Friday, May 17, 2013

Glimpses of His Glory

Early in the morning before the phone starts ringing and the demands of the day begin pressing all around, I love to curl up in my favorite glider rocker and just think.  The darkness covers everything, but a soft light gradually steals into the room.  The house is quiet, not yet fully awake.  With my back to the lace-covered bay window, I gaze out the sliding glass window to the south.  The branches of the mulberry trees arch toward earth, heavy with their fruit.  A bright red cardinal hops from one branch to another, calling to his mate.  A small, sky blue birdhouse, its door flanked by two birch twigs, hangs from the mulberry tree.  A tiny wren flits about, and then dives into the miniature house.  The potted plants on the patio steps provide a splash of color:  red, trailing geraniums, brilliant against the white pots.  Arching asparagus ferns reach toward the patio.  Bright yellow moss roses, a hint of red at their centers, peek from beneath the greenery.  My cat Tigger prowls, seeking prey.  The birds chatter and chastise him, but they need not fear.  He is too fat to catch them.

As I sit, still and quiet, contemplating the early morning peace and the beauty of nature, I sense the presence of God.  It is in this setting, when I sit quietly and let my mind wander, that I can hear God’s still, quiet voice speaking to me.  In this calm, contemplative state, I open my heart to hear His voice.  In the quiet, before my mind races with obligations and responsibilities, I watch.  I listen.  He responds.  He makes His presence known.  Some mornings I meditate on His greatness.  Other mornings I listen to worshipful music.  As the beautiful notes wash over my soul, and the words seep into my heart, they speak volumes of God’s power, majesty, and grandeur.  When I open my Bible, God speaks to me through the written word.  Passages I may never have noticed before nearly jump off the page.  “Listen to My words,” God says to my heart.  “These words are my special message, just for you, just for today’s circumstances.”  As I ponder the words, I feel Him in the room, His love washing over my entire being.  I cherish this time with God.

Too soon, it is time to scurry about and prepare for the busy day ahead.  I would love to take these special moments with me and live in this state forever, but I know I cannot.  Even though I wish I could, I am unable to have this lengthy quiet time on a daily basis.  Too often, my quiet time with God is far too short.  But I realize that He does not intend for me to live entirely on the mountaintop experiences of His love; He wants me to spend time in the valleys.  For it is only in the valleys that I can share these experiences with others.  It is only in the valleys that others can see God’s presence in me.  It is only in the valleys that I can learn and grow.  So I go about my everyday tasks, longing for insight into more of God’s grandeur.  Someday I know I will see Him face to face; someday I will behold, in full, His glory; someday I will go to the mountaintop where I will bask in His presence for all eternity.  In the meantime, I obediently walk in the valleys and try to stay content with occasional glimpses of His glory.

Lord of my life, thank you for the mountaintop experiences and for the walks in the valley.  In your wisdom, allow each experience to mold me into your image.
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Monday, May 13, 2013


None of us likes to be interrupted.  From a young age, we tell our children, “Not now. I’m talking. It’s not polite to interrupt.” Children, of course, are persistent, tap, tap, tapping the parent’s shoulder until the child has Mom or Dad’s full attention. These interruptions try the parent’s patience, but eventually the child learns not to interrupt.

When Jesus walked on this earth, He was the master of interruptions. He saw society shunning the poor and the ill. He interrupted with compassion and healing. He saw people burdened by an oppressive Roman government. He interrupted their oppression with hope. He saw religious leaders consumed with the letter of the endless list of laws. He interrupted legalism with grace. He saw His people burdened with sin and hungry for righteousness. He interrupted their burdens by bearing them on the cross.

Even though Jesus, the man, doesn’t walk this earth today, Jesus, our Savior, continues to interrupt. He’s tapping on our shoulders, trying to get our attention. He wants us to see the needs of the poor, the ill, and the oppressed. He wants us to open our eyes to legalism, and the pressing need for grace. Tap, tap, tap. Will we allow our lives to be interrupted? How and when will we respond to His insistent tapping on our shoulders?

Luke 14:13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reflected Sunlight

A narrow shaft of morning light streams across the table. Right in its path sits a water bottle. As I write in my journal and turn the pages of my Bible, the water in the bottle shakes ever so slightly. The sunlight reflecting off and through that water dances on the table, bright white and fluid. Off the surface of the plastic bottle the light reflects back to me. Tiny water droplets near the bottle’s opening shimmer in the light.

This is how I want to reflect God’s light—bright, white, shimmering and fluid with the Holy Spirit.
II Corinthians 4:6 "For God who said, 'Let light shine out of the darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."