Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life is a garden...

These are the days that I remember that the Lord is restoring all brokenness... IT IS SPRING! AND IT IS GLORIOUS! Some of the trees around the city are blooming, green grass everywhere, and my heart is joyful with the good news of Christ's soon return! I am going out later to landscape and pull some weeds for a friend. The beauty of today- life's garden- reminded me of Paula Rinehart. She wrote, "The heart is something of a garden that requires tending. Many things might have occasion to grow there. A root of bitterness is so potent it will invade other people's gardens, and worst of all, it will choke the grace of God in my life. I will miss what I want most. But bitterness, I suspect, grows in the dark- a sneaky kind of thing that takes over before you know what's happening. So I often find myself praying, "Lord, show me... show me the hard places in my heart where I have become even a little bitter." Lately, I feel as if Someone is pulling weeds. I'm thankful for little reminders of Christ's beautiful discipline of pulling out the dead and making room for life to flourish! Onward I go!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I look to Heaven...

Today, I have been consumed with the thought of deeper intimacy with Christ and with others. I've been reading (slowly...) Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire. He quotes Howard Macy in Rhythms of the Inner Life, "God's yearning for us stirs up our longing in response. God's initiating presence may be ever so subtle- an inward tug of desire, a more-than-coincidence meeting of words and events, a glimpse of the beyond in a storm or in a flower- but it is enough to make the hart skip a beat and to make us want to know more." Gire then writes, "And it is enough to make us leave behind our walking stick, strap on a sword, and search for that flower whose scent is so enticing, for that music whose echo is so enchanting, and for that far-off country whose news seems too good to be true... but is." (52)
Something inside me aches for more. I am amazed at how quickly I look to other things to fill this longing and I turn away from the Sustainer of all of it. The truth is, I have no idea what comes next, what will happen when I walk out the door in the morning, make a phone call, sit on my car, spend time with someone I long to know, or even making dinner. Yet, I know that there is a longing that sits deep in the innermost parts of my heart, that drives the way I am wired. It is the way I was made- to love Him above all things, to be captivated by His work in my very being. Jesus has been so near to me these past few months. I can see beautiful things coming out of the ashes. I see Him showing me the way Home to Him. Right now, it is through building what was broken and trusting that He alone that helps me discern what that looks like.
Gire writes a beautiful prayer at the end of the chapter- I'd like to share it!
A Prayer for Nourishment

"How inarticulate are the longings of my soul, O God, yet how acute are its pangs.
How incapable am I in understanding those longings, let alone, in tending them.
Feed me with food, O God, that will best nourish my soul,
food that will intensify rather than satisfy my love for You
and my longing to be with You.
Awaken every eternal seed You have planted in my soul so while I am yet rooted in this earth something of heaven might blossom in my life..."

I long for deeper fellowship, for deeper intimacy, for intensity that I cannot even fathom. Lord, teach me to love you this way! Awaken my heart to the depths of Your love... Amen