Christine

Daughters of Promise

WHEN THE SPIRIT TOUCHES CHAOS

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  Genesis 1:2

         Our earth originally had no order.  The darkness that is described is not a darkness void of light.  Darkness does not even mean evil.  It means original chaos where everything was undeveloped and non-functioning.  This negative threat of chaos though, was about to be overcome by the power of God’s Spirit.  Earth would never be the same once God touched it.  The chaotic would become orderly.  What was dead would begin to pulsate with stirrings of life.

         There have often been segments of my life that I would have called chaotic.  Constantly swirling.  Even tormenting.  There appeared to be no answers.  A relationship was dysfunctional at every angle. Or, an event occurred which threw normalcy into confusion and it felt like I had absolutely no control.  In both kinds of situations, my mind worked overtime to try to make sense out of things so order could return.  Without order there was no peace.

         When someone who loved me asked me what was wrong, I would try hard to find the words to describe the chaos.  I would often give up and just say that things were so messed up that I didn’t know where to begin.  Such is the nature of the chaotic.

         What was the cure?  Where was peace to be found?  My chaos needed the hovering Spirit of God.  He awaited my invitation to come and, like a mother eagle, hover over my unordered and non-functioning world.  The words of God entered my chaos like sharp arrows of clarity; one after another until things began to become clear.  The hovering Spirit of God, ever my Teacher and Counselor, began to breathe over my life.

         If a soil sample of our formless earth had been put under a microscope, there would have been no sign of life.  But when the Spirit of God came and hovered, the brown wilderness began to turn green.  Wherever the Spirit of God hovers, the landscape changes.

I make a hovering prayer part of my New Year.  Come to every situation, and person, that begs the breath of Your Spirit.  Transform my internal landscape.  Amen

NOT AN ARTISAN BUT A CREATOR

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

         When I make something, I begin with pre-existing pieces.  Make a cake and I have a list of ingredients that already exist.  Fashion a piece of pottery and there is clay to mold.  I don’t make the clay.  While I am only an artisan, God is a Creator.  He made the earth out of nothing.  There was nothing there for Him to work with except omnipotent power.  If He wanted water, He made water where there had been nothingness.  Water had never been and didn’t even have a name!

         This is what makes God ~ God.  This is where He excels.  He has not changed with time.  His power has not diminished.  This same creative God of Genesis spoke again through the prophet Isaiah and said, Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”  Isaiah 43:19  Once again, something out of nothing.

         Throughout my life, I have stood (and am standing) on this powerful truth in prayer. My Father can bring something about when I see absolutely no evidence that such a thing could ever exist.  He can bring reconciliation when there is hatred.  He can bring repentance when there is stubborn rebellion.  He can bring opportunity when others haven’t yet thought of it.  He can bring provision when cupboards are empty.  He can bring hope to the hopeless and honor to the shamed.

         The expanse of this year is in front of us.  Ask boldly – but with the mind of Christ and for the glory of His name.  What needs to be created that, as of now, doesn’t exist?  If we are God’s, His power and promises are at work over the expanse of our lives, over the deep and unseen.

You love to create.  I just look at the world and see the glorious detail in all You have made.  Speak Your Word over my life and bring into existence what is not yet there.  When it appears, I will fall to my knees in worship.  Amen

ANCESTRY.GOD

In the beginning God… Genesis 1:1a

         Knowing where we come from has become of paramount interest in recent history. Ancestry.com has grown in popularity and I know many people who have spent years constructing their personal genealogy. I can’t count how many meals I’ve shared with people who love to talk about their discoveries. Their eyes are alive and their voice is animated as they tell from whom, and from where, their family emanated. Questions about themselves often disappear as they discover that they are not alone and, in fact, are quite like their ancestors. They are relieved and feel validated. Some are also enlightened as to the depravity of their family lines.

         I know of only one person who claims that she can trace her family line back to Adam. I didn’t ask how but I found it pretty incredible that such a long history could be documented on paper. Continue reading

WHAT CONSTITUTES A SUFFICIENT APOLOGY?

Great is your mercy, O Lord.  Psalm 119:156

When I’ve wronged someone, how many times do I have to say “I’m sorry” for mercy to be shown?  In this world, the greater the offense, the more times a repeated apology is necessary.  To match the crime, restitution can be steep as the other party decides what it’s going to take to make them happy. Continue reading

Time & Perspective

I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.  Psalm 119:174

When a young saint sits down with an old saint, the difference in their reactions to the stuff of life is apparent.  The young one can be all spun up about some injustice, railing about how unfair it is.  The old saint listens, nods with understanding, but is not rocked off his axis with shock or surprise.  He has lived long enough to see it all. Continue reading

BOUGHT WITH A LIFE RATHER THAN GOLD

You were ransomed from the futile ways of your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish.  I Peter 1:18-19

         Suppose your child was out playing in the back yard, a place that has always been safe, a neighborhood protected by crime watch.  When your back was turned, your child was snatched.  Hours of anguish passed.  The police and FBI were called and they set up your home with every kind of technology available, assuming that the kidnapper would contact you.  A day passes.  There is a phone call with a demand for ransom.  You expect to see a settlement of a dollar amount but instead there is a message that calls for the life of your other child, if the kidnapped child is to live.  How willing would you be to hand over another life of one you love?  It would be excruciating to weigh the options. Continue reading

PRAYER FOR THE FUTURE

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:18-19

Make a way ~ To put in place, cause, set.

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Jesus, I’ve been sitting at Your feet for a long time.  You’re the best teacher I’ve ever known.  You know when to reveal a truth and when to ask leading questions so that I discover divine wisdom.  You are not a God who delights to see His children flounder.  You promise very clear direction and have so many creative ways to bring the answers to us.

I learned that You can do a new thing no matter how old I am.  I learned that just because things have always been a certain way doesn’t mean they will stay that way.  I learned that just because people have always acted a certain way doesn’t mean You can’t change them.  I’ve seen You turn my life upside down, changing me from decades of hopeless thinking.  I’ve seen You deliver and heal people I love; some even in their old age.  You do make a way in the wilderness.  You are the God of new things.

I am at a new faith crossroads.  I’ve never been in this particular place before.  Whatever has been familiar and predictable is missing.  It looks like the land of no provision, a desert, and the answers for how to make my way is unclear. I’m afraid. I don’t have the power to transform the landscape of nothingness.

I spread out the future before You.  There is a harvest and I am Your laborer.  It is clear that, though I see a desert, You are making a new road.  Put up road signs so that I don’t miss it.  Let me hear the sounds of a roaring river, the rivers of Your provision.  When my faith would fail me, I review our history.  You have never failed me!  You are wealthy beyond measure to give whatever I might need on this trek into unfamiliar territory.

I’m looking for the footprints of sandaled feet.  I follow You – and I know that I don’t need to see down the road.  You do.  Show me the next step. Amen