I ran across two women who were given two windows of influence. The first was Rahab, who hid the spies who had come to scout out Jericho. She lived in the wall of the city that would soon come crumbling down. Rahab let the spies down through the window by a rope or cord and would later tie this same scarlet cord to mark her window to be protected. This rope represented faith and because of her faith, her entire family was saved.
Another woman, Michal, was the daughter of King Saul, who was married to King David. When David brought back the ark of the covenant, Michal watched him celebrating before the Lord from her window. Scripture tells us that “she despised him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:16). Two women, two windows who had a view and a choice to make. One responded in faith and the other responded in judgement.
It made me think of us and the choices we get to make each day from our viewpoints. Will we respond in faith, that will impact generations to come or will we respond in judgement? Only one of these women is mentioned in the lineage of Jesus.
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statues, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
I recently read a fictional book where the main character was a heart surgeon whose speciality was transplants. At some point, the old heart must stop before the healthy heart is able to take it’s place. Spiritually speaking, we can all have this surgery. I remember exactly where I was when my heart stopped. I also remember my prayer and how it felt when it begin to beat again. It takes awhile to learn how to live with a healthy and whole heart. Plenty of mistakes are made, but for that there is grace. Looking back, it now makes since why responding to the Lord felt more like an obligation and His love something to be earned. A new heart filled with His Spirit changes everything.
“The righteous lead blameless lives, blessed are their children after them.” Proverbs 20:7
When you marry someone, there is no guarantee they will be a good father, but I saw the evidence of the making of one early on in my husband. He is the most patient and humble man I have ever met. There is not a hint of selfishness in his heart and kindness flows from him. He does not seek to be noticed and does not need recognition of man. He comes alongside and listens, encourages and leads you in a way that is gentle. He models Jesus day in and day out in our home, work that goes unseen to the outside world. Our children are incredibly blessed and so will many, many generations to come.
We met a fascinating man last night that is passionate about one thing, watches. He comes from a line of watchmakers and is now a motivated salesman for the very brand his family crafts. In his opinion, there is only one superior brand and he was quite determined to work for this special company. In fact, while in college, he would drive six hours just to inquire about company events he may work. He did this several times and the day finally came. He had a different kind of love for this company because of how good they had been to his family. It made me wonder, do I have an even greater passion and love for the One who holds time? Do I show up to the events of the day, ready to share the love of the One and only true God? Do I desire to serve Him in thanksgiving for who He is and how good He has been to our family? So much to think about….
“You never separate from the group! You always stay together. If you separate, the enemy picks you off one by one.” -Eli, age 9
We were watching a show this morning and the characters were looking for the villain. They decided to separate and spread out. Eli leans over and reminded me of an important lesson, stay together. If the enemy can get you alone, his chances of stopping you are higher. A community is much harder to shut down when you are unified. To go alone is not only lonely, but dangerous. Stay together and build each other up along the way. When one is running low on hope or burdened, another can remind you of what is true. It is also much easier to venture out when you are not alone. A bit of courage is ignited inside knowing you go together. Also, invite others in and never close the circle. So many are looking to belong and what better place than with ones that know love.
“Do trust and mistrust hold hands?” 2 Corinthians 6 (The Message)
I read and reread this verse this morning and the image came to mind of when we were teaching our children to walk. We would hold both of their small hands and encourage them to take step after step. Never once did any of them not take our hands. I thought back to those days and saw myself as a child again learning to “walk by faith and not by sight”. If I am being honest, somedays I take the hand of mistrust, for you cannot hold both. “What if He doesn’t come through”, the enemy whispers? “This dream is much too big”, another whisper passes through my mind and my hand slips into agreement. However, I know He is trustworthy and He is the only One that knows the way. His hands are always available, steading each tentative step I take. So today I held His hand in faith and learned to walk a bit further. And I will do it again and again all the way Home.
People are fascinating, each different having been shaped in the environment God placed them. Some grow up confident, secure in their true identity and others appear to be fighting for their worth, almost like it is air. I watched two people this week and noticed incredible differences. One was restful, peaceful, breathed easy and the other had none. To ask questions would have been inappropriate, but I would loved to have unraveled the troubled heart. I wanted to say there is another way, that all you have to do is ask the One who created you a simple question. Ask Him, the One who sustains your air, what He calls you and see if it does not change everything. Generations that have not yet been born will be affected by your choice to know and live in your true identity. What are you waiting for? Your great-great-great grandkids need your true identity to lead the way for them to walk towards home. Give them something to follow and breath easy today.
One thing that I love about vacations is the new people we meet. Some live where we travel and some are only visiting. A few conversations last longer than most and some only in passing. To give someone your time, the gift of being noticed, heard or an encouraging word, only takes an awareness. There is no qualifying, for everyone has the same need. You just never know if a small seed you plant or the question you ask might make an eternal difference as it grows. And I am finding that being generous in the scattering is very rewarding.
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists…” Hebrew 11:6
My view this moment is the ocean. Waves constantly in motion, crashing against white sand. Umbrellas and chairs dot the shore. Every now and then I catch the sound of laughter. In places of beauty I find it easy to believe that God exists and it takes very little faith. It is the everyday that faith and existence takes a bit more searching. Maybe that is because beauty gets overlooked in the familiar. Perhaps even taken for granted in the ordinary coming and going of family and daily life. Makes me even more thankful for time away to refocus on beauty that waits to be noticed in the everyday.
When the kids go outside in the morning to catch a glimpse of the ocean, I tell them to leave the door open so I can hear the waves. The truth is I want to eavesdrop on their conversations. This morning a brother and sister sat together and talked about her fear of being too far from the shore. She said she was afraid of the big waves. Her brother came up with an idea. “What if dad tied a rope to you and he hung on to the other end? Then you could go out further out and not be afraid.” I just smiled. Isn’t that what God promises us with His presence? No matter how big the waves of life and the unsettling they bring, He is with us. Now I have a picture of a rope tied around my waist and Him holding on tight. Thanks kids for reminding your mom of truth today.