Day 63: forgive me

Have you ever had to apologize to someone because you thought they had plotted, planned and schemed against you, when in reality, this simply wasn’t true?

I had to do that today, with God.

Today I realized that I’ve been so wrong about Him. God loves me and cares about every detail of my life. He has never left me for a moment and He has good plans for me. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Because of my lack of faith and understanding, I had looked to my circumstances and compared them to others. I’ve been disappointed, discouraged, angry, covetous, disheartened, depressed; you name it…..anything but grateful and secure.

How could you? Why me? Why them? How come? WHEN???

Oh forgive me Father.

Thank You! You are for me! Your plans are perfect! Your ways are not mine! Your timing is beautiful! You know me better than I know myself! You made me!

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
“Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David.
“Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
A leader and commander for the peoples.
“Behold, you will call a nation you do not know,
And a nation which knows you not will run to you,
Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,

For He will abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
12 “For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
And it will be a memorial to the Lord,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”

Isaiah 55:1-13

Day 33: Chapter 1/What Lies Ahead

Today, as I look ahead, I see a winding road.  It is a tree lined, soil-covered road.  I cannot see past the bend in it. Instead, I see a wall of trees with vibrant, green leaves displayed. LIFE. Trees have been significant to me in my life. At the time of my baptism (not the first, but the second), all I could see were the trees surrounding me. Faces faded away to a blur and I was in awe of these trees that surrounded me.  The beautiful work of the hands of my Creator. I have not, until this day, thought to ask Him why. There really is no time like the present. Lord, WHY?

That aside, you really do remember your first love!! The LORD swept me completely off of my feet.

Getting back to the scene ahead, I see a path and it is the path that I will walk. Though I cannot fully see what is ahead, I am not afraid.  The air is warm and it’s scent is sweet. The scenery is lovely and I am filled with joy. Though the journey is hidden, I sense in my heart that ALL IS WELL. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. The writing is on the wall. There are plans ahead to prosper me and not to harm me. There is a hope and a future. And it is good. Thank you Lord. Gratitude wells up in my heart as I follow what lies ahead, knowing Jesus is already there. I am confident. I am bold. I am EXCITED!!! I am moving forward.

Sometimes, as we head out on our journey, whether it is a life journey, or a simple trip to the grocery store, we can become distracted, delayed, and sometimes, detained. In moving ahead, we can encounter situations and circumstances, memories and mandates that are keeping us from moving forward. Some come with sharp talons that grip into the skin of our necks trying to terrorize us with the past. These can be hard to tear away from. Sometimes, they render us completely powerless to move forward. Especially  if we try to break free on our own. We CAN break free of these debilitating claws, but we need the power of the Holy Spirit (we always need Him) and certainly others to come alongside of us to help us get free from the bondage that tries to keep us ensnared. Oh, this is a painful process. When something has such a strong grasp on our very existence, it is painful to remove it. But it can and will be removed and replaced! Staying here is NOT an option. Jesus came to set the captives free!!

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
   to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. Luke 4:18

Thank you Jesus!!!

In this new freedom that Jesus came to give us, we may now feel a gentle touch that beckons us to turn around and take a look at what was behind. What have I received healing for? Where do I know I have a freedom I never had before? Where have the chains been broken?

What lies ahead comes from what has happened on the path already taken. You thought it was finished, but it requires your attention. No longer claws, but compassion. And you are here. No longer who you were, but faced with a burden to share what God has done for you. You are now being asked to pour out your life for the sake of someone else. Whosoever. It is no longer about you. You are now free.

I feel the tap on the shoulder and I turn around. I am flooded by thoughts and emotions. I am stirred by passion itself. It is a remembrance of a thing that has happened to a person that was me, but is now no longer me as I do not share in the guilt of the sin any longer. I am a free person now. It is no longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me. Jesus already paid for this sin. And no longer has its’ claws in me. Death no longer stings.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Romans 6:1

I hear the call. I heed the call. The story begins.