Make This Rescued Life a Song

Sovereign Savior,
You pursue me with relentless love,
determined to make something beautiful from this ash heap.
I bow in humble gratefulness,
thankful You can make sense of me when my thoughts are swirling
and my words tongue-tied.
When I don’t understand the twistings of my soul,
You are there untangling me.
Steadying my heart with reminders of grace given,
renewing my hope for today with memories from past deliverance.
Your goodness is present through it all.

Faith in You provides a continual knowing,
meeting each nuance of my being
without surprise or regret.
You are familiar with all my ways,
reaching to the deepest recesses of my soul,
grasping the very essence of me wrapped securely in You.
Your hand of blessing rests upon my head,
calming me and calling me
to look to You and live according to my namesake.

I spill out the brokenness of my life before You,
and watch in awe as the jumbled puzzle
is mysteriously and masterfully arranged by Your hand.
Piece by piece,
You insist on making all things new.
Redeeming the worst of me.
Reclaiming this wreckage of wayward heart.
Repurposing the very struggles Satan meant for my destruction.
Bringing forth victory in the wastelands of my faltering.
Carrying me through the severest of storms.

You are my Champion.
Savior Extraordinaire of my past.
Friend and faithful Companion for today.
Keeper of my future and my forever.
May this rescued life pour forth love songs to You,
singing the sweet melody of redemption from beginning to end.




Give Way for Redemption

The past few weeks have found me praying for several friends for a variety of reasons. From prodigal children to medical needs to financial worries to any number of burdens being borne, situations have hit at random, yet with targeted effect. In the midst of it all, I have been reminded of the hope of redemption, and this hope has fueled my prayers for those I dearly love.

No matter the situation you may find yourself going through, the hope of God’s redemption is always present. Cleverly cloaked, at times, but present nonetheless. But because we cannot see His hand at work, we press and pull and tug and heave to struggle through each trial as if we can somehow fix it on our own.

Guess what?

You. Can’t.

You cannot force your adult child to make wise decisions. You cannot repair the physical heart of an aging parent. You cannot make money magically appear or somehow obtain job security for life. You cannot bring peace on earth or stop the division of racial tension or calm the present political upheaval. You cannot even count on breathing your next breath. So stop living as if you can.

Stop taking responsibility for things well outside the realm of your finite control. Instead, take your worries to your Savior.

Take your weary heart and your exhausted mind and your rapid-heartbeat fears and pour them out at Jesus’ feet. All of it. Let the mess puddle on the ground, bathed in your tears and frustration, as you empty yourself of every last ounce of hurt. He will help you bear it all as you rise again to release it fully into Father’s hands.

Then stand back and watch the miracle of redemption work its magic — breathing life, restoring ruins, cutting loose bonds of captivity, raising beauty from the ash heap.

Bringing glory from chaos is Father’s specialty, so give Him room to show off. Here. Here in the mess and the hurts and the hards of life. Let Hope have the final say as grace sweeps in to save the day and the souls of His own.

What God has spoken, He will do. His plans will be accomplished, beloved. No matter how unfinished they may yet appear. No matter how many days or months or even years you may find yourself waiting for His rescue to come. He will not be deterred in accomplishing all He has purposed.

As much as we try to figure things out, we really have no idea what Father is up to. The very situation which drains your strength and tugs at your peace is the very thing that can draw you closer to His side, if you let it. This trial that seems set to destroy you will, instead, be turned toward your ultimate good.

God is never caught off-guard, never bowled over in surprise by this circumstance that has left you spinning. Nothing can thwart His purposes. No heart lies beyond the reach of His mercy. No work of principality beyond His power to overcome. No sin greater than the grace found in just one drop of Jesus’ blood.

Not even this.

God is on the move, and the death grip of winter must yield to spring’s blossoms of life. So let the melting begin, and make room for the shoots of new to break free through the pressing.

Beauty will rise from the dust.

All that’s lost will be regained.

Miracles will happen.

Healing will come.

The plans of our enemy ruined, undone.

Give way for redemption, beloved, and let revival awaken . . .


It Is What It Is… Or Is It?

It is what it is.

How many times have you heard that statement recently? Possibly spoken by a fellow-commuter on your way to work, or maybe by a well-intentioned friend trying to encourage you to keep your chin up. Unfortunately, “It is what it is,” is not the most encouraging of statements. Nor is it exactly biblical, which calls into question our ready acceptance to use it so frequently as a means of coping in life.

It is what it is… when we shrug our shoulders in indifference and allow it to be so.

It is what it is… when we neglect to factor God into the equation.

It is what it is… when we fail to rise in faith and speak truth into a situation — the truth stemming from God’s word on the matter instead of our own shortsighted interpretation, which, let’s face it, is all too often ruled by our deceptive feelings.

God has capabilities far beyond our ability to understand or to imagine. And while we may be content to throw our hands into the air and cave to the melancholy attitude of “Whatever,” God  simply raises His holy voice and speaks to things that are not as though they are.

— God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did. (Romans 4:17)

God, who gives each of His children a seed of faith — tiny though it may be, it has the potential to cast mountains into seas.

