Healing Love

Last weekend we flew to Kansas City to spend the weekend with my oldest daughter and her family. Unfortunately they were in the full throes of flu-like symptoms and we spent the majority of our time together fighting fevers, soothing coughs and wiping runny noses. On the positive side, after a sick and sleepless Saturday night, my normally super-charged two-year old grandson was in “cuddle me” mode so we spent Sunday afternoon curled up watching Veggie Tales.

As Bob and Larry bounced across the screen entertaining the fevered toddler in my arms I began to thank God for allowing me the privilege of being there to offer healing love and comfort. There was no place in the world I would have rather been than to be lying on a basement couch with my precious patient resting against me. And as I drifted in and out of my sleep-deprived state a thought came to me. “This is how God loves me.” Arms wrapped tight, enveloping warmth, can’t-get-enough-of-me love. The very thought of it is almost startling and overwhelming to think that God desires fellowship with me at all. Why in the world would the God of the Universe want to know and love ordinary me?

But it’s true.

1 Corinthians 1:9 tells me, “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” God calls me into fellowship with Jesus. He desires to have a relationship with imperfect me. Loving me so completely that He was willing to give Himself up for me. So when I am sick with sin and burdened with the world’s worries I can turn to the Great Physician, fall into His forgiving arms and receive the comfort and benefit of His redeeming and healing love.

Bless the LORD O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. He heals all my diseases and lifts me up out of the pit. Thank-you LORD, for Your healing love in my life.

A Bump in the Road

On an unseasonably warm January day I headed to the park for a walk. As I strode down the wooded trail I spotted a small boy seated on a bike at the bottom of the hill. Trying to get over a hump in the road he was furiously pedaling, but going nowhere. Seeing no adult in sight I was inclined to stop and help. However, as I came closer I caught sight of his father standing on the path to the right. He had been obscured from my sight by a hedge of bushes lining the paved path.

The boy’s face was contorted in anger and frustration as his father called out to him. Walking past them I heard the dad call out to his little boy, “Do you need a boost?” I had to smile as the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “Sound familiar?” How many times have I struggled to get over my own bump in the road refusing the help that was available? How much easier would it have been if I would have simply acquiesced to the Father and allowed Him space in my situation? I remember the words of Jesus when he calls to us saying,”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. I don’t have to keep spinning my wheels trying to get some place fast when my Father is willing to carry me there!

It’s so easy to fall into the thinking that I can navigate this world on my own. Why ask for help when I am perfectly capable of running my own life? However, when the incline becomes steep and my little legs cannot pump fast enough to move up the hill I become very aware of my need. I am thankful for the reminders that God puts in my life, like little boys on bicycles and patient fathers on the path. And ultimately, the knowledge that when I hit that bump in road I can look up ahead and be certain that my Father is there, patiently calling out to me, giving me the boost that I need.

Thank-you, Lord Jesus for your ever-present invitation to find rest in You. Help me to remember that You alone are the truth, the light and the way. And when I struggle sometimes to find you remind me that I need only to call out and You are there. I love you, Lord.

I See Your Face

Yesterday when I returned home from school my husband informed me that he had Facetimed with our two-year old grandson. I was immediately jealous, of course, wishing he would have waited until I had gotten home. But when he let me listen to the voice message on his phone I knew why he couldn’t wait.

First my daughter Rachel’s voice, “Pop pop, we called because Isaiah wanted to talk to you.” And then a little voice piped up, “Pop pop, I see your face?” How could he wait to respond to such a heartfelt request?

There are so many times in my life when I long to see the face of Jesus. In the heartbreak of this world, the poverty of the children around me, the violence that threatens to overshadow the good, I cry out to Jesus, “Oh Lord, let me see your face!” And I can be confident that even when I do not physically see the face of Jesus, He is there. When I call out to Him, in His great love for me, He is moved to respond.

I am also aware that in this broken world, many are crying out that same request. They are looking for answers and in need of comfort. It is in those places I must listen closely to the call of the Holy Spirit to be the face of Jesus to them. In this weary world we cannot be like Moses and look upon the face of God on the mountain top. But as believers, we can be the hands and feet and the very face of Jesus to the ones who are struggling. So when they call out in an urgent request, “Lord, I need to see Your face,” we can respond in love and care.

Lord, let me follow closely so I can be the face of Jesus among those who need you most. Help me to use every opportunity to tell the ones around me that You are the love that they seek.

This is not My Home

I received a text from my younger daughter this morning telling me she had missed her flight out of Miami and would now be spending the day in the airport waiting for a flight home. I could sympathize with her frustration. A couple of years ago I had a similar experience when I missed a flight home out of La Guardia. I had been in NYC with my two sisters visiting family and enjoying the city. As we arrived at the airport to depart for Indianapolis we encountered a problem with airport security. The airport officials had closed down the check-in line we were in and when things were finally settled our plane was already in the air.

We spent the next several minutes haggling with an airport agent trying to book a flight home only to be told there were no seats available on any outgoing flights that day. Although my younger sister was able to secure a flight, I was told by the agent that I should “just go home and come back tomorrow.” All I wanted to say was, “This is not my home!”

I wonder how many times that thought has flashed across the minds of others. Is that what Abram thought when God called him into a new land? Genesis 12:1 records that, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” What was Abram thinking when he heard that call to leave his home and family? Did he think “This is not my home?”

Or what about Mary and Joseph when they fled to Egypt with Holy baby in arms? They went in the night to escape the wrath of an insane king, but I can’t help but think that they were wondering about the home they had left. What blind faith it took to follow after the voice of an angel in a dream to a strange, new land. A land that was not their home.

In truth, we too are wanderers in a place that is not our home. The struggles we face remind us that our temporary home on this beautiful blue marble is an imperfect place. A place where physical and spiritual hunger abound. Our need is great, but God’s grace is far greater. And as I reside in this land of earth and sod I pray that I can listen closely to God’s call on my life. I want to hear Him when calls me to a new land.

But not only that. Lord help me be willing to travel to the foreign spaces. The places where only You can lead me. Father, help me to go willingly to where the unknown opportunities of ministry await, because I know that is the only place where I will truly be at home.