You Are Mine

But now thus says the Lordhe who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;  I have called you by name, you are mine.”  Isaiah 43:1

Maybe you are feeling unmoored, adrift in this vast sea we call life.  Maybe too, like me, you are wondering why God seems both near and far at the same time.  Why He seems near and yet so silent while you rage and toss about.  Maybe you’re wondering where you belong right now.  Maybe you question if you are where God wants you to be.  Maybe you strain to hear His calling but then you ignore the whispered promptings because it’s scary going toward the unknown.

It takes too much guts to step out of the boat onto the water, even though your boat is nearly capsizing and Jesus is calling you to walk on the water toward Him.  Doubt and fear, they are dead-weights that will negate your buoyancy in Jesus.  Doubt and fear will drag you down under the waves where it’s dark and suffocating.  All it takes is for us to take our eyes off Jesus and down we go.  But….

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, YOU. ARE. MINE.

Hear that?  YOU. ARE. HIS.  And that’s enough.  That’s all you need to know right now.  You need to know that you belong – in Him. You are safe – in Him.  You are loved – in Him.  You are rescued – in Him.  You are redeemed – in Him.  No matter how much your life is in upheaval right now.  No matter how unsure of yourself you are right now.  “YOU. ARE. MINE.”

Jesus doesn’t say you will be mine when you are ______________________.  Fill in the blank yourself.  Whatever it is that you think you should be more of in order to be loved and be claimed by God, all those criteria is just rubbish.  Jesus says you are His, right here, right now.  You just gotta believe.  Just rest in that truth.  If all the further you get is to just snatch that truth up like the Lifeline it is and hang on tenaciously, that’s all the further you need to get.

God will take care of the rest.  He’ll stop the leaks in your vessel.  He’ll pull you up out of the drowning depths.  He’ll even calm the waves right down.  And if you are all turned around and off the path, He will gently steer you a-right.  It’s His hand that reaches out when we go down.  It’s His ears that hear our desperate cry every time. He’s there. Every time.  He’s never left.  He’s been walking alongside your boat all along, waiting for you to ask Him to rescue you in the storm.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, YOU. ARE. MINE.

 

Photo credit: Google Images

Linking up with Unforced Rhythms: http://jasonandkelliwoodford.blogspot.com/

 

On “Nothing”

Last week Lisa Jo Baker’s “Five Minute Friday” invited us to write for five minutes on the word “nothing”.  These are my thoughts on the word “nothing” (just a week late and longer than five minutes!).  But at the time I genuinely felt I had nothing to write about “nothing” although the brain juices have been swirling around the word since then and now it’s time to get it out of my system.

“Nothing” – it’s such an empty word and yet impregnated with meaning.  In order for it to be empty, one had to have once known something.  “Nothing” isn’t poignant if one’s soul had never known “something”.   “Nothing” is so hopeless unless the soul remembers the faint whispers of the joy of God-infused hope.

There’s so many ways that the Deceiver of our souls whispers lies to us about that word “nothing”.  He tells us it’s “just nothing”– those little things that make our souls cringe when we allow the Word to scrutinize.  Sometimes he tells us that “you’re worth nothing to God” – when you’re feeling messy and raw and like you’ve just failed your Father, Satan tells us God can’t use us then.  Don’t believe him!  No matter how messy, and no matter how far we’ve fallen, we’re always worth the life-blood of the Father’s only Son.  Other times he tells us “there’s nothing to God’s requirements, surely He didn’t mean for you to take Him so literally.”  He’s trying to rob you of the fullness of God with that lie.

Our culture tells us that we’re nothing if we aren’t smart enough, skinny enough, wealthy enough, busy enough, pretty enough, and the measuring stick by which we measure our worth just keeps growing and our souls keep shriveling.

Nothing drags us down like the lies we believe about the nothing-spaces in our God-thirsty souls.  Those “nothings” are so empty without the grace of God unleashed into those empty spaces in our souls.  The darkness of those nothings will suffocate us without the love of God shattering it’s light all across our dark-weary hearts.  The hopelessness of those nothings will break us down into a million pieces without the Presence of Jesus holding us together.

If you feel like you’re a nothing, allow Jesus to transform you into everything in His unending love and boundless grace.

A song to speak to your not-enough spaces:

 

Linking up with “Unforced Rhythms”   http://jasonandkelliwoodford.blogspot.com/

 

When Life Betrays You

Sometimes life becomes your slave driver and its demands suck the life right out of you.  That’s where I feel I’ve been for the last little while.  Life cracks it’s whip and I do the mindless dance of one more duty, one more expectation, one more good deed, one more project, one more phone call, and the list could go on.

But somewhere in the whip crackin’ I’ve lost my zest, I’ve checked my passions at the door and I woodenly perform for one more day.  I don’t know about you but I’m not okay with existing with the robots.  I’m not okay with silencing my passions until they’ve lost their voice.  I’m not okay with drowning my creative whispers in the deluge of more practical obligations and dreaded deadlines.  When did I begin to believe the lie that I am only worth as much as I accomplish in a 24 hour time period?  When did I become so enamored with my to-do list that I’ve forgotten how it feels to breathe spontaneity?  When did I become so obsessed with my grade point average at the end of the semester that I forgot the joy of learning and lost the thrill of new discoveries?  When did life become more about the rigors and less about the joys?

Life is weighty but I don’t need to crumple ‘neath its weight.  Life is demanding but I don’t need to get stuck in the rut of the rat race. Life is a mean curveball aimed straight for your teeth some days.  So hear me when I say, I get it.  I get how life can drag you down, stretch you thin, and press you flat.  Life is a wringer, inching you through moment by moment and sometimes, sucking the “UMPH” right out of you and yes I know it feels like sometimes it kicks into reverse and you get double the wringing out and you feel like there is nothing left inside of you.

Dear one, life is also the joy of the next breath.  Life is the music of the songbirds outside your window every morning.  Life is the giggle of a little kid surprised by the simplicity of life.  Life is the rhythm of a horse’s hooves while riding through the countryside.  Life is the palette of colors splashed wildly across the sky while the sun is setting at night.  Life is the dirt-smudged face grinning up at you. Life is the reckless abandon of duties to sit and watch the summer night descend.  Life is the cold of an ice cream cone on a sweaty summer night.  Life is the sweetness of a sip of iced tea while chatting with a friend.  Life is the little moments, the surprising joys, the simple breathing in and out.  Life is what you and I make it to be.  Life is what God defines it to be for you and me.  Life is worth living.

Revel in the moment and allow the weight to roll off your back onto the shoulder of the One who created Life in you.

 

Pics of my little moments this week:

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Linking up with Unforced Rhythms:

http://jasonandkelliwoodford.blogspot.com/2014/05/intersections.html