Beyond Measure

I remember now why it is difficult to write.  This weekend we’ve had basketball, snowboarding, Sadies dinner and dance, basketball, Music Man theatre practice, Pep Band, and more basketball.  And after feeding everyone in between, I’m tired.   I can sit here and have my quiet time early in the morning, but to actually produce a piece of writing becomes quite a task.

Still, I woke up this morning.  I am blessed beyond measure.  

Let us not forget it.  We are well-fed, well-rested, plenty-of-clean-water kind of people who have margin in their lives for basketball and dancing.  That’s amazing.  

We’re also broken and surrounded by brokenness.  I have been watching it and feeling it for several years.  I have considered the state of the world and have despaired.  I have wallowed in that pain at times, falsely believing that was compassion.   Wallowing is not compassion.

My friend was diagnosed with breast cancer this month.  Another friend’s husband was in a terrible accident and must live in a rehab facility for four months to heal his broken bones and learn to walk again.  Will I just sit here and feel sorry for them?  No, compassion requires me to act in love, outside of myself.  Compassion is action.

I’m not going to change the state the world.  It’s much too big.  But I can affect my little circle of influence.  

God is speaking this same message to many of you.  You’ve dispaired too.  But God is waking us up.  He is speaking to those who have an ear to hear. He is setting all things into place.  

This spiritual awakening is a quiet one, nearly hidden.  Most people, even within the church, will not recognize it.  It’s too easy to be distracted by basketball and Sadies dances.  But it is a great awakening nonetheless.   There is a mighty earthquake under our feet.  In our quiet times with Him, the Word is coming alive like never before.  His words are springing to life!  He is currently in the process of clothing us with strength and dignity so we can laugh at the days to come (Proverbs 30:25).  Stand with courage and love, Church.  

  

Volcano Dream

On December 27, 2015, I woke from a quick, vivid dream. In the dream, I was standing on a viewpoint hill in Eastern Washington State. It was a vantage that I don’t believe exists in the natural because I could see all of the Cascade mountain peaks in Washington and Oregon. Nearly simultaneously, all of the large peaks became active volcanoes. The first to erupt was Mt. Rainier, and it’s plume was the largest. But directly following, all of the peaks began sending up large ash plumes. From where I stood, I could see a line of erupting volcanoes from north to south. Though I was far away, I could feel the shaking of the earth and I could hear the rumble of the explosions. I had a sense that the ash would come my way. I understood that in the few minutes before the plume would reach me, all I should do was prepare.

I do not have a clear idea if this was a warning dream of an actual physical event. It is possible. But is it also possible that this dream has spiritual implications for the church?

According to Hebrews 12, we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken. Over the past several years, I have watched with sadness at the shaking that is occurring within the American church. I have sensed that God is currently removing what can be shaken—so that what cannot be shaken will remain. God is clearly refining. He is separating wheat from chaff. Can you feel it? He is building strong foundations under our feet, but much of this has been through trial and testing. God is building an unshakable kingdom in His people so that we are girded and prepared, tested and found strong for whatever comes.  

In the weeks previous to the volcano dream, I had been contemplating Daniel 12:7, “when the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all of these things will be completed.” When I asked the Lord directly, “Lord, what does this mean?” He answered me, “It must. It must. It must be broken.” In that moment, I felt his extreme sorrow. His heart is broken because of what He must do. At this, I started to cry. I sat for a while like this, my hand clutching my heart because it hurt. I said to Him, “Oh Lord, it’s overwhelming. It’s breaking my heart. I can’t imagine how it must break yours.” And I asked Him, “What’s next, Lord? I want my heart to align with yours, but I am worried about many things.” Peace came quickly. I stopped crying. He answered me with love, a surprising, “Oh! How He loves us!” kind-of-love. He is brokenhearted over what must be done. But oh, how he loves.  

Seek Him now. Find your rest and refuge in Him. Only Him. He alone is righteous, and He will do what He must. But if you dwell in the shelter of the Most High, you will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. God is your refuge and fortress.

Psalm 91:1-2

Psalm 50: 1-6

Jeremiah 23: 1-6

Haggai 2: 6-9

Hebrews 12: 25-29

Yes, Lord

I’ve been quiet in my writing.  I’ve held myself back from what I really should be writing about.  God has spoken clearly to me in these past few years as I’ve sought him.  He’s said plenty.  It’s all in my journal.  But I’ve held back.   

There are plenty of reasons I’ve held back.  I’m busy, my husband has a public job, and I’d rather have my privacy in this crazy world.  But mostly I’ve held back because I  am fearful of man and his opinion. Because I’m worried about what others will think, I’ve not obeyed what God has asked me to do–to write and to speak of His righteousness.  

I’ve been more fearful of man than I have been of God.  I’m convicted.  I’ve been wrong, and it’s time to let all that go.  I may offend.  I may be unfriended.  I may be targeted to have my head cut off.  I’m done worrying about any of that.  If God is truly my refuge and strength, isn’t it time for me to believe it and walk it out?