Saturday, October 25, 2014

From Genesis to Now--Seeing Through God's Eyes

Dear Christa—
It’s easy to put Abraham and Sarah on a pedestal—after all God did call Abraham to be the father of His chosen people. Yet, it was God who set them apart from others. At their core—Abraham and Sarah were regular people with whom God chose to do incredible things.
Then, on the other hand, it’s easy to criticize Abram for going to Egypt during the famine, but really now—it probably seemed like a smart thing to do at the time. I think if I’d been Sarah, it would have seemed like a good plan to me (beats starving) until he got to the part about, “Now, you’re beautiful—so really just tell them you’re my sister, or they might kill me.”
But lest we become too critical of Abram, Sarah too looked to what seemed logical at the time—the only way that it seemed to her she could bear this promised child was to give her servant Hagar to her husband. So she did.
To be honest, these two people approached life in the same way as I most readily do—by what seems logical within the time they lived. Abraham and Sarah approached the difficulties of life through their cultural lens and answers of their time. It comes far to easy for me to take action within what seems to make sense to me—in the here and now—the 21st Century American woman.
How do I make decisions, large or small? Do I prayerfully ask God’s guidance, or do I rely mostly on what seems logical at the time? I was reminded last weekend by an interesting woman of God that I need to “look with God’s eyes.”
I wish I looked with those eyes most often.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Autumn Days

Dear Christa—
Listening to the Sunday night praise service testimonies reminded me of what Dena, fellow teacher and friend since college, said recently regarding testimonies: “Everyone has a story, and every story is broken. We are all broken, and Jesus puts us together.”
It is so true, so universal.
No matter how hard we try to be perfect spouses, parents, parishioners, brokenness will come. We can no more escape the pain of our world any more than we can jump over the moon. The pain for some seems and is harsher than others, but great or small it is there—pushing us into Jesus.
Those five testimonies were so different, yet the thread that ran throughout each one is that in the midst of brokenness, Jesus came. He sought them out, even when some were not looking, to bring healing, peace, and life.
Sometimes we look so good on the outside that people don’t realize that each of us needed a Savior. Sometimes in the moments of goodness, it’s easy to forget just how lost we were.
Then sometimes, in the hard times, it’s easy to forget that we are broken no more. Perfect? …not here, but there is much to be grateful for.
Our neighbor across the street has a tree with blazing autumn red leaves, so rare among all the Colorado yellows. It reminds me of my Midwestern roots and the beauty of fall that leads into Thanksgiving. My childhood Thanksgivings were spent among grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. It was the holiday I missed most when I went to college.
Today these autumn leaves remind me of Thanksgiving—that I am whole and I should be characterized by gratefulness.
Pack in the beauty that autumn brings like storing up can goods for winter. Breathe in clear air that’s not too hot and not too cold. I want to fill my heart with gratefulness, for winter days are just ahead.