Posts Tagged ‘adoption’

Lamentations 3:55-66

Just in case we might forget
Or think our suffering unique
God has included in His Word
More than just a peek

A look into the sufferings
His people have endured
And all the times He’s come back
And helped them feel assured

Not that He would swoop in
And end their situation
(Although sometimes that’s what He did
For both individuals and nations.)

But there are many other times
The words that we now read
Were written by those for whom it seems
God didn’t intercede

It’s good for us to remember
God’s faithfulness remains
Even if the road we’re on
Doesn’t seem to change

God reveals in Jesus
A reality yet unseen
The place that helps us understand
What our reality means.

A more foundational dimension
Where God exists complete
Where Jesus is Lord over all things
And there’s no enemy to defeat.

The crazy thing about it as
We wait for such a reality to come near
The good news proclaimed by Jesus
Is that it is already here!

Will we help reveal it
Or will we get distracted?
That’s why each Sunday we remember
The resurrection He enacted

Isaiah 42:14-21

When God moves, we tell each other
It blesses our hearts straight through
You can see people raise hands in worship
And know He’s starting something New

The quiet might get all revved up
The mute may shout “Amen!”
Then we will go home and wait
For God to show up again.

But Isaiah reminds us
When God is truly on the move
He will not hide the evidence
And there will be no need to prove

He lays waste to mountains
And dries up all the pools
He takes all human wisdom
And makes them look like fools

What used to seem like darkness
Becomes a light to guide
There will not be any secret place
That is safe enough to hide

Those who trust in man-made things
Or find their peace in self
Recognize how blind you are
And how pitiful – your wealth.

Compared to what God is doing
And invites us to join His song,
He’s given us His Spirit
And all Heaven sings along…

Exodus 16:27-35

Forty years, with one menu
As the Israelites waited on God
They wandered through wilderness desert
While God slowly removed their facade

The false self they had been presenting
Of shifting allegiance like sands
Giving their loyalty to who has the power
Even after receiving commands

When God seemed aware, they would worship
When He seemed silent, they too
It may seem cruel, but over time
They learned patterns of what they should do.

Work together as a people for six days
On the seventh, they were to rest.
To stay in their homes, and take a moment
To thank God for how they’d been blessed.

Not busy themselves with production
Or finding their worth in their work
Today we have the same struggle
And feel our duties we’d shirk

Surely we should still be useful
We should do things, and serve with our time
But God still invites us to sabbath
To step down from the mountains we climb

Which is why we relive the forty
In whatever ways we may choose
To rediscover the moments of His presence
Where we’re invited to remove our shoes.

Exodus 16:1-8

Scripture is filled with stories galore
To help us be people of faith.
Testimonies of those gone before
The ways God has kept His sheep safe.

But stories are told by those holding the pens
And it’s not hard to see what that means
When given the story of what happens
We should wonder about behind the scenes

One of the greatest examples of this
We find as Gods people wandered
They hungered and thirsted for water and bread
And in hardening hearts they pondered:

“Would it have been better to die as a slave?
At least we knew we could eat!
Our value was only in making the bricks,
But at least they gave us some meat!”

They shook fists at God, angered and mad
Afraid on this path they would die
In scripture we’re told to have faith like a child
And here we discover just why

While all of the people were shaking their fists
Saying “with God in charge we’ll be dead!”
There was a girl praying, so hungry inside,
Saying, “God, what if you made it rain bread?”

Isaiah 51:1-3

There are times we all feel a weakness
Timid, alone, or afraid
Isaiah takes time to remind us to look
To the quarry from which we were made

The promise was given to Abraham
And Sarah shares in it as well
As each year passes the fruit of it grows
Increasing the story to tell

We hear of the story of promise
How God will delight and restore
How those who wait and serve faithful
Will continue to yield even more

Even more fruit of the promise
Beyond we could know how to ask
Even though we may feel unworthy
Or ill equipped for the task

God directs our eyes to the quarry
For Abraham was only one man
Receiving the promise transformed
All things to be part of Gods’ plan

It may take some more chiseling
While continuing to seek the LORD
But take heart and be encouraged today
And great will be our reward

Not that we will gain earthly treasures
Or that God will bless our own nation
But that in His faithful presence
Our Lord brings complete consolation.

A garden will bloom in the desert
The places of pain, joy we’ll find
So for today, hear Gods’ call
Look toward from whom we were mined.

Exodus 34:1-9, 27-28

It sounds like so much danger
An ominous invitation
To come into His presence
After testing Gods’ own patience

A threat? Or just a promise?
Onto our children’s kin
That parents aren’t the only ones
Impacted by their sin

We will all inherit
Choices made by those before
And from us to our grandchildren
A path we cannot ignore

Moses understood
The patient Love of God
And in the midst of all the heavy words
He includes an encouraging nod

The truth that we inherit something
God has committed onto stone
So Moses helped us remember
Who sits upon the throne.

He who proclaims such heavy words
About what children will receive
Calls us His own children,
If we will only believe…

safety

A few weeks ago, my wife sent me a picture our daughter had drawn.   A stick figure that seems wrapped in a straight jacket, that my wife (because she rocks, naturally) asked our daughter to tell her more about.daddycross

Let me pause for a moment to remind the reader: We’ve had our daughter home from the DR Congo for a bit over a year now.  She’s learned a lot, and grown in so many ways.  One of the sources of her growth has been involvement in church activities and lessons.  A focus of our children’s’ ministry here at Moundford Free Methodist Church last year was to teach the kids about faithful followers of Jesus.  People who suffered for the cause of spreading the good news of the Love of Jesus – even when there were sometimes large prices to pay.

So when our daughter explained the picture to mommy, she shared “It’s daddy, and the mean people tied him up.”  My wife asked why, and she said “Because he was telling people about Jesus.”

It may have just been a silly moment of imagination.   But it may have actually been something in the back of her mind/heart for months now – wondering if and when daddy might actually be taken away or hurt because of how he spends his time telling others about the Love of Jesus.  We’ve assured her, thankfully, daddy doesn’t have to worry about this.  My job is safe (although maybe it should seem more threatening to the powers that be at times?) to do.

It made me incredibly thankful, when I allowed it to settle. Hanging from my door lately is a leather cross made by Coptic Christians in Egypt, given to me by a friend back in college.  It reminds me each day as I walk into my office – how thankful I can be to have a place where my life and work is not threatened each day simply because of Jesus.  It causes me to pause and pray for those for whom “safety” means something so far away and unknown.

I’m thankful my daughter (now) doesn’t have to worry about daddy being hurt or killed by “the mean people” who don’t know about the Love of God.  But there are children globally who aren’t free from that worry.  May we lift up our brothers and sisters in prayer even now, and live lives that strive to not take for granted the freedom we have to proclaim the love & peace of Jesus in the unique ways we’re given…

%d bloggers like this: