pray to the One I love

This Friday is passing without much ado about anything. I’m not sure if I’d prefer much ado about nothing. I think I’d prefer much ado, period.

But, Fridays and Tuesdays and Sundays are not about preference as much as they are about presence. So, I’m streaming the new Civil Wars album while I write reports and smiling about the next three weeks that are about to unfold in front of my face. I’m just jamming to this beauty and loving the Lord who gave us song.

It feels like I just said yes to a hot air balloon ride without a destination – and now I will just enjoy the surprises with the scenery. Nothing makes sense and I am so glad I can laugh at that.

Well, I take that back.

One thing makes sense and that’s all the sense I need.

God is good, all the time.

 

I sing because

Today, I will rest on His goodness – in my doubting and in my fears.

And inside my resting I will sing freedom and joy into the blowing, Friday sunshine. I will sing to remember His constant friendship, His faithful refuge, and His future grace. 

I will wake up my affections at morning and noonday and evening to throw my heart’s melodies at the skies because this is what my heart is most at home to do.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

 

torn apart, You paid my price

I didn’t get to go to a Good Friday service last night.

I worked until 8:30 pm and then chased the last rays of Spring sunshine back to my neighborhood. I had my belly full of joy, satisfied with the abundance of His grace that carried me from Monday to Friday dusk.

The death didn’t set in until this morning and now I cannot dry my eyes. Jesus died. He was torn apart to satisfy God’s wrath and to secure my place of forever joy with Him. Jesus died and the next day He was still dead.

I don’t understand it.

John Piper tweeted this morning: “Still sovereign while dead. ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ (John 2:19)” What does that mean – that He was sovereign even while He was dead? How could my Savior die?

I don’t pretend to understand it – the mystery of it all – but I do understand this: my belly fills with joy because I am redeemed. I am set free by the grace of God as He looks on the perfect sacrifice of His Son that satisfies His wrath.

I am set free because my Savior was torn apart and humiliated in death to pay the price of my ugly heart. Today, I’ll let the tears roll because my belly full of joy came at great cost.

My complete and abundant joy was secured when God’s complete and perfect wrath was satisfied in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

I don’t understand this Holy Saturday, but I do understand this: the dead weight of Friday looks to Sunday for relief in the resurrection.

Torn apart you paid my price,
The wrath of God was satisfied
I traded sin, you gave me life
My hope is found on Jesus Christ

“The happy ending of the Resurrection is so enormous that it swallows up even the sorrow of the Cross.” – Tim Keller

trading B for A game

After two days of sniffling and coughing and chugging various zicam and emergen-C products, I got in my car and drove two hours to be a counselor for junior high girls at winter camp last weekend.

I was sure, just sure it would be my B game I was bringing… especially after the emergency level phone calls were still ringing at 7 pm on Friday night. It was one of those “you can’t win ’em all” moments when you think you’re beat before you’ve started.

Winter camp started on Saturday, so Friday found me pulling in to my parents’ long driveway, opening the front door, and throwing my “Hello?” into the living room. I collapsed a little bit into the comfort – the way this home knows me.

My parents were sitting in the living room decompressing their own crazy weeks and I joined them like it was a regular thing for me to be there on a Friday. It always feels kind of like a time warp when I’m in that place – the same two people with the same caring faces in the same living room always brings me back. That night I played hymns on my mom’s piano, sang with my sisters, and didn’t check my work email.

I slept well even in the chilled upstairs and woke up to help my mom transform our valentine’s tradition into a breakfast spectacular. I packed quickly, drank strong coffee and headed in the direction of winter camp, refreshed but still expecting B game.

And then 36 junior high and senior high students happened… at a camp… in the country… where Christ is the main event… and B game is not an option.

It wasn’t even like I decided anything. I was just making decisions to believe God’s grace would be enough for the next moment – and not just enough, but abundant to the point that I was capable of every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).

As I was making those grace-depending decisions, I stepped further into God’s glorious plan for the weekend: wide eyes, praise, wonder.

I listened to my campers work through what it means to be a fan vs. what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We didn’t mess around during our breakout sessions. I mean, we made bargains (like when they said, “we’ll pay attention if you sing us a song.” Of course, I did), but we got serious about opening the Word and chewing on what we found.

I’m not boasting in bringing A game – not at all. It was like A game was brought to me… if that makes sense. Two days full to the brim with talking about the glory of God, listening to the glory of God, and reading the glory of God in the words of Scripture will make A game happen.

You will love when you have nothing left. You will keep your eyes open when your body wants to sleep. You will create a rap with a ninth grade boy about salvation. You will make up a song and dance with 6 squealing young ladies about the way Jesus made you beautiful. You will run in unseasonal February sunshine. You will glow.

Have you ever experienced this – when you thought you had little to offer but God’s grace proved otherwise?

God’s grace is amazing – so amazing that it can take a body that is not good for anything and make it fit his purposes so that He would be glorified and salvation would be proclaimed.

The Word transforms every kind of body into something useful for the Kingdom. And the process of transformation wakes up the soul to shout praise.

Maybe you are bent or broken or bruised on this Monday and you think you’ve only got B game to offer. Let me tell you, an awakened soul is full of delight and surprises.

“Whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

and the nightmares and monsters

…and your biggest fears seem lightyears away, no they won’t find you here.

This saturday feels like a sigh I’m not afraid to sink into.

There’s a lot of rushing that happens Monday-Friday, even if we don’t admit to being in the race. At about 6 o’clock Friday night after my last appointment, I started sinking – the good kind of sinking.

I have this crazy determination that there won’t be moments or days or phases of my life that I have to hold my breath to get through. You know the kind – where you play, “Just get through it” over and over in your mind. Maybe you fix your eyes on the end of the tunnel and haul out in a full-on sprint?

Do you know the moments and days and phases I’m talking about?

Well, I never want to hold my breath because I believe there is grace enough to breathe in every moment. There is grace enough to take deep breaths and conquer fear and worry and pain even while I’m stuck inside all of it.

That said, 6 o’clock yesterday was like the perfect breeze. It was extra grace – more space to smile and laugh and stretch my hands out to feel the motion. And the nightmares and monsters of the weekday grind fade for a little bit while the weekend happens.

There is a special kind of grace that allows for us to rest.
This is the grace of my saturday sigh and I’m not one bit afraid to sink into it – that place where those weekday things seem lightyears away.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy