Numbering our Days

A prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
    they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

We are consumed by your anger
    and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
    we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
[Psalm 90:1-12]

“Teach us to number our days…”

Well, if this isn’t the year to number our days! It is interesting to have these days and months of altered and restricted movement. How fast and slow they go by. How fast and yet how slow they add up. And how, while significant, they are so insignificant in the grand scheme of time.

“…that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

If I am off looking for wisdom in the world, there are many “wise guys” who are wolves in sheeps’ clothing. How do I know who to believe anymore? The opinions, often sold as truths, come from the far left and the far right and at every point in between. What was commonly known and understood before gets ridiculed now. Remember when butter, eggs, and milk were all normal? And remember when they were all vilified? Remember when a completely fabricated chemical spread called “margarine” entered the scene? And, where are we now? Back to basics, living off the land. We are all about “clean” food. Farm-to-table. Ideas — bad and good ones — circulate around every generation or so.

Remember when styrofoam and plastic were the “new answers” for packaging and convenience? And we needed to save the trees and not use wood? And now we have overdosed on plastic (and insane packaging for some products) to the point where it can’t all be recycled. And we are back to using “all natural” products.

I don’t even listen anymore. And that has its dangers, too.

Wisdom comes with discernment — and that takes time to develop. Some discernment comes from experience or trusting the “Hmmm, this doesn’t feel right” feeling. Spiritual wisdom comes from God.

I am thankful I am anchored in Christ. I am thankful I don’t have to have all the answers. I am at the point where I have less life to live than I have already lived. And so, I dig a little deeper into where my hope comes from. My comfort comes from knowing that God has been there from the beginning. He is the Creator. My days are numbered, and I am thankful for that. And while I am here, I will continue to patiently encourage, to deeply love, and to continue to point people to God. It certainly isn’t all I do in this life, but it is the most important thing I do.

Blessings on your week!
Liz

Veiled in Flesh

Christ, by highest heav’n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as Man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel!
*

I love how God works! He often takes the ordinary and does something amazing with it.

Our Redeemer was veiled in flesh.

And He dwelt among us. Who would have thought to look in a stable, amongst the animals?

When I ponder this plan it is both simple and complex:

  • So very rich and yet, so very poor.
  • So very dirty and yet, so very pure.
  • So very quiet and yet, so very loud.
  • So very vulnerable and yet, so very protected.
  • So very loved and yet, so very pursued.

As I think about the events that led up to the birth of Jesus, it is hard not to consider my own culture and experiences and make my own applications. I relate as I can but it doesn’t mean I have an accurate picture. Of course these things happened so long ago that it is hard to imagine the circumstances.

And so I trust that the One who has created the earth and all stars was able to execute the delivery of the Christ Child.

Come, Lord Jesus!
Liz

* Words written by Charles Wesley 1707-88

Uprooted

Have you driven by a wooded area and noticed large trees, roots and all, just lying down? That would be an amazing thing to watch happen. It is interesting that something so tall and so old can just tip over. Ground saturation usually plays a role and I am sure there is a lot to it but it is such an interesting visual.

Have you ever felt like your life was uprooted? Maybe you were in a terrible situation and, even though the change was good, it was change all the same and was distressing.

Or maybe you made the decision to make the change. I always think that when the ball is in my court that it feels better. Or at least it was a bit within my control. But it still is a process and requires a lot of steps.

It seems harder to be completely uprooted these days – even if your “new” life is across the ocean there is an ability to maintain a connection. Sometimes that is good and sometimes it is not so good. You can be tugged back into the “old” when you need to venture forth into the “new”.

Ever try to break free of a particular sin and find it, seemingly, dragging you back into “service”? You try to cut it down, root it out, and then it sprouts up again. You try to leave it behind but it finds ways to catch up with you.

I know we all have sin in our lives – some of them we have just co-existed with over the years because we have numbed ourselves to the reality that it is sin. Today, focus on one area that seems to trouble you and ask God to show you where the root is. Put some time and intentional focus and prayer into this sin that seems to follow you to every job or friendship or place you live and see what you can do to root it out.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. [Colossians 2:6-8, NIV]

God’s blessings to you as you consider what needs to be uprooted in your life.

Liz

PrayerPrompt: THE LAW

Serving Others

When I am asked to serve someone I care deeply for, it is a joy. When I am asked to serve a stranger, I might also do it with joy. But, as human nature would have it, if I am asked to serve someone I know and I do not like, I need to ask God to change my heart and perspective and focus on Who I am doing it for. When my heart and mind are right with God, the “serve” is all from Him, regardless of the situation.

If I find myself stuck and unable to freely give, it is important to pray and ask God to reveal what is behind it. I know I won’t do everything perfectly. Sometimes situations are in my life for my benefit. Serving others could be simply a byproduct of God working on my heart and perspective. Someone may receive from me but the greater outcome is what God is doing with my heart.

I don’t believe I am meant to fulfill every need that is out there. But creating space in my day can allow me to be available to serve when the opportunity presents itself. The task might be a meal delivered to a grieving family or participating in a Habitat for Humanity home build. Sometimes the opportunity for serving is in my zone of “easy” and other times it takes more time, effort, and money. There is no one way serving looks except that it comes from a heart that overflows.

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  [Colossians 3:23-24 NIV]

Blessings to you as you ponder your capacity for serving others!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: DISAPPOINTMENT

PrayerPoints ~ Thursday, March 24th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 96

“Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” Psalm 96:1-3

How quickly I forget!

I think about Peter denying Christ three times even after Jesus said it would happen. Jesus even said the cock would crow three times (a little auditory reminder) and STILL, Peter denied Jesus.

So when I see this:

proclaim his salvation day after day

I think that is the minimum….because I can quickly forget that though I am dead in sin (even though I am living) and yet I am alive in Christ. I am beyond broken, wounded, and hurting…

I am a dead man walking.

and none of my good deeds or intentions can save me….nothing but the sacrifice of Jesus and His resurrection.

Lord, thank you for the gift of faith with only comes from you. Strengthen my ability to share Your deeds and Your love with those I come in contact with. Let me proclaim Your salvation day after day and declare Your glory among the nations and Your glorious deeds among all the people!