Waiting for Summer!
Yesterday, the dog walked by my kitchen window.
Not under the window, but by it, because the ground was just below the windowsill. I thought it was a moose. Seriously. I called my son in from the next room with the words, "I just saw a moose!" (I'm still paying for that as the current laughingstock of the family.)
We are buried here in Northern MN, as is the rest of the country. And, while last year at this time I was road-tripping around Minnesota and South Dakota, wearing my spring clothes, this year I'm still clunking around in my Uggs and parka. Is there any hope of summer?
Yes. Absolutely. Even if it is for only a month, I know summer will arrive. I don't have to panic. In fact, with that knowledge, I am free to enjoy winter, with its challenges and delights.
My friend Tiff Colter wrote an intriguing blog over at www.mybooktherapy.com last week about the power of knowing. If you knew something would happen, what would you do to accomplish it? I've been pondering this all week - how does knowledge - or rather, assurance - change us? I understand the flip side - doubt causes all manner of destruction. Unfinished projects, worry, fear, anger, even desperation. I can walk into my office, stare at my messy credenza and prove that. (if I clean it, will it stay clean? Nyet). Or step on the scale. (Maybe we shouldn't go there!) But the truth is, I'm more familiar with doubt than assurance.
But I shouldn't be. The hallmark of the Christian life is about assurance. Assurance of forgiveness. Assurance of sufficient grace. Assurance of mercy.
Assurance of eternity.
I know I am redeemed. I know God is on my side.
At least I should know this. But sometimes, I operate as if I don't. I treat faith like an equation -
Obedience + Sacrifice + A Grateful Heart = Blessings (often how we measure God's Love, which is fundamentally incorrect anyway. I know, it's hard to separate, because it feels that way. But God's love really is separate from the blessings of God. But that's another topic). But see, the equation doesn't work because God's Love is not equal with anything we do.
God's love is simply a fact. And we can't reconcile it, or make the equation balance. I mean, really, what can do we do with Romans 5:8, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us?" Or the beautiful statement in Song of Songs 1:5, "Dark I am (a sinner I am), but lovely, (beloved of God)." We just can't reconcile the fact that we are both sinner and beloved.
But God has. See, God's love is not dependant on our worth, but on His desire to give it. And he has. It's not in question.
John 15: 9 "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now, remain in my love." Believe in it. Be assured of it. Let it seep into you, change you, call you lovely, despite your darkness.
I love this old hymn:
But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I've committed
Unto Him against that day.
How would your life change if you knew God loved you?
Because, friend, He does.
I know it's been a few months since you heard from me - in fact, last time, I think I was locked into the fetal position, wrapped in pain from the slipped disk in my neck.
I am better. Much better. In fact, I went to Florida last week to teach a retreat and ran around in the creamy sand of Clearwater Beach. Thank you for your prayers for healing! I'm much much, much improved (and yet still grateful for my massage therapist and chiropractor!)
In the meantime, I wrote a book called the Shadow of your Smile, due out next year with Tyndale about a wife/mother who falls and loses her memory of the past 25 years...including the tragic loss of her only daughter. Yes, I wept my way through this book, despite the lessons of faith and grace God taught me, and the joy I felt with His amazing ending.
I have three fun books coming out over this season - keep reading for more details! And if you are a writer, hop over to www.mybooktherapy.com, a craft and coaching community for novelists. And, if you live near Fosston, MN, or the Quad Cities, I'll be heading your direction soon. Check out my events page for more information.