Sunday, April 28, 2013

For There Is Hope...

"For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that its tender shoots will not cease.
Though its root may grow old in the earth,
And its stump may die in the ground,
Yet at the scent of water it will bud,
And bring forth branches like a plant."

Job 14: 7-9

Jesus Said...

"But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life."

John 4: 14 NLT

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live"

John 11: 25 KJV

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lost treasure

Have you ever lost anything important? Something vital to your existence? Take a minute to recall that terrifying feeling when you first realized you had no earthly idea where your keys were. Or what about the time you checked your pocket for your cell phone only to find it had fallen out in the plane that just took off. Not exactly your best moments were they?

I recently lost something vital to my existence. Thankfully keys and cell phone stayed accounted for, but my wallet went AWOL. At first its disappearance was only mildly disturbing. With Pollyanna optimism, I was sure it would show up. However, the serious nature of this situation hit with force when my car registered "E" on the dash and I had no way to fill it up. When I ran out of milk and resorted to eating popcorn for breakfast I knew I was in trouble. I had a job! There was money in a bank far away, but I had lost my only access.

Finally, I began to search in earnest. I looked all the usual places...and then some unusual places. Under mattresses, in the refrigerator, in closets I never open. I looked places I knew it wouldn't be, just because I was frantic to find it. That missing wallet affected everything. I never knew what a "passport to living" that wallet was until it was gone.

Over and over we are told to seek God - seek His kingdom, seek His face, seek HIM. There are multiple stories in the Bible of lost or hidden treasure to illustrate this "seeking". Our connection with Christ is far more valuable than keys or a wallet. To lose that connection is to lose Life itself.

Look at Matt 7: 7. It's full of action. To ask you must find someone to ask and formulate a question. To seek you must get up and go looking. To knock you must find the door you want to enter. There is nothing passive about it. The Gospel is a gigantic treasure hunt. God is seeking the treasure of His lost children. We in turn are seeking the treasure of our Heavenly Father.

In one of my favorite verses God promises "You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13 I have always struggled to understand the last part. What does it mean to do something with "all your heart"? With a little consideration I realized I have seen examples.
The climber spending years preparing to scale Mt. Everest. The athlete giving their all for an Olympic medal. Protestors putting themselves in line of fire to demand freedom. Yes, I've read about it in Hebrew 11 and in the accounts of the Reformation.
So I know what it means. But have I experienced it?

I've never identified with those die-hard treasure hunters who buy the expensive scuba gear and plan their whole lives around finding that buried pirates chest of gold. They put all their eggs in one basket and let everything else go in order to pursue their all consuming passion. This doesn't faze them, however, because of the worth they place on the treasure.

Maybe it's time I become one of those over-the-top treasure seekers. Maybe it's time I wake up and feel such a longing for God that will send me on a journey of wholehearted seeking after Him. The worth of the Treasure is beyond comprehension.

When You said, “Seek My face.” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord I will seek.”
Psalm 27:4, 8

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I see the Moon...

The moon is beautiful tonight. Driving back from town I could hardly keep my eyes off it and on the road. A good friend shared this song with me and now it often comes to mind when the moon is especially bright. Reminds me of the people I'm longing to see.

"Can you see the moon tonight
Sugar-white perfection
Radiant beams of purest light
Our hearts’ connection
Carries me back to a lullaby
The sweetest song in my memory
Of Mama’s voice on moonlit nights
To hush her babies, singin’...

I see the moon, the moon sees me
The moon sees the one that I want to see
God bless the moon, and God bless me
And God bless the one I’m longing to see

Did you ever notice the man in the moon
He’s the master of reflection
Somehow he knows and imitates
My heart’s expressions
Some nights he’s melting in clouds of tears
Or shining my smile like the bright sun
But look, tonight the moon looks like
He’s missing someone."

~ Chris Rice