Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed by Your greatness. Overwhelmed by Your love. I see Your hand, Your artistry in people’s lives. You are the Master at taking something lost, ugly, broken, and defiled and turning it into something beautiful.

I find myself in awe of You, asking why.

Why do You love us? Why do You heal us? I don’t understand, Lord…I don’t understand. You are altogether wonderful, beautiful…words cease…You are good.

I pray, You answer, and lives are transformed. You are good.

The God of this universe actually delights in me…how wonderful is that?? I was created for His pleasure! (Rev. 4:11) These are truths that I can scarcely comprehend or bring myself to believe. This truth brought me so much freedom… I don’t have to try to be like someone else, or measure up to the worlds standards. It gives God upmost pleasure when I be just exactly whom God created me to be.

I love this passage in Psalm 139:17-18:

How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee.

God’s thoughts toward me number more than the sand? If so, then God is constantly thinking about me. I find myself in awe not really knowing how to respond or what to say.

This holy, holy, holy God is in-love with this sinner. He wants to spend time with me. He holds my hand. He carries me. He feeds me. He constantly gives me good gifts. He takes pleasure in me, and is always thinks of me.

Even after I murdered His Son.

I can’t begin to fathom this kind of love…I find myself speechless. He is so great and powerful, yet so gentle, so loving. He truly is beyond my comprehension. I’m glad I serve a God that can’t fit inside my mind.

Even in the midst of struggles this past week He has been so faithful bringing me encouragement just when I need it. Like on Wednesday I had but just said “Lord, I feel so alone” when in walked two vessels to encourage me. He’s been doing a lot of things like that lately. I am truly overwhelmed with His goodness. Oh praise the Lord, for He is good.

More than anything I want to know God; I want to be close to His heart.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye. Being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:17-19

I want that. Mmm…Abba, teach me Your love so that I may be filled with You.

There’s so much on my heart right now, more than I know how to articulate. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a post or not…this may not make any sense to anyone but me. Oh well… may you find yourself in-love, in-awe, and overwhelmed with God, friend.

Our God is great. Selah.

In His love and by His blood,

Grace

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A Servant’s Heart

It’s been a good start to the year.

As I begin to type, I hear raindrops gently beating on the window. After a dry summer, rainy days have become especially dear to me. So peaceful…and the smell of rain? Beautiful.

I pause and glance down at the keyboard and see on my wrist a bracelet that my little sister, Christiana (7), gave to me for Christmas. It has Matthew 22:37 on it:

 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  

She couldn’t have possibly known how much I love that verse, and how much it means to me. Oh, my aim is to love The Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind.

Father, give me Your heart to love You with…
I am totally incapable of loving You the way I should.

Ah, the Lord has been showing me much lately in the way of being at home and the selfishness of my heart. For some reason, I’ve always had this vision of when I get older I’ll suddenly be this super-amazing Christian.

Someday I want to pour myself out to others…
Someday I will be a joyful servant to all…
Someday I will show the love of Christ to every needy heart…
I will be ever so diligent and patient…
And whatever I do I will throw myself in wholeheartedly in service to the King.

But my Lord says, “No Grace, that’s who I want you to be right now–in your own home. I want you to invest in the lives of your siblings, and serve them joyfully.”

You see, it’s so easy to go to someone elses home, or church, and serve joyfully and be oh so “picture perfect.” It’s so easy to be a good Christian and pour myself out to others. But what about when I’m at home (when there is no one to impress)? Do I always give my very best? When something is asked of me–in my home–do I jump up to joyfully serve, and go the extra mile? So often I only give the minimum, and only that after a sigh.

If this is the case–if I only work and serve when there are those to praise me– then I am become one who works for the praise of man. Is that my pursuit? Is that what I’m living my life for?

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:22-24)

Oh! How convicting this passage is to me; for you see, I am one who thrives off of the praise and approval of man. To say I like people to think and say good things about me would be an understatement…so much of what I do is rooted in pride.

