Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wanna see my scar?

Last week as I was enjoying my morning coffee on the deck overlooking the lake in the Carolinas, I was reading and thinking about Thomas. If you have followed this blog long enough, you know that I've written several posts about Thomas, the doubter, from the book of John. Maybe it's because I feel like I relate to him quite a  bit. Does that surprise you? It shouldn't.

I wrote earlier this year how I liked the Old Testament better because I felt as though I could relate better with those in the OT. They hadn't walked/talked PHYSICALLY with Jesus like those in the New Testament. I struggle with that a lot. There are some days in which I've said "I need Jesus with SKIN today!"

So while thinking about Thomas, the Lord began to reveal a new aspect of this story to me. Most of us know the story...Jesus had been crucified, dead for 3 days, and then raised. When Jesus first met up with the disciples after all this had taken place, Thomas was not with them. So when the disciples told Thomas that Jesus was alive- Thomas didn't believe them. He said "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."

A week later, Jesus appeared to Thomas and said "put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Jesus showed him the scars.

The scars were what led Thomas to believe.

Are you willing to show your scars?

We all have them. Maybe a past eating disorder. Maybe a previous spending addiction. A marriage that was on the brink of divorce. An immoral addiction. I don't need to keep listing things. You all know what yours are. What if, knowing that by showing your scars, someone would come to know Jesus in a personal way and choose to believe in Him if you would just be vulnerable enough to do just that?

Beth Moore has taught a session titled "Scars Don't Hurt."

In this teaching- she talks about the difference between a scar and a wound.  If I saw a wound on your knee and came and pressed on it- it would hurt. But if I pressed on a scar- there would be no pain. You would feel me pressing, but it wouldn't evoke pain.

I'm not suggesting you go around showing people your open flesh wounds....raw pain that you are still dealing with.

But what about the areas that are healed?  It's actually a good indicator for you, too, to know if you have allowed complete healing in that area of your life. If someone brings up a subject regarding your past pain and your first thought is to avoid discussion, or to lash out...chances are, that is not a scar. That is a wound that still needs to heal.

I think so often we are tempted to hide our scars so that no one sees them. We say to ourselves "that's in the past. It's over and done with." While they may not evoke pain anymore- we've just been conditioned to hide them for so long that we don't even consider revealing them.

Have you ever thought that maybe showing people the one thing you work so hard to hide might be what brings someone to know Jesus?

There are people in your life dealing with similar things to what you have dealt with in the past and overcome. They think they are either alone, or that it's a pain they will never be able to get rid of.

They doubt God's ability to heal or forgive.

You've got a scar that you can show them.

Be Jesus to a Thomas in your life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, for prosperity

We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering



All the while, You hear each spoken need

Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things



Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near?



What if trials of this life

Are Your mercies in disguise?



We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear

We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near

We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough



And all the while You hear each desperate plea

And long that we'd have faith to believe



Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near?



And what if trials of this life

Are Your mercies in disguise



When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win

We know the pain reminds this heart

That this is not, this is not our home

It's not our home



Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears?

And what if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near?



What if my greatest disappointments

Or the aching of this life

Is the revealing of a greater thirst

This world can’t satisfy?



And what if trials of this life

The rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are Your mercies in disguise?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CSVqHcdhXQ

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Word

A friend asked on twitter last week "What is one word that describes you?"

I responded with "Faithful," feeling as though that is a word that best sums me up.

I felt pretty confident in that word....thinking it was a GOOD word to use to describe myself.

That is...until I read this:

Excerpt from Mark Buchanan’s’ book- The Holy Wild

Philip Yancey writes:

“I remember my first visit to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Rings of Japanese and German tourists surrounded the geyser, their video cameras trained like weapons on the famous hole in the ground. A large digital clock stood beside the spot, predicting 24 minutes before the next eruption.

My wife and I passed the countdown in the dining room of Old Faithful Inn overlooking the geyser. When the digital clock reached one minute, we, along with every other diner, left our seats and rushed to the windows to see the big, wet event.

I noticed immediately, as if on signal, a crew of busboys and waiters descended on the tables to refill water glasses and clear away dirty dishes. When the geyser went off, we tourists oohed and aahed and clicked our cameras; a few spontaneously applauded. But, glancing back over my shoulder, I saw that not a single waiter or busboy- not even those who had finished their chores- looked out the huge windows. Old Faithful, grown entirely too familiar, had lost its power to impress them.”
In both creation and relationships, faithfulness is the most amazing yet least captivating trait. It is one quality- in the cosmos, in God, in others- that we can’t live without, but that we don’t much live with, either, mindful of it, thankful for it.

If we call a car faithful, we mean it’s functional, not fast, and not flashy. It’s drab and boxy, an old dray horse. Faithfulness is not only boring. In some contexts, it’s almost embarrassing.
I COMPLETELY understand what Mark is saying here. I really do. He goes on to describe how Faithfulness is one of God's most divine characteristics.  I would agree.

But.

I wonder sometimes if faithfulness in those around us goes unnoticed far to often....because it seems 'boring...not fast....not flashy." I would say I'm not flashy...not fast. And maybe boring sometimes. But I do know that if I were to stop being faithful- people would notice. You know?

Thoughts? I'd love to hear yours. Do you think faithfulness in those around you is boring? Do you, like the busboys at the Old Faithful Inn, just stop noticing and taking it in?

The one about the next chapter

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