First, I know many of you have emailed me from time to time wondering how the words I write can be for you, while in some ways implying with a gracious heart, that I am somehow different. This comes from somehow thinking I am special and brings with it a demeaning of your own self worth. This should not be, for there is no partiality with Godâ€¦none what so ever. Therefore, I want to encourage you today. I want o edify you according to the great incomparable value you have in Christ, for you are truly a priceless treasure of His heart.
Most of all, I want you to know I am not different. I struggle just like you. And because of this, I am going to endeavor as much as possible to share with you those struggles in a personal way. I am going share the inner workings of my heart and Fatherâ€™s response to the ones He loves without condition, you and me. Sometimes it will be related to something I have personally experienced and sometimes it will be insight into revelations the Lord gives my son Daniel Aaron. His middle name Aaron means bringer of light or light bringer. How cool is that?
Secondly, some have even wonderedâ€¦questionedâ€¦ how I would dare take the Scripture and do with it as I doâ€¦how I can take something so reverent and share it in such conversational form. I believe the Lord is a conversational God with an intense desire to fellowship with us in simple yet profound ways according to the way He has made us. I also believe one cannot plummet the depths of Godâ€™s Word any more than one can dive to bottom of the deepest reaches of the oceansâ€¦but it is fun trying.
Beloved, there is always more to discoverâ€¦to be revealedâ€¦and He uses our environment, our experiences, our everyday lives and so much more in order to do so.
Therefore, I pray at all times to have a pure and forgiving heart toward myself and others no matter what I experience. I do this for many reasons such as, so I can maintain an intimate personal relationship with the Lord not hindered by guilt or shame and so I can release an undefiled, pure Word to the best of my understanding according to His revelation.
Some of these reasons are in order to be as pure a vessel as I can be for the Lord to flow through according to my gift. My desire is to help others have hope in the goodness, mercy, love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ regardless of station in life, situation or circumstanceâ€¦to be one who does not bury any talent the Lord has given me no matter what men may think or say of me.
You see, you, like me, are the apple of His eye, His heartâ€™s desireâ€¦.and yes, His favorite one. With all this in mind, I open my heart to share a morning of promises, both kept and not kept.
I want to share this love-letter from a personal perspectiveâ€¦from where I was in my life on the morning of May 5, 2009, my sonâ€™s 11th birthday.
I took advantage of my son spending the night at a friendâ€™s house and slept in a bit. I woke up groggy, uninspired and a bit overwhelmed at having to play catch-up on all my emails, pay bills, and somehow be inspired to write. After all, so many were depending on me, so I thought. No one should depend on me but on the Lord. What if the Lord told me to quit doing journals every week and people depended on me and not Him. Selah (think on that)
However, I decided to ignore my usual tendency to head upstairs to my office and dive into the day. Instead, I grabbed a cup of coffee with a touch of cream and headed outside to roam through my beautiful gardenâ€¦to sit in our, old but still working spa. As a result of my beautiful stroll and the warm spa, dread, the feeling of being overwhelmed, and much more began evaporating like steam into the pleasant morning air.
One by one, thoughts of the last few years in ministryâ€¦the last few years of life in general, began to float to the surface of my mind as the warm bubbles seemed to coax more than my sore muscles to a place of relaxation and healing. My heart seemed to be full and running over with memories of so many abandoned promises made by well-meaning people, including those who called their selves friends and family. I felt wearyâ€¦so very wearyâ€¦so very tired and wondered how I could possibly do all these things I feel in my heart to do. I know many of my friends have kept their words and promises; but, I was not focusing on the positive as I should have been. I was not blessing the Lord for the provision I had already received. I was not being like a carefree bird of the air nor was I being like the sparrow who is never forgotten and is always the Masterâ€™s care (Matthew 10:26)
To compound it all, I felt the heaviness in areas of personal relationships related to friends and family, where the enemy seems to have stolen for whatever reason, the promises of God for me and for them. Some promises were given ten, twelveâ€¦and yes, even twenty years ago. How well I understand Abraham waiting for Isaac.
There I was, slipping deeper and deeper into the warm water, when thoughts of a beautiful Cardinal I saw in my vegetable garden the day before popped into my conscious thoughts.
I remember marveling at his beauty as he effortlessly moved from one of my tomato cages to another all the while eyeing my first ripe tomato of the season. Moving closer and closer to the shining red beacon, he showed no concern for my presence, but I on the other hand was very concerned for my tomato.
As beautiful as my lovely garden visitor was, I had no intention of letting him have my first tomato. Determined to save my tomato, I began to approach him from a distance and; yet, he just seemed to dance without care from one rung of the cage to another. However, as I moved into the garden he flew to the fence by the field and watched me with the same lack of concern as I picked the tomato he hoped to have as a snack.
I kept my eye on him and could tell Mr. Cardinal was not depending on my tomato for his sustenance and his carefree attitude seemed to say, â€śIt would be good if I could have it; but, I know everything I need is already be provided whether it comes from your garden or somewhere else. After all, I know the Master Gardner and regardless of whether you let me have your tomato or not all will be well.â€ť And then, he flew away.
Remembering Mr. Cardinal caused my heart to overflow the boundaries of my eyes with tears of response to the tender-hearted love, grace, mercy, faithfulness and goodness of the Lord. Instantly I knew, no matter how many broken promises of men I had experienced, no matter how much rejection and yes, even betrayal I have been the recipient of, the Lord was and is with me. He is with me to keep every promiseâ€¦to keep every Word spoken to me by Him. He is with me to fulfill His Word for my life; no matter how many years ago it might have been spoken. He is not slow in keeping His promises. He is the Promise Keeper.
However, sometimes all of us can be slow in believing because we associate the attitudes, actions and words of men with God. I know I have at times limited God in that way. I have believed the one unfulfilled promise made by someone with honest intent, the one ripe tomato in the garden of my life, to be my hope to many times to count. Unlike Mr. Cardinal, who knew there would always be provision, I limited myself to the one tomato.
The real truth is this; hope is in God and God alone. He uses others, who like all of us, fail from time to time Therefore; we must give the same grace we receive in response to our own shortcoming to them as well. We must should not and cannot make any room for offense, for we do reap what we sow.
You and I must have the same carefree attitude and knowing as Mr. Cardinal. We must know the fulfillment of our life and our call does not depend on the faithfulness of man but on the faithfulness of God. He always makes a way where there is no way and does it all in His time. We must realize just because something hasnâ€™t happened doesnâ€™t mean it wonâ€™t. If we feel this way, the danger we face as a result is creating an Ishmael and not an Isaac.