In the morning I say play me Lord Jesus. Make your song rise among the nations. A song of compassion and hope and redemption and protection and justice and knowledge and rage against the users and abusers and liars and thieves and murderers. You, O God, sees all and knows all and records all for a day of reckoning. You who saves each tear in Your bottle and numbers each hair on our head and have created the worlds and everything in them for the joy and protection of Your people having pursued us in our wanderings and redeemed us from the curse are worthy of endless thanks and praise. Yes, play me. Pull my strings. Strum and pick and fill my heart and mind and eyes, hands and feet with Your praises and purpose. May the lost see THE WAY. May the thirsty drink the FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATER. May the orphan know adoption as sons and daughters of the KING. May the poor know they are rich. Play the song of the set free. Play the dance of the conqueror. May Your song fill up the hopeless and give strength to the shy. Sing your song of intersession and authority and Kingdom come!!!
And at the end of the day we will sing of Your love and faithfulness. To God be the glory great things He has done!
Pulling into Kohl’s last week with my 30% off coupon safely tucked in my purse this off the wall thought blurted out: “The church parking lot is full.” How out there is that?!!! Actually, considering that I was listening to a radio preacher talking about THE CHURCH it is not a stretch but considering the context of shopping at Christmas it is very telling and, perhaps, very close to the truth for many. Jesus said we cannot serve 2 masters. We will hate the one and serve the other. James chapter 1 says a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. This Christmas the best gift I can give myself and you is a single hearted devotion to the only One deserving of our full whole hearted devotion and allegiance. This is true peace. This is true joy. This is truth untainted in compassion to our fellow man. I give you, this Christmas, this lovely Irish hymn, BE THOU MY VISION. I pray the Holy Spirit makes real each word to your heart, mind and soul. Soak in, meditate on, embrace the heart of a true seeker. God says when you seek you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart.
I give thanks and joy-filled praise to the Giver of light. You, O God faithfully surround me with your life, Your light, Your warmth, Your quiet nudging and whispers inviting me to join You in the light. In the morning I will sing. I will sing of Your love. I will sing of Your strength. I will sing of Your compassion and tender provisions for every detail of my life. I am weak and You are strong. I am worried and Your are confident. I am small and You are beyond immense. You just spoke and from Your word the worlds, the galaxies, the waters, the winds, and every living thing exploded into life. There is nothing too small or too large that You haven’t invested your time and careful thought. We, Your creation have messed things up mightily yet, knowing we would, even before You placed us in Your garden, You provided the way to restore and create an even better and more profound relationship with You. You are GOOD. You are JUST. There is no darkness or subtle motives of selfish desire in You. In our great loss of light and moral purity You entered into our darkness, filth and utter failure and embraced our humanity. You became a baby. You experienced the love of a doting mother, a strong steady faithful dad, and the animosity of sibling rivalry. You told your human mom and dad to name You Jesus because You would, in Jesus, save your people from their sins. And You did. You, all HOLY, PURE, SINLESS, LAMB OF GOD, submitted to mockings, whippings, false accusations without saying a word in Your defense, and let us nail You to a cross. On the cross You knew the pain of separation from God the Father and the Holy Spirit for the first time. You cried out “My God, why have You forsaken me?!” You cried out “I thirst!” You, the Fount of Living Water, was so thirsty because the well, the SPRING OF ALL LIFE, experienced what every living being past, present and future, experiences in their separation from the Source of life. Then You cried out “It is finished!” and committing your spirit to the Father, you died. Everything You came to do was accomplished at that moment. IT IS FINISHED!!!! At that moment the work of redemption was accomplished. The debt PAID IN FULL!!! And to prove there is no hard feelings between us and You for all Your troubles we caused You, You raised from the dead and offered, free of charge, adoption papers for us to sign. You are not a God of arm twisting and coercion. Because we chose to walk away from You and live in rebellion and disobedience, we all are subject to death. But there is a second death that is permanent and forever removes us from every kindness You have bestowed on Your creation. No light. No water. No shelter. No kind words or hope of healing. This is the future You died to free us from. I am so grateful. I am overwhelmed and say, with tears, hand me those adoption papers!!! I can’t imagine my life without light. I can’t imagine my life without hope. I can’t imagine a life without any water to quench the thirsting of my soul. And now You have rescued me. You have washed me. You have clothed me in Your light and filled me with purpose and hope. You have told me to call You Daddy and invited me to come rushing into Your arms with all my worries. O wow! I am so “lucky”.
He lays in the hospital bed stiffly on his back, oxygen tubing in his nose. Hands disfigured by rheumtoid arthritis. The stubbly grey whiskers and awkward stiff positioning on the pillows under his head shout “I’m old! I’m so weak! I hurt so bad!”. My heart goes out to this man as I think to myself: “Who are you? Really. When you were young did you like to run full out to the edge of a cliff skidding to an abrupt halt just because you could, stopping your mommy’s heart in the process? Were you the class clown or the genius in the front row dying to be called on? Did you earn medals and awards or rise to the top in your profession commanding great respect and approval of your peers and those you managed?” These are just a few of the thoughts that race through my mind as I enter the room. This man, actually, is but a few years older than me but the doctor says his heart would not stand a surgical procedure. If he had surgery there is a 40% chance he would not survive. If he survived there is a 60% chance he would never be the same. His heart might not tolerate the sedation we would normally use for this test. I propose, knowing many do this same test without sedation around the world, that a simple topical numbing of the gag reflex be used and we get him through it. Rodney (not his real name), agreed. Silently I prayed “Jesus, take care of Rodney in this test. Keep him safe.”. I say to Rodney “I’ve prayed for you Rodney. You have to help me answer God’s prayer by doing everything we ask you to do.”. Rodney was in a lot of pain. I didn’t want to move him much but he needed to swallow to get the tube down his throat. On his back with his neck arched stiffly the pillows would not provide the support Rodney needed to bring his chin down. Maneuvering around the siderail to the head of the bed I moved the pillow aside cupping Rodney’s head in my hand. “You can do this Rodney. Just breathe. We’re almost done, Rodney. You are so great. You are Awesome and amazing Rodney! Hang in there, Rodney, we’ll be taking the tube out in a minute. Just focus on breathing.”. The tube was taken out and congratulations and thanks spread out wholeheartedly to all that participated in the study by the cardiologist when I turned to Rodney and said “Thank you Rodney for helping to answer my prayer.” With wit Rodney responded “I was praying along those lines too.”