Archive | April 2010

When Love Takes a Name

I was feeling pretty loving until I attended a funeral this afternoon.  The service celebrated the life of an incredible woman who loved the Lord with all of her heart and loved others unconditionally. As I listened to the family members share about the rich heritage they received from their heaven residing mother/grandmother I thought to myself what would my family say at my funeral?  For not only was this woman a pastor’s wife and godly mother, but her and her husband also fostered thirty-two children.  Thirty-two!?  I can’t imagine fostering thirty-two children. There were days I wanted to airmail my precious four to another continent (Love you Kids).

Anyway, the real clincher came when the pastor, in emphasizing Esther’s love for others, substituted Esther’s name in the reading of I Corinthians 13:4-7. Every time he read Esther, I heard my name, but my version was far from precious Esther’s.  It went something like this:

Jeannie is fairly patient, and reasonably kind.

Jeannie does not envy except when she sees someone else receive what she has prayed for for years? Then Jeannie has to proclaim God’s promises and practice thankfulness so she doesn’t have a pity party.

Jeannie does not boast, Jeannie is not proud, or does not alway appear so outwardly, while inwardly she might be fighting a battle of astronomical proportions because she can easily fall back into receiving her value through what others think about her.

Jeannie is not  rude-except when she is under pressure or PMS(ing).

Jeannie is not self-seeking unless she drops a pancake on the floor before serving breakfast, or is asked to give her best dress to a friend, or her most prized possession to her enemy, or….?

Jeannie is not easily angered or Jeannie keeps no records of wrongs except for the mental filing cabinets crammed full of unwritten ledgers concerning the ex (still working on destroying those).

Jeannie does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth-Let it be so Lord!

The more she gets free from her enabling ways, Jeannie protects.

Jeannie is learning to trust more all of the time.

Jeannie is putting her hope in Christ.

Jeannie knows the perseverance thing “I can do all things through Christ!!!!”

Although Love never fails, Jeannie often will, so she needs to daily abide in the arms of Jesus her Savior and remember that His name is love and ONLY HE  is enough! 

I Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is  patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

I thank you, Jesus, that you are love.  Continue to grow me and help me to love others as you do.

Restoration

God’s restoration always amazes me! As I look down at my smooth healed feet tonight I can hardly believe that they were so unsightly just a couple of weeks before, when their oozing scabs and reptilian looking appearance drew quite a bit of questions and concerns. During the healing process with each application of neem and other natural oils I wondered if they would ever lose their bubbly, scaly appearance.  But now, I can honestly say that their restoration is much more than I imagined.  Thank you, Jesus!

Observing the restoration of my feet is just another reminder to me of how God has restored my life.  In 2008, as I stood before the China Sea while awaiting the barge that would take our group across to Negros, my heart was full…full of the love of God, full of the joy of witnessing thousands come to Christ, and full of the beauty before me. And as I stood in awe marveling at all the Lord had done and was doing I remember thinking to myself It doesn’t get any better than this.

In the midst of relishing the moment, I caught sight of 7 beautiful little shells sprinkled in the sand, which I quickly gathered and held close to my heart as I relived a time 7 years before. Except then, instead of standing before a crystalline sea, I was kneeling on the floor of my room crying out to God for strength. And it was there in the midst of my broken life, my broken heart, my broken dreams and my broken children that God gave me a promise of restoration. So as the painful memories of my past collided with my previous memories of the past week on the mission field my spirit leapt, as I repeated over and over again.  Back then, I never thought restoration would be this good.  I never could have imagined this! Then as continued to bask in the awe of God’s answered promise and the glory of His restoration I boarded the barge leading me to His next grand adventure for me. 

Restoration…God’s precious promise.  It’s written in His Word.  It’s written on my heart.  It was the promise given to Job.  It was the promise spoken in Joel 2:25-27. It’s the promise given to us.  When satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, remember that God is declaring restoration over your life.  And though you may feel devastated in the “now” , God is seeing the “when”. So be encouraged as you trust in Him that there will be a day when you, like me, will stand on a shore of change and declare I never thought it would be this good!

Have a wonderful, blessed day as you take to heart God’s promises of restoration for your life!