God, who has seated us with Christ in heavenly places, giving us all we need for life and for godliness.

God, whose very nature has taken up residence inside each person who believes.

God, who continues to draw us to build up our faith, a belief that is certain of things hoped for and hopeful of things unseen.

No matter how calmly I attempt to accept otherwise, all these things seem to fly in the very face of “It is what it is.” Faith throws a curve ball at that concept, believing God and His word despite overwhelming odds. Faith stakes its claim in Jesus’ strength, standing on the pitcher’s mound and staring down the most seasoned of Satan’s batters. Faith does not ignore the circumstance, nor pretend no conflict exists. Instead, it shoulders the weapon of confidence in Christ and hurls the word at the devil’s worst.

And slowly, sometimes even covertly, there’s a slight shifting in the atmosphere. A subtle transfer of something ambiguous, but present nonetheless. A turning of heart to see things from a different perspective than what others would naturally assume. A turning from our own near-sighted emotions toward a greater Source than the obstacle before us. A declaration of Jesus’ stance and our place in His kingdom as we seek out a better way than could ever be presented by approaching things with only the insight from this natural realm.

Against all hope, faith continues to believe. No matter how seemingly unthinkable victory appears. No matter how tired we are of being disappointed… again. No matter how hurt we have been. No matter how futile it all seems.

While the world sits by and idly watches life happen, a child of faith intentionally rises and becomes a partaker of Christ’s presence, making things exist where once there was only the deserted and barren. Planting seeds of righteousness in places where anxiousness and fear threaten to rule the day. Weeding out tendrils of doubt and unbelief again and again. Sowing grains of love into soil deep, trusting something of worth will sprout in its season. Patiently waiting and cultivating and checking for growth. Season after season after season…

Giving time for a given time, trusting something wonderful will become where once there was nothing.

Life from death.

Beauty from ashes.

An oak tree of righteousness from the weakest sproutling.

When seen through kingdom eyes, life is not always what it seems. It is what it is… except when it is not. Then it becomes a work of glory to the One who is worthy of all glory.

That battle you’re fighting? That seemingly insurmountable obstacle looming before you? That floundering marriage which seems almost certain to crash and burn? That prodigal child who appears to run farther and faster from home the more you appeal to him to turn back?

It’s not over, my friend. God has still not had the final say.

God, who calls those things which do not exist as though they already do — He’s still in this with you. Right here in this messy pile of hopeless and futile. He’s gathering up the shards, scraping together the ashes of a life burnt and spent on idols. And He’s turning them all toward home.

Piece by piece, splinter by splinter, renaming and speaking life to the most marred of souls. To the weakest of faith. To the most difficult of circumstances. To the most broken of human hearts.

God is not finished creating life, yet. He’s not done making beautiful things. And because He ‘s not finished, friends, neither are we.

It’s time to rise up and live like we believe it.

It’s time to take deliberate steps toward training ourselves to think differently. To think truthfully.

It’s time to alter our course of action from complacent acceptance to a holy indignation against the enemy who has been making a playground of our lives and our relationships for far too long.

It’s time to speak to what is and tell it what it will be — in Jesus’ name.

In faith, believing for those things that are not, as though they already are…

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Trusting in the One who is our hope…

10984493_1042704852407311_5634547423337835838_nNo matter how long it takes.

(Photo credit to Cheri Thompson)

A Mosaic of Mercy

There’s always a reason for the breaking. Sometimes it’s simply because who I was cannot continue to support who I am becoming.

The earthen vessel must crack and expand even as my spirit grows. Filled with His own. What once seemed so stable and secure must shift in order to hold a new and better way of life. Of living.

Humility emerges, shaking the core of this humanity. Spirit breath stretches against containment, for what I am meant to hold cannot be confined by finite clay. The earthen vessel needs room to grow. This newness cannot coexist with the stagnant wine of yesteryear, else all becomes spoiled.

So let the cracking commence and continue as shards are set free. Broken to be filled. Deadened for a season, but not for forever. Simply making room to come back to life.

Releasing the past to grasp hold of a new present, I choose to believe I will be better for this breaking. No matter how much it hurts. No matter how empty before the filling.

Like the little town of Bethlehem, I scarce can make room for so great a redemption being birthed within these borders. With humbleness, I offer my soul’s shelter — unfit for the King, but chosen to bear His life, regardless.

Yes, I am broken, but not without purpose. Not without promise of a coming glory. Never without a plan of redemption in full view of the One who not only has eyes to see but holds the power to make all things new and beautiful.

So as I sit in the silence, falling apart bit by bit, I trust in being re-membered. Beauty in the making, refitted piece by piece to bring to life new life. Earthen vessel though I may be, He has chosen to place His other-worldly presence here.

bits of broken
splinters of hurt
shattered pieces

scooped up by divine hand
reaching beyond the breaking
revealing beauty beneath the scars
making room for Spirit.

gatherer of fragmented lives
You come into the splinters
with creative grace
determined to fashion a masterpiece
from the ruins of this soul
breathing life with artistic wonder
fashioning flawless
from the blemished and marred.

in humble awe I stand complete,
a mosaic of mercy at Savior’s feet.