My dad isn’t a big words guy. He doesn’t use a whole lot of them. But the ones he does use certainly stuck with me growing up. He always told me he loved me – and he often used the phrase “Because I said so.” This Five Minute Friday post is dedicated to my dad. I shared this story this week with students at my boys’ school… It’s cut and pasted here with a few minor edits to get it out there in five minutes. Because it’s Sabbath Friday in my house – and I’d better get back to resting.
Because He Said So.
Psalm 30:2 says “Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”
Have you ever had a pain that just wouldn’t go away? Maybe it was a pain on your body – Maybe it was a pain in your heart. Maybe it was both. For me it certainly was both.
My sons Cooper and Asher have two older sisters – One is Ciara, the other is Kira. Ciara is my daughter who just finished college in Washington State.
There was pain in that relationship because I didn’t get to see her as much as I wanted to because of some of the choices I’d made. I had gotten a divorce – It’s a decision that breaks God’s heart and he tells us not to do it. But I did it anyway.
I had pain in my heart because of the choices I’d made and because of the circumstances those choices created. I had pain in my body, too. For several years I had a condition called TMJ – temporomandibular joint disorder. That’s a very big word for very bad pain in your jaw.
I lived with this pain for several years – I’d gone to the dentist to get a fancy bite device and I tried many other things on my own when one day, a miracle happened.
It started out as a terrible, no good, very bad day. I was upset about several things – about my daughter Ciara – I was missing her so much – about my job – about so many circumstances in my life I felt like were out of my control. I was driving down the road this day feeling very sorry for myself and I had this very strong feeling (I believe it was God) who told me to stop that. Not a whole lot of other words like please, not a lot of discussion about why or how I was hurting myself – just simply – Stop That.
Stop feeling sorry for myself and praise Him. Though I didn’t really WANT to do that in that moment, it seemed like God was telling me to. So I did – I turned up Elevation Worship CD very loud in my car, and I started singing out loud. And as I was praising God and singing and saying thankful, grateful things about Him – HE did something amazing.
Why? Because He Said So. God’s word says when we call to him for help, he will heal us.
God healed me. He took the pain in my jaw away. For the first time in years I felt no pain – God healed the pain in my heart and in my jaw. I praised Him. And I continue to praise Him and give him glory for the healing he brought me in that moment.
God promises he will heal us. I believe he calls us to participate in that healing. I didn’t sit around waiting for him to heal me. I praised him – even when I didn’t feel like it – at a time in fact when I ESPECIALLY didn’t feel like it… I praised Him and he healed me.
My dad’s “Because I said So” was not very comforting or fulfilling at the time. But today it is.
Jesus, thank you for your word and your promises. Thank you for keeping your promises to us even when we make mistakes. Help us remember your promises, father and cling to them. Today I pray for friends who are hurting and need healing in their hearts and in their bodies. Believing in healing and hope today for each and every one of them. Amen.
That feeling we’re never quite ready.
That feeling that screams we’re never quite _____ enough.
Not smart enough. Not experienced enough. Not organized enough.
In one of my all-time favorite sermons from Pastor Steven Furtick, called “Cancel the Audition” we are reminded that if we are followers of Christ – Jesus has already chosen us. We are ready for whatever he has called us to do. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” “But I am too young…” says the voice of insecurity in Jeremiah. And the Lord says, “Do not say I’m too young. Go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” (Paraphrased from Jeremiah 1:4-10)
Pastor Steven preached that to us in 2012 – and I’m still fighting back those feelings of not being quite ready. I AM ready. Just saying it out loud gives me courage.
This day – let’s choose together to be ready. Not ready with a question mark. But ready with a period. It’s crazy how much difference the punctuation can make.
Say it with me, brave friends. “I am ready.”
Powerful words, aren’t they?
“I made a mistake.”
“You may be right.”
I’m so grateful God is patient with me. One of my favorite verses is 1 Timothy 1:16 – “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”
And that may sound strange. Because by the world’s standards, I’m doing a pretty decent job. No felonies. No firings. So how can I consider myself the “worst of sinners” like Paul did when he was talking to his young disciple? But when in your life you keep doing things or thinking things that you know are not God’s best for you – judging, grumbling, griping, choosing to remain detached when I know I should engage.. when you keep doing these things and you know he still loves you… when you keep failing and he’s still there for you… you sense God’s mercy in a whole new way.
Yesterday, a woman burst through the doors of our church breathlessly seeking assistance with an empty gas tank. From experience, I know the thing we ask for is not necessarily the thing we need. And 99.9% of the time, someone else would have handled the question following the outreach guidelines I helped set up as we partner with agencies but offer no cash or other direct emergency services.
But this day, the lobby was full of other people with needs. And this woman was looking right at me. And I must have panicked or something because the first thing I did was meet the need she said she had. We stopped others who overheard from giving her cash – because we don’t want to create a security risk for our friends at the front desk. But she said she was in a hurry, late to pick up her daughter from school in a nearby town. So I prayed with the woman. I invited her to church. And I gave her a Walmart gift card.
Isn’t it funny how when we’re faced with someone’s immediate need we want to help? But then sometimes even when we do we’re left not with a feeling of joy, but somehow a feeling of sadness and discomfort? Oswald Chambers scolds us for this behavior calling us “amateur providences.”
I made a mistake. This woman didn’t need cash. She needed a relationship. And I don’t even remember her name. I’m grateful that Jesus does know her name. And I’ll continue lifting her up to him. Because I know he’s the only one who can supply her real needs.
And in case you’re wondering what happened next?
The woman (who I hope comes back so I can ask her to church again) must have alerted her entire family and friends to be a part of free Walmart gift card day. Two more people came. And then a fourth. All with similar stories.
We shut down the drive-through. We want to be about relationships. Not handouts. If you have an immediate physical need, we have friends who can help – Crisis Assistance Ministry, Matthews Help Center, Second Harvest Food Bank, and more. And if you want a relationship with Jesus – who is the only one who can ever supply all your needs – our doors are always open.
Thank you, Jesus for your patience with me. I know the truth, and I still mess up all the time. Thank you for daily lifting me out of the pit I’ve created for myself and calling me blessed, loved, and adored. Help me to be more like you today. Help me to BE the kind of grace you daily give to me. Amen.
Crazy excited for my friend Lysa TerKeurst’s new book release TODAY. It’s called “THE BEST YES” and I know it’s going to bless so many. Plus, when you purchase the book, not only are you getting amazing content, you’re blessing children in a beautiful way. Check out the video, and then head over to “The Best Yes” for more. You can also join us tonight (if tickets are still available) at Lysa’s webcast at Elevation Blakeney, or online from the comfort of your own couch. See you there!
Following the blessings of LOVE Week, the Elevation Worship LIVE Recording and Student Takeover, we’re trying to get back to some healthier food in our house. (too much takeout for the past few weeks) Here’s a favorite in our home. Thanks to Melissa at smellslikebrownies.com
I’ve been a bit discombobulated lately. I’ve been cooking and baking and taking all these pictures—but my own dinky camera was out of commission and my laptop was out of commission, and let’s just say that when my routines are disturbed sometimes I become a bit befuddled.
But! Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day! So I’m gathering my wits to share a super simple and healthy breakfast recipe with you: crustless mini quiches. (If quiche is crustless, does actually that mean it’s a frittata or an omelet? No idea.)
This month my assigned blogger was Laura Rees. While her tastes and mine diverge pretty significantly (er…I am a vegetarian who doesn’t eat fruit…so I do kind of fall into a specific niche of eaters), her take on mini quiche struck me as interesting. I set out to make a vegetarian version that I could bring to brunches with…
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