Holy Tension

I had a conversation recently with a friend where we were discussing what I call a Holy Tension.

Sometimes when I am praying for direction I ask the Lord for peace concerning a decision I need to
make. When I sense that peace I feel confident to move forward. But recently, I was praying about
moving into an area of ministry that is a new direction for me. As I prayed I asked for peace but I felt a
little unsettled instead. Not unsettled about the decision so much as about whether I am equipped to
handle it. Can I stay humble? Can I keep the fruits of the Spirit as my standard and not become prideful
or arrogant? Do I have enough wisdom and knowledge to meet the responsibility I would be accepting?

This is where the Holy Tension surfaces. Yes, I need to know God’s peace concerning my decisions
but there will always be a health caution when it comes to carrying out His direction. I will never be
completely settled because if I am then I’ve ceased to trust God minute by minute. I will always need to
feel dependent on God, recognizing my own shortcomings and relying on His power to accomplish what
He’s called me to do.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted
by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are
always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

I never want to become so confident in myself that I quit leaning on the Lord. The peace in my spirit is
the peace that comes from trusting in God’s perfect abilities and the tension comes from acknowledging
that on my own, I am nothing.

The Treasures

I call my grandchildren “The Treasures.” When I talked to my daughter-in-law I used to refer to them as “the girls” but then she had a boy…and then another boy. I had to come up with a different way to refer to all of them. I wasn’t particularly fond of just referring to them as “the children”…too formal. And saying “the kids” was…well…too generic.

Finally one day as I read the scriptures I came across Matthew 6:21. “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Now, I know this is referring to treasuring God’s word and looking to eternity but anyone who has had grandchildren will understand that they have a profound effect on your heart! The word Treasure seemed to be a perfect fit for grandchildren. So now, when I talk to my daughter-in-law I’ll frequently say “give the Treasures a hug from Grandma” or “tell the Treasures that Grandma loves them.”

But let’s go back to the passage in Matthew for a moment. In the previous verse (verse 20) it says for us to store our treasures in Heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy them. It has occurred to me that God stores up treasures for Himself in Heaven too. You are one of God’s treasures. The treasures He stores in Heaven are us! He loved us enough to sacrifice His only Son that He might have us in Heaven with Him for eternity where sorrow and pain, disease and despair, cannot destroy us. We are His treasures, so valuable that Jesus was willing to give His life for us.

During this Holy Week think about the fact that you are the Father’s treasure and consider the price He was willing to pay to have you with Him for all eternity. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!

Light of the World

Light is an interesting phenomenon. As you consider the properties of light, it’s easy to see why the Lord used light to help explain His character. Think of all the scriptures where the Lord calls himself the light or uses light to define his nature. Some of the ones I love are:

1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

John 8:12
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ” I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.

Picture yourself in a long, brightly lit hallway with many closed doors on both sides. Imagine that on the other side of all those doors are rooms in complete darkness.  Now consider what would happen if you went down that hallway and opened each door, flooding the rooms with light. Each room would no longer be in total darkness but would be influenced by the light from the hallway. However, the light in the hall would not be diminished at all. No matter how many doors you opened there would be no reduction of light in the hallway. The darkness cannot effect the light but the light definitely impacts the darkness.

When we allow the Lord to be light in our lives, we give him permission to reveal what the darkness would try to hide. We are promised that darkness will always be overcome with light and when we are willing to swing wide the doors of our hearts the Lord will surely keep his promise to shine His glorious light causing darkness to flee.

The Master Craftsman

My husband is a woodworker. He builds everything from chicken coops to porch swings to fine dining room tables. He is a craftsman who settles for nothing short of excellence.  He also restores furniture. I’ve seen him take a broken down piece of furniture that someone brings him and patiently restore it to its former glory. Sometimes the transformation is amazing.

He takes a piece into his workshop and begins by assessing the damage. He doesn’t care where the piece has been or what abuse it may have experienced. He focuses on returning it to useable condition and the purpose for which it was created.

He removes the old finish, sands and glues and sands some more. Then he carefully applies the new finish and watches as the richness of the wood is revealed. He patiently waits for each coat of finish to dry before applying the next.

Our Heavenly Father is also a master craftsman in the business of restoration. He can take a life and strip away the old, stained finish. He can gently sand away the rough spots and mend the broken pieces.  He can apply a brand new finish, rubbing the oils of healing into our hearts, causing the richness of His presence to shine in our soul as it was intended from the beginning when He created us and then declared His creation very good.

God doesn’t care where we’ve been or what we’ve experienced. Nothing can disqualify us from being beautifully restored if only we will put ourselves into the hands of the Master Craftsman.

2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”