covered myself so I would not be recognized. I knew I was not worthy to look into his eyes, to have him speak directly to me – like he did to Jairus – or even touch me. My thought was, “If I could just touch the hem of his robe, I will be healed.”

I know what you are thinking. What audacity to make this good man unclean because I wanted to touch him! How unbelievable to think healing might be in his clothing! Why, after 12 years, would God even consider me worthy of healing?

Please understand. I knew all this, but I was desperate. Being careful not to draw attention to myself, I pushed through the crowd that surrounded him. When I was close enough I stretched out my arm. I felt like a thief as my fingertips touched his garment.

Immediately, I was healed. Immediately, I was no longer unclean, no longer an outcast of society, no longer without hope.

That’s when my heart stopped. In fact everything stopped – the man and the crowd. His words, “Who touched me?” sent shivers through my body. Life played out in slow motion. I heard Peter talking. I saw the anxious look on Jairus’ face realizing that time was running out for his daughter. I saw this man turn around, searching the faces of the people. I felt the weight of being responsible for the delay.

I couldn’t stop trembling – out of joy for my healing and out of fear for my presumptuous act. When I felt his eyes on me, I bowed at his feet and confessed all. “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” His kind words comforted me. I was no longer afraid that I had done something wrong, but how quickly that changed.

Even as He spoke to me, I could hear words spoken to Jairus. Words that cut through my heart. “Do not trouble the Master any further. Your daughter is dead.” I was the delay that caused this child of 12 to die. My blessing was her curse.

How could she forgive herself? She was responsible for the delay that cost the child’s life. She was healed in her body, but her soul would suffer the grief of this situation. To forgive herself would mean that she did not value the young life. Good thing she did not end her letter this way.

As I turned to leave, my composure was restored. Words spoken to that grieving father echoed in my ears. I knew all would be well because Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.”

Your resurrected friend.

She was able to forgive herself because she knew that Jesus was in total control. His intervention would make everything all right.  The questions we must ask ourselves is, “Does our belief system support this truth? Do we recognize that Jesus is in total control?”

Read more about this subject in Forgiveness, God-Style by B. L. Wade. E-book and printed copy available on Amazon.com

 

Praying God’s Name

Moses stood before the burning bush and heard Your voice. So, as I face burning issues, help me hear Your directions for You are Dweller in the Bush. (God’s name found in Deuteronomy 33:16)

Published in: on March 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Praying God’s Name and Will

You delight in blessing Your children because that is Your nature and within Your power. May I do nothing today that would prevent You from blessing me with what I need. May my obedience please You for You are Blesser of those who fear the LORD. (God’s name found in Psalm 115:13; God’s will found in Psalm 34:9)

Published in: on March 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Praying God’s Name

When I don’t know which way to turn, I wait for You to show me Your straight way on which to walk. You are LORD who leads me along Your righteous path. (God’s name found in Psalm 5:8)

Published in: on January 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Praying God’s Name

I rest easy in this season of my life. I am happy in doing good. I find satisfaction in accomplishing the work You set before me. I am content in fulfilling Your purpose for me. You are Ordainer of Time for Every Activity and Deed. (God’s name implied in Ecclesiastes 3:17)

Published in: on September 24, 2011 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Believe and Obey

My students found themselves in trouble when they refused to believe what I said.

Kim was in my 3rd grade class, and her brother, Rodney, was in 1st grade. They were in foster care. Unbeknownst to them, my husband and I applied to adopt them. After in depth screening, we were approved to adopt but only one child. (Kim and Rodney eventually joined the family of another couple.)

One day their caseworker was to visit them at school, perhaps take them out to lunch. For some reason, she never showed up nor sent word that she wasn’t coming. Kim was extremely disappointed which led her to break my “automatic swat” playground rule: No throwing things that shouldn’t be thrown. My students understood which things were legal and which were not.

In her anger she threw a stone at someone.

I understood the feeling that motivated her action. I felt sorry for her, but to not keep my word concerning the consequence of her action would be harmful to her.

First, she would no longer trust my word. Second, she would not believe that adverse actions bring adverse consequences. Third, she would not understand that she had the power of choice, even at her young age.

Because of my love for her and respect for keeping my word which was given for everyone‘s protection, Kim received the swat.

Is. 1:15-17 describes adverse actions:
> hands stained with crime
> evil doings
> injustice
> insensitivity toward others

Verse 20 states that if repentance did not occur, the adverse consequences would happen. “You will be devoured (by) the sword…”

What sword? His Word! “…For it was the LORD who spoke.” 1 Chron. 16:12 phrases this as “…the judgments of His mouth.”

Sometimes we learn the hard way–through our own experiences. Sometimes we learn because we observe and heed the experiences of others. How much better just to take a holy God at His Word, just to believe that what He said is as it will be. Matt. 11:29 states”…learn from Me…and you shall find rest for your souls.“ Such learning leads to obedience without painful consequences.

Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 2:32 am  Comments (2)  
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Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm  Leave a Comment