Posts Tagged ‘Presence’

Dusk has come in all its glorious transition. Light fades and colors the western sky, as distant sparkles begin appearing. Soon, the darkening ceiling upon the earth is etched with stars of every kind. The moon slowly rises in the far distance, its own light contesting the growing darkness in the absence of the sun.

I step outside for a brief moment, looking for something I’m missing from inside. My attention fixed upon my search, suddenly something inside me stops. My heart awakens and that familiar hush envelops me. Forgetting why I was standing there, I move away from the house to take in the unfolding scene. Awed and filled with wonder, I wait.

Moments like these captivate me. I continually long for more of them as they represent those times of God calling my name. “Come”, He says, and at once, my heart is hooked. I usually wait for more instructions, and rarely it comes. Early on, this would frustrate me. But over time, I came to understand. The way I came to Him was not the point. Rather, He just wanted me to come.

Life for most of us leaves little to no room for responding to God calls. We practice over and over how to “react” to the shifting circumstances we encounter in life, most of which we would never desire. Yet, into the midst of these and other instances of our harried life, the Father likes to step in and extend His beckoning hand.

“Come”, He says.

“Now?” we respond, shocked.

“But I’ve got so much to do!”, we think to ourselves as conflict fills our hearts.

God’s call in these moments are intentional. Our lives are less about what we accomplish, and more about the journey we walk with Him together. Does He want us to accomplish and succeed? Absolutely. However, coming into His presence, especially in those unique moments of personal invitation, trumps the daily grind of normal living. Being with Him brings life as Heaven intends where relationship reigns supreme.

Watch for these moments each day and be prepared to act, regardless of what you face. In doing so regardless of what it will require, we will touch the Father’s heart as only we can. We each mean that much to Him.

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The Rest We Need

We’ve all been there. Day after day we awake with our constant companion. It sits on our chest when we lay down, suffocating our experience of peace and hope. In the day, it rides on our shoulder like a backpack full of rocks.  The whispers of its voice become the constant hum in the background of our hearts. Every decision we encounter carries its flavor, as if everything has been contaminated. Our contemplations are fruitless in seeking relief, and to expect a casting off becomes more and more a distant song that plays only to tempt our downcast heart.

Weariness and heart burdens are plagues upon our active, and fast-paced society.  Both  are real and obviously effective, as some days seemed marked by each of them in more ways than others. Over time, we learn to cope with their presence, never really gaining relief, nor expecting a life beyond them. It is here that we embrace the lie – “just move on” everyone says…”it will get better”. But better never comes, at least like we hope for.

Certainly life brings times when we are weakened by the journey and troubled by the burdensome weight we carry, whether self-imposed or received from others. But in spite of this reality, there is another truth that is greater. I wonder if we’ve missed it because we expect to do something ourselves or change the circumstances to gain the rest we seek? What if the answer lies not in something we do, but in someone we lean on?

Digging his feet into the soil of the earth and facing the growing crowds of Palestine, Jesus stood contesting the ways of our realm with the supernatural power of His own. I imagine every face he saw told a story that only he could hear in the deepest sense. Some were filled with joy, and some shared the heart wrenching pain of burdens too great, and tiredness too chronic. Into this tide of discouragement, He spoke…

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, NLT)

The answer for our weariness and burdens lies not in doing something different, creating a new environment or even in running away. No, true rest comes in the embrace of a person who cares, loves, and esteems your life. Like you, He too has been weary and burdened by weights. He knows the experience of it at every level of his being – body, soul and spirit. However, it was His own Father’s love that brought the confident rest He sought, and now He offers the same to us.

No experience of weariness or burdens will ever grow stronger than the overwhelming influence and power of Jesus’ presence. He IS life, and His life IS greater. Everything bows before Him, even weariness and burdens. The light He brings reveals that each are only meant to be short-lived, as true life comes with joy, love and peace.

The invitation circles the globe every second. Jesus stands before us, arms opened wide, ready to embrace our tired and troubled hearts. His rest comes not as a answer for our present questions, but as a new vision for our life. We were fashioned to live in and through His rest, even in the midst of difficult times.

“Come to Me,” He calls to our hearts. Will we respond?

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Unpredictable and mysterious, desert experiences come as differently as the seasonal winds shift the sand designs upon its floor. Questions abound more than answers, and even when we think we understand, the unfolding of time provides insights we could have never known. However, for most of them, these times in our lives transport us to similar surroundings – dusty, dry conditions that expose our superficial securities. They are not easy paths, and probably not meant to be. Yet, they can be incredibly life-altering where our hearts become sensitive to that around us which has seemed invisible.

When living in the midst of the desert, the aloneness can become overwhelming. Acutely aware of our circumstances, we search for companionship to share the experience as well as for promises to sustain us. While most of the time humanity remains at a distance, there is a discovery that awaits us.

The Old Testament King David shares an amazing promise for our journey during these times…

“Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, whose name is the Lord and exult before Him.” Psalm 68:4, NASB (emphasis mine)

We are not alone in our “desert” times. The Lord Himself comes to the very place we find ourselves. Whether we’ve come because of our choice or not, He becomes our company and our promise. His presence sustains and nourishes our heart, gives direction to our wanderings, and serves as the final answer for drawing goodness from our experience. The desert times are mostly about deeper union with Him. Despite what we may see around us, He who shares our road as we pass through these times of parchedness makes all the difference.

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