The whole fact that I care so much about what others think of me, shows a lack of love for God. If I truly did love God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind, then everything I did would flow out of a heart of love for God.  Instead is this pride and self focus…this is really a hard thing to admit.

Oh I want a servant’s heart.
A heart that thinks not of ones self, but considers others first…
A heart that is selfless and sacrificial…
A heart of all-consuming love, leaving no room for pride…
A heart where God has first place.

 The really sad thing is, everything that I do on earth with a motive of pride will burn up as hay and stubble when I get to heaven. That two seconds of praise that I worked for was my reward; I won’t get rewards for the things done out of a motive of pride. Oh! May every motive be inspired with love for Christ!

Lord, I want to live for You and love You more…I want to bring glory to You, not me. But I am so inadequate, oh help me!

He is helping me–ever so faithfully helping me, leading me, guiding me, and holding my hand. I am learning to serve Him and not man…and doing it heartily. No, I cannot give Him any less than my best. Anything He asks me to do I must throw my whole self into; whether it’s something small like doing laundry, dishes, mopping floors or something big like feeding the hungry, winning souls, going on the mission field. Whatever it is I am to do it heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men.

There’s so much more I could say on this, but for fear of boring I’ll stop–for now. May you serve Christ, dear friend, joyfully, willingly, and heartily.

All for Christ’s glory (and not mine),

Grace

Psalm 16:11

A New Year’s prayer

Ah, it is 11:49 PM, almost the New Year…what a year this has been. The Lord has brought me so far. So far. And as I look at the new year ahead, I see that I have so far to go. So far.

This song describes what I want for the New Year; this is one of the things that if I could write poetry, I would have written this.

A Passion For Thee

Set my heart, O dear Father,
On Thee, and Thee only,
Give me a thirst for Thy presence divine.
Lord, keep my focus on loving Thee wholly,
Purge me from earth; Turn my heart after Thine.

A passion for Thee;
O Lord, set a fire in my soul, and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lord, Thy power impart.
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.

Father fill with Thy Spirit, and fit me for service,
Let love for Christ every motive inspire,
Teach me to follow in selfless submission,
Be Thou my joy and my soul’s one desire.

A passion for Thee;
O Lord, set a fire in my soul, and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lord, Thy power impart.
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.

This song is definitely my prayer for this coming year–I want my heart to burn with an all-consuming passion to know and love God. I want to serve Him with a motive of love, and not of pride. I want Jesus to be my true joy and my soul’s one desire.

O Lord, I thank you so much for this year; it’s been wonderful. In fact, it’s been the best year of my life. After last year I didn’t think life could get any better…but oh! Every year walking by Your side gets sweeter still.
 Abba, don’t let me stray, please draw me closer to You. This year You have taught me much…You have taught me how to die daily, how to be a leader, how show others Your love, and how in Your presence is fullness of joy…You have held my hand, guided me, and carried me…You have been so patient with me gently teaching me truths over and over again untill I realize that You’re trying to teach me.
It gives me so much joy to know that You continue to hold my hand and guide me in this new year. May I grow to love you more. Oh make me a vessel of Your glory! May people see You and not me.

Well I’ve had a wonderful evening, and a wonderful year; but I’m ready–bring on the new year!

Hello twenty-twelve!

11:56 PM

Lord, may You be glorified in every aspect of my life this coming year.

-Grace
Psalm 16:11, Galatians 2:20

And my sisters and I start the countdown….

He holds my hand

Grace looked at the path ahead, she had far to go. There were so many things she thought she ought to be doing, so much she needed to work on: Prayer, meditation, humility, loving God wholeheartedly… She was beginning to feel overwhelmed and fearful when a figure silently slipped to her side. Suddenly, Grace felt a strong hand grasp her right hand. As she looked down to see a scar marked wrist, He whispered in her ear;

“Fear not; I will help thee.”   

               “For the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, “Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13

Christ holding my hand