Friday, July 27, 2012


As a PTA, one of the things I was taught to do in school was wound care. As a little girl who was always picking at her scabs and examining her cuts and scrapes (of which there were plenty), I didn't mind this course as some of my classmates did. Granted, what I saw was much more in-depth than a scraped knee. Pressure sores to the bone, incisions that refused to heal, toes that were falling off exposing tendon... It was a somewhat gruesome experience.

Even with the variety that I saw, one thing didn't change among the different wounds. They heal from the inside out. The top doesn't heal over leaving the area underneath to heal once the area looks better cosmetically. Rather, the wound slowly grows up and in, allowing everyone who cares to look to see the healing process. It is a painful process. The patient did not ask for this wound, they didn't ask for it to take weeks, months, or years to heal. But they have it, and now they must help it heal. Sometimes the wound is full of hard, dead, black skin that has to be meticulously picked out in order for the new tissue to fill in the area. Other times, the wound is blood red (think raw hamburger). It is healthy, but it bleeds as it heals. 

Everywhere around you there are people with wounds. Not the type of  wounds that are easily identified by band-aids or wound-vacs, but deeper wounds. Wounds to the spirit, the heart, or the mind. In the same way that physical wounds cannot heal healthily by covering over the top and then leaving the underneath gaping... Emotional wounds cannot heal this way either. It might be easier to just cover up the painful area and ignore it, but there will not be any true healing taking place. Rather, there will be festering and anger that build up just as quickly as dead tissue would in a real wound. In order to heal and grow new tissue, we must be willing to heal from the inside out. This time, rather than using saline solution, gauze, or whirlpools, we have to turn to a different list to help us grow.

The Lord is my Strength and my Shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. Psalms 28:7

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18

This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it. John 11:4

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Thy works. Psalms 73:28

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all out affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9

Let all that you do be done in Love. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17

As obedient children... like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior. 1 Peter 1:14-15

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions. Mark 11:25.

And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32.

For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you also. Matthew 6:14.

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

A broken heart will still be painful. The rejection will still grate at you. The hurtful words will echo in your ears. But we serve a God we can trust. He is our refuge. He Loves us. He teaches us what it means to be humble. He gives us His wisdom. He has shown us how to forgive. He wants us to come to Him in prayer. When you're hurting, an arrogant and prideful attitude will not lead you anywhere. Healing happens from the inside out. It starts in your heart, with your attitude. You must make the choice each day to act in a way that honors God, rather than reacting and hurting those around you. 

You have to make the choice to let Him heal you. He will come alongside you and clear out the dead tissue. He will cleanse the wound with His tears, for when His children hurt He does as well. He will nurture it to health so that it can heal. The wound may bleed and may still be painful, but with His care, it will heal

Thursday, July 12, 2012

You Follow Me!

"To wait is not merely to remain impassive. 
It is to expect - to look for with patience, and also with submission. 
It is to long for, but not impatiently; 
to look for, but not to fret at the delay;
to watch for, but not restlessly; 
to feel that if He does not come we will acquiesce,
 and yet to refuse to let the mind acquiesce in the feeling that He will not come." 
-Dr. A.D. Davidson

In John 21:22 Jesus was talking to Peter during His appearance after the resurrection. This is after Jesus had asked Peter three times if Peter Loved Him, and Jesus gives Peter a small glimpse as to what it will look like if Peter follows Him. If Christ were to suddenly show up and give me a grasp as to what the end of my life was going to look like, I think I'd be speechless. As I read this, I was pulled deeper into it, able to picture the reaction of silence that I believed should be had... But not Peter. No, Peter promptly takes his focus off of Christ and turns around, looking at John (who was following them) and goes "what about him, Jesus?" I can only imagine the look on Jesus' face... Disappointment? Frustration? Or just a deep understanding of who Peter was? He has invested so much into Peter, teaching him before His crucifixion and Loving him even after he denied Him. His response to Peter:

"If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" 
(Italics my own)

We get so caught up in everyone else. We have good intentions about praying for other people. We respond to the calling to go out and witness to other people. But I believe that there are times when we get too caught up in those around us. There is nothing wrong with praying for others, near or far. We are commanded to pray, and I have people I pray for every single morning and evening! The problem arises when Christ asks us to follow Him in something, large or small, and we are consistently turning around and saying "Hey Jesus, what about them? What do you want them to do?" When all that matters at that very moment is that He wants us to follow Him. No "if this" or "what about him/her." When we follow Him, our focus is to be forward, on Him. Not on everyone else around us and what we think they may or may not be doing. He wants our attention and energy to go into Him.

Sometimes following Him includes waiting. I think this might be one of the most tight-rope-like walks we are called to, challenged to wait on His leading, direction, or guidance, all the while not wasting the time He has given us. We wait for _____ and hopefully, we ask Him to use the period of waiting to grow in us more Love for Him. Or maybe we ask Him to grow us in patience. Or grace. Or mercy. Or kindness. The possibilities are abundant. For Peter, his call of "Follow Me" included the knowledge of a painful death that he would be awaiting for the rest of his life. And yet, he did not waste the time that God gave him. He used it for the glory of Christ. He had walked with Christ and knew what it meant to be forgiven and loved. He had received the gift of grace from the hand of Christ. He followed Christ's commandment to Love others, as well as believe in the Lord. It was here that I imagine Peter finally understood what it would mean for him, as he lived his life as Christ's disciple.

Waiting doesn't mean we do nothing. It means we seize the period of patience and seeking, longing and watching, and at the same time open our hearts to what God desires to do in and through us. It means that we trust Him and focus on Him rather than on what we expect from those around us. When the day comes and we stand before His throne, He will hold us responsible only for ourselves. At that point, it will be us and Him. The King above all Kings. The Alpha and the Omega. The Lord. The Passover Lamb. There will be no turning to others and asking about them, there will only be one. Me. And as I wait for that day, I can only prepare by following His command.. "You follow Me!"

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On My Side

Somedays it seems you are better off going back to bed before you even get out from under the covers.. Today was one of those days; after tossing and turning and thus not sleeping at all last night as well as not feeling well, the last thing I wanted to do was get up. Up I got though, throwing on clean shorts and a tshirt and rushing to spend the morning watching some of my most-favorite little people, giggling and playing with PlayDoh (seriously, who knew a 3 year old could actually sit still for 2 hours?!)

Once home I promptly stretched out and slept for almost an hour and a half, waking up to a letter from my sweet Cali-friend. There are few things better than a letter from one of your most special friends, especially when it contains the pure wisdom of scripture.. She wrote encouragement from 1 Corinthians and Psalms, reminding me that His ways are perfect, He is good, and that when I am weak I am truly strong in Him.. It was exactly what I needed to hear, today. Even though it was postmarked the 2nd. He knew I needed it *today.*

Flip forward through roughly two hours of studying, and I pick up "Come Thirsty" by Max Lucado. This is the first book by Max that I've really ever read.. And I've been working on it for close to a month. I wasn't reading it as fast as I'd hoped and have tried to read a chapter a day.. However, today the chapter discussed the power we have in the Holy Spirit. How He intercedes for us to the Father when we are broken beyond words. It told the story of a young girl, Hannah (no joke), who was bullied mercilessly. When she was threatened by the bully, she replied with simple, pure faith...

"The older student warned Hannah to prepare for battle. 'Any day now I'm coming after you.' Hannah didn't flinch or cry. She simply informed the perpetrator about the facts. 'Do whatever you need to do,' she explained. 'But just know this: God is on my side.'"

The faith of a ten-year old. It worked; she wasn't bullied again. Apparently even middle schoolers understand the power of our Lord.

It doesn't matter what we face, He is always on our side. He is always standing in front of us anticipating the attacks from the bully. Whether a coworker, friend, sickness, or death. Whatever the enemy throws at us, we have the stronger fight because of Him. The best part about this chapter was the encouragement that we don't always have to know what to say to Him. Romans 8:26-27 talks about how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. He is there not only to guide us, but also to go to the throne for us. To explain when we can't even comprehend what is going on. I am reading the book slow, yes, but He knew that I needed this today. Not two weeks ago, or even yesterday.

Two messages in the same day. A day I would've rather passed by. Instead, He used a letter and a book to speak to my heart and remind me that I am not the strong one - but He is. To comfort me in the knowledge that I don't always have the words to say to Him, but the Holy Spirit does. And to most of all help me to remember that He is good, perfect, and pure; and He is on my side.

Monday, July 2, 2012


From Jeremiah...

'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the Lord; 'I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,' (3:12)

Go up through her vine rows and destroy, but do not execute a complete destruction. Strip away her branches, for they are not the Lord's. (5:10)

"Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the Lord. (9:23-24)

I know, O Lord, that a man's way is not in himself; Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. (10:23)

"Listen to My voice, and do according to all which I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God (11:4)

Thou has planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have even reproduced fruit. Thou art near to their lips but far from their mind. But Thou knowest me, O Lord; Thou seest me; and Thou dost examine my heart's attitude toward Thee. (12:2-3)

Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart... (15:16)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but it's leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. (17:7-8)

But the Lord is with me like a dread champion... (20:11)

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.' (29:11-13)

"I will put my law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (31:33)

Throughout the book of Jeremiah, there is a theme of God desiring His people to come to Him and follow Him, for which He will reward them. He calls His people to listen to His voice and do what He commands them to do. To not boast in anything of ourselves, but only in knowing and understanding Him.

I've been reading Job, Jeremiah, Ruth, Esther.. The accounts of people who were in a situation where God was changing and molding them, either because they were strong in His sight or because they were severely lacking in an understanding of Who He is.

Spiritually right now, I am drinking in all that He is showing me of Himself. I am loving the precious times in His word. I am thankful that I am home to learn and fellowship with my family and my church family. I am enjoying being back with my friends and laughing, knowing I am safe with them, knowing we share the common tie of Christ...
Humanly, I am wishing He didn't have quite so much confidence in me. At times where it seems like He knows exactly where my breaking point is and He is bending me to within a millimeter of it... I just want to be done already. I want Him to take His hands off of me and give me a break. I want Him to step back and let me breathe. I want Him to say "ok, enough is enough. You could use a break."

And yet, the messes seem to hit one after the other. Big, little, catastrophic, minor, it doesn't matter. They roll in just when I think life has a chance of evening out.

That's the problem though... It is not about what "I think." As I have read through Jeremiah, I have seen that everything is about what He wants. And if He knows that making me uncomfortable, weary, and otherwise fried will make me run to Him as I try to see how to get through a day... Then He will allow those messes to enter into my life. If He knows that one more thing will bring me to the breaking point where I find myself on my knees by my bed crying for His grace; He will allow it. He wants me to come to Him, finding my reward in His embrace.

I am comforted knowing that He doesn't sit up on His throne and snap His fingers to watch me scramble for solid footing. He doesn't stomp His foot to make me catch my breath in fear. Instead, He has me cupped inside His hands, and He is filtering the things that He allows to enter my life through His fingers. He does know what I can handle. He does know my heart, my thoughts, and my emotions. He knows. He wants His words to be my joy. He wants His Love to be the Love I yearn for. He wants me to know that no matter what changes here on earth, that He will never change. He is the only steady thing. The only One I can count on being there forever. Sometimes, that is the only comfort we have to hold on to. And sometimes, it's the only one that we need.