Shabbat Shalom

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When I woke up yesterday morning, I fully intended to do two things: get basic things from the store and then do absolutely nothing.

I accomplished both goals… and then some.

I went shopping and I did absolutely nothing for a while, but then I got this burning desire to leave the house and go somewhere. God impressed on my heart a need to meditate on His truth and have some quality time with Him.

I decided to head to a local park; a place where I have often talked with Jesus.

The golf course in the middle of the park was empty and the rest of the park looked dead. It seemed a shame to see the park so empty on such a beautiful day, but I was okay with having it all to myself.

My usual spot was free and clear of all other human beings within at least a half mile in either direction. I was free to pray, read, sing, and cry without another living soul being disturbed.

I took a seat in the light of the Sun, with a long, vined portico at my back, and a dried up fountain before my face.

Come...During the spring and summer months, the fountain would have sparkling drops of water pouring over its edges, but this is winter. If water would try to flow through the fountain now, it would only freeze and cause the stones and pipes to crack. And then there would be no fountain in the spring and summer. It is not as though water will never flow through it again, but now is not the proper time.

There is a season and a time for everything, but beauty can still be found in the waiting. The fountain still stands, regal and patient, though in a little need of repair.

Just like that fountain, there are seasons in my life of fruitful and overflowing joy and times of quiet contemplation and waiting. And just like that fountain, spring and summer will come around once more, no matter how dry I may feel at times. God knows every season well, and He alone assures me that spring will come.

Even when I am in moments of waiting, I have no excuses to sulk and stand like a statue; the waiting is crucial to my growth and refinement. While I wait is the best time to be strengthened, to stand firm, and to continue to remind those watching that I serve the God Who ordained the seasons, and He has not forgotten me… nor will He forget you.

Thank You, Jesus, that I am not perfect.
I know my deep, dire, and desperate need for You. And I, just like every imperfect soul, can do nothing but humbly bow before Your throne.
I have nothing to give and nothing to offer, but that which You have already given to me.
My cup runneth over, and I am left here, empty of self and sin.
Your forgiveness overwhelms me.
Your love confounds me.
I rejoice to be lost in the wonder of Your grace.
Take me and use me as You will.
Amen.

The world is noisy and pines for my attention, so I usually come to Jesus after I’ve grown tired of the noise and having to put out countless wildfires. And yet He still waits for me to meet Him on His mountain. True, there are no great mountains in Kansas to climb on and talk with God, but if faith moves mountains, then prayers can rise to Jesus’ ears from flatlands.

As I sat there, in the presence of my God and King, listening to Him speak and talking with Him, I couldn’t help but feel comfortable and warm. I hardly felt the cold, except in my hands, and I was out there for hours. My dad randomly called me in the middle of those hours, and I told him where I was. He sounded a bit surprised, and remarked how it was cold, but the cold had still not hit me then.

Only after I got back to my car did I realize the temperature was just below freezing and I had been sitting outside with just a light jacket and thin, athletic pants. So, as I sat in my car, I realized that Jesus was not done teaching me; the fountain was not His only lesson for that day.

When I pursue Jesus with a perfect and longing heart, He answers with a comfort that I don’t fully realize until after the fact.

My Abba always provides for me, whether it be a roof over my head or warmth when my crazy self decides to chill outside. If He can make it feel like 50 degrees in 28 degree weather, then He can provide for any good and eternally beneficial thing for me.

There are great things that I ask of God and there are little things that I ask of Him, but He knows them all. He is aware of my needs, and He knows the seasons in which I will truly need the things I ask for. But in the waiting, I trust that He is already changing me and things around me.

If I am broken, it is only before my Savior, but His Holy Spirit still lives in me and will shine through every season. I will not hide this light under a basket, but place it in on the table for all to see.

This is my table, Jesus is the light; I pray that you will sit with me.

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“I ask great things of a great God.”
Sitting quietly in His presence is like standing before an open flame.
Though the flame can set fire to my clothes and to every good thing around me, yet it only overwhelms me with its warmth.
I live in a fiery furnace and I rest content.
My God is a consuming fire, but I stand, not even singed, because I have been consumed in His grace and found in His love.
His own blood has secured me and shields me from the punishment I deserve.
May I never lose sight of my Abba’s wondrous grace.
I am tied to His heart, and He to mine.
What God has put together, let no man tear in sunder.
Amen.

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Published by: Sarah Jo

Growing up is a taxing process (sometimes, literally), but I have chosen to grow in Christ and in His grace. He is so faithful to me and I have no room to complain, so I seek to show my gratitude through writing blog posts and songs, and speaking forth my gratitude in front of coworkers, friends, family, and total strangers. I am a little lost, but completely found; a child in the faith, and taking huge steps. I have so much to learn, but the point is that I will get there by the grace of my Abba.

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