"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

06 November 2013

A Gift in Word

Last week was a weird week emotionally for me. There was nothing major happening in my life, but I  just couldn't seem to shake the funk resulting from an accumulation of some minor issues and irritations.

Toward the end of the week, during a rare, unexpected-but-very-needed, quiet, early morning moment, I read this:

Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, 
the badlands will celebrate and flower
bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color.
Mountain glories of Lebanon - a gift.
Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon - gifts.
God's resplendent glory, fully on display.

God awesome,
God majestic.
Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees.
Tell fearful souls, 
"Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here, on His way to put things right and redress all wrongs.
He's on His way!
He'll save you!"

Blind eyes will be opened, deaf ears unstopped,
Lame men and women will leap like deer,
The voiceless break into song.
Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness,
streams flow in the desert.
Hot sands will become a cool oasis, 
thirsty ground a splashing fountain.
Even lowly jackals will have water to drink,
and barren grasslands flourish richly.

There will be a highway called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road.
It's for God's people exclusively - 
impossible to get lost on this road.
Not even fools can get lost on it. 
No lions on this road, no dangerous wild animals -
Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed will come back on this road.
They'll sing as they make their way home to Zion,
unfading halos of joy encircling their heads

Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness
as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.

Isaiah 35

It was just what I needed.

A reminder of gifts, of hope, of how He invites us to bring all our burdens, big or small, and leave them at His feet.

I have to admit, I am sometimes tempted to be cynical about the sudden abundance of publicly expressed gratitude that shows up on FB in the month of November, especially because most of them are focused on me, me, me. But today, my kind husband gently stated, "But honey, those are beautiful things to be thankful for."

And this. 

"Because really? 

Anybody can be a cynic. Cynicism is laziness in every way. 

The real heroes are the ones who never stop looking for the possibility of joy."


He invites us to leave our ashes with Him, to trust Him with our dirty, burnt out, stretched hearts and in turn, He gives us gifts, freely and abundantly.